Devin Lattuga is a long-distance runner. As the captain of the Caldwell University men’s track and cross-country teams during his senior year, he knows his sport helps form community. “With all the technology and the fast-paced world we live in, running provides a different kind of speed—a chance to enjoy nature and to enjoy friends.”
Lattuga, who received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Caldwell University on May 19, is proud that his team took first place his senior year at the Caldwell Cougar Chase home cross-country meet and that he won the individual first prize.
Soon he will turn his attention to training for marathons—marathons for athletics and the marathon of law school, at Columbus School of Law at Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. for which he received a full tuition scholarship.
Lattuga, a resident of Denville, New Jersey, has known for a while that he wanted to pursue law, but his work in Campus Ministry at Caldwell inspired him to look at how lawyers can reach out to those on the margins. One of his favorite activities has been Midnight Runs when students pile into a van and drive into New York City to provide the homeless with warm clothes, soup and conversation. Lattuga has been involved in other Campus Ministry projects including Boxtown for which students slept outside to raise awareness of homelessness. Campus Ministry is a great way to “meet like-minded people,” and the director, Colleen O’Brien, “is so inspiring” and makes students feel at home, says Lattuga.
In the spring semester, Lattuga became a student docent when the university hosted the Gospels and Acts heritage edition of The Saint John’s Bible, the first handwritten illuminated Bible of monumental scale in over 500 years. This gave him a chance to talk with the guests viewing the exquisite sacred art and to hear a little about their faith journeys. “As a practicing Catholic, I love hearing other people’s stories.”
Lattuga transferred to Caldwell in the second semester of his freshman year and felt welcomed from the beginning. He recalls his first trip to the cafeteria when another track team member was behind him and said, “Sit with us.” She noticed Lattuga had a running watch and invited him to run with team members the next day. That caring atmosphere made him realize he was in the right place.
He appreciated the individualized attention he received from his “amazing” professors in the English Department, who “always wanted me to succeed.”
At Catholic University of America, law students are given opportunities to work in pro-bono areas of law such as immigration and veterans affairs something that interests Lattuga. “I’m going in with an open mind, trying everything, seeing what suits me best … and letting the Spirit move through me.” Pacing himself and planning will be the key, but he is up for the challenges. “In both the marathon of running and the marathon of law school, it is most important to be prepared. I know for both I need to work hard and be dedicated; if I can do that, I know I will reach my goals.”