For Computer Science major, Joaquín Loustau ’16, getting a holistic education has been his priority. That’s why he added a Catholic Studies minor, which has allowed him to study intellectual interests and explore his faith at the same time.
Loustau studies programming in his computer science courses and Catholic social thought and practice in the interdisciplinary minor program. Although seemingly unrelated fields, he reports that his Catholic Studies coursework has added to his success in computer science.
“In my Latin course, we studied the structure and semantics of the language,” he says. Similarly, “in computer science, we study different programming languages and write code that is not only semantically correct, but also beautiful, legible, and meaningful,” he explains. “The interdisciplinary work has really helped me flourish in that way.”
Originally from Montevideo, Uruguay, Loustau knows firsthand the value of international, cross-cultural learning, and he has traveled extensively on faith and social justice trips through LMU. He has worked on construction projects in Tijuana, participated in a pilgrimage in Paris, and provided Spanish language translation support in Spain. As the only student assistant on the 2014 Faculty and Administrator’s Trip to El Salvador, Loustau witnessed collaboration between two Jesuit institutions, Loyola Marymount University and University of Central America.
“I think…the bigger and overarching theme of all my international experiences [is] forming kinship,” he explains. “When we go to Tijuana and complete a construction project, that’s just the vehicle [for] building relationships.”
On each of his trips, Loustau and his colleagues took time to reflect on the political and economic contexts of the communities they visited. “We don’t only go to make change, but to be changed. That’s the beauty of the trips, the world becomes your classroom,” he says.
After graduating, Loustau plans on using his computer science knowledge to make a difference. “I really hope to find a place where my passion for social justice and my career intersect,” he says. “I want to find something where I can leave the office at the end of the day and feel that I contributed in a tiny way to making the world a little better.”