May 10, 2016
Mike Thorsen shares a special moment with a friend he met through Best Buddies

Graduates pursue passions cultivated at Catholic University

As he prepares for life after graduation, senior Mike Thorsen said he can’t help but look back fondly on the past four years.

“What am I not going to miss about CUA?” said Thorsen, a psychology major from Edison, N.J. “My time here has been so influential in forming who I am as a person and as a Catholic, through every aspect of what I’ve been involved in.”

During his time at Catholic University, Thorsen discovered his love of helping others. Since freshman year, he has been involved with Campus Ministry, Habitat for Humanity, and Best Buddies, an organization that partners college students with adults living with developmental disabilities. During his senior year, Thorsen took an internship with the nationally-known So Others Might Eat, which supports the poor and homeless in the nation’s capital. He also has volunteered at an occupational therapy office in D.C.

This July, Thorsen will channel his love of helping others into a new adventure: a year of service to the poor in Ecuador with the nonprofit Rostro de Cristo. Thorsen’s job could include teaching, helping at a hospital, or working in childcare.

“I just like being able to help people who may not have the resources to help themselves,” he said. “It’s all about living like Jesus without having to talk about it because you’re representing Him through your actions.”

Magdalena Schutzler.
Magdalena Schutzler was the primary set designer for the drama department’s recent production of Pride and Prejudice.

For Magdalena Schutzler, a drama major from Allentown, Pa., attending Catholic University meant gaining access to a world of creativity. On campus, she studied set design, earned a certificate in digital art and design, and was the primary set designer for the drama department’s production of Pride and Prejudice this spring.

Off campus, Schutzler held an internship with the Source Theatre Festival, which connected her with theatre professionals from around the country. She also took advantage of the D.C. theatre scene, going to see numerous performances at steeply discounted student prices.

“Being able to go to the theatres and see what professionals are doing and what I could be doing has been really cool,” she said.

Schutzler is grateful for her time at Catholic University and the wide-ranging education she received. In July she will move to Orlando, Fla., for a seven-month internship with the Disney College Program. While there, Schutzler will work in the Walt Disney World parks during the day and take design classes at night.

“I’m excited to learn how Disney operates their business,” Schutzler said. “It’s such a neat organization and it’s a big show the whole time so I’m excited to learn how their creative process works.”

Anna Murray.
Anna Murray chats with her supervisor Michele GIbbs in the University’s Career Services office.

Psychology major Anna Murray, of Colonia, N.J., also has experienced career opportunities thanks to Catholic University’s location. Through her job in the University’s Career Services office, Murray was connected with internships at the DC Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency and the Washington Regional Threat Analysis Center.

Her next step: enrolling in Daniel Morgan Academy, a graduate school that serves the national security and intelligence community. Murray received a full presidential scholarship to pursue her master of arts in national security. She also will hold an internship in the academy’s research library and declassified information center.

Murray, whose ultimate career goal is to work as an FBI agent, said going to school in D.C. has helped connect her with opportunities she couldn’t receive anywhere else. She’s also enjoyed living and learning in an environment filled with interesting people from around the world.

“Being able to go do my homework at the foot of the Washington Monument is an experience I will never forget,” she said. “The experience of being here in this city is once in a lifetime and it made me want to stay.”