Senior Spotlight: Zac Gula

by Kelly Clisham
zac gula photo - young man with short hair and glasses with breiseth hall in the background

Trading the Basketball Court for a Court of Law

As a basketball player in high school, Lehigh-Valley native Zachary Gula looked forward to attending Wilkes University after meeting with its men’s basketball coaching staff. “My grandparents are from the Wilkes-Barre area, and I liked the whole small-school feel of Wilkes that would allow me to pursue athletics and academics at the same time,” Gula says.

When he arrived on campus, he wasn’t quite sure which academic program to choose. “Honestly, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. I originally thought I might want to do something with criminal justice,” he says. “However, I enjoyed the economics classes I took in high school, and after taking more economics and business-type classes at Wilkes, I decided on the corporate finance major.” 

Gula was also a member of the Honors Program, a four-year scholarship for gifted students that provides leadership and research opportunities during their undergraduate years. “The Honors Program was definitely helpful because of the resources and opportunities that are available to you,” Gula says. “It required extra work in some classes, but it definitely helped me to be a better student.” 

One of Gula’s research projects focused on Bitcoin and blockchain technology. He collaborated with Ruth Hughes, associate professor of business law in the Sidhu School of Business and Leadership. Hughes, who is a lawyer, was instrumental in mentoring Gula when he was thinking about law school in his junior year. “I knew nothing about going to law school, since no one in my family is in law,” Gula says. “So gaining that knowledge and learning how to go about the process to get into law school was really helpful and made me more confident in my decision.” Hughes says of Gula, “Zac is an outstanding student, scholar and person, and I was lucky to work with him during his time at Wilkes.”

Gula credits Hughes and Elizabeth Leo, university counsel and Title IX coordinator, as mentors who helped him along his successful journey to apply to law schools. In the fall, Gula will attend one of the top law schools in the nation — the Columbus School of Law at The Catholic University of America in the heart of Washington, D.C., just minutes from the White House. “I’m excited about the opportunity and the chance to go for another goal and to try something new,” says Gula. 

Getting ready for his new adventure, Gula has some advice for first-year college students. “Take advantage of the small-school atmosphere because there are so many more opportunities here than in larger schools,” says Gula. “Instead of just being a number in a big school, you’re able to make real connections with professors and coaches. The experience I’ve had here at Wilkes has been great.”

Gula’s Top Five Wilkes Faves

  • Favorite study spot: First floor of the Farley Library
  • Favorite place to meet friends: Cafeteria in the Henry Student Center. That’s where me and my buddies would just get some food and hang out.
  • Favorite food on or off campus: Senunas’. It’s a bar. Can I say that? 
  • Favorite class: Advanced Topics in Business Law 
  • Favorite memory: There have been so many. I would just say the camaraderie with my basketball teammates, and just that journey in particular, and being around each other so much.

All business programs in the Sidhu School of Business and Leadership are AACSB accredited.

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