Name: Schola Eburuoh

Field of Study: Architecture (minor in Sustainability)

Status: Undergraduate  

Graduation Year: 2021

Hometown: Newtown Square, Pa.

Why did you choose Catholic University? Catholic actually was not on my radar until a friend from high school pointed out CUA’s architecture program to me and graciously offered me a ride to go visit. During that visit I remember meeting so many kind people and by the end of the day I knew that CUA was a school I saw myself attending. What really made it feel like home to me was my very first night in Ryan Hall. I vividly remember my student minister at the time, Amanda Martin '20, casually chatted with me after my first floor meeting. She called my name perfectly without me having to even tell her how to pronounce it and said that she was excited to get to know me better. This might not seem like a big deal to most people, but I have a pretty difficult name to pronounce. I often have to correct people multiple times before they get it right, and although I don’t mind correcting them, it can be discouraging especially in a new environment where I felt like I had to do this 100 times already. The fact that Amanda said my name so perfectly truly made me feel at home. She also did reach out to me soon after our chat and we got to know each other really well even beyond my freshman year. I will always cherish that simple interaction with Amanda that solidified my place at CUA.

Organizations and activities: I’m actually very involved on campus! I am an RA, student leader for Pro-Life Hospitality, School of Architecture student ambassador, and am a member of various other clubs. Of all the activities I’ve been involved in I would say that Habitat for Humanity has been the most life changing one for me. My very first Habitat trip was actually the first one of the year at the beginning of my freshman year and I haven't looked back since. Not only have I gained practical construction skills (which are helpful as an Architecture major), but with each trip I realize my ability to change someone’s life by simply doing something I enjoy. Providing low-income families with a home is a beautiful act of service and to be able to work on a habitat home in fellowship with my friends (and strangers we meet on site) is a blessing. Since my freshman year I’ve led two Habitat trips, including one this past Spring Break to San Diego, served with Habitat in La Florida, Peru (as seen in the picture I provided) and have gone on more Habitat day trips than I can honestly remember or count. For the last two years I served on CUA’s Chapter as the Advocacy and Educations Chairperson and had the opportunity to work for the good of the organization both on the construction site as well as on Capitol Hill, talking with representatives about the funds Habitat needs to thrive. Habitat has taught me true fellowship and that service truly is “putting God’s love into action” (this is part of their beautiful mission statement)!

Next year, I am excited to take on the role of President of CatholicU’s Chapter of the National Organization of Minority Architecture Students. Myself and fellow architecture students have begun this chapter to encourage diversity within architecture and give under-represented students an opportunity for conversation and community. I will also start my third year as a Resident Assistant. This past year I was the RA for Unanue, the honors girls hall. My co-RA and I still keep in contact with my girls through a weekly newsletter and an Instagram account (both called Coro-nue, a lighthearted play on the word “Corona” and “Unanue”). We even had a Zoom call together!

A fun fact about me is that I was on Catholic’s track and field team for the fall semester of my freshman year and currently hold the school’s record in triple jump. I was also named field athlete of the year at conferences! I decided not to continue because I wanted to experience everything Catholic had to offer while also staying on top of my academics.

"I’ve seen how shelter can completely change someone’s life.
– Schola Eburuoh

Favorite course: I took Honors Environmental Chemistry (HSEV 101) with Dr. Aaron Barkatt this past fall semester. It was definitely a challenging class, but I learned a great deal about natural systems and how to think critically about sustainability. As a sustainability minor, I often refer back to class discussions and talk with friends and family about concepts I’ve learned. I even worked on a University Research Day presentation inspired by concepts learned within this class and had the professional help of Dr. Barkatt as my research advisor. 

Goals: My overarching goals for the future are to 1) always seek to help people and 2) be a lifelong learner, whether this be academically or by learning from others’ experiences. I believe that the architecture around us can shape who we are; we experience the built environment everyday whether it be in places of worship, school buildings, or our own homes. Having volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, I’ve seen how shelter can completely change someone’s life. As a professional in the field of architecture, I know that in the future I will practice sustainable design with the aim of caring for the vulnerable within any community. I also know that I will be a lifelong learner, seeking to acknowledge and understand others through their experiences. I think that by really understanding the places and people we design for architects and designers can help to change lives.

Is there a faculty or staff member who has made a significant impact on you? Adnan Morshed from the School of Architecture. I was in one of Adnan’s classes for three consecutive semesters and was pretty disappointed that my class schedule this past spring semester could not fit in a fourth. As my first studio professor, Adnan challenged me and fellow students to truly work hard and think conceptually. I often recall topics from each of the classes I have taken with Adnan and attribute that to his engaging teaching style. In studio he would show us his projects and encourage us to think beyond restraints; in Architectural Theory he organized regular in-class debates on every single topic we covered; and in Architectural History his passion was always evident in the stories he’d share about traveling to such historical sites. I always felt challenged during his classes and at the end of them I was certain that I learned something new and valuable which would help me succeed in the future. I know that I have learned a great deal from Adnan and that his classes have helped me to improve my designing, critical thinking, and writing abilities.

What makes Catholic University unique? I believe that our foundation of faith, especially through service, makes us unique. I don’t think I had ever heard of anything like Rev. Martin Luther King or Mother Theresa Day of Service until coming to CUA and they are probably my favorite events to attend. It amazes me that so many students, faculty and staff will come together on their day off (or “day on” as I’ve heard Campus Ministry leaders call it!) to give back to our community. It exemplifies a true servant’s heart and Christian unity ingrained in our University.

Awards/recognition: I am the 2020 recipient of the Mary J. O’Dwyer Flynn Memorial Award and was awarded this honor at the Cardinal Leadership Celebration’s online program. “This award is the highest honor presented to a junior female. The recipient is successful academically, has taken on a prominent leadership role on campus, and exemplifies the highest ideals of Christianity.” I was presented this honor by Allison Mockler, my Community Director as an RA during my sophomore year. She said many kind words describing my involvement in service, residence life, and my academic achievements. My past three years at Catholic have definitely prepared me for positions in leadership through excellence in academics and a high regard for Christian morals in every aspect of life. I truly am lucky to be a Cardinal and am looking forward to my senior year!

Proudest accomplishment: I am most proud of having the opportunity to be the MC at the first ever Cardinal Fest this past September where I helped launch both Cardinal Weekend and the Light the Way Campaign video! It was a wonderful experience and an honor to represent the student body and introduce President Garvey on stage. I don't think I would have imagined myself on a stage speaking to hundreds of people just a few years earlier. This experience reminded me of how much I have grown since freshman year. I will always cherish this experience and would not think twice about doing it again! This opportunity also inspired me to apply for President's Society, which I am very proud and excited to be a member of this coming school year. The opportunity to represent Catholic University is always an honor and it gets even better when I am able to share with others why I love it here so much.

What Catholic University means to you: Honestly, anything that has to do with service at/through CUA exemplifies how much Catholic means to me. All the people I’ve met, whether it be students who attended these events with me or the strangers I’ve served, have shown me what true Christian charity means. Again, events like the days of service, Spring Break Habitat trips, and summer immersion trips through Catholic all show who we are as Cardinals: a community which will give up what we have to serve others. It’s the way Christ taught us to love and whenever I’m involved in these activities I truly find the most joy. I’m very thankful for the opportunities to learn and live charity at Catholic!