Story by Veronica Burns, Staff Writer
Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Schoof
Sophomore student Cat Shaw is just about the happiest person you will ever come across on campus. With a soul as beautiful as her art, she loves to share her passions with everyone.
Shaw is dual majoring in psychology and art, with an emphasis on photography and a minor in Spanish. She took a psychology course her freshman year and fell in love with the discipline.
She noted , “This led me to research psych and art-related jobs, and I discovered the growing world of art therapy.”
Her family has Aquinas connections with her mother being an alumna and her an older sister, Elizabeth Shaw, graduating in the spring. She was drawn to the college at a young age and has many reasons why she chose Aquinas, noting, “the ability to make quick and close friends, the spirit of support and acceptance that colors each corner of this campus is really profound, and to be able to be such a close part of that experience is truly a blessing the size of a miracle.”
Shaw keeps herself busy with various activities on and off campus.
She was a STAR leader this summer and said, “I love being able to meet new people on a personal level, and Aquinas does a very good job of encouraging interaction.”
Shaw is involved in a new group called the Thaddeus Society, which is meant to grow and to spread across the entire campus so that each person can find their place in one of these groups to find support in their faith and personal life. At Mass, she serves as a greeter, Eucharistic minister, lector, and cantor. Catholic Ministry Club, Sing for Joy, and various on-campus events also fill up her schedule.
Off campus, she is a dance teacher at a studio her family owns, and said, “I would really love the opportunity to bring a dance class to Aquinas, one that is open to any level, for those who have always wanted to take dance, or have not been dancing for years, and would like to get back into it for recreational exercise.”
So if you’re in an RSO and are looking for a new event to bring to campus, feel free to contact Cat to help make this happen.
She gathers creativity from how her soul perceives the things around her.
Shaw said, “Art is a language of the soul, and so I try to allow my soul to do the talking whenever I create any piece. Whether it is a portrait, or a landscape, a painting or a photo, I always hope that my soul is taking the lead, because then when people see my art, it won’t be a flat surface, or canvas or piece of paper they are looking at, but a whole story, a whole open book of ideas and thoughts that my soul has to offer, in the hopes that their soul can respond and run with it, and blossom. However, first and foremost, my creativity comes from God, because without my soul, and without my body, which is a temple of the Lord’s, I would have no means for creativity, and, so, to God be all the glory.”
When asked about what she is passionate about, she replied, “I kind of have to flip it around and be asked, ‘What are you NOT passionate about?’ I have learned in this hectic, distracted world that in order to get any point across, one must have a deep rooted passion.”
Shaw further explained: “Passion gives birth to knowledge, and understanding and change, and all of these things are necessary if one is to ‘be passionate’ about something. And in this world, there are so many things that one can becomes knowledgeable about, so many opportunities to understand something, and so many aspects that need and can be changed in order for this world to become a little brighter each day. So, what is there not to be passionate about?”
She did list faith, family, her art, anything that is alive, people, animals, plants and more as more particular passions. A few of her favorites things include the TV show “I’ll Have What Phil’s Having,” singer Matthew Mole, and the quote “I must have flowers always and always” by Claude Monet.
For after college plans, she has dreams of traveling the world, opening an art studio of her own, becoming a Bilingual Art Therapist for a hospital, and perhaps meeting the man of her dreams and getting married.
She said, “either way, as long as I am serving even one person, I am quite positive I will be fulfilling my vocation, and my dreams.”
About the Writer…
Veronica Burns is a senior studying a dual business communication major and journalism. Her loves include cats and actor Tom Hiddleston.