Adelina Lancianese Embraces Journalism, Discovery at Georgetown

Adelina Lancianese
SFS, Class of 2017, Culture and Politics
Mount Hope, West Virginia
Language: Spanish
Proseminar: Second Look at the Holocaust with Father Dennis McManus
On-Campus Activities: 
First Year Orientation to Community Involvement (FOCI) alumna
Campus Outreach
Georgetown Individuals Vocal and Energetic for Service (GIVES)
Big Hunt Coordinator
Off-Campus Activities:
Press Intern, U.S. Senate
Project Assistant, The American Pilgrimage Project
Freelance Journalist for: The Washington Post, The Beckley Register-Herald, the West Virginia Post-Report, and 100 Days in Appalachia.
May 10, 2017 by Matthew Raab

Adelina Lancianese (SFS’17) came to Georgetown with a passion for writing and politics, among other interests. Over four years at the SFS, that passion led to a wealth of experience, academic and professional, in the world of journalism, which Lancianese looks forward to entering after graduation.

Lancianese leveraged the creative latitude afforded to her by her Culture and Politics major into a unique, journalism-focused SFS program that allowed her to mold her pre-Georgetown interests into professional skills, and will bring her to NPR after graduation as one of three Kroc Fellows, a radio journalism-focused professional development program.

“I came into Georgetown as a voracious writer, wanting to work in political communications. I quickly learned, however, that communications can be an inauthentic form of writing and that I was really passionate about journalism,” Lancianese said. “It was disappointing that I could not minor in journalism because that department exists in the College. So, I catered my CULP major to journalism and entered the honors thesis program to focus on the news media.”

Lancianese protesting at the 2017 Women’s March on Washington.

Her degree program, which culminated in a senior thesis on digital media, included a diverse array of courses across Georgetown’s departments. Lancianese’s favorite classes included Washington Confidential (co-taught by Professors Barbara Feinman Todd and Maureen Corrigan)–a “creative, conversational, and challenging” class that explored DC through journalism; Free Speech (Professor Sanford Ungar)–“an intimate look at how free speech affects society;” and Media & International Affairs (Professor Greg Miller), taught by a professor with Washington Post experience who laid out the varieties of international reporting.

Lancianese also noted the importance of her advisors and mentors at Georgetown, including Feinman, Corrigan, Ungar, and Professors Paul Elie and Amrita Ibrahim.

“Nearly every professor has touched my life in some way, and I am incredibly thankful for the way they have challenged and accepted me,” Lancianese said.

Off-campus, Lancianese has also built a diverse portfolio of journalism experience.

“Georgetown opens doors for jobs and internships like no other school can. I served as press intern for my senator for two years on Capitol Hill,” Lancianese said. “I spend most of my time as a freelance journalist for The Washington Post, The Beckley Register-Herald, the southern West Virginia Post-Report, and 100 Days in Appalachia. I’ve been a contributor to two books about West Virginia history and culture.”

Beyond her work, Lancianese made a home on the Hilltop and in a city that she loves, taking advantages of experiences unique to the District.

“I’ll never forget the incredible public figures I’ve seen and met at Georgetown. On the first class day of my freshman year, new friends and I raced to the Lincoln Memorial to see President Obama speak on the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington,” she said. “During my junior year, a dear friend and classmate invited me to watch Pope Francis’s historic speech at the White House. We waited for hours on our feet on the crowded lawn, but it was incredible to see such a powerful and compassionate figure in person.”

A step away from the high politics of DC, Lancianese also enjoys the rich history surrounding average places in DC–her ideal Instagram blog would chronicle “the seemingly ordinary places with hidden pasts: the restaurant where JFK proposed to Jackie O, the community museum in Anacostia that features African art, and the parking garage in Rosslyn that was the site where Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward unraveled the mysteries of Watergate.”

Lancianese trick-or-treating on Embassy Row with Darnall hallmates. “We were sad that the embassy was closed,” she said.

To her freshman self, however, Lancianese would also urge an occasional step back.

“Georgetown can be intimidating, and I sometimes felt insecure among the brilliant minds and personalities here,” she said. “This mindset forced me to set my nose to the grindstone. I wish I had made more time to relax, join some clubs just for fun, and worried less about my grades.”

Fortunately, the studying was not all bad. Lancianese highlighted her classes as an important core of her SFS experience as she looks back on the last four years.

“I will miss the creativity of classes, especially those in the SFS. When I compare my international relations-type education to those of friends at other colleges, I realize that I am fortunate to have classes that were not generic introductions to lofty political concepts,” she said. “When students in other schools learned Theology 101, I was taking Problem of God. As they studied geography, I took Map of the Modern World. Classes at Georgetown are always outside of the box, with snappy names and niche subject matters that shed light on a larger discipline.”