The Cardinal Leadership Celebration is the University’s annual award ceremony which recognizes the accomplishments of Catholic University students who have distinguished themselves in areas of leadership, scholarship, and service both on campus and within the local community. In addition to fulfilling the unique criteria of each award, the recipients also demonstrate a commitment to the distinct mission and purpose of the Catholic University of America.
This year, four Busch School students were honored for their commitment to Catholic University. Kathleen Brown, International Economics and Finance ‘19, was awarded the Undergraduate Student Worker of the Year. Jimmy Harrington, Economics ‘19, was awarded the Gerard J. Rehel Memorial Award. Brady Berger, Finance ‘21, was awarded the Martha Comiskey Memorial Award. Mari Nicole Rosales, Strategy, Management, and Operations ‘21, was awarded the John J. Convey. Mari was also instrumental in the organization of the ceremony.
Read the award speeches given that night below to learn more about the students, their accomplishments, and the award they were given.
Speech given by Kevin P. Rensch, Assistant Dean in the Busch School, to award Kathleen Brown, International Economics and Finance ‘19, with the Undergraduate Student Worker of the Year award
"Since Fall 2016, Kathleen Brown has been an irreplaceable member of our Academic Services team in the Busch School of Business. Over the years, Katie has tackled more and more challenges, becoming a trusted and dependable colleague.
Katie arrived at the Business School as a sophomore, just a few months after I began. From the start, she stood out as a bright and ambitious student. She quickly began pointing out ways to improve our operations. Students immediately benefitted from her friendly reception in the office to her rapid response time on emails!
As a junior, Katie took the Spring semester abroad in Spain. Even while crisscrossing Europe, she took the time to volunteer for special projects to help out. She brought the skills learned to intern at other companies back to our team. It is always apparent that Katie has the well-being of the students and their experience at the top of her mind.
This past year, Katie stepped up in a major way when one of our colleagues moved away. She began managing the academic communications for the Busch School and created every email sent to students from scratch. Beyond creating this cohesive marketing campaign, Katie also documented and trained our other interns to pass on her knowledge.
Beyond the immense value she has brought to our operations, Katie’s most important quality has been her outstanding character. She is eager to help students and her fellow interns with kindness and patience. She listens and cares to those around her. These virtues improve more than just the office as a place, but it elevates the people around her- which will be her lasting impact here.
I am honored to present this year’s Undergraduate Student Worker of the Year award to Kathleen Brown."
Speech given by Antwann Harper, Assistant Director of Campus Leadership, to award Jimmy Harrington, Economics ‘19, with the Gerard J. Rehel Memorial Award
"I am proud to be able to present this award to a student within SGA, who’s peers describe him as having a “tireless work ethic”, “passion”, and “commitment to the students” of this university. James “Jimmy” Harrington, is my first, ever, SGA president that I’ve advised in my professional career. It has been my pleasure to do so for his final moments here at The Catholic University of America. It is not an easy task being president of a student body, especially on a collegiate level. This position, as do most positions of this sort, tend to come under much criticism by those who feel that they can execute it better, or by those who many times only see the results of decisions being made. In my short time working with Jimmy, I have seen him work tirelessly to make the right decisions; the ones that are not only good for the student body, but for the school as a whole. In fact, my first day as an Assistant Director in OCA, also the first day as SGA Advisor, I was pulled into a meeting, where Jimmy had to make some tough calls. Through all of the stress, he kept his head up, straightened his tie, and attacked the problem head-on with the assistance of his executive board. Watching all of them work together was quite intimidating, but inspiring. Jimmy is an outstanding representative of SGA, not only because he has lead the Student Government, but because he has taken that leadership role beyond the bi-weekly Senate meetings. He helped me to transition into my position as his advisor. He could have stayed away from my office, and allowed me to figure out the details on my own. After all, he was the student and I, the professional staff member; yet, Jimmy, remained patient and willing, answering all of my questions, no matter how many I had. Jimmy deserves this award, for more reasons than I can fit into this presentation; moreover, he embodies all of the words his nominator and fellow Vice President, Weston Kirby has spoken to. I am honored to present the Gerard J. Rehel Memorial Award to the Catholic University of America, Student Government Association President, James Harrington."
Speech given by Sarah Williamson to award Brady Berger, Finance ‘21, with the Martha Comiskey Memorial Award
"Sophomore Brady Berger is the Quarterback for the Catholic University football team, which by its nature requires incredible leadership. Many individuals find that aspect burdensome, but Brady embraces that role. He constantly pushes himself to achieve greatness and this year became the leading passer in the NEWMAC Conference. A great example of Brady’s willingness to sacrifice was evident in the final game of the fall season. Brady broke his hand a few weeks earlier and was sidelined because of it. The Orthopedic surgeon said his season was over. Brady did not accept that as the last word. He began special rehab treatments and researched equipment specifically designed to help him throw and protect his hand at the same time. Brady knew the team needed him and played in the last game of the season despite his injury. It was his leadership on the field that day that helped a very young Cardinal team gain their first win of the season.
In addition to his leadership efforts on the field, Brady has taken on a significant role with representing the football program in SAAC, the Student-Athlete Advisory Council, as well as in the Choose Cardinals First program. Choose Cardinals First is a leadership program open to student organizations and athletic teams that empowers students to learn about the consequences of high-risk alcohol consumption while growing in their roles as student leaders who recognize their ability to influence campus climate. Now in the second year of the program, Brady currently serves as a team ambassador for the football program where he is facilitating peer-to-peer education regarding values, ethical decision-making, leadership, harm reduction strategies, and bystander intervention.
Based on the leadership Brady has shown on his team and in the Choose Cardinals First program, he represented Catholic University Athletics in January 2019 at the Apple Institute, a national substance abuse prevention and health promotion conference for student-athletes funded by the NCAA. During the conference, Brady was one of 125 student-athletes that represented all divisions of the NCAA. Since the institute, Brady has been working with the Athletics Department, Office of the Dean of Students, and SAAC to implement a strategic plan related to the mental health needs of student-athletes.
The Martha Comiskey Memorial Award is presented to a student in recognition of their high level of dedication to university activities, ability and willingness to motivate his or her fellow students, and an unwavering commitment to Catholic University’s goals. It has been evident since Brady arrived on campus two years ago that he exemplifies all of these qualities. He creates excitement for projects and helps those around him reach for excellence. His positive and persistent nature make him pleasure and an inspiration to collaborate with on all endeavors. In such a short period of time, Brady has already created a lasting impact at Catholic University and he’s just getting started. It is my pleasure to present this year’s Martha Comiskey Memorial Award to Brady Berger."
Speech given by Steve Kreider, Director of Campus Activities to Award Mari Nicole Rosales, Strategy, Management, and Operations ‘21, with the John. J. Covey Award.
"It is my pleasure to be here tonight to present the John J. Convey Award to Mari Nicole Rosales. I know Mari Nicole both through the Orientation program and as a student staff member in our office. In fact, she is one of the people most responsible for this great event this evening. The John J. Convey Award is awarded annually to a Sophomore who has shown outstanding leadership potential. This year, when I think of a great Sophomore leader, I think Mari Nicole is an outstanding choice. After her first year on campus, she instantly jumped at the opportunity to become an Orientation Advisor wanting to share her great experiences here with incoming First-year students. She was an incredible OA this past year and in fact, was rehired to serve in the same role again next year. I look forward to seeing Mari Nicole grow even more in her 2ndyear as an OA and couldn’t imagine the OA team without her. In addition to her role on Orientation, Mari Nicole works with the Office of Campus Activities. She applied at the end of her first year and was hired to be a consultant working with students who came in with questions. Halfway through the year, we had an opening on our Leadership team and she jumped at this opportunity and has done an incredible job. Again looking around at this great event I think proves how great she is. When I think of leadership potential as a sophomore I think of a student who is willing to take chances, to try new things, to challenge themselves with new opportunities to gain as much from the college experience as possible. When I think of Mari Nicole, I see someone who since day 1 has been trying to embody all of those traits. So, please join me in congratulating Mari Nicole Rosales on being selected as this year’s John J. Convey Award winner."