Joseph Accardi, Catholic '24, is a Politics major from Allentown, NJ. He shares why he chose to attend Catholic University, and what advice he has for prospective students.
Why did you choose to attend Catholic University and what set the Department of Politics apart?
"When Pope Leo XIII founded Catholic University in 1887, he instructed our school to "give to the Republic her best citizens." Nestled in a scenic area of our nation's Capital, I was attracted to this beautiful campus that strives not only to teach us the basics of political procedure, but also brings us to recognize that politics is not a matter of mere numbers and majorities, but a human art. I loved how our University and Politics Department started our education by first showing us fundamental truths of human nature, which inform not only our academics, but every human interaction we have. This is ultimately why I chose Catholic: I wanted an education that would make me into a better son, friend, and professional, guided by the truths and teachings of the Catholic Church."
Why did you choose to student Politics?
"Our Intelligence Studies Certificate Program drew me into our Politics Department. I have always wanted to serve in our country's national security apparatus. Many family members and friends have gone before me, serving our nation in the military, intelligence, or law enforcement. I have always wanted to join their ranks. Being able to get a solid education in the field from professionals who have been a part of that world was vital to me. But, even more so, Catholic University facilitates not only a practical understanding of intelligence, but also a fundamentally human one. We apply Augustinian ethics to intelligence actions, and we admit when our country has been wrong. I did not choose Politics to learn how to score more points against the other team. I wanted to learn how to contribute to the safety of others."
What's been your favorite part of being a student at Catholic University?
"I honestly have no idea where to start. Catholic University is full of amazing people, with even more amazing backgrounds and stories. Being a part of our University's Knights of Columbus Council has been an amazing part of my journey here. Some of my fondest memories here have been sharing a meal, or standing around a bonfire, with the Knights. I have met some of my closest friends through our Council. Many of these friends have already graduated, yet, I still have relationships with them. Here at Catholic, you will find that in all the facets of our University. The students, faculty, and staff desire the good for each and every person on this campus. Whether it be at a big Campus Ministry event, or a small get together on one of the lawns, I have always been moved by the utter friendliness and authenticity of my peers here."
What advice would you give to prospective students?
"Find mentors -- and you can have more than one. At this University, I have found an enormous amount of mentors in different areas of my life, who have contributed to making me who I am. I think back to my freshman year RA, who is still a dear friend and is always available to give me advice when I need it, be it personal or professional. Some mentors have come from my internship opportunities, or the local Catholic community in DC. I can think of a countless number of professors, priests, and peers who mentor me in numerous ways, and have made my Catholic University experience truly great."