Realizing a Dream

James Cerasia

James Cerasia ’18


James Cerasia ’18 always wanted to be a lawyer, and he’s right on track as a mock trial competitor and political-science major at Dickinson. Below, he shares his father's words of wisdom, discusses the joys of Comic-Con and describes what it’s like to help develop a business plan.


Political science.

Clubs and organizations:

Mock trial and Mermaid Players (theatre group).

Favorite book:

Alice in Wonderland by C.S. Lewis.

Favorite movie:

The Dark Knight.

On choosing a major:

I chose political science because the structure of the American government interests me, and also because I think it offers the best classes for pre-law.

On choosing Dickinson:

I felt welcomed by the people here. [During my visit,] students I didn’t even know shared their experiences with me and were very warm.

Favorite place on campus:

Mathers Theatre.

Favorite class/project:

Favorite class: the environmental science class I am currently in. Favorite project: helping to create the business plan for [Dickinson’s new pop-up restaurant,] GATHER. Creating a restaurant has always been a dream of mine, and that dream came true, after only two semesters at Dickinson.

Little-known hobby:

Comics. Love everything about them. Cosplay too—I love going to Comic-Con and dressing up.

In a perfect world …

… I’d be Batman.

Favorite professor:

Professor [Pamela] Van Fleet], visiting instructor of environmental studies]. She genuinely cares about the students, about Dickinson, about Carlisle. I think the best teacher is the one who gets you engaged in a topic that isn’t even in your field of interest. Also, her field trips rock!

As a kid, I wanted to be …

… a lawyer. I still do, though sometimes I think I could be a psychologist. There are so many things left unexplored with the human mind. Truly fascinating.

Post-Dickinson plans:

I want to go on to law school and also get a Ph.D. in psychology. Both would be super-helpful for someone going into criminal law as a defense attorney.

If I could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, it would be …

… Betty White.

Biggest influence:

My father. He taught me that hard work and dedication pay off, and he told me, “Always keep your eye on the prize” and “Don’t do anything that you wouldn’t want to see on the front page of a newspaper.”

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Published January 26, 2016