May 14, 2004
Vol. 34, Issue 9
Back Issues
‘Our Students Lead Us’
Sullivan Award-winners
Part of the fabric of University life
Curiosity drives Mitman’s pursuits
‘Reverend Nurse:’
At 52, Valley minister feels call to care for the whole person, spiritually and physically
Leap of a lifetime:
Athlete Kim Turko jumps a formidable hurdle — life-threatening illness
He’ll be back:
Adult education graduate studies adult education
‘Hungry to Help:’
Student refugee wants to improve the lives of Burma’s forgotten children
Revitalizing Main Street:
Jill Nolt’s plan for her hometown high school makes front-page news
Peace Corps bound:
Business major trades fast lane for slow pace on Tonga
First in her family:
Angela Caldwell, a Native American, overcomes community attitudes to become lawyer
From Crane’s love of the cosmos comes new era for stargazers
A history of Finals
Sharlotte Bolyard is flying high
A ministry of medicine

Bombay bound:
Darden grad to apply best U.S. business practices to family company in India

Peer educator looks beyond educating:
Health advocacy is next step for Alyssa Lederer

No ‘cookie-cutter’ solutions:
Family expert Charmaine Yoest says creativity, flexibility are keys to resolving work/family issues

Reflections on the road to enlightenment:
Thirteen years, one class at a time, but who was counting?

‘Connecting communities:’
Presentation on African-American history at U.Va. gets students thinking, talking
Peace Corps bound
Business major trades fast lane for slow pace on Tonga
Caty Price
Photo by Andrew Shurtleff
Caty Price was voted “most likely to save the environment” by her McIntire School study group.

By Charlotte Crystal

She should have been thrilled. Last summer, Caty Price sat at a comfortable desk in an office cubicle towards the end of her internship for the Cramer-Krasselt Advertising Agency in Phoenix. She had just been offered a job.

“I loved branding, and I liked the people, and the company was great,” said the fourth-year McIntire School of Commerce student. The internship had been a good experience, enabling her to draw on her concentration in marketing and management. But all she could think of at that moment was, “I do not want to do this for the next two years.”
Instead, she wanted to do something that would force her to think outside the box. And that’s what she’s planning to do.

Next fall, when her McIntire classmates don pinstripes, fight city crowds and hunker down before flickering computer screens at investment-advising and business-consulting firms in New York and Northern Virginia, pulling down hefty paychecks for 80-hour workweeks, Price will be adjusting to life in the slow lane in the Kingdom of Tonga, a tropical island in the South Pacific. There, as a Peace Corps volunteer, she’ll have to adjust to a new climate, new diet, new language, new culture and new ways of putting her business skills to work.

She knows her job for the next two years will have something to do with youth development, but she’s not yet sure exactly what.

“It’s not all together altruistic on my part,” she says of her decision. “I just think it will be a good way to get some hands-on, business-management experience.”

A native of Shreveport, La., Price, 22, graduated from high school in Roanoke. Her mother passed away when she was 17. Her father, Charles Price, a radiologist now living in Miami, Fla., loved to cook exotic food and expected Price and her two siblings to try new things. “I hated it then,” Price admits, “but I’ll eat anything now.”

It’s a skill that should serve her well in the coming years as she grows accustomed to the Tongan diet, based on chicken, pork, yams and tropical fruit.

Tonga lies north of New Zealand, west of Samoa and east of Fiji. There are currently 50 to 70 Peace Corps volunteers serving in the country, which has a population of 101,000 spread over 170 islands, fewer than 40 of which are inhabited. The country’s economy is based on imports of tourists and exports of pumpkin squash.

Price has enjoyed the bottom-line focus of her education in commerce and fit in well with the many Type-A personalities at the undergraduate business school. But she has another side.

Brought up in the Unitarian Universalist Church, Price enjoys learning about different religions and has pursued that interest through a minor in religious studies.

In the summer of 2001, she worked with the Unitarian Universalist Association’s Faith and Action Office in Washington, D.C., where she developed study guides for the church on globalization, among other topics.

“I’ve always been teased as being earth friendly and was voted by [my McIntire study group] as being ‘most likely to save the environment,’” she said.

In her spare time as a second-year student, Price volunteered with Big Brothers, Big Sisters. She volunteers each year as a counselor for the Unitarian summer church camp, and has enjoyed her membership in the Phi Mu sorority, a diverse group of girls who support the Children’s Miracle Network.

Since her second year, she also has worked 10 to 15 hours a week at Greenberry’s Coffee & Tea Co. in the Barracks Road Shopping Center.
“I’ve always worked; I’ve always saved my money,” Price said. “My mom always told us there was no reason to be bored. We never did much sitting around.”

That drive to keep busy served her well as a student. “I’m really hypercompetitive,” she said.

Even so, she is drawn to programs that combine her interests, such as Leading with Compassion, a course offered by McIntire, for which she wrote a paper about corporate social responsibility. “We need to know who we’re affecting,” she said.

Price believes her experience with the Peace Corps will give her an edge in the job market down the road. It should offer opportunities for hands-on experience in marketing, communication, and people skills, all of which would be valuable for a career in international business.

When her Peace Corps stint draws to a close, she will look for a job in international business in the field of branding and corporate social responsibility, especially in the area of environmentally conscious manufacturing. Price is optimistic about individuals’ and companies’ abilities to effect positive change.

She may need to tap that optimism during her Peace Corps adventure, which is likely to challenge her assumptions and take her out of her comfort zone.

And she’s happy about that.


© Copyright 2004 by the Rector and Visitors
of the University of Virginia

UVa Home Page UVa Events Calendar Top News UVa Home Page