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Rosella LoChirco Reflects on Kalamazoo College Experience

Rosella LoChirco playing soccer.
Photo by Kimberly Moss

Rosella LoChirco '20 moved to Philadelphia in August to start working at Stix, a women's health startup, through a prestigious fellowship with Venture for America. The company sells products like pregnancy and ovulation tests directly to consumers in discreet packaging and at affordable costs. Her work centers around customer success, marketing projects, and daily operations.

While at K, Rosella gained critical professional development experience working on high profile projects in the City of Detroit as an intern with Quicken Loans. She described her SIP (Senior Individualized Project) as "centered on the lived experiences of female-identifying athletes and coaching, highlighting the intersectional inequities they face in their athletic lives, along with their resistance to marginalizing forces." 

"The quarter when I was writing my SIP about equity in athletics, I was also working alongside my teammates to improve athletics at K," Rosella said. "I put my heart into the project because I knew how important it was first hand. My SIP advisor, Dr. Stefatos, took me very seriously as a researcher and always spent extra time to talk about the project. The responses from faculty  (like Dr. Boatwright and Lauren Rosenthal) who read and graded my SIP made me feel valued and extremely proud of myself, and I feel even more motivated to see a more equitable future in athletics."

In addition to her internship and SIP research, Rosella's study abroad experience in Madrid, Spain, helped prepare her for opportunities after K.

"Navigating a different country, culture, and language prepared me to live and work independently, particularly with a startup in a new city," she said. "Starting a new job can be scary, especially when you are responsible for much of the daily operation of a business. Leading my own research start-to-finish at K helped me become more self-sufficient and confident in my work, even when I was still figuring it out on the go."

Rosella majored in philosophy and minored in Spanish while earning MIAA Academic Honor Roll honors all four years as a midfielder on the soccer team. She started 47 of 62 games, helping the team compile a league record of 31-13-4 over four years, including a conference championship in 2016. Rosella joined the women's lacrosse team during the winter/spring of her senior year before it was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"As a student-athlete at K, I learned the power of positivity and perseverance," she said. "I dealt with a chronic injury, and it forced me to become more resilient and speak up for my needs. I also learned that having fun and believing in my team is so central to success. We would play Spikeball before games to shake out any nerves, and we knew that if we were having fun, then we would be our best selves and be really hard to beat. Working at a start-up, I draw on that experience often. I try to be resilient when I face setbacks, and I lean on my teammates for support, and to take funny BuzzFeed quizzes!"

Rosella recognizes the growth that occurs at K, both through challenges and a supportive community of teammates and coaches.

"I'm also grateful for the many professors, namely Chris Latiolais, Dr. Baptiste, Max Cherem, and others who helped open my mind to a whole new world," she said. "I'm also thankful to Coach Jess Smith for being an amazing mentor and supporter. I carry what I learned during my time at K very close to my heart and mind."