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Student Spotlight

Ilana Blattner

Ilana Blattner

Ilana Blattner is a junior from Cass City, Michigan. She is a double major in Catholic Studies and Anthropology with a minor in Museum Studies.

What drew you to Catholic Studies?
Admittedly, I hadn't known it was an option for me at first. During my sophomore year, a few of my friends were going to take Professor Maguire's Catholicism and Literature course, so I joined them, and after that, I was hooked. I decided that very quarter to tack on a minor, and by the time I'd taken Catholic Experience III the following quarter, I made the leap to a major instead! The intellectual ways I have been able to approach my faith through Catholic Studies is endlessly fascinating to me and keeps me invested in the discipline.

What do you most enjoy about the department?
It really is the professors and the quality of education they offer. I have enjoyed every class I've taken in this major, and each professor I've had has made it all the more enjoyable. I can tell that the faculty are passionate about what they are teaching, and more than that, I feel valued as a student in the classroom. There are times in other types of courses where I just feel like a number, but the Catholic Studies faculty are warm, welcoming, funny, and so intentional in what they do.

What is your most memorable experience in the department? (It could be a class, CLC, Rome trip, etc)
My most memorable experience in the department would have to be my trip to Rome. Italy has been a country I'd longed to visit for a very long time, so to be able to do so while studying the art and architecture there was like a dream. Seeing Rome, Assisi, and taking myself to Florence produced countless memories that I'll treasure for a long time to come, and only furthered my passion for studying Catholic art and history. One of the most memorable moments for me was standing outside the tomb of Saint Peter and realizing that he was suddenly right in front of me and only separated by a few feet of stone. Thus, the trip was equally academically and spiritually enriching for me.

What advice would you give people considering majoring or minoring in CTH?
Do it! With the amount of liberal studies courses that cross-list, it is not as difficult as people may think. With careful planning and course selection, it's definitely possible, and totally worth it.

What do you plan to do after DePaul? How do you think CTH has helped prepare you for that?
After DePaul, I want to pursue a career in museum studies doing archival or curatorial work. (My dream job would be to eventually work in the Vatican museums!) I feel that my Catholic Studies education has given me a greater insight into specific periods of history, as well as how to intellectually engage with spiritual dialogues and concepts. This sort of understanding of Catholic history will be very helpful in analyzing works of art and artifacts in museums all around the world, and can be widely applied! Not every museum studies student can say that they have a Catholic Studies background, after all.

Justine Carlson

Justine Carlson

Now a DePaul junior studying early childhood education with a minor in Catholic studies, Justine Carlson continues to practice her faith and serve while she learns.

Originally published on DePaul Newsline on Feb. 09, 2017

Religious faith is an inseparable part of Justine Carlson's education. It all started several years ago during a five-day service trip to the Menominee Native American Reservation with her high school's youth group. The experience caused her to consider education, faith and service together, rather than as separate entities.

"After the trip, I started going to my youth group more. From there I made some of the best friends of my life," Carlson says. "We practiced service and learned together, which inspired me to prioritize my faith."

Now a DePaul junior studying early childhood education with a minor in Catholic studies, Carlson continues to practice her faith and serve while she learns. As a Roman Catholic interfaith scholar in the Office of Religious Diversity, she develops programs,meets with students to explore what it means to be a practicing Catholic and shares theological knowledge regarding Catholicism. She also plays an integral role in planning and executing DePaul's Quarterly more

Blue Demons' spiritual leader ready to enter the seminary in January

Originally published on The Official Website of DePaul University Athletics on Nov. 02, 2016

Ryan Martire files into the DePaul Student Center chapel with his team before every Blue Demon home game. As the team sits down, Martire stands and leads them in a brief prayer.

For each game, he picks a different player to tell a short, motivational story and then Martire concludes the session by discussing a Bible verse that stands out to him. Everyone bows their heads in prayer. One by one, the men’s soccer team gets up and leaves the chapel to head back before game time... read more