The Catholic University of America

Katie Lally

Student Meets the President through Internship

When Katie Lally, a sophomore psychology major from Huntington, N.Y., decided she was going to attend Catholic University, she repeatedly joked with her high school friends that she was going to meet the president. To her surprise, her internship this semester put her in the same room with President Barack Obama, Speaker of the House John Boehner, and Ireland’s Prime Minister Enda Kenny.

Lally works as an office assistant and United States Capitol tour guide for Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.). Lally shared her interest in Irish culture with King, who invited her to attend the annual Friends of Ireland luncheon at the Capitol, where she shook hands with President Obama.

“It was totally surreal,” she says about meeting the president, Boehner, and Kenny all in one day.

Twice a week, Lally gives tours to constituents. “I love my internship. It lets me wander around the Capitol building all day. I really appreciate D.C. and my AP high school history classes more now,” she jokes.

Lally’s interest in Irish culture stems from her heritage. She is 100% Irish. This year, she has really started to embrace her family roots, she says. Lally served as treasurer of the CUA Gaels, the University’s Irish culture club, this year, and next year she will be the organization’s president.

“I designed the lanyards, the stickers, and the St. Patrick’s day T-shirts. I really want to make the Gaels a big presence on campus,” says Lally.

In addition to her responsibilities as treasurer of the Gaels, Lally is a member of the University’s Irish dance team, the Celtic Cardinals. She took classes in jazz and tap in high school, but she had no experience in Irish dancing before she started at the University.

“I’ll try anything once,” she says, laughing.

This year, Lally entered the annual Rose of Tralee International Festival D.C. competition. The festival, held in Ireland each year, brings together women from all over the world to celebrate what it means to be an Irish woman today. Lally did not win the D.C. competition, so she says she plans to try again her senior year. She is studying abroad in Ireland next year and says her experiences there will make her a stronger contender.

“I met some amazing girls in the D.C. Irish community that I can be friends with now because of the Rose of Tralee,” she says.

Lally also volunteers with Jumpstart, an organization aimed at teaching reading to elementary school students, and with the Emerging Leaders Program, a Catholic University organization that plans leadership workshops for freshmen.

“I have made so many good friends through everything I do at CUA. It is a community here. You know your neighbors,” says Lally.

Catholic University was part of Lally’s life long before she became a student. Her parents both graduated from the University.

“I am a product of CUA. This is where my parents met and fell in love,” she says. “At first I didn’t think I would want to go to the same college as my parents but I couldn’t help it. I fell in love with the school.”

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Katie Lally

Hometown: Huntington, N.Y.

Major: Psychology

Minor: Business

Favorite thing about CUA's campus: All of the trees and grass

Favorite spot in D.C.: The Capitol building

Favorite food: Tacos
Summer plans: Intern for Rep. Peter King