Stories from Our Community

Cecilia Panella (MA 2019)

Cecilia Panella

MA ’19

American Foreign Policy

First Year: SAIS Europe

When Cecilia was researching graduate schools that would suit her academic interests, one of her undergraduate professors told her three things: to challenge herself, study abroad if she can, and to look at applying to Johns Hopkins SAIS. As a firm believer that intellectual and personal growth are life-long goals, Cecilia chose SAIS because she knew that the school would provide her a platform to continue growing professionally and academically for years to come.

After deciding to begin her graduate studies at SAIS Europe, the transition from the United States to Italy was surprisingly easy. The pace of Bologna is calming and the people are friendly. The biggest challenge she faced was the lack of to-go coffee—while the local cafe Giulio’s is an invaluable resource for caffeine, Cecilia misses carrying around a giant coffee to get her through long days of classes.

Cecilia is the Editor-in-Chief for the SAIS Europe Journal of Global Affairs (SEJGA). For the journal, she had expressed an interest in being able to meet with European Parliament President, Antonio Tajani. The SAIS Europe faculty and staff were able to organize a small event with several other students in attendance, giving her the opportunity to discuss current EU issues with Tajani in a personal setting, which became both an academic and professional highlight.

In her role at the journal, Cecilia is responsible for selecting the editorial staff and finalizing the publication theme, managing pieces for selection, compiling content, sending it to print, and distributing it to the students and visitors on Alumni Weekend in late April. The theme this year is “BAN,” which represents policies and politics in our globalized world that make people uncomfortable. The team aims to assess the legality of the different policies and norms that people interact with in their everyday lives, and also encourage students to utilize all of the resources at their disposal to write about topics that would otherwise go untouched or underrepresented.