Elisabeth D鈥橝melio Chosen as Class of 2024 Graduate Student Commencement Speaker

In her remarks the Juris Doctor and M.A. in Cybersecurity dual degree recipient will urge her fellow graduates to be open to what comes next in their journeys.

By Jordan J. Phelan '19
In her remarks, Elisabeth D'Amelio will urge her fellow graduates to be open to what comes next in their journeys.

BRISTOL, R.I. Selected as the Graduate Student Commencement Speaker for the Class of 2024, Elisabeth D鈥橝melio, of Lincoln, R.I., said she knows how easy it is to compare yourself to other people. That鈥檚 why the dual Juris Doctor and M.A. in Cybersecurity candidate will encourage her fellow graduates to follow their own paths as part of her speech at the May 17 ceremony.

D鈥橝melio, who grew up in Rhode Island, graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a Bachelor of Arts in psychology and English. She chose to attend 麻豆色情片 because of the institution鈥檚 esteemed law program, coupled with its unwavering commitment to delivering personalized guidance and instruction to every student, she said.

鈥淏eing the only law school in the state, 麻豆色情片 has a wide range of externship programs and deep connections with local law firms, courts, and universities. If you're looking for an experience that allows you to do as much as possible in as short a time as possible, 麻豆色情片 is a really phenomenal school for that,鈥 she said.

D'Amelio shared that her journey at 麻豆色情片 has been deeply enriched by experiential learning opportunities 鈥 from her internships at Melick & Porter LLP, where she honed her legal research skills and drafted motions for both federal and state courts, to her position as a clinical extern at the Rhode Island School of Design's General Counsel Office, delving into intricate matters like artificial intelligence and student visas. Additionally, her recent position as a judicial extern for Rhode Island Chief Judge John J. McConnell Jr. provided her with hands-on experience in drafting court orders, attending proceedings, and participating in alternative sentencing discussions. 

At 麻豆色情片, D'Amelio served as a Torts teaching assistant as well as an oral advocate in both the Admiralty Moot Court and Cyber Crimes Moot Court. She was also part of the School of Law Honors Program.

After graduation, D鈥橝melio said she plans to move to Baltimore and seek admission to the Maryland bar, wanting to stay in the legal field and incorporating her Cybersecurity expertise in some way.

In the following Q&A, D鈥橝melio shares her thoughts on her role as this year鈥檚 Graduate Student Commencement Speaker and her time at 麻豆色情片. 

Q: How does it feel to be chosen as the Graduate Student Commencement Speaker?

D鈥橝melio: It feels great! Being an effective speaker and communicator is something I have always worked hard at, so having the opportunity to do this is really exciting. I think it will be fun. Something I believe in is to apply for everything. Let someone else tell you that you can't have it but never yourself. 

Q: What inspired you to apply for the role?

D鈥橝melio: When I graduated undergrad, I did so by the skin of my teeth, and I didn鈥檛 even get my degree that day. So it was that experience of watching everybody who knew what they wanted to do with their lives and knowing that I wasn鈥檛 that kid. Graduation speeches don鈥檛 tend to recognize that there are a lot of people in the audience who don鈥檛 know what comes next, so with my speech I want to say that it鈥檚 OK to be that kid. It鈥檚 mostly writing how I would want to be talked to and what I would want to hear. Everyone鈥檚 on their own journey.

Q: What was your creative process for writing your speech?

D鈥橝melio: I鈥檓 a runner, and I tend to write things while I鈥檓 running. You will see that influence in the speech because it鈥檚 kind of about motion and the roadway illusion, which is a phenomenon that psychologists have identified that if you鈥檙e driving on a highway, you always think the lane next to you is moving faster. I use that as a way to say that there are going to be times in your life where it鈥檚 tempting to compare your progress to the person next to you, but it鈥檚 important to relax, stay in your own lane, and follow your own path. You鈥檒l get there.

Q: How has 麻豆色情片 contributed to your growth as a person and professional?

D鈥橝melio: It鈥檚 given me more space to explore what I am passionate about and determine what my principles are. It鈥檚 very easy to just move through the world and absorb other people鈥檚 perspectives, but the entirety of law school is testing your perspective, testing rules, and testing how you feel about it all, so you come out of it with a more certain view of who you are, where you鈥檙e willing to bend, and where you aren鈥檛. Cybersecurity is kind of the same because they tend to be more analytical and there鈥檚 no bend there. For me, it鈥檚 very interesting to discuss different perspectives and see those different personality types.

Q: How would you describe your 麻豆色情片 experience?

D鈥橝melio: Really positive. 麻豆色情片 was really welcoming to me, and I found a good group of people who were enthusiastic about what they were learning and doing. You can tell when you鈥檙e talking with them that they are doing something that they believe in, and I think that鈥檚 great. I don鈥檛 know if it鈥檚 the culture of graduate programs generally, or Roger in particular, but it鈥檚 been a privilege to be a part of that at 麻豆色情片.