Celina Holler began her freshman year at Catholic University as a politics major. However, her honors program adviser suggested she take an honors macroeconomics course as an elective. There were six students in the class. “The course was hard, but Dr. [Martha] Cruz Zuniga went above and beyond providing individualized support,” Holler said.
"Professors were “really engaging and cared more about us understanding the concepts than teaching material to give us a grade.”
She soon found herself drawn to other rigorous economics and business classes. Her next semester, she signed up for Ernest Zampelli’s microeconomics course. “It was as difficult as the upperclassmen warned,” Holler said. “But I decided I liked solving economics problems more than I liked studying politics.”
Although she found her business professors challenging, “They were really engaging and cared more about us understanding the concepts than teaching material to give us a grade,” she said. “They frequently tied in real world experience to make what we were learning tangible.”
One of those teachers, Greg Smith, business strategy lecturer, is now Holler’s boss. Before she graduated in December with a degree in international business, she had received two job offers in her field. The job she chose was with Smith’s G2SF, Inc., an IT Service Management consulting firm.
Smith and Holler recently attended the business school’s conference on Human Ecology, an event co-sponsored by the Napa Institute that drew more than 250 leaders in business, faith, and education.
The three-day conference explored the impact that faith and reason should have on businesses. It focused on themes related to three papal encyclicals — Rerum Novarum, Centesimus Annus, and Laudato Si’.
Holler attended a similar conference on campus in 2014 as a student. “I didn’t realize then the recognition the conference had outside of Catholic University,” she said. “I attended the talk by Cardinal [Peter] Turkson from Ghana and heard his perspective on issues we learned about in the classroom. ”Through events like these conferences and interactions with faculty in and out of the classroom, Holler says, “The Busch School of Business and Economics empowers us to be global citizens, working to improve the conditions of the world around us by responding to our calling and creating opportunities and wealth for others.”