Senior Spotlight: Chris Parisella

by Juliana Dellamarggio

For Chris Parisella, a triple major in writing & rhetoric, political science and French, every step he has taken during his time at URI has been a stepping stone for where he wants to be in the future. Parisella has interned with the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island, in both the National Security Affairs and Strategy & Policy departments.

When he was with the Strategy & Policy department, Parisella interned with professor Marc Genest, and, together, they followed the changes in our military’s current Afghanistan strategy. It was an ideal internship, because Parisella was able to earn political science credits and study foreign policy outside of the classroom.

With the National Security Affairs department, Parisella worked with professor Andrea Cameron, and undertook a guided study of human rights. He interviewed a number of human rights and human security professionals working for a variety of organizations, both public and private. These professionals included Naval War College faculty, USAID employees, and several representatives from the International Justice Mission.

Parisella credits his internships with helping him decide his future direction. They also provided an excellent opportunity to make connections with established professionals in his interest area. He notes that no matter what you do, learn from it.

“Consider everything a learning experience,” Parisella said. “Regardless of whether or not I end up in a place similar to where I interned, I’ll have learned about working in that place, and whether or not I want to keep heading in that direction career-wise.”

After graduation, Parisella will intern for six weeks at Bentsi-Enchill, Letsa & Ankomah, a prominent law firm in Accra, Ghana, which he discovered and applied for with the help of Professor Louis Fosu of the Honors Program. During this internship, he hopes to learn more about law and figure out if he wants to pursue a law degree. Then, he will return to URI in the fall for one final semester.

Parisella notes that he has learned a great deal during his time at URI, and he encourages current and future students to take advantage of the resources available to them.

“There are some incredible people here,” Parisella said. “Make connections. Get close with professors and your fellow students alike. Make the most of every opportunity.”