Alumna Profile: Francesca Kester (’14)

Profile by Madison Galanti (’17)


Francesca Kester (’14); Pennsylvania State University,  Dickinson School of Law  (’17)

Marywood Memories                                                                   

Francesca transferred to Marywood University her sophomore year in college. Having lived in Northeastern PA her entire life, she found herself anxious to return to her family and friends after being away for a year. Francesca had been on Marywood’s campus numerous times growing up, but when she came back to look at the university as a possible location to continue her education, she immediately knew that Marywood was the right place for her. She appreciated the atmosphere of community that overwhelms the campus.

When asked about an influential professor or advisor,  Francesca named Sister Christine Mihelich, IHM. Francesca expressed that Sister Christine had a significant impact on her life during her time at Marywood University. Sister Christine was always supportive of her goals and helped her to remain focused on her dreams when the unpredictability of life would sometimes get in the way. During the fall semester of her junior year, Francesca had the opportunity to study abroad in England at one of Marywood’s partner schools, Queen Mary University of London. Francesca shared that it was an amazing experience, explaining how her journey around Europe really shaped her into the person she is today. Francesca is a strong believer that everyone should take the time to travel and explore during college and would recommend it to all students at Marywood.

Why English?                                                                               

Francesca has a love for literature, which led her into choosing to study English at Marywood. Early on, Francesca knew that she wanted to pursue a career in law, so during her time at Marywood she took courses outside of the English Department in social sciences and history as well. The history courses helped Francesca to apply context to court opinions from the 1800s. The social science courses have helped Francesca when studying the areas in which our current system of law often fails certain marginalized people. A particular writer who has influenced Francesca is Justice Antonin Scalia. Francesca shares that she admires how he writes with narrative flair that is persuasive and full of conviction.

Francesca shares that writing her capstone paper was one of her biggest accomplishments during her time in the English Department at Marywood. To this day, she looks back on her paper and remembers the time and dedication she put in throughout that year. Francesca expresses that she had encouragement from the faculty during her research and writing stages and submitted a significant piece of work that she is still proud of.

Where To?                                                                                    

Francesca is a second-year law student at Penn State’s Dickinson Law in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, currently working in a judicial clerking position for the Honorable Martin C. Carlson, Chief US Magistrate of the Middle District of Pennsylvania. She hopes to pursue a career in state level criminal prosecution after graduation. Francesca shares that her English degree has helped her writing skills immensely. As a judicial clerk, her job is to read briefs and memoranda and then draft a recommendation for the judge to order. Francesca also shares that the importance of clear and succinct writing in the world of law cannot be overstated.

One piece of advice that Francesca has for students in the English Department is to “experiment with different courses. Take something you do not necessarily think you will have an interest in. Take something you want to learn more about. College is one of the only times in your life where you really have the opportunity to do this–take advantage of it.”



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