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New alumna Mary Celeste Arras reflects on time at TU and talks future plans

Mary Celeste Arras, a recent management graduate with minors in marketing and computer information systems (CIS), is ready to make her way in the world.

TU’s beautiful campus and the comfortable, homey atmosphere were a couple of things that appealed to her.

“TU didn’t make me feel like a number,” said Arras. She liked the smaller class sizes and that the professors know their students by name. Arras also wanted to stay close to home, so having the university in her hometown was a bonus.

While at TU, Arras had the opportunity to intern in different companies each summer. She added a variety of jobs to her résumé and noted that was just one of the many things she loved about the Collins College of Business.

Arras also had high praise for many of her professors. She mentions Professors Ralph Jackson and Jim Senese in marketing and management; and Mary-Dana Laird, one of her human resources professors. Arras said, “I want to be exactly like Professor Laird when I grow up. She’s so intelligent, but never overbearing.” She also gives special recognition to one of her French professors, Veronique Conway.

Arras’ favorite part of the program was the camaraderie among students. “I know everyone, and it’s absolutely wonderful in helping get jobs,” she said. “The close-knit community we have is amazing.”

Her extracurricular life in college was anything but dull. Arras participated in Greek life, Information Technologists United (iTU), TU Chorale, TU Band, Society of Women in Business and Phi Eta Sigma, the freshman honor society. And her advice for future business students mimics her own path, “Get involved in everything,” she said. “There’s no limit to what you can do. There are so many opportunities here, so why not take them?”

Regarding her future plans, Arras has a couple of ideas. The first — and the one she is most passionate about — is opening up a nonprofit bakery with a social mission to fund and sponsor services and educational programs for sexual assault victims. “Sexual assault isn’t something that is talked about all that often, but education about it should constantly be improving,” she said. She also has three other women who are joining with her in this pursuit. Perhaps further down the road, she hopes to teach art history (a passion she discovered at TU) as a professor. “I love to talk about the things I love to people who also love them.”