Business/Humanities Trailblazer

"I've started reading books like Dante’s Divine Comedy on my own, just because I’m curious,” says Chris Souza, who graduated in May 2009 as Dominican’s first student with a double major in Business and Humanities.

Imagine, Dante for the heck of it!

Chris entered DUC undeclared, but was hooked by philosophy in his very first semester with Professor Harlan Stelmach. He felt the call to humanities, but believing a business major would be more practical he turned his attention to business instead. Yet he kept craving the deep reflection he had found in his humanities classes and he really wanted to major in both.

One of the advantages of a small, liberal arts college is our student-centered flexibility. Liz Capener, then Chair of Business, and Harlan, Chair of Humanities, worked out a plan for Chris and the Business & Humanities double major was born.

When asked how his courses in the humanities have influenced his thinking and future goals, he reflects: “Humanities courses have been really good for rounding out my cognitive skills; they’ve helped me to approach problems, including business problems, from many different angles. I have a much more highly developed cultural sensitivity now and I feel that my brain works better. I am quite certain that my humanities training will serve me well in business. I want to go into marketing and advertising and a major component of that field is the ability to understand where people are coming from and to appeal to their humanity. I have a much better sense of that now because I’ve reflected a lot on my own humanity.”

Chris also says that his training in the humanities, particularly in ethics and philosophy, has solidified the sense of personal and social responsibility our business program also encourages. This will play out, he believes, not only in his daily business practices but in his long term life goals: “I hope to start a successful consulting firm and then use the profits to create philanthropic organizations.”

We join the Business Department in congratulating Chris for his outstanding scholarship and we thank him for blazing the trail as our first Business & Humanities double-major. We hope there are many more to come. Good luck, Chris!