D.C. Semester Highlight: Gabrielle Lirosi

Gabrielle Lirosi ’24 is spending a semester participating in the Lutheran College Washington Semester (LCWS). Gabrielle originally hails from Jackson, New Jersey and is a current junior at Roanoke College. She majors in Psychology with a minor in Sociology and a concentration in Crime, Deviance, and Social Control.

I interviewed Gabrielle to learn more about what she’s doing during her semester away!

Lirosi visiting The View of D.C. in Arlington, Virginia

This spring, Gabrielle is working for Offender Aid and Restoration (OAR) as a Post-Release Intern. OAR works to “create a community where those impacted by the legal system enjoy equal civil and human rights.” Gabrielle’s team specifically works with people who have recently been released from incarceration to help them transition back into the community.

Describing her work, Gabrielle says, “some days I am booked with appointments working with our participants to find housing, arrange community service, build job applications, practice interviews, and so much more!” Her team communicates with probation/parole officers, group home mentors, and family members of participants to help build their support system. Gabrielle also frequently attends court to stay up-to-date with participants and share OAR resources with recently-released individuals.

Positively impacting people’s lives while gaining high-level professional experience is an average day for an LCWS student. This semester, Gabrielle has been assigned the designated point-person for a large project in which OAR is assessing their recidivism rates.

Gabrielle Lirosi walks through the Federal Triangle

Gabrielle is putting her psychology background to work in the professional world! She says psychology students must consider participating in LCWS.

“So many focus on DC as the capital only seeing politics and ignoring the social sciences that reside in such a complex society! I’ve applied endless amounts of psychology work into analyzing the culture of DC and understanding my work at OAR! There are ample opportunities for any major, including psychology.”

According to Gabrielle, the networking and mentoring opportunities available for all students in D.C. are invaluable.

Gabrielle Lirosi ’24 with roommates Sierra Smith (Augustana University ’23. left) and Natalie Webster (Roanoke College ’25, right)

When she isn’t in class or working at OAR, Gabrielle is soaking up the culture of the nation’s capital! She loves making spontaneous plans with her roommates (pictured above). “There has never been a dull moment exploring the city,” she says, but it’s easy to find peace and quiet in one of D.C.’s many parks.

When I asked Gabrielle what her favorite memory from the semester so far is, she said, “seeing the cherry blossoms at sunrise was surreal, they are a token of DC and are in peak bloom right now.” But the famous cherry blossoms are tied with the interactive art of the Artech House for most memorable to Gabrielle.

Want to learn more about LCWS? Visit https://www.washingtonsemester.org/ or contact Dr. Todd Peppers (peppers@roanoke.edu) for more information!

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