WASHINGTON, DC – Members of the Catholic University men's soccer team will be spending their off-season studying abroad as part of their academic studies as Division III student-athletes. Among those is junior defender Mitch Ford, who will be studying in Rome, Italy this spring for his architecture major.
Ford chose his architecture major because of his artistic talent, strong math skills, and love of creating designs. His plan is to pursue a master's degree in architecture at Catholic after graduating before working as an architect, and later open his own firm down the road. On Catholic's architecture program, Ford has been impressed with the facilities, professors, and courses since he arrived as a freshman.
"Some classes offered are more based on the construction, others are about the history and future of architecture, and some provide helpful software classes to further my understanding on design," Ford said. "The classmates and professors all help make your project the best it can be."
The Pittsburg, Pa. native has learned to become disciplined in balancing his time-consuming architecture studies and athletics after three seasons as a defender for coach Travis Beauchamp's team. Developing a strong work ethic has helped Ford in the classroom and on the field to succeed.
"I talk to my professors about games that I must go to and get make-up work for that day," Ford said. "I learned to stay organize, focus on school, keep a good schedule, but also make time to hang out with friends and do activities I enjoy."
The opportunity to go abroad has been on the defender's mind since freshman year. Ford made great effort to be a standout student to make sure he was one of the architecture students to study in Rome, and he took a similar approach on the pitch.
"For soccer, I made sure to work extremely hard these last three years so that coach could see my fullest potential and know that even though I was gone for a semester, I could still contribute and help the team win next season."
Architecture students get to experience many of the concepts they've learned at classes in person throughout the ancient city of Rome. This hands-on opportunity is what Ford is most excited about.
"I am most looking forward to the sketching class we can take in Rome," he said. "Every Monday and Wednesday, the class walks around and sketches facades, interior perspectives, floor plans and city views of buildings."
With his junior soccer season wrapped up, Ford is excited to travel to European cities and be inspired by classical style architecture for the spring semester.
"I am looking forward to seeing some of the most famous buildings in the world such as The Colosseum, Teatro Marcello, II Vittoriano, St. Peter's Basilica, and so much more," he said. "These buildings are absolutely eccentric and I am so excited to see them in person."