The Catholic University of America

Meet our Student Ambassadors

Our Student Ambassadors are a unique group of outstanding students who help prospective students and their families gain valuable insight into life in the School of Music at The Catholic University of America. They are here to share their love of CUA and the Benjamin T. Rome School of Music, share their personal experiences, and answer any questions you may have from the student perspective.

If you have any questions, please email Elise Morrow-Schap and indicate which ambassador you feel would be the best contact for you. Someone will be in touch soon!

L.J. Whalen

Degree: Musical Theater, Minor in Theology with a concentration in Pastoral Ministry
Year: Senior, Class of 2015
Hometown: Daytona Beach, FL

About me: I'm an extremely outgoing, energetic, Instagram loving, chocolate chip cookie eating, sweet tea making freak that LOVES living in DC! I've played the piano since I was 4 and have had the privilege of accompanying multiple musicals, operas, and cabarets here at Catholic. I'm also a Resident Minister for Engelhard House, work as an Accountant Assistant in the CUA Office of Financial Services, and am Head of Marketing and Advertisement for Campus Ministry! I love country music, running, and baseball! :)

Why I Love CUA: CUA is a community. Together we work, play, learn, and grow. We break each other down and build each other up. Nowhere else will you find a greater sense of caring for one another, individual and communal success, and a love of learning. CUA is really unique and that's what I love about it.

Top 5 Places to Visit While in DC: 
   -American History Museum
   -Founding Farmers on Pennsylvania
   -Chocolate Chip Cookies at Tryst Bakery in Adams Morgan
   -Go for a run on Theodore Roosevelt Island
   -Live music and Southern food in Old Town Alexandria

Fun Facts: I'm a beast chocolate chip cookie baker, I'm proficient in playing the spoons and triangle, and I learned how to spell my first name backwards in 8th grade and I can still do it to this day! Let me know if you have any questions or need help with anything!

Maria Veres

Major: Music B.A., Viola
Year: Sophomore, Class of 2017
Hometown:Pittsburgh, PA

Why I chose music: I chose music because I couldn't imagine living life where music wasn't very alive and present. I also have an appreciation for the viola that most musicians don't have, and what better way to show that than by majoring in it?

Why I love CUA: I love CUA because it truly is a special place where you can grow into the person you've always wanted to be, while being surrounded by wonderful people.

Fun facts: Besides music, I love digging around for the most underground music I can find, eating Italian food, and reading historical fictions.


Allison Verhofstadt

Major: Musical Theatre
Year: Sophomore, Class of 2017
Hometown: Seattle, WA

Why I love CUA: I love CUA because since my first day of freshman year I have been welcomed into this growing, crazy, loving, supportive family of CUA students! There's nothing better than walking around a school that feels like a HOME even when you're away from home. There's always something going on here in the music school, whether its recitals, concerts, shows, music excursions, or random music school lobby singing, this place is full of energy and never boring! And the program itself is wonderful because it’s the perfect balance of challenging and encouraging. The family aspect carries into the faculty here because they always have your best interests at heart and will care about you as a person not only as a performer. Also…the squirrels on our campus have their own Twitter account which just goes to prove how awesome this school really is…what's NOT to love?

Other activities: I really enjoy rolling down the hills on campus. I'm a very enthusiastic participant of campus ministry activities, especially praise and worship adoration and I love how many daily masses are available. I sing for the Sunday mass services and love worshiping with my fellow students! Other than that I basically live at the music school, and focus on not tripping over inanimate objects which is a full time activity.

Fun facts: I'm from Seattle, Washington (the state!) which is halfway across the country. So that's cool I guess. I really like Starbucks. I am an aunt of 10 kids, which is my favorite role to play. I am obsessed with Christmas (secretly I'm an elf). I am constantly singing…I like to make up theme songs for daily life that I will sing…constantly. And this one time, I went to the gym here and I think that deserves a standing ovation. Come talk to me at your audition if you want to or if you have any questions or want to just talk about anything at all…I will probably sing to you.

Lauren Fitzpatrick

Major: Instrumental Music Education
Year: Senior, Class of 2015
Hometown: Vienna, VA

Why I chose music: My parents were both once-upon a time music majors, so it was a natural progression for me to be drawn to music. After flirting with other instruments for a couple of years, I finally settled down with flute in 4th grade band, and have been in a committed relationship since.

Why I chose CUA: I looked into CUA because the two band teachers who made the largest impact on my life as a student and as a musician were both CUA music school alumni, and I very much wanted to stay in the DC area where there is always something for everyone. I fell in love with the university as soon as I visited, especially with the music education faculty and the overall welcoming, homey feel CUA has. It was a perfect match for me. 

Fun fact: I train for and run marathons for fun! And thanks to two years of instrumental techniques classes, I'm quite proficient at "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" on almost any instrument.  



Alexis Krey

Major: Musical Theatre
Year: Sophomore, Class of 2017
Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA

Why I chose CUA: I chose CUA because of the sense of community I got when I first visited campus. The campus seemed to be a tight community where anyone passing by was helpful and kind. I even saw monks and nuns playing frisbee with students! CUA, especially the Music School, seemed to be one big family, and I know now that that is completely true through all of my new freshman experiences. 

Other campus activities: I am a company member of Pure Alignment, which is the dance company on campus. We perform at many different events, including our spring showcase. I also am a part of the CUA Ballroom Team. I just recently performed in my first competition at the University of Maryland!

Fun Fact: I performed in the finale of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City in 2012. 


David Bond

Major: Music B.A., Composition Minor
Year: Senior, Class of 2015
Hometown: Chicago, IL

Why I chose music: I started playing piano in 2nd grade and have loved music ever since!

Why I chose CUA: The day I came to visit CUA, the new Bachelor of Arts in Music program was approved. I knew I just had to come here!

Fun Facts: I sing in the CUA Chamber Choir, play Bassoon in the CUA Wind Ensemble, and I love to write my own music!


Meredith Eib

Major: Musical Theater
Year: Sophomore, Class of 2017
Hometown: Kingston, New Hampshire

About Me:  I am from the Seacoast of New Hampshire, about an hour north of Boston. I’ve been performing much of my life and am so grateful that I’m getting to pursue what I love in college!  I’ve had a wide range of musical experiences- from playing Cinderella in Cinderella, to singing with international sensation Josh Groban, to singing in front of 100,000 people at NASCAR races, to being a local titleholder for the Miss America Organization with a platform of “Encouraging Excellence through the Arts”. In addition to singing and acting, I love to play the piano, celebrate my faith and do service projects such as tutoring, working with the handicapped, the elderly and the poor. I hope to graduate with my BM in Musical Theater and my music education certification, and perhaps attend graduate school for English so that I can teach at the Secondary School level. 

Why I chose CUA: I chose CUA because it was the only school that met my wide range of interests. I feel like I am getting incredible training musically, I am part of a community, I am able to take classes outside of my major, be actively involved with my faith and serve the community in a wide range of ways. I only toured here for two hours on a cold, rainy February day during my junior year but when making the college decision, it was the only school that sticking on my mind and my heart. 

Why I love CUA: So far I love CUA because I am able to have so many different experiences. I work with incredibly talented people every day who constantly push me and inspire me to improve my own art. I am also with people who are incredible examples of faith and what it means to be a good friend. I am constantly in awe of the wide range of amazing people here at CUA.

Fun facts: In addition to spending approximately 30 hours a week in the classroom as an MT major, I have fallen in love with the many communities and on campus groups at CUA.  I tutor at least once a week at Beacon House, spend my Wednesday nights with the mentally handicapped at Bethlehem House, visit the elderly at Little Sisters of the Poor, bring food to the homeless on the Sunday Homeless Food Runs and share my faith with my dorm’s Renew Group.  I am a certified campus ambassador for Catholic Relief Services and love working for social justice causes on campus.  I also love cantoring at Sunday Mass!  



Paige Wearmouth

Major: Instrumental Music Education
Year: Sophomore, Class of 2017
Hometown: Port Tobacco, MD

About me: I am from southern Maryland, not too far outside of DC. I started playing the violin when I was five, and have been in love with music ever since. I love listening to Indie and Alternative music and learning new instruments. I want to have a career teaching music/orchestra in a high school. My biggest dream is to travel to as many new places as I can.

Why I chose music: Music has been a major part of my life since I was in kindergarten, so I saw no other way to take my life. I love everything about music, from making it to listening to it.

Why I chose CUA: I absolutely love being in the city! Also, CUA has such a beautiful campus and great people.

Why I love CUA: I love the feel of community at CUA. Even though we have all the benefits of being in a large city, we have the feeling of closeness you get in a small town. Anywhere you go on campus is beautiful and exciting.

Fun Facts: I love baking, traveling, and reading books. I also consume massive amounts of green tea. My favorite place to be on campus is in the Mullen Library Stacks. More than anything, I wish I could play the cello.

Caroline Eldridge

Major: Musical Theatre
Year: Sophomore, Class of 2017
Hometown: Wellesey, MA

About me: I have been acting, singing, and dancing from the day I saw Annie when I was three years old, and haven’t stopped loving performing since. I chose to study musical theatre in college because I made the decision to devote my life to musical theatre. I want to learn more, and delve into the art of performing over my college years.

Why I chose CUA: I chose CUA because of the intense music concentration within their musical theatre degree and the ability for me to take classes outside of my major. With a degree in musical theatre from CUA, I will be able to go into an audition and sight sing any piece a director gives me, increasing my likelihood of booking the job. Additionally, I love the conservatory within a university setting and cherish the fact that I can go from my small concentrated music classes to an English or Biology class; I’m learning a lot.

Why I love CUA: I love CUA because of the family I was instantly welcomed into when I arrived. Each student is so supportive of one another, and being in a loving space where we know we can take risks, overall enhances our learning as students. Opportunities to get involved- 
In addition to being a super busy MT major, I am a part of Redline A Cappella, the oldest a cappella group on campus. We sing all over campus and also travel to sing at other colleges such as UMBC or Drew University.

Fun facts: I’m really good at animal noises and enjoy climbing trees. I also love talking to people and telling them all about CUA so let me know if you have any questions at all or just want to say hey!


Megan DiGeorgio

Major: Viola Performance, Composition Minor
Year: Senior, Class of 2015
Hometown: Bel Air, MD

About Me: I have been playing viola for 11 years, and composing music for 8. I also like to sing and play the piano! In the past, I've participated in musicals, plays, an a capella choir, soccer teams, countless youth orchestras, and Destination Imagination, a creative problem-solving program. Currently, I am the Secretary of Student Composers, a student chapter of Society of Composers, Inc. I'm also involved with Gratia Plena and RENEW, which are faith groups on campus.

Why I love CUA: I love CUA because of the sense of community, the friendly atmosphere, the strong Catholic identity, and the wonderful people! I also love living in DC; there is always something going on, which makes it a great place to go to school! And the city is full of opportunities for musicians. For example, since coming to DC, I've performed in Smithsonian museums, and participated in the National Symphony Orchestra's Summer Music Institute at the Kennedy Center! When I can find free time, I like to bake, read, and spend time with friends!



Madeline Cuddihy

Major: Musical Theatre
Year: Junior, Class of 2016
Hometown: Silver Spring, MD

Why I love CUA: CUA School of Music is my home, and my classmates are my family. I absolutely love the program here and find it both challenging and rewarding as my skills as a musician, performer, and all around person have greatly grown.

My Other Activities: Around campus I'm also one of the Catholic University Orientation Advisors, part of the French Club (hopefully pursuing a minor), and aspire daily to be a Disney Princess (who doesn't?) If you ever want to chat about life, school, Broadway shows I obsess over...or just want to say hi, let me know! 



Katelyn Hannel

Major: General-Choral Music Education (piano principle), Theology Minor   
Year: Senior, Class of 2015
Hometown: South Riv
er, NJ

About me: I started taking piano lessons when I was six, quit once, went back, hardly ever practiced enough, and then at some point realized that I actually really loved it. Going to CUA has given me opportunities like performing with the Chamber Choir at the National gallery of Art, going to Mass at the National Shrine, and participating in Friday night events like Metro Madness and Luaupalooza. I'm involved in a Catholic women's group called Gratia Plena, and this year I'm president of the CUA chapter of the National Association for Music Education.

Fun Facts: I like crossword puzzles, Mozart and playing the ukulele!



Micaela Mannix

Major: Musical Theatre
Year: Junior, Class of 2016
Hometown: Draper, UT

Why I love CUA: I was very nervous coming to  CUA because I was so far away from home, but within a matter of weeks I was able to establish a new family within the music school as well as get involved in some activities in other parts of campus. I love service as well as participating in the Friday night activities The House sets up every weekend. 

Why I chose CUA: I chose Catholic because I believed it would be a program that would help me to grow as a performer and I feel that I have accomplished things here that I never thought I'd be able to do. I've also made some pretty cool friends along the way! :)