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Meet the 2018 Summer Orientation Leaders

 

Caroline Body, '19

Head Orientation Leader

Dover, Massachusetts

Major: History

Campus Involvements: Women’s Varsity Swimming, Spring Break Immersion, Student-Athlete Advisory Committee

 

Who am I?

When I graduated high school, I could’ve sworn that my Holy Cross experience would sound like this: class… swimming… class… swimming.  To my surprise, however, the Holy Cross community afforded me with a unique opportunity: the space to explore new interests while continuing to thrive in my established passions.  I joined an a Capella group, got involved with spirituality programming on campus, and travelled to McKee, Kentucky and Ivanhoe, Virginia to live and learn on Spring Break Immersion trips. Meanwhile, the comfort and familiarity of my lifelong passion, swimming, supported me as I waded through these newer endeavors. To me, Holy Cross is special because it has allowed me to grow without having to give up the things I hold dear, and through my HC journey thus far, these experiences, both new and old, have helped me become closer and closer to answering the question, “Who am I?”

 

 

Delaney Wells, '20

Program Coordinator

Lexington, Massachusetts

Major: Religious Studies

Campus Involvement: Charles Carroll Program Fellow, Student Government Association (SGA) Senator At Large, Relationship Peer Educator (RPE), Admissions Tour Guide, Montserrat Student Advisory Board, Spring Break Immersion, Women in Business Executive Board, Liturgical Ministry

 

Who am I?

I came to the Hill thinking I would become a member of the Holy Cross Community, but as I head off for a year abroad I realize am a member of the Holy Cross family. I have learned what it means to be present and stand alongside others during my time in Nicaragua on International Immersion. I found my passion working with people with disabilities during my Spring Break Immersion Trip to L'Arche, Jacksonville. Presenting research on Water Privatization in Bolivia at the Jesuit University Humanitarian Action Network Conference has allowed me to understand structural violence and its impact on marginalized communities. Every opportunity on Mount Saint James has allowed me to view the world in a different way, shaping me into a more holistic student and citizen. I am excited to continue to pursue discerning my vocation through involvements at Holy Cross to better inform the person I will ultimately become for and with others.

 

 

Christian Realbuto, '20

Student Coordinator for the Student Program

Rochester, New York

Major: English

Campus Involvement: Men’s Varsity Swimming, Working for Worcester, Students for Responsible Choices (SRC), Spring Break Immersion, Student worker at Kimball Dining Hall

 

 

Who am I?

I am a firm believer in finding whatever it is that you are passionate about—and devoting your entire self to it. At Holy Cross, I have been able to continue my old passions from high school, while at the same time, become exposed to new passions that I never knew existed. These new experiences have allowed me the opportunity to meet students and faculty who share my passions, and with whom, I have treasured memories and bonds. Whether it is enjoying a post-practice meal with my teammates or simply walking across campus and seeing a familiar face from my Spring Break Immersion group — on Mount St. James, I am surrounded by people and opportunities that offer new perspectives and backgrounds to help me grow as an individual for, and with others.

 

 

 

Francois Venne, '19

Student Coordinator for the Parent Program

Florence, Massachusetts

Major: International Studies & French

Campus Involvement: Environmental Liaison for Healy Hall, Liturgical Ministry, Co-President of Society of Saints Peter and Paul, Healy Hall House Council, Café Français, Kimball Dining Hall Captain, Men’s Varsity Tennis Team (2015-2016)

Who am I?

In the fall of my senior year of high school the tension and stress of finding the perfect college to go to was high. However, after visiting the College of the Holy Cross and seeing the beautiful campus and the wonderful community it offered, I quickly decided that Holy Cross was where I wished to go. Now heading into the fall of my senior year at college, there has not been a single moment that I found myself regretting my decision to come to Holy Cross. As a naturally reserved person, I found myself easily connecting with a broad spectrum of community members by means of my campus involvements. In addition, as someone who finds pleasure in dedicating time to academic work, Holy Cross, with its tightly-knit and welcoming community motivated me to reach out, to get involved and to work to be a valuable part of the community and a well-rounded academic student. The Holy Cross spirit grows inside myself and every one of my fellow Crusaders and it has only grown stronger overtime, bringing out the best in both myself and the community as a whole.

 

Caroline Babinski, ‘20

Orientation Leader

Scranton, Pennsylvania

Major: English

Campus Involvements: Resident Assistant (RA) in Loyola Hall, Student Government Association (SGA), Working for Worcester, Student Programs for Urban Development (SPUD)

 

 

Who am I?

The Holy Cross Community has been an environment in which I have been able to thrive and I have been challenged. Coming from a Jesuit high school, I began my freshman year believing that my first year of college would be a familiar and comfortable experience; however, my time at Holy Cross has been the most transformative and rewarding two years of my academic and personal life. Holy Cross has given me some of the most important things in my life including my passion for English Literature, the best friendships I have ever had, and a sense of confidence that allows me to do my best in everything I do. I have loved being able to watch my peers grow as I have, and I look forward to witnessing my friends and I becoming the men and women we want to be. 

 

 

Elena Benassi, ‘21

Orientation Leader

Baltimore, Maryland

Major: International Studies

Campus Involvements: Club Ultimate Frisbee, Tour Guide and Greeter for Admissions, Purple Key Society (PKS), Community-Based Learning (CBL)

 

 

Who am I?

I’m a planner. I came to Holy Cross with a list of things I wanted to achieve. The first day in my Montserrat seminar, my professor said to us, “It’s great to have a plan, but that plan will probably change many times over the next four years.” That very much resonated with me—and has been proven true in my first year on the Hill. My plan has shifted and adapted and I’m sure will continue to morph until it takes its final form as the plan. As I’ve been encouraged to pursue my passions, I’ve been exposed to new ones and have found myself truly blessed and incredibly proud to be at a place like Holy Cross. I’m not sure what the next three years hold and how my path will wind and turn, but I’m so excited for the next step of my journey

 

 

Gabrielle Caceres, ‘20

Orientation Leader

Brockton, Massachusetts

Major: Psychology

Campus Involvements: Liturgical Ministry, Psychology Student Advisory Council (SAC), Residence Life & Housing, Sales Club

 

 

Who am I?

I am a thrill seeker. Despite the roller coasters I’ve ridden and the heights from which I’ve bungee-jumped, one of the most thrilling parts of my life so far has been transitioning from a public high school of approximately 4,000 students to a private college of approximately 2,900. During my first year, I often felt the same pit in my stomach that I do while preparing for the wheels to start on a roller coaster. I often wondered how a first-generation, Latina student from an urban, public school district like myself would fit in at Holy Cross. Looking back on the two years I’ve spent on Mount Saint James, I now feel the same exhilaration that I do during a roller coaster’s first big drop. Whether discerning my passions for psychology and sales during my intro courses, taking photos of the sunsets that embrace the College’s hilly campus at dusk, or munching on buffalo tenders on late nights in Crossroads with my friends, Holy Cross has been the thrill ride of a lifetime that I cannot wait to share with all of you. 

 

 

Spencer Caron, ‘20

Parent Program

Belchertown, Massachusetts

Major: Philosophy

Campus Involvement: Resident Assistant (RA) in Clark Hall, Holy Cross Moot Court, Class of 2020 Treasurer, Spire Newspaper (Chief Editor of Opinions Section), Holy Cross Admissions Blogger, Hanify-Howland Lecture Series Committee

 

Who am I?

I am a curious person by nature.  Choosing one topic on which to focus my studies was difficult.  My first year consisted of a handful of introductory courses in different disciplines.  Now, I am majoring in philosophy with a minor in neuroscience; a decision I would not have come to had it not been for the guidance of a few professors.  I am someone who loves to be challenged, so long as I am part of a supportive community.  With this being said, challenging and supportive are two words that readily come to my mind when trying to describe Holy Cross.  Since arriving on campus last fall, I have noticed that I am more patient, a better critical thinker, and a better friend, all Jesuit values.  I am even more interested in some of life’s most foundational questions, but I have concurrently come to realize how little I know.  This, I think, is the true value of a liberal arts education—instilling a sense of curiosity while promoting humility, patience and tolerance. 

 

 

Jack Chaffee, ‘20

Orientation Leader

Franklin, Massachusetts

Major: Economics and International Studies

Campus Involvements: Club Hockey, Unified Sports, Community Based Learning Intern, AVID Tutoring, Spring Break Immersion,

 

 

 

Who Am I?

Before Holy Cross I attended a public school so I had never been exposed to the values involved with a Jesuit education. For example, striving to become a student and person “for and with others” was something that had never been incorporated into my education. Throughout my time at Holy Cross, I have begun to understand and experience for myself what it means to be for and with others. By serving as one of the interns in the Office of Community Based-Learning (CBL), I have had the amazing opportunity to work with organizations  in Worcester, and gain exposure to the social injustices that must be addressed. Holy Cross has offered me many opportunities to continue pursuing my passions from my life before Mount St. James. I am a member of the Club Hockey team and also have been lucky enough to become involved with Unified Sports on campus. Whether I met them through involvements on campus, orientation, or by living on the same hall, I have made friendships that will last a life-time, and I am incredibly grateful to Holy Cross for that. 

 

 

Darwin Contreras, ‘21

Orientation Office Staff

Bronx, New York

Major: International Studies

Campus Involvements: Latin American Student Organization (LASO), Student Government Association (SGA), The Purple Patcher, Advocating Student Interest in Asia (ASIA), Caribbean African Student Assembly (CASA), SABAR Admissions Representative, Intramural Volleyball

 

Who am I?

I am a privileged Latino. I come from a place where things are not given but earned and for that experience I could not be more privileged. At Holy Cross, I learned that no matter what situation you are in, you can learn from it and grow. I have been honored to be a part of E-Boards and Senate at the College which has showed me my voice matters, no matter what people say. I know when I speak people listen. Being a part of so many organizations, I have learned about what I want to do in life and how I can make the world a better place.

 

 

Alex Corey, ‘21

Orientation Office Staff

Falmouth, Massachusetts

Major: Undeclared

Campus Involvement: Outreach Greeter Program, Student Programs for Urban Development (SPUD) at the Nativity School of Worcester, Political Science Student Advisory Committee (SAC), Spring Break Immersion

 

 

Who am I?

Part of life in college is self-revelation. My first year here at Holy Cross has helped me better understand myself as a person. Whether that be through learning how many commitments I can handle at a time, that I have a great interest in politics, or that the best friendships sometimes form with the people who are most different from you. Reflection has been a big part of my first year and I will continue to use these skills to help guide me forward in my next three years here. The beauty of the process is that you can be anywhere on the hill to do so, whether that be with a group of friends in Kimball or by yourself studying at Café Babel in Stein Hall. I never could have predicted my life so far here at Holy Cross, but I think that is the beauty to college itself. It’s not about meeting expectations, but simply taking hold of what each day gives you and making the best of every situation.

 

 

Julia Cronin, ‘20

Parent Program

Loudonville, New York

Major: Psychology & English

Campus Involvements: Working for Worcester, Admissions Outreach Program, WCHC 88.1 FM Radio Station, Feminist Forum

 

 

Who am I?

My freshman year, I came to Holy Cross not just anticipative of all that the College has to offer, but admittedly, a tad apprehensive. As a self-classified introvert, I was fearful that I would have a hard time finding activities that I enjoyed… but I couldn’t have been more wrong. In fact, Holy Cross has provided me with the ability to find my voice during my weekly radio station and speak to prospective students as they await tours and interviews, things I never thought I would enjoy as much as I do. I am forever in awe of the endless activities that await students at Holy Cross. Each day I grow with my peers who all bring new and exciting perspectives to my college experience. Now, as I reach the exact half-way point in my college career, I am excited for all the future activities I still have yet to immerse myself in as a dedicated member of the Holy Cross community.

 

 

Emma Davison, ‘21

Orientation Leader

West Caldwell, New Jersey

Major: Political Science

Campus Involvements: Pax Christi, College Democrats (Mental Health Committee), Interdenominational Praise and Worship Team, Woodland Academy Teachers Assistant

 

 

Who am I?

I was excited for college from the moment I gained the slightest understanding as to what it entailed. My family had a running joke, unbeknownst to me,  where they would prompt my elementary school self to talk about where I planned to attend and what I would study. I always had an answer ready. I had no idea why I chose the varying schools or majors as a kid, but I knew I was eager for this part of life. Then, I came to Holy Cross and the experience I awaited for so long suddenly became the moments I was living. Every day I spent on campus I found a new passion to pursue that made my college experience all that I hoped it would be. I joined Pax Christi, a social justice club on campus, and had the opportunity to travel to Washington D.C. as a delegate for the Ignation Teach-In for Social Justice, and realized the countless opportunities college affords me to work for a more just society. I find opportunities for growth while in class, during club meetings and events, sitting in Kimball with friends, and exploring the Worcester community as a whole. I am ecstatic when I think of any opportunity for growth, and am certain my time spent on Mount Saint James will offer me exactly that.

 

 

Liza Goodman, ‘21

Orientation Leader

Manchester, New Hampshire

Major: Theatre

Campus Involvements: Alternate College Theatre (ACT), Department of Theatre Productions, Admissions Outreach Program, Resident Assistant (RA) in Loyola Hall

 

 

Who am I?

If you ask any of my friends to describe who I am as a person, they would probably say she’s super friendly, energetic (maybe sometimes too energetic), down to earth, and she also talks about how much she loves her home state of New Hampshire far too much. Yet, as much as I love NH, Holy Cross and Worcester have now taken my heart. Arriving on campus for the first time, I was timid and shy, but not for long. Holy Cross has given me so many opportunities and all of the students have welcomed me into the many different activities I participate in. Even though all of the activities I have participated in, especially theatre and ACT, have given me some amazing experiences, it is the people and the community here that have made it feel like home and I am so happy that I was able to make so many unique and genuine friends here at the College and I am continually meeting new people, who I can call friends. 

 

 

Katie Kelsh, ‘20

Orientation Office Staff

Evanston, Illinois

Major: Political Science and Spanish

Campus Involvements: Working for Worcester, Pax Christi, Spring Break Immersion, Admissions Outreach, Alumni Mentorship Program

 

 

Who Am I?

If you were to ask me two years ago what I would be doing as a sophomore in college, I would have never imagined I would be a Spanish and Political Science major preparing to spend my next year abroad. The people I have met and my time on and off campus have enabled me to explore and develop my passions and  interests in a way I never could have imagined. CBL and Working for Worcester have given me the gift of exploring my community off the Hill. On campus my favorite moments have included sitting in Kimball for hours, getting coffee with professors, and just hanging out in the residence halls! These experiences have helped me develop as not just a better student, but a more well-rounded and involved member of the Holy Cross community. My time here has been so much more than just an education, but have helped me gain experiences that will shape the person that I will be on and off the Hill.

 

 

Francis Lubega, ‘20

Orientation Leader

Malden, Massachusetts

Major: Sociology & Political Science

Campus Involvement: Intramural Sports member (Soccer and Volleyball), Kimball Dining Hall Captain, ROOTS (African/Caribbean Dance Group), Intramural Sports Official (Referee), Gateways Orientation

 

 

Who am I?

As an immigrant student from South Africa, I have learned that my experiences are to be cherished and celebrated. Holy Cross has taught me how to be proud of who I am and how to embrace my experiences. Being on the Hill has provided me with many opportunities and these opportunities have enticed me to take risks and challenge myself. Next semester, I will be embarking on a new journey, studying abroad in Australia and I feel prepared to be in this different academic setting because of the skills and strengths that I have developed at Holy Cross. I have also been fortunate to build great relationships with many students from different backgrounds as well as professors and staff members. Being in this welcoming environment has helped me realize my potential and helped me become a better student and friend. By being involved in different organizations on campus, I discovered my passion for social justice and a deep desire to help people. I want to continue to learn and broaden  my perspectives for the rest of my time at here. I am optimistic about the future and I am confident that the next two years will continue to shape me into the man that I hope to be.

 

 

Tara McGuire, ‘21

Orientation Leader

Ridgewood, New Jersey

Major: Psychology

Campus Involvement: Public Relations Intern for Student Government Association (SGA), Student Worker at Kimball Dining Hall, Kimball Captain at Kimball Dining Hall, Communion Minister, Mentor for the Assumption After School Program

 

Who am I?

I am my own person. Before coming to college, I feared I would not be able to make a name for myself and create my own journey. I have a long line of relatives that came to the College and I feared I was just going to be another number to my family. However, that is not the case at all, I have made my own mark. I am a part of activities I love and have a passion for. My internship with the Student Government Association reminds how I strive for a better world, my involvement in ministry reminds me to be filled with love and hope, and my job at Kimball Dining Hall reminds me to always be humble and kind. In less than a year I have already started to make my own place here on the Hill. 

 

 

Caroline McKinley, ‘20

Orientation Leader

Glenview, Illinois

Major: Political Science

Campus Involvements: Student Programs for Urban Development (SPUD) Community Organizing, Pax Christi, Admissions Outreach Program, Spring Break Immersion, Liturgical Ministry

 

 

Who am I?

As someone who made my best friends in high school through playing sports, I was so nervous that coming into Holy Cross I would have a hard time meeting people without being forced to spend 2 hours with a group of teammates everyday.  This could not have been further from the truth.  Through Pax Christi, a social justice group on campus, I have been able to meet and work with so many amazing Holy Cross students.  Through SPUD, I have been able to integrate myself into the Worcester community and meet incredible Worcester residents.  Through my Spring Break Immersion trips to Roanoke, Virginia and Wheeling, West Virginia, I have been able to meet communities that look different from my own and who have shown me more love than I could possibly give back to them.  These experiences have allowed me to connect with more people in these last two years than I ever thought possible.  But it is not just through these organizations that I have connected with people.  Long hours in the Dinand Library main room, Saturday Kimball brunch, and simply hanging out in Lehy Hall are just a few more examples of the many ways in which I feel community here at Holy Cross.  All these communities that I am so honored to be a part of have brought to light the reality that Holy Cross is not just a place for me to grow academically, but a place to learn about myself and effect I can have on the world around me.

 

 

Keyshawn O’Connell, ‘20

Orientation Leader

Worcester, Massachusetts

Major: Psychology

Campus Involvements: Ballroom Dance Team Captain, HCF1RST Scholars Communication Outreach Coordinator, Men’s Involvement Coalition, High School Tutor

 

 

Who am I?

I am a positive and enthusiastic person that believes anything can be accomplished by working hard and believing in yourself. Holy Cross motivated me to step out of my comfort zone and be a part of organizations bigger than myself. I have learned so much about myself in ways I have not before. The community at Holy Cross helped make my transition into college feel effortless, where I met people that I could relate to immediately. The moment I stepped on campus, I knew that it was the perfect fit for me. As someone who gave back to his own community it was not difficult to continue doing what I am passionate about and give back to the campus community. I am surrounded by support and different opportunities that will guide me on the path to success. My journey is far from over and am looking forward to my potential growth and becoming the best person that I can be.

 

 

Evan Realbuto, ‘21

Orientation Leader

Rochester, New York

Major: Psychology

Campus Involvement: Men’s Varsity Track and Field, Community Based Learning (CBL), Working for Worcester, Spring Break Immersion, Students for Responsible Choices (SRC), Student Worker at Cool Beans

 

 

Who am I?

As a high school senior, I was excited about the college application process, but also quite nervous and scared about the unknown that college would bring. However, when I first came to Holy Cross I knew pretty quickly that this was the school where I wanted to spend the next four years of my life. My first year has allowed me to experience new opportunities that I never would have imagined being a part of. I have gotten the chance to be involved in clubs that I am passionate about, meet new people who share a drive to learn and help others, go to McKee, Kentucky for an immersion trip, and take classes that have allowed me to think critically through our liberal arts education. I am looking forward to continuing to pursue my passions, and explore new ones during the next three years of my life here on the hill.

 

 

Abby Scott, ‘20

Orientation Leader

Scituate, MA

Major: French & International Studies

Campus Involvements: Holy Cross Dance Marathon (HCDM), House Council, Residence Life Intern for the Student Government Association (SGA), Spring Break Immersion, Purple Key Society (PKS), College Success Institute tutor, Café Français, Admissions Outreach

 

Who am I?

Coming from a small Catholic high school, I wanted to be a member of another tight-knit community, so when I visited Holy Cross I knew it was the perfect fit for me. Upon arrival to campus, I was surrounded by so many smiling faces, who welcomed me with open arms into the Holy Cross family. Here on the hill, I’ve had the opportunity to discover myself by trying new things and being open to new experiences. Whether it was participating in a Spring Break Immersion Trip to Barren Springs, Virginia, or dancing all night for twelve hours with Holy Cross Dance Marathon, I have been able to find my place in this community and have grown tremendously as an individual.

 

 

Mack Sullivan, ‘21

Orientation Office Staff

Rocky Hill, Connecticut

Major: Economics

Campus Involvement: Men’s Varsity Swimming, Student Worker at Kimball Dining Hall, Greeter for the Admissions Outreach Program, Member of the Pre-Business Program, Member of the Agency Marketing and Communications Club

 

Who am I?

As a triplet, I was able to grow and learn alongside my sisters, as we did the same sports and took similar classes. Walking in on the first day, it worried me that I wasn't going to be able to find my place here at Holy Cross after being identified as a unit of three for so long.  However, this school provided me with opportunities to flourish as an independent human being. Diversifying my time with Varsity Swimming as well as multiple clubs and programs, I have been able to continue my hobbies and interests while exploring new classes and truly finding time to explore what interests me as an individual. Walking out one year later, I can say for a fact that the people I have met here, surround myself with, and continue to meet everyday shape who I am.

 

 

Nick Taliento, ‘21

Orientation Leader

Portland, Maine

Major: Political Science, French minor

Campus Involvements:  College Democrats, Feminist Forum, Tour Guide and Day-visit Coordinator in the Office of Admissions

 

 

Who am I?

Finding the home away from home—that was the goal. Upon arriving at Holy Cross, I was consumed by a number of feelings: worry, excitement, and hope, to name a few. I wanted the Hill to feel like home over the next four years. When I think of ‘home’, I foremost think of comfort, support, and an environment with which to foster growth. After attending Holy Cross, I see that each and every one of those characteristics shine throughout different aspects of campus: I grow with each lecture and engaging academic conversation; I find comfort on my quiet, occasionally cold, walks to class; and I find support wherever I turn, whether it be in office-hours or over a cup of coffee with friends. I may have traded family dinners for chicken-parm at Kimball, morning drives to school for walks with friends to Stein, and a house in Portland for a college campus in Worcester, but I found my home away from home.

 

 

Victoria Tutino, ‘19

Parent Program

Taunton, Massachusetts

Major: History

Campus Involvements: Hanify-Howland Lecture Committee, History Student Advisory Committee (SAC), The Charles Carroll Program, Liturgical Ministry, Phi Alpha Theta (Jesuit Honors Society), Healy House Council, Brooks-Mulledy House Council, Women’s Track and Field

 

Who am I?

Before choosing Holy Cross, I was nervous about feeling at home because I am a homebody. I come from a very family-oriented background and wanted a place where I would feel comfortable to be my quirky, nerdy, active self. To my surprise, I had nothing to worry about because I found my niche by helping those in my residence hall and my community. As I enter my fourth year, I know that Holy Cross is a place to discover who I am and who I want to become for and with others. Whether I am with my friends, going to talks at Rehm Library, discussing current events, reading at mass, or jamming out to country music and the Frozen soundtrack with my friends, I constantly feel like I am a member of the big family that is Holy Cross. 

 

Ian Williamson, ‘21

Orientation Leader

Worcester, Massachusetts

Major: Undeclared

Campus Involvement: Holy Cross ‘Goodtime’ Marching Band, Holy Cross Pep Band, Habitat for Humanity, Working for Worcester, Club Frisbee, Student worker at Kimball Dining Hall

 

 

Who am I?
When I first came to the Hill, I was worried about finding great friends, like the ones I had in high school, and finding my niche on campus. Having been an athlete in high school, I was anxious that I would not be able to find activities I would be as passionate about. Both of these worries went away the first day I set foot on campus, which was for band camp. Through band, I found my place on campus with music and my best friends. Being a Worcester native, I have tremendous pride and love for my city, and Holy Cross provides me with opportunities to give back to my community through Working for Worcester and Habitat for Humanity. Holy Cross embodies a family atmosphere and is a place that I can truly call home. My experiences at Holy Cross have led me to find new backgrounds and perspectives that have shaped me into the person I am today.