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Advising

Four Holy Cross advisors

We view our work as fostering a teaching and mentoring relationship rather than a screening process — a feature that distinguishes the Health Professions Advising Program from almost every other similar college program. 

We encourage students to seek our advice on how to prepare themselves for a life of caring for others in a clinical environment through all four years at Holy Cross and beyond. Applicants from Holy Cross know their strengths and weaknesses when they apply, allowing them to submit stronger applications and address any weaknesses head on.

They are given clear advice on how to improve themselves. They know when it is the right time to apply for graduate health professions schools, so they have the best chance of gaining acceptance. We have applicants who are five or more years removed from earning their bachelor’s from Holy Cross, and most applicants are at least one year past graduation when they apply.

Health Professions Advising Committee

The Health Professions Advising Office has a committee of dedicated faculty and alumni who provide support for students looking to enter medical, dental, veterinary or optometry school. The office consists of a committee of eight full-time faculty members from a variety of disciplines, four alumni clinical advisors, and an administrative assistant.

Health Professions Advisor

Miles Cahill of the economics and accounting department is the health professions advisor. Appointments can be made by contacting Robin Kirkorian, administrative assistant, at 508-793-2533.

The health professions advisor advises students in their third and fourth years — that is, when they are considering and actually applying to medical school.

The health professions advisor can advise you when you are making your decision about when to apply, can help you assess your application and help with the application process. The health professions advisor is also the director of the Health Professions Advising Office and chair of the Health Professions Advising Committee.

Associate Health Professions Advisors

Jumi Hayaki of the psychology department is an associate health professions advisor. Appointments can be made by contacting Robin Kirkorian, administrative assistant, at 508-793-2533.

Kirsten Hagstrom of the biology department is an associate health professions advisor. Appointments can be made by contacting Robin Kirkorian, administrative assistant, at 508-793-2533.

Keith Muccino, S.J., M.D., of the psychology department is the associate health professions advisor who assists applicants in discernment, preparing for medical school application, and navigating the application process, including helping with interviews. Appointments can be made by contacting Robin Kirkorian, administrative assistant, at 508-793-2533.

These associate health professions advisors are the primary advisor for first- and second-year health professions students.

These associate health professions advisor can help you put together an academic plan to pursue the health profession of your choice and answer any questions you may have about your curriculum and cocurricular activities at Holy Cross. The first two years of class work and adjustment to college can be especially challenging, and the advisor is there to support you through the process.

Administrative Assistant

Robin Kirkorian is the administrative assistant and can be reached in her office in Stein 129A, at 508-793-2533 or rkirkori@holycross.edu.

The administrative assistant is the primary contact for all health professions advising office related information. 

The administrative assistant maintains the list of those interested in a health profession, distributes information about deadlines and special events, coordinates appointments for the advisors, manages documents for committee and health profession school applicants and submits applications to health professions schools among any other roles.

Committee

The Health Professions Advising Committee consists of eight Holy Cross faculty members and a number of health care professional clinical advisors. 

Faculty include the health professions advisor (chair) and seven other full-time faculty members from various departments. In addition, the committee includes clinical advisors including an allopathic physician (M.D.), osteopathic physician (D.O.), physician assistant (P.A.), dentist (D.M.D.) nurse practitioner (N.P.), and other professionals. 

Faculty who serve on the Health Professions Advising Committee act as individual advisors to juniors, seniors and alumni who are applying to health professions schools (medical school, dental school, veterinary school) and guide them through the application process. Each advisor helps his or her advisees assemble the materials necessary for the full committee to evaluate application candidates, and presents these materials to the committee at the evaluation meeting.

The full committee then evaluates the materials and decides the appropriate level of recommendation for each potential applicant, as well as the tone and content of the recommendation letter. The committee's level of recommendation and the tone and content of the letter to be written is discussed with applicants as openly as possible while maintaining confidentiality of recommenders. Each advisor then writes the composite recommendation letter that is sent to medical schools for each of his or her advisees. Throughout the process, the advisor is a resource to his or her advisees for advice and information.

Students who wish to apply to medical and allied health professions schools do not have to be evaluated by the committee, but it is very unusual to apply without the Committee's recommendation. It often sends a "red flag" to medical schools, as almost all Holy Cross medical school applicants apply through the committee. That being said, it is common for alumni who have done significant post-graduate coursework away from Holy Cross to successfully apply without committee support. If you decide to apply without the committee's support, the Health Professions Advising Office will forward your recommendation letters to medical schools for you.

To apply to medical school with the committee's support, students must be evaluated by the committee in the spring semester of the academic year before intended matriculation. See the Application Timeline page for an overview of the process and important meetings and deadlines.

Committee Members (2019-2020)

Faculty Advisors

  • Miles Cahill, Ph.D. (Chair), Health Professions Advisor, Professor, Department of Economics
  • Jumi Hayaki, Ph.D., Associate Health Professions Advisor, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology (on leave spring 2020)
  • Laurie Smith King, PhD., Professor, Department of Mathematics and Computer Science
  • Kevin Quinn, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry
  • Ann Sheehy, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Biology
  • L. Gabriella Avila-Bront, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry
  • Timothy Joseph, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Classics
  • Juan Ramos, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Spanish
  • Julia Paxson, D.V.M., Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Biology

Clinical Advisors

  • Maryanne Makredes Senna '98, M.D., Dermatology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston
  • Peter Sell '95, D.O., Pediatrics, UMass Medical School, Worcester, Massachusetts
  • Patricia Cerreto '98, MPAS, PA-C, Instructor, MCPHS Worcester, Massachusetts
  • Elizabeth Farrington Forkel '10, MSN, Adult/Geriatric Primary Care, Commonwealth Care Alliance, Boston
  • Dr. Ivy Pruitt Ahluwalia '05, DMD, Associate at Perry Endodontics in Westfield, Massachusetts