Mariana and the Aha Moments of Charity Week and Rome

Mariana ZayasMeet Mariana Zayas, a rising senior at UD.

What is your fondest memory of the University of Dallas?
My class was in charge of this past Charity Week and one of my dear friends, Jared, volunteered to help with set-up between acts. He hadn’t signed himself up for auction but every time he came on stage all my girlfriends and I would yell random bids for Jared. At the end of the Auction, he reluctantly got on stage and put himself up for auction and it quickly turned into a duel between the Fall Rome Girls and the Spring Rome Girls in my class. In the end, we, the Spring Rome Girls, won Jared and he and his friends cooked us dinner and took us to the Angelika in Dallas. It’s these kinds of friendships that make me love UD.

How has the University of Dallas shaped the person you are today?
UD also expanded my world through the Rome Program and the Core. Rome is the stage in your UD career where you have the “A-ha!” moment. You finally see how everything connects. You realize that your Core classes like Western Civilization give you the timeline for the events and people you learn and read about in Lit Trad and your Theology classes. Art and Arch combines history and beauty seamlessly and you finally begin to see the big picture – it’s no longer concentrated fields of study but all parts of a greater whole. In that same way, I no longer see myself as separate from the whole but as an integral piece of the whole.

What role does the University of Dallas play in shaping future leaders?
UD cultivates its student as a whole through the Core and Rome Program. These two programs instill virtues leaders need to be successful, virtues such as diligence, love, and justice. The Core fosters the mind and enriches our knowledge in an encompassing way with Philosophy, Theology, Politics, Economics, Foreign Language, History, Math, English, Art, and Science classes. These courses form the foundation on which the courses in your chosen major can build. Through the Core and Rome programs US definitely taught me how to work well with others and management my time.

Who from the University of Dallas most impacted your life?  How?
I wouldn’t say there is a single person but a couple people. Professors definitely are the ones that have most impacted my life. The first professor with whom I made a connection with is Dr. Andrew Moran, who I had for Lit Trad I and II. Every year, I’ve been a part of a group of students invited to dinner with him at his house. The second professor with whom I quickly connected is Dr. Nancy Schreiber, whom I took Leadership and Organizations. With Dr. Schreiber’s support and guidance, I was able to discern the path I want to pursue upon graduating. These two professors are just two of many examples. UD professors genuinely care for their students as people, not just numbers in classroom that need to earn their degrees.

What role can alumni play in helping the University of Dallas thrive?
In my opinion, alumni should invest themselves with the ever-changing student body of UD. Alumni should dedicate themselves to helping UD grads succeed because that builds UD’s reputation.