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Meet Your Odyssey Team

Name: Martina Umunna

Class Year: 2018

Hometown: Lowell, MA

Major: History

Minor: Asian Studies

Concentration: Studio Art

Position: Program Assistant

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Welcome, Class of 2021! My name is Martina Umunna. I am a rising senior and Program Assistant for the Odyssey Program! I am originally from Nigeria, but I grew up in Lowell, MA. I have been told I have a great sense of humor and a heart of gold! I love naps and my favorite shows are Parks and Recreation and Game of Thrones (You know nothing, Jon Snow). Outside of academics, I am involved in HCF1RST, Peer Mentor, SABAR, and Sister 2 Sister. I highly recommend that you participate in Odyssey because it is the only time on campus when your sole job is to make friends and learn about Holy Cross! I hope you take advantage of this great opportunity. I look forward to meeting you all this coming August!

Name: Marcellis Perkins

Class Year: 2019

Hometown: Chesapeake, VA

Major: Sociology

Minor: Philosophy

Concentration: Africana Studies

Position: Lead Odyssey Mentor

Pronouns: he/him/hers
Welcome Class of 2021! My name is Marcellis Perkins and I will be one of your lead mentors during the Odyssey program. I am from Hampton Roads, Virginia and I enjoy photography, listening to music and working out. My favorite ice cream is cookie dough and in my spare time I like listening to different podcasts. Fun fact: I run my own radio show here on campus called #TheBackRoom. On campus I am involved in numerous co-curricular actives, such as the varsity basketball team, Black Student Union, The Male Involvement Coalition, Male Athletes of Color, Student Athlete Advisory Committee, WCHC 88.1, Working for Worcester and E3. Error! Hyperlink reference not valid.Odyssey is a great transition program into college life. You will not only become accustomed to campus early, but also be able to connect and meet new friends before school starts. I can honestly say that the Odyssey program helped me settle into this new setting. Being so far away from home can be very intimidating, but because I had such a helpful and supportive Odyssey community I was able to find the comfort that I needed. I hope that this program will be able to provide you an excellent start to your next four years on the hill. Best of luck & I look forward to working with you.

Name: Nerelly Checo

Class Year: 2018

Hometown: Brooklyn, NY

Major: Psychology and Sociology

Position: Odyssey Coordinator

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Welcome Class of 2021! My name is Nerelly Checo and I am a rising senior at Holy Cross. I am double majoring in Sociology and Psychology. Outside of academics, I have been involved with LASO for the past two years and will continue being a part of the e-board this year, as well. During the fall semester of my junior year, I studied abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina and got to learn so much about the country and myself as a person. I was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY where my parents continued to instill their Dominican roots in me. Odyssey is hands-down my favorite program that is available for incoming first year students because it such a wonderful experience. I can't wait to meet you all and hope you enjoy Odyssey!

Name: Hannah Brennan

Class Year: 2019

Hometown: St. John's Newfoundland, Canada

Major: Biology

Minor: Biochemistry

Position: Odyssey Coordinator

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Congratulations and welcome class of 2021! I'm an international student and rising junior. A fun fact about me is I am studying abroad at Oxford University next year. On campus I am co-publicist of Feminist Forum, a mentor for XCHROM (for girls in Worcester who want to enter the STEM field), Model UN, and I volunteer at St. Parson's Hill. My favourite class at Holy Cross has been my Creative Writing Seminar. You should definitely do Odyssey because it is an opportunity to be a part of a community and have a support group before school starts! It’s a lot of fun and I have met my best friends through this program!

Name: Yen Nguyen

Class Year: 2019

Hometown: Worcester, MA

Major: Biology

Minor: Environmental Studies

Concentration: Pre-Health

Position: Odyssey Coordinator

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Hi! Welcome to Holy Cross, Class of 2021! As a former Odyssey participant and staff member, I can assure you that being a part of Odyssey will be a once in a lifetime experience. Odyssey helped make my college experience an amazing one. You'll meet the greatest people on campus, you won't regret it! On campus, I am involved in Admissions as a Tour Guide, SABAR, and House Council. My current favorite ice cream flavor is either chocolate chip cookie dough or red velvet cake. What I love about Holy Cross is how kind everyone is, and the strong sense of community is. Everyone either knows each other by name, or has at least seen their face around. See you in August!

Name: Ruben Rodriguez

Class Year: 2020

Hometown: Southbridge, MA

Major: Political Science

Minor: Education

Position: Odyssey Mentor

Pronouns: he/him/his

Congratulations, class of 2021! As a first year student, I have been involved in Working for Worcester as a Site Manager, an Admissions Greeter, and currently participating in the Pre-Business program. You can find me in the Music library during the day getting homework done. I enjoy spending my time watching The Office with friends, listening to J. Cole or Kendrick Lamar, and golfing. So far in my academic career, my favorite course has been either International Relations or American Government. During the summer before my freshman year, I got invited to participate in the Odyssey program and was nervous to join. All I thought about was leaving summer early and not being able to spend the remaining days with my friends. However, it turned out to be the best experience that prepared me to transition to Holy Cross. During the program, you will be exposed to the resources that the campus offers, and get the opportunity to meet classmates. You will be a part of such a welcoming environment that will enhance the beginning of your Holy Cross journey.

Name: Edith Mensah Otabil

Class Year: 2019

Hometown: Worcester, MA

Major: Biology

Concentration: Pre-Health

Position: Odyssey Mentor

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Hello Class of 20121! My name is Edith and I will be one of the Odyssey Mentors! I was born and raised in Accra, Ghana and my native language is Twi. I moved from Ghana to the United States in 2012 in hopes of finding a brighter future. I hope to become an ophthalmologist in the future, and then go back to Ghana to build eye clinics that will be affordable for everyone.
But right now, I'm just living life as it comes and trying my best to be a "woman for and with others". I've never had coffee and I'm trying to get through all my four years of college without having a sip of coffee. I just don't like the smell and I also don't want to be coffee-dependent. I drink hot chocolate instead! My favorite life mantra is found in Jeremiah 29:11, "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future". Odyssey is one of the best experiences I've had here at Holy Cross and I am glad to have been a participant. The Odyssey family support system does not stop when the program ends. The bond is there forever.


Name:
Ajit Bhullar

Class Year: 2018

Hometown: Yuba City, CA

Major: Urban Studies

Minor: Philosophy

Position: Odyssey Mentor

Pronouns: he/him/his

Hey! My name is Ajit Bhullar, and I am a rising senior here at the College of the Holy Cross! I am super excited to be an Odyssey mentor for the upcoming class of 2021! I still remember my Odyssey experience very distinctly and how much of a lasting impact it had on me. And because of this, I am truly honored to be a mentor for you! This program really helped me ease into the college lifestyle, and I really hope I can make the transition just as easy for the class of 2021! On campus, I am a member of the mock trial team and I have served as a site manager for Working for Worcester. I spent my entire junior abroad in Italy, but I am very excited to be back on the Hill for this upcoming year. I am truly honored to be an Odyssey Mentor for this upcoming year, and I can't to meet you all in person! I promise you will really have the time of your life with us during Odyssey.

Name: Alisha Collazo

Class Year: 2018

Hometown: East Hartford, CT

Major: Mathematics

Position: Odyssey Mentor

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Hello! I am a rising senior majoring in Math and a proud graduate of Odyssey 2018. On campus, I am a co-chair of the Fusion Hip Hop Dance Team and a member of both LASO and CASA. As a first-generation Puerto Rican student, I know how stressful the transition to college can be. However, Odyssey will provide you with the support and resources you need to make the transition as smooth as possible. I cannot wait to meet you all and be a part of your college journey. Welcome, Class of 2021!

Name: Mengyang He

Class Year: 2018

Hometown: Beijing, China

Major: International Studies

Minor: French

Concentration: Asian Studies

Position: Odyssey Mentor

Pronouns: he/him/his

Welcome to Holy Cross! My name is Mengyang, and I am a rising senior at Holy Cross. This will be my second time serving as an Odyssey Mentor. As an international student, I feel truly blessed to have lots of friends from various backgrounds on campus, and I met many of them through Odyssey. One thing that I am really passionate about is learning different languages and cultures. I speak Chinese, English, French, and I am now learning German. Additionally, I love to travel, take photos, and talk with strangers. Through the Study Abroad Program, I spent my entire junior year at Universit√© de Strasbourg in France. At Holy Cross, I am very involved in the Chinese department, and with its assistance, I created the Chinese Language Partner Program (CLP). After Holy Cross, I might pursue a Master’s in Germany, and in the future, I intend to engage in some transcultural enterprises or exchange programs between China and the U.S. or China and Europe. Odyssey, and Holy Cross as a whole, have definitely provided me with important resources, both academically and professionally, empowered me to grow my interests, and guided me to find my true self. I can assure you that you will NOT regret being a part of the Odyssey Program. Looking forward to meeting each of you this August!

Name: Jacqueline Perkins

Class Year: 2018

Hometown: Worcester, MA

Major: Psychology

Concentration: Pre-Med

Position: Odyssey Mentor

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Hello!  My name is Jackie Perkins and I am a rising senior psychology pre-medical student. I was born and raised in Worcester so I look forward to telling you about the city that I have called home for the last 20 years. On campus, I am a part of the Campus Activities board (CAB) and participate in peer tutoring at the STEM+E workshop. I love singing, fashion, and helping people in my role as a chemistry lab TA.  I am half Sri Lankan, so my favorite food is definitely Sri Lankan chicken curry or biryani. I love being a psychology major and am currently preparing to apply to medical school next spring. I am so thrilled to warmly welcome the Class of 2021 to your new home here at Holy Cross. It is going to be an exciting ride! You are going to receive a great introduction to all the opportunities and friends waiting here for you at Holy Cross through the Odyssey program!

Name: Tylar DeWitt

Class Year: 2018

Hometown: Newark, NJ

Major: Theatre & Technical Production

Position: Odyssey Mentor

Pronouns: he/him/his

I'm Tylar DeWitt, but on campus I go by Slim. I've danced in Fusion, I've sang for an Acapella group (Sound of St. James), and I'm on the club basketball team. I'm from Newark, NJ and went to a private boarding high school in MA and decided to stay up here for college. I love to sing, dance, act, anything involved with the arts really. I'm a theatre and tech major and I'm a rising senior. I look forward to meeting you in August.

Name: Adeline Gutierrez

Class Year: 2019

Hometown: Brooklyn, NY

Major: Philosophy

Minor: Education

Concentration: Africana Studies

Position: Odyssey Mentor

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Welcome to The Hill, Class of 2021! My name is Adeline and I am a junior at Holy Cross. I grew up in the Dominican Republic and I came to the United States when I was 8. Fun fact: I love to travel. I think that adapting to new environments, although uncomfortable, turns into hidden gold in the long run. My favorite part of Holy Cross are the professors and staff members who have instilled in me a passion for learning and helping others through action. I am a doer so you will always catch me running (I call it walking or NY Style) around campus. Although I have not been a part of Odyssey before, this experience, like any other, is a learning experience. I believe that learning does not only occur in the classroom but it occurs anywhere we go and is most rewarding when we take risks. I'm ready to meet all of you and I hope that you are all ready to embark on this journey. See you in August!

Name: Luke Wardour

Class Year: 2020

Hometown: Friendship Village, MD

Major: History

Position: Odyssey Mentor

Pronouns: he/him/his

Hey all, I'm a rising sophomore here at the college. I was born in Natick, MA but was raised in suburban Maryland right outside DC city limits. I'm a passionate person with a love for learning and talking. Some of my favorite co-curricular things to do on campus are listening to new music for my Radio Show and volunteering as a Tutor at my SPUD site. In my free time I listen to podcasts, draw, and play soccer. In Worcester, I love trying new places to eat, whether it be Vietnamese or one of the Woo's excellent diners. At Holy Cross I love the access to professor; I am able to speak directly with professor and classmates in communal environment. Odyssey is a great chance for students to establish that community from the outset with faculty and peers. The Odyssey program calls into mind our Catholic values and Jesuit tradition that we are people for and with others. Get excited for your Odyssey to begin at Holy Cross and beyond. 

Name: Ayleen Santarin

Class Year: 2020

Hometown: Seattle, WA

Major: Chemistry

Concentration: Pre-Med

Position: Odyssey Mentor

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Hi there, Class of 2021! I'm Ayleen and I'm rising sophomore here at Holy Cross! I'm the first in my family to go to college which is both exciting and scary! As a former Odyssey participant, I am thankful for this program as it helped ease my transition into college as a first year student both socially and academically.  Since I am 3,000 miles away from my home in Seattle, the decision to enroll at Holy Cross was incredibly daunting. Nevertheless, Odyssey provided me with an outlet to meet new people, which are my closest friends today. I am grateful for these friendships that I developed through Odyssey, for these friends encouraged me to join several clubs. Currently, I am on the eBoard for both ASIA and HC F1RST! Here on campus you'll most likely find me in the science complex by the Chemistry Department or raving about how Starbucks, seriously, is a million times better than Dunkin' Donuts. Also let it be known that I have a peanut/seafood allergy and if you do too, we can definitely bond over the struggle of always having to carry an Epi-Pen. If not, we can talk about all things Disney and then I'll never ever stop talking. By participating in this program you get to be on campus before everyone else comes and when school starts, you already have a few friends which is a huge plus! I'm excited to get to know you all in August!

Name: Jehyve Floyd

Class Year: 2019

Hometown: Sayreville, NJ

Major: Sociology

Position: Odyssey Mentor

Pronouns: he/him/his

Welcome Class of 2021! I am excited to meet and get to know all of you! I am a Junior at Holy Cross and play on the Men's Basketball Team. I study sociology and am a member of both organizations MOCA and MIC. My favorite place on campus is definitely the Hart Center. I did not do Odyssey when I was first coming to Holy Cross, however I wish I did because I hear only good things about it. I am excited to be a part of the program now, and to be your mentor through Odyssey. I am pretty hard to miss on campus because of my height, so don't be shy to say hello.

Name: Tanusha Yarlagadda

Class Year: 2018

Hometown: Chelmsford, MA

Major: Anthropology

Position: Odyssey Mentor

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Welcome, Class of 2021! I just studied abroad at the University of St Andrews in Scotland for the past year, and am looking forward to my senior year! I am so excited to welcome the newest Crusaders onto the campus and will spend my summer doing so as an orientation leader! Social justice is a passion of mine and you can always find me arguing, learning, and educating with the Multicultural Peer Educators and as the Chair of the South Asian organization, D.E.S.I.  I am a proud Anthropology major and will be writing my thesis next year on the power of makeup. Although I learned so many valuable lessons studying abroad and trotting around Europe, I missed hanging out with my friends slurping our milkshakes in Cool Beans. I still think back to my Odyssey experience four years ago and remember how nervous I was getting out of the car for the first time. I was scared to start this new chapter in my life, at a brand new school filled with people I did not know. My Odyssey experience helped me gain confidence in myself and my future college career. Most importantly, I met and developed relationships with so many of my peers who would end up being so influential in my life. Do seriously consider taking part in this program for who knows, maybe you too will find amazing friends to slurp milkshakes with at Cool Beans like I did.

Name: Cheng-En “Emmanuel” Wu

Class Year: 2019

Hometown: Taipei, Taiwan

Major: Economics

Position: Odyssey Mentor

Pronouns: he/him/his

Hello! My name is Cheng-En "Emmanuel" Wu. I am a rising junior and international student from Taipei, Taiwan. I am an economics major and I will be interning at New York City during the spring semester of 2018. My involvement on campus include the Male Involvement Coalition, Finance Club, Interdenominational Service, and the BSU Fashion Show. In addition to my campus involvement, I volunteer for the strategic planning team of a cafe in Worcester. The most memorable experiences I have had at college so far include attending the Finance Boot Camp at NYC, going on two Spring Break Immersion trips at Virginia, and participating in ODYSSEY on the hill! Odyssey served as a crucial portal for me when I entered Holy Cross. I LOVED the Worcester exploration activity during the program, received helpful information about studying at a liberal arts institution, and made a lot of great friends that have lifted me up during hard times in college. This year's Odyssey program will mark my second time being an Odyssey Mentor. Please do not hesitate to say Hi whenever you see me on campus and I can't wait to see you all in August!

Name: Linda Adubofour Dufie

Class Year: 2018

Hometown: Kumasi, Ghana

Major: Chemistry (pre-pharmacy)

Position: Odyssey Mentor

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Hello everyone! I am a native of Ghana -- born and raised. I aspire to assist vulnerable populations in Africa through medicine. One of my favorite things about Holy Cross is how supportive staff and students are of each other. Holy Cross has provided me with many opportunities, such as being a Math Teaching Assistant, a community liaison for a multicultural group, and many more. As a past participant of the Odyssey program, I received support in many ways. At the end of the program, I felt very confident in myself academically and socially. I am super excited to start an odyssey with you all! I strongly believe this one-week summer orientation will strengthen your transition into your academic career and allow you to build strong bonds with each other. Congratulations on your new beginnings and welcome to the Odyssey Program!

Name: Aaron Wong

Class Year: 2019

Hometown: Scarsdale, NY

Major: Environmental Studies

Position: Odyssey Mentor

Pronouns: he/him/his

Hello Holy Cross, Class of 2021! My name is Aaron Wong, and I am a rising junior at the college. I am an Environmental Studies major and also a member of the Men's Swim team. I am also a member of A.S.I.A. and the Outdoors Club. Outside of class, I love to travel, explore new places and meet new people. Coming into freshman year, I recall not knowing what to expect, nor what I wanted to study. College was a totally new experience in contrast to the life that I had come to be accustomed to back home. However, in attending Odyssey, I was able to get a feel for the campus and the community before classes even started. Participating in Odyssey helped shape my Holy Cross experience through the friends that I made, experiences I shared, and support that I was given. I look forward to welcoming you into the Odyssey Family and the Holy Cross community! Congratulations and welcome!

Name: Sahra Hassan

Class Year: 2019

Hometown: Hargeisa, Somaliland

Major: International Studies

Minor: Social Justice

Position: Odyssey Mentor

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Welcome, Odyssey 2021! My name is Sahra Hassan, and I am just a Somali girl trying to make it in America. I am passionate about social justice work – especially immigration reform, eliminating poverty, and human security. I love Holy Cross because I found peers and faculty members that give me support, encouragement, and guidance. I love anything chocolatey. I am currently working on my Arabic speaking skills, and I want to visit the Middle East and North Africa after graduation for an opportunity to serve, travel, and strengthen my Arabic. I am excited to meet with all of you, and welcome to the Odyssey family where you will always have people to talk to, complain to, and find comfort in.

Name: Elija Nassar

Class Year: 2020

Hometown: Undeclared

Position: Odyssey Mentor

Pronouns: he/him/his

Class of 2021! My name is Elija (Eli) and I am a member of the class of 2020. I am a first generation Lebanese-American. I was born and raised in Worcester and have gone to Catholic institutions my whole life, despite being raised as an Orthodox Christian. This past year I became part of the Multicultural Peer Educators, was the captain of my intramural volleyball team, and worked at the Baystate Family Dental office here in Worcester. I participated in Odyssey last summer and met some of the best people who I may not have met otherwise. Odyssey will help you build great friendships. You also will have been on campus longer than the rest of the first-year class and will be able to map it out earlier. Odyssey is a great opportunity that you won't want to miss!

Name: Mariel Aleman

Class Year: 2018

Hometown: Lawrence, MA

Major: Sociology

Concentration: Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies

Position: Odyssey Mentor

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Hi everyone, I am Mariel Aleman, a first generation Dominican-American, who was born and raised in Lawrence, MA. I am a rising senior majoring in Sociology with a concentration in Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies (GSWS). During my junior year, I served as one of the Co-Chairs of the Caribbean African Student Assemblage (CASA), one of the multicultural student organizations on campus. I strive to be a good leader and mentor to all those around me. Throughout my time at Holy Cross, I have been able to give students of color the opportunity to build community and claim their space in a primarily white institution. I serve as a voice of encouragement and role model for other students of color in the Holy Cross community. I look forward to meeting you as you begin your college careers!