Student Stories: Sofia Marcelli

Sofia Marcelli


Major: Justice Studies

Sofia Marcelli considers her start at College of DuPage the beginning of her life’s greatest journey.

“I came to the United States from Italy to pursue my dream of learning justice studies, and COD gave me the opportunity to do it, due to its 3+1 program with Lewis University and to its financial accessibility as compared to other universities,” she said. “As with every journey, it had its ups and downs, but I would do it all over again.”

Her passion for justice studies has always been a part of her life, although she did not recognize it until her last years of high school.

“It was during those years that I started to view and learn about crime as a social disorder, and realized I wanted to dedicate my life to helping people who have been victimized and criminalized by an unjust system,” she said.

Finding COD helped Marcelli turn a passion into a career path.

“It wasn’t easy to be on the other side of the ocean, in a society and in an educational system of which I didn’t know much about and that were very different from those I grew up in,” she said. “COD soon became my safe space. I was able to grow academically and as an individual, thanks to the very passionate professors I encountered. Even during my hard times, professors were always there for me, supporting my potential as a student and a future criminal justice professional. Each of the courses enriched my growth.”

In addition to studying the justice system in the U.S., Marcelli looked at Italy and Europe from a new perspective. She also had time to learn about herself.

“Besides learning about the dynamics and structures of different societies and criminal justice systems, I had the chance to grow my passion for justice studies and see it evolve as I was growing myself. There is no better feeling that finding your place on earth.”

In earning her Associate in Arts degree with high honors, Marcelli was recognized for excellence by the Justice Studies faculty during the annual Celebration of Academic Excellence. It was a fitting way to mark her career at COD as she looks ahead to completing her bachelor’s degree.

“I wasn’t always supported by the educational system, and seeing now what I have achieved during these years makes me incredibly proud and hopeful for the future,” she said. “You can come from far, from failure, from a non-supportive environment of people telling you that you cannot make it, and you can still find your path and achieve your goals. COD will offer you the opportunity to immerse yourself in the many great courses and programs, explore yourself through education, and give yourself space and time to grow and to be supported in the achievement of your goals. 

“Coming from Italy, I did not know what to expect out of this journey and could have never imagined that it would have been this great of an experience.”

Learn more about the Justice Studies program at College of DuPage