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Monday, February 28, 2005

SU Student Celebrates Ties With Speaker Nancy Pelosi

SALISBURY, MD---When U.S. House of Representatives Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-8-California) speaks as part of Salisbury University’s Paul S. Sarbanes Lecture Series Friday, March 4, family will be close at hand. SU sophomore Laura D’Alessandro is Pelosi’s third cousin, once removed. Though the two will meet for the first time during the congresswoman’s lecture, D’Alessandro and Pelosi share a long line of political leaders. Pelosi’s father, Thomas D’Alessandro Jr.—Laura’s second cousin, twice removed—was a powerful mayor of Baltimore City, as was Pelosi’s brother, Thomas Alessandro III—another of Laura’s third cousins, once removed. That political tradition continues with Laura, who grew up in Berlin, MD. Working toward a communication arts degree at SU, she plans to pursue a career in journalism with a political focus. “I really want to get young people involved in politics in my career,” she said. She began this push last fall when she wrote a three-part series on getting out the youth vote during an internship with the Salisbury Daily Times. However, she does not plan to stop there. As the editor in chief of SU’s student newspaper, The Flyer, she hopes to establish a new forum with the Salisbury City Council that will allow students to address issues surrounding the council’s actions to lower the number of unrelated occupants who may reside in rental properties in University neighborhoods. D’Alessandro’s career ambitions blossomed during her years at Stephen Decatur High School, where she served on both the mock trial team and the student newspaper, The Hawk. Though she originally planned to pursue a law career, her work at The Hawk led her to rethink her choices. Ultimately, she decided she could tie together both interests through journalism. “I just charged right into it, and it turned out to be something I enjoyed doing,” she said. A partnership between The Hawk and Gannett Newspapers brought her work to the attention of Daily Times publisher Lawrence Jock. Following her high school graduation, she asked Jock to help her enter the print journalism field. A summer internship at the Maryland Times-Press in Ocean City, MD, followed, and for D’Alessandro, there’s been no turning back. “It’s really a civic duty,” she said. “You’re telling people things they need to know on a daily basis.” Pelosi speaks 11 a.m. Friday, March 4, in Holloway Hall Auditorium. For more information call 410-677-5045 or visit the SU Web site at www.salisbury.edu.

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