Catalina Bala

Portrait of Catalina Bala

2021 Award: Communication Studies Outstanding Student Award
Major: Communication Studies
Minor: English
Hometown: San Jose, CA
Extracurricular activities: Lambda Pi Eta - Iota Rho (National Communication Association Honors Society), Alpha Sigma Nu (Jesuit Honor Society), shopping at Trader Joe’s


More about Catalina

Future plans or career aspirations:

After graduating, my plan is to return to the Bay Area, where I will be working and applying to graduate and/or PhD programs for Communication Studies. It is my goal to work in higher education as a professor of Comm Studies or English.

How has your major contributed to your professional or personal development?

Comm Studies has nurtured my critical thinking such that I can never turn it off! No longer can I watch a movie, or read a news article, or even attend a sporting event without considering how power, identity, and meaning-making are at work.

Yet my insights do not stop there, as Comm has also instilled in me an impulse to respond. To not be silent. To resist and nurture a passion for creative action in young people. In this way, Comm Studies affirmed my professional desire to be among students of all ages and to be a mentor to them as they grow into actors of change.

What has been your proudest or most significant accomplishment during your Gonzaga career?

Although it sounds cliché, the proudest achievement of my Gonzaga career is finishing my senior year.

As the first year of distance learning comes to a close, and as the world continues to face unprecedented challenges brought upon by the COVID-19 pandemic, I’ve found being a college student amidst this global chaos to be the most exhausting and strenuous task I’ve ever endured.

Surely it is an accomplishment to graduate from Gonzaga in and of itself, but to have done so during a time of such fatigue and pain makes this moment so incredibly significant.