May 09, 2023
Rachel Bussanich learned to enjoy every moment at The Catholic University of America. (Catholic University/Patrick G. Ryan)

The graduating class of 2023 is full of driven students who have each had unique experiences throughout their years at The Catholic University of America. Each student, however, started out in the same way – moving into the dorms.

From moving in to moving on, seven seniors caught up with us to provide an update on how they have transformed throughout their college experiences.

Rachel Bussanich hails from Westwood, New Jersey, and she has been an architecture student since she began her Catholic University studies in 2019. Rachel picked the University for the beautiful campus, the location, the great architecture program, and her ability to play basketball on the women’s team. When she started her first year, her ultimate academic goal was to eventually move on to a master’s program in architecture.

As a first-year student, Rachel was a lover of binge watching Friends, listening to country music, and eating popcorn as a late night snack. She knew that it would be hardest to say goodbye to her family as she began her Catholic University journey, but she was excited by the good first impressions she got from other first-year students upon moving in. Rachel looked forward to the possibilities of exploring the nation’s capital as she listened to “Love Ain’t” by Eli Young Band before moving into her first dorm.

Rachel Bussanich wanted to thrive in architecture in 2019 and did. (Catholic University/Patrick G. Ryan)


Has your major changed?

No! I just came from the Crough Center (architecture building) and I am going right back there!

What has been your favorite memory at CatholicU?

My favorite memory is from basketball. My freshman year, we beat our rival, Scranton, on our home court, which was really a good moment. Or basketball’s senior day that we just had recently. Any time there has been a game with a large turnout is a favorite moment.

What are your plans for the future?

I am going to graduate school! I applied to seven because I can’t make a decision. I have lots of options. I will be in school for another two years to get my master’s degree in architecture, so we will see where I end up!

What’s your favorite show to binge watch?

All American

How about the last song you listened to?

“Last Night” by Morgan Wallen

What is one thing you will be sad to leave behind, and one thing you are looking forward to after graduation?

Something I will be sad to leave behind is definitely the friendships and community that I have made here. I live in an apartment off-campus with three of my friends who I have known since freshman year, so it will be sad to leave them behind. Also I will be sad to leave my architecture and basketball friends. I have made such good connections here, so that will definitely be missed. I will also miss the city!

What is one goal you hope to accomplish?

My overall goal is to graduate with my bachelor’s degree, graduate with my master’s degree, and hopefully become a licensed architect. I just want to finish what I have started, and that is definitely my big goal.

What is your final impression of CatholicU?

CUA is a place I can call home, and it is very community oriented, at least a lot more than I thought it would be. The school spirit reminded me of high school, which is something that I wanted. I definitely think the community aspect is great.

If you could go back in time and tell yourself something on your first day, what would it be?

Honestly, I think I would say not to take every moment on campus for granted. Especially after the COVID-19 year. Everything got cut short. It was tough for everybody, but I wish I could tell myself to really take in those moments on campus.