BY: SYDNEY ANDERSON
At Delaware State University, there are many individuals who excel in the classroom, but finding student-athletes, who are active in the community, achieve perfect GPAS, and perform well on the field is very rare. However, senior star lacrosse player, Emily Campanelli, fits the description perfectly. For three straight years, Emily has managed to maintain a 4.0 GPA in political science. After Emily graduates, she hopes to attend Harvard law school, run for public office, or work as a defense attorney. Besides her remarkable grades, Emily is very involved in campus life. She has been a member of SGA, an organization on campus that attends to the needs of students and helps make campus life more adaptable. Furthermore, Emily is the President of Delaware States chapter of College Democrats and sits on multiple faculty committees. To top it all off, Emily is a member of the lacrosse team at Delaware State University. From all her achievements and impact to the university, Emily has definitely helped shape the campus. Still looking to make a positive impact, Emily sat down and provided us with an insight into her life.
Hornet: Where were you born and what was your upbringing like?
Emily: Hello, my name is Emily Campanelli and I major in political science. I am the president of college democrats and a member of the women’s lacrosse team. I was born in a western suburb of Chicago Illinois with loving parents and a healthy environment. I am the youngest out of three siblings, with an older brother and sister. At a young age, I fell in love with lacrosse. I started playing in fourth grade and have had a passion for the sport ever since.
Hornet: Who has been the greatest influence in your life that has impacted the woman you are today?
Emily: My mother has been the greatest impact in my life, as she has shaped me into becoming the woman I am today. She is a strong-willed and independent woman. My mother has always been very involved in my life and the community around her by constantly advocating for others. She is also very hardworking, while also having to raise three children. Throughout my life, my mother taught me many life-lessons, such as putting others first and always choosing kindness.
Hornet: What about your family?
Emily: My family is very encouraging and supportive. By having two older siblings, my life was filled with constant support and good role models. As my siblings were very successful, it inspired me to follow in their pathway and head in the right direction.
Hornet: Can you tell us of your education history and what your goals or life ambition was when you were a student in high school?
Emily: From as long as I can remember, I knew that I wanted to follow in my mothers footsteps in the political spectrum. In highschool, I felt secure in selecting political science as my major for college. I have always been a successful student, however, I knew that it was important to apply myself in college, which meant taking my studies more seriously.
Hornet: Can you tell us of your education experience prior to what you’re doing now?
Emily: I went to a public school called Lyons Township Highschool in La Grange Illinois, with a graduating class of 1,100. My high school was extremely large, but I enjoyed the experience. The big class helped me to branch out of my comfort zone and adapt to new things, such as becoming more comfortable with public speaking.
Hornet: What was the most memorable point at the school?
Emily: The most memorable point of highschool was becoming valedictorian. By receiving such a high honor, it was a showcase of my hardwork and determination that accumulated over the past four years. I got the opportunity to speak in front of my peers and seeing my parents’ reaction made it all worth it.
Hornet: Is this where you thought you’d be 5 or so years ago?
Emily: I have exceeded my five year plans. At Delaware State University, I managed to maintain a 4.0 GPA, stay active in the community, encourage others to join clubs and activities, while playing lacrosse and making new friends. Since freshman year, I have stayed on the president’s list. Moreover, I was a campus campaign coordinator for Joe Biden, where I organized, assembled, and recruited students to caucus on behalf of the campaign. Following this, I directed opportunities, studied the objectives, promotional policies, and needs for the developed public.
Hornet: What informed your decision on doing what you’re doing now?
Emily: My decision to be involved was based on wanting to make a difference in the community and campus life as a whole. Every day, I am looking to make a change, whether it is by helping others or joining new events. By being involved, I am able to gain new knowledge and improve my career for the future.
Hornet: What are your plans for the future?
Emily: For the future, I want to go to Harvard law school and study for the bars exam. Then, I would like to be a lawyer and begin in the field of becoming a defense attorney, policy analyst, lobbyist, or run for public office. Although Hardvard law school is my reach, I am hopeful that I will be admitted based on my accolades and resume.
Hornet: What kind of advice would you offer a student, who is undecided on his or her career path?
Emily: For a student who is undecided on his or her career path, I would recommend that an individual take his or her time. When it comes to picking a major, it is imperative that you pick a major that best suits you. In college, many students often change their majors, as they are uncertain of what they want to be in life. In addition, he or her can pick a major based on hobbies or interests he or she enjoys. For example, a student loves to write stories and be on camera. He or she can major in mass communications with a concentration in convergence journalism. Therefore, the student will be able to improve communication skills and learn how to write stories.
Hornet: How would you describe the state of higher education in America today?
Emily: In America today, higher education has strayed away from its original goal, which is to provide knowledge and sense. Higher education has slowly turned into a profitable corporate business, like many things in America.
Hornet: Have you ever travelled outside of the United States? Where, and how does life outside compare to that in the US?
Emily: Yes, I have travelled outside of the United States. I went to Panama in South America. Compared to the US, Panama is a safer country to reside in. When I went with my family, I felt very secure and the people were friendly. In the US, many Americans are obsessed with money and how society perceives them. In Panama, Panamanians’ lives do not revolve around money and love to spend time with one another. Finally, I was able to immerse myself into a new culture. Panama’s culture is a mixture of African, American Indian, North American, and Spanish inspirations, which are conveyed in music, sports, and religion.
Hornet: What does the future hold for America?
Emily: For America, I believe the future holds great and unfortunate events. On an educational note, the future for America will be bright, as the younger generations are intelligent. However, when it comes to the health of Americans, the future is questionable. With covid and other diseases quickly spreading, many Americans are losing their lives. This will impact the future of jobs, business, and schools. Moreover, poverty rates will increase due to lack of jobs and failed organizations.
Hornet: Are you interested in politics? What is your take on the state of politics and the future of American democracy?
Emily: Yes, I am very interested in politics, which is why my major is political science. When it comes to the state of politics and the future of American democracy, it has steered away from representing the people. Like seen in history, capitalism deteriorates over time. America’s government, democracy, and politics is overdue for a collapse.
Hornet: How are you responding to the outbreak of the Covid-19 virus?
Emily: With the outbreak of the Covid-19 virus, it has been difficult to deal with everything happening in life. At times, it was frustrating, as my mental health was suffering. From covid, my family and friends were all impacted negatively. Businesses and restaurants were getting shut down, resulting in many people becoming unemployed. On campus, there were many restrictions and places were closed. I was not able to fully enjoy my junior year, as there were no events, lack of students, and activities on campus. Moreover, my lacrosse season ended early because of covid as well. However, covid is better now than last year, as many individuals have gotten vaccinated so campus life has improved. Delaware State University has opened up many places that were shut down in 2020, such as Conrad and Subway. Despite the outbreak, I manage to stay optimistic by trusting the Lord and his plan. I know God would never put anything in my path that I cannot handle. With God’s help, I can overcome covid and the negative impact it carries.
Hornet: How did you handle the stay-at-home order? What about virtual learning or telecommuting?
Emily: The stay-at-home order was not unexpected due to the increase in covid cases on campus. When I learned that I would be sent home early, I was disappointed, but glad to be reunited with my family. Through virtual learning, students are able to engage from the screen. For virtual learning, I believe this is an excellent option because not everyone can make it to class all the time. Virtual learning is also beneficial for students who have covid so they will not fall behind in classes.
Hornet: What keeps you going during these trying times? How can the government better handle the situation?
Emily: During these hard times, I persevere because of God, my family, and friends. No matter the circumstances, I know that God is the one person I can go to express myself. Secondly, my family helps me recognize the positive in any situation. At times, I contemplate giving up, they remind me of how far I came and to not let my hard work go to waste. Finally, my friends provide me with good laughs, company, and life-lessons. The government can better handle covid by being stricter with policies, such as requiring individuals to wear a mask whether they are vaccinated or not. Even though people are vaccinated, that does not mean they are immune from the vaccine. Vaccinated individuals can still give or get covid, which is why it is imperative to take safety precautions.
Hornet: What are your hobbies or extracurricular activities?
Emily: My hobbies or extracurricular activities include being the president of the democrats, where I speak about politics and discuss what is happening in the world today with my peers. Secondly, I enjoy listening to music and spending time with my friends. Music is my safe space, as it serves as an outlet for me to express myself through powerful lyrics. Next, spending time with my friends is another hobby of mine. They help me get through hard times and encourage me to stay motivated while achieving my goals. Without the president of democrats, music, and spending time with my friends, I would have a difficult time managing everything in life.
Hornet: How would you describe your philosophy of life? That is, how do you see this life and what principles get you grounded and moving forward?
Emily: I would describe my philosophy of life as giving back to the community, since they helped me thrive to become the person I am today. I enjoy helping others and teaching people new things. The principles that keep me grounded are staying optimistic, making a difference, and being grateful for everything in life. By surrounding myself with uplifting people, I am able to stay optimistic.
In order to make a difference, I love seeking new clubs and activities to further my involvement with campus life. I consider every day a better day than yesterday, as long as I did something impactful. Lastly, I am grateful for everything God has provided me. Throughout college, I have had a prosperous career and I am still striving to accomplish more. As I reach my final year, I like to reflect on the memories, opportunities, friendships, and accolades provided to me by the university. However, none of this would have been possible without God’s guidance and assistance. I am eternally grateful that he has developed me into becoming a strong, independent, and sophisticated woman.
Hornet: Let us end the interview with a memorable quote from you. How would you describe yourself to the world?
Emily: To the world, I would describe myself as hard-working, faithful, sophisticated, and an overachieving woman. My success in college did not happen overnight but instead, took many years of preparation, patience, and dedication. Even though there were some challenges in the road, I managed to overcome them.
No matter what life throws her way, Emily will overcome any challenge. While managing lacrosse, her studies, and being the president of the Democrats (DSU Club), Emily still finds ways to serve the community. Emily’s endless drive and determination sets her apart from her classmates. Not only does she make a difference in the classroom, but on campus as well. After graduating from Delaware State University, Emily plans to give back to the college as a token of her gratitude for her successful years.