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Summer Orientation Leaders

Meet the 2019 Summer Orientation Leaders

 

Jack Chaffee, ‘20

Head Orientation Leader
Franklin, Massachusetts

Major: Economics and International Studies
Campus Involvements: Club Hockey, Community Based Learning (CBL) Intern, HC Goes Unified Sports, Spring Break Immersion Program (SBIP), Study Abroad (Peru)

Who am I?
Before Holy Cross, 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 an intern in the Office of Community Based Learning (CBL), I have had the amazing opportunity to work with organizations present 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.

 

 

Elena Benassi, ‘21

Program Coordinator
Baltimore, Maryland

Major: History and International Studies

Campus Involvements: Working for Worcester, Tour Guide for Admissions, Ultimate Frisbee, History Club, Community Based Learning (CBL)

Who am I?
While my roots run deep in Baltimore, Maryland, my Holy Cross education has broadened my horizons, allowing me to look out into the world through a new lens. My volunteer work with Working for Worcester and Community Based Learning has given me a broader perspective of what it is like to be invested in a global community. To further extend that education, during the 2019-2020 academic year, I will be studying abroad in St. Andrews, Scotland, where I will continue my studies of history and international relations. So, whether I’m in Baltimore, Worcester, or St. Andrews, I feel as though Holy Cross has given me the foundation on which I can continue to build a more nuanced understanding of the world I so want to explore.

 

 

Mark Kubasak, ‘20

Program Coordinator
Carlsbad, California

Major: English, Education minor
Campus Involvements: Spring Break Immersion Program (SBIP), Alternate College Theatre (ACT)

Who am I?
Coming to Holy Cross after spending my entire life in California was a chilling experience but I quickly got used to the colder climate.  I arrived at Holy Cross intending to be an Accounting major but quickly discovered other passions that I had not accounted for.  While I changed majors, I have maintained a love of candy and can often be found buying sugar in any form in the Lobby Shop.  Holy Cross has enabled me to find a direction in life while still enjoying my favorite activities such as watching soccer and playing games with friends.

 

 

Julia Cronin, ‘20

Student Coordinator, Parent Program
Loudonville, New York

Majors: English, Psychology

Campus Involvements: Chair for Eco Action, Executive for Campus Radio Station WCHC 88.1FM, Feminist Forum, Working for Worcester, New York Semester Program, Study Abroad (Ireland)

Who am I?
Upon entering college, I like many of my peers, found it difficult to envision how in just four years I would grow from a high school student to a college graduate, ready for life beyond school. During my first few weeks at Holy Cross, I was keen to stick to the activities and experiences that I was familiar with; ice hockey and biology and was not exactly welcoming towards the different things that could challenge me as an individual. However, during the latter part of my first year, I quickly discovered that Holy Cross fosters the idea that us students are made better when we branch out in other, perhaps less assured, areas of our lives, as evidenced by the Montserrat programs for incoming first-years and the numerous clubs and activities we have on campus. Our liberal arts education, founded around Jesuit ideals, uniquely encourages students to pursue opportunities that are not so familiar, which subsequently makes us more well-rounded individuals for our lives after graduation. During my Junior year I found myself studying abroad in Galway, Ireland and away in New York City, participating in the NY Semester Program as an intern at HGTV Magazine. I felt confident in my decision to leave Holy Cross for a year in order to pursue these exciting opportunities due to the things I learned in previous years from my peers, from my classes and from my involvement in extracurriculars, such as Working for Worcester and WCHC. Holy Cross consistently prepares students to embrace and pursue new experiences that might be frightening at first-- a lifelong lesson that I believe sets our students apart in college and in our lives beyond our time on the hill.

 

 

Emma Davison, ‘21

Student Coordinator, Student Program
West Caldwell, New Jersey

Major: Political Science

Campus Involvements: Pax Christi (Chair), Community Based Learning (CBL) Intern, Multicultural Peer Educator (MPE), Arabic Club, Interdenominational Praise and Worship Team, Social Justice Coalition, Spring Break Immersion Program (SBIP)

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 peace and justice club on campus, and had the opportunity to travel to Washington DC as a delegate for the Ignatian Teach-In for Social Justice. There, I 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 is offering me exactly that.

 

 

Meah Austin, ‘22

Orientation Leader, Student Program
Waterbury, Connecticut

Major: Psychology

Campus Involvements: Women’s Varsity Track and Field, Executive for Black Student Union (BSU), Caribbean African Student Assembly (CASA)

Who am I?
After four years of high school, I thought I knew who I was and what I wanted to be professionally. I was confused when others would tell me “college will be where you really find and get to know yourself.” I questioned: how could I not have a strong sense of identity? With God’s blessing, I excelled in three varsity sports throughout high school, and volunteered whenever an opportunity presented itself. But little did I know, I was really just a big fish in a little pond. Arriving on the Hill, I realized I had no clue about what was actually going on in the other parts of society. Thankfully, in the past year Holy Cross has been a place where I have been able to explore a variety of clubs, organizations, and academic studies. I am now a firm believer that college is a place for finding yourself and finding your people, and Holy Cross continues to allow me to do so. Although I have only completed my first year of college, my aspirations have been broadened as I look into the future. During my time here, I will be more than just a member of the Women’s Track and Field team. When I walk across the stage in May of 2022, I want to know that I have left a powerful impact at Holy Cross and that I was more than just another student that received the Holy Cross education. I hope to have influenced all those around me in a positive light and remain an active member of the Holy Cross community years past my commencement.

 

 

Michael Charla, '21

Orientation Leader, Parent Program
Glastonbury, Connecticut

Major: History

Campus Involvements:  Student Government Association (SGA) Senate, Student Worker for Kimball Dining, Student Programs for Urban Development (SPUD), Club Soccer, Intramurals, Commencement

Who am I?
Who am I? That's a good question. Am I an athlete? A volunteer? A leader? A hermit living in the Dinand Library? To be honest with you, I do not yet know who I am, but that's okay. Here at Holy Cross, no one is expected to know exactly who they are; in fact, students are told to ask questions and to challenge the very notions they hold of themselves and of world around them. Now entering my third year as a Crusader, I am grateful that Holy Cross has asked that I take a closer and more reflective look at who I am. Throughout my time on the Hill, my perception of self has changed significantly as I have taken classes like Contemporary Russia or as I have become involved with clubs like Student Government, which I have never had interest in before. Who I was prior to coming to Holy Cross has changed significantly as I have grown and developed, over these past two years, into someone who I am truly proud of. Yet, the most exciting part of my Holy Cross experience has not been getting to know the person I am right now, it is learning that there is still so much more about myself I have yet to find out.

 

 

Hannah Cleary, ‘22

Orientation Office Staff
White Plains, New York

Major: Undecided

Campus Involvements: Women’s Varsity Swimming, Spring Break Immersion (SBIP), Student Program for Urban Development (SPUD), Best Buddies, HC Goes Unified Swim, Working for Worcester

Who Am I?
I love learning. Learning to expand my horizons is something I have embraced since arriving on the Hill. Whether figuring out a calculus problem or the subjunctive in Spanish class, this love of learning travels with me. While I have learned many valuable lessons in the classroom this year, I have also looked inward and discovered more about myself. I have embraced the unknown and gained a new understanding of where my interests lie. While volunteering at the Quinsigamond Elementary School, I discovered that I love working with children. Through HC Goes Unified, I spread my love of swimming to athletes with disabilities. Holy Cross has taught me valuable lessons in the classroom and also fostered my desire to learn more about myself. It is the people here that motivate me to be a better person and nurture my love of learning.

 

 

Stephen Dierkes, ‘22

Orientation Leader, Student Program
Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania

Major: Undecided

Campus Involvements: Men’s Varsity Swimming, Marching Band, Spring Break Immersion Program (SBIP)

Who am I?
One of the many reasons I chose to join the community at Holy Cross is the college’s Jesuit identity. Coming from a Jesuit high school, I’ve had the privilege of being able to grow from the principles taught and practiced at that institution. I’ve only been on campus for a year, and I can see the continuation of focus on those core values: social justice, service to others, self awareness, and many others. Here on the Hill, I’ve been given the opportunity to meet and develop relationships with people of varied backgrounds and interests - something I’ve come to value very much. I know that I have much more to learn about both myself and the world around me, and there’s no better place to do that than at Holy Cross!

 

 

Olivia Ferrick, ‘20

Orientation Leader, Parent Program
Kennebunk, Maine

Major: Psychology

Campus Involvements: Spring Break Immersion Program (SBIP), Tour Guide for Admissions, Counseling Outreach Peer Educator (COPE), Psychology Lab Research Assistant

Who am I?
My decision to major in Psychology was based off of the desire to gain a better understanding of others, and my experiences at Holy Cross have allowed me to work towards this goal in unexpected ways. The most impactful aspect of my time here thus far has been the relationships that I have made with friends, classmates, professors, people in the Worcester Community, and those who I have met on Spring Break Immersion trips. My experience at Holy Cross has given me the opportunity to learn academically in the classroom, but also to learn a great deal from people outside of the classroom. Although I am still not close to fully understanding others, it has been transformative to learn from the relationships that I have formed here, as connections are what have given me meaning and direction in figuring out who I am.

 

 

Elizabeth Griffin ‘21

Orientation Leader, Parent Program
Cohasset, Massachusetts

Major: History, Music

Campus Involvements: Orchestra, Jazz Ensemble, Student Programs for Urban Development (SPUD) at Nativity School Worcester, Tour Guide and Blogger for Admissions, Spring Break Immersion Program (SBIP)

Who am I?
I love schedules, plans, and lists. To me, nothing is more satisfying than having a to-do list and neatly checking off each item as I complete it. So it was no surprise I came into Holy Cross with a very specific plan for exactly how I wanted my four years to go. But when I came to campus, I realized there were so many new opportunities I had never even considered to put on my list and that were outside the boxes I thought I wanted to check. Despite feeling overwhelmed initially, some of the best experiences I’ve had at Holy Cross are products of decisions I made by going outside my comfort zone, like going on Spring Break Immersion, auditioning for the jazz ensemble, and applying to be an orientation leader. These experiences and so many others have come to define my Holy Cross experience, challenging me in completely new ways and checking off boxes I didn’t even know I had. I am so grateful I was able to explore these hidden desires and grow into a more complete version of myself at Holy Cross.

 

 

Kathryn Hauver, ‘22

Orientation Leader, Student Program
Shrewsbury, Massachusetts

Major: Undeclared

Campus Involvements: Student Programs for Urban Development (SPUD), College of the Holy Cross Bookstore Student Worker, Community Based Learning (CBL)

Who am I?
I am a passionate person and believe in embracing unique qualities. I am thankful for a liberal arts education at Holy Cross because it has allowed me to discover new passions and help past ones grow even more. The supportive nature of the Holy Cross community has helped me accept that I don’t need to have all of the answers, but rather should wholeheartedly work towards my goals. Since coming to Holy Cross, I have noticed my desire to connect what I am learning inside of the classroom to the outside world. Having real-life experiences based on academic material sparks my curiosity even more, leading me to think more critically and have a greater appreciation for our community. I think through this appreciation, I value what makes people unique, as I understand that no two people have the same experiences.

 

 

Alex Kanya, ‘22   

Orientation Leader, Student Program
Wethersfield, Connecticut

Major: History

Campus Involvements: Club Ultimate Frisbee, College Democrats, HC Goes Unified Sports, The Spire Staff Writer, Community Based Learning (CBL)

Who am I?
When I started my journey at Holy Cross, my first hope was to find a community that I could call my own, to help me navigate the waters of this new chapter.  I fortunately found this group by joining the Club Ultimate Frisbee team at the College.  This unbelievably eclectic and remarkably supportive group of people have given me an amazing group of friends, and the confidence to further involve myself in the overall campus community.  HC has taught me how to connect my past with my present, with my Community Based Learning experience at the Worcester Public Schools Transition program being a major step in a lifetime of involvement with people with disabilities.  This intersection of my past and my present has defined my Holy Cross experience, and thanks to the strong support system I’ve been able to build around myself, I am confident that I’ll find even more ways to shape my four years on the Hill. 

 

 

Mishie Macy, ’21

Orientation Leader, Student Program
Huntington, New York

Major: Theatre, Education minor

Campus Involvements: Executive and Choreographer for Alternate College Theatre (ACT), Fenwick Theatre Department, Fools on the Hill A Capella Group

Who Am I?
No matter where life takes me, the only request that I have is that I end up doing something that I love. A few years ago, there was no way that I would have predicted that I would come to Holy Cross for college; I had never even heard of it until I started applying to colleges my senior year of high school. Life has a funny way of working, but somehow, I ended up in the perfect environment to match what I was looking for in a college. A place where I could explore my interests while simultaneously develop new ones, challenge myself to question the material that I learn in and out of the classroom, develop relationships with my professors and mentors, create long lasting friendships, and explore the aspects that make me the person I am today. The unique experience that Holy Cross offers has led me to dip my toes in various areas of study and has allowed me to open my mind to the world around me, shaping the stances, passions, and motives that make me the woman who I am today.

 

 

Tara McGuire, ‘21

Orientation Leader, Student Program
Ridgewood, New Jersey

Major: Psychology, Religious Studies minor

Campus Involvements: Cookie Baker at Campion, Office of Student Involvement Student Worker, Kimball Captain at Kimball Dining Hall, Pax Christi, Volunteer at Dress for Success Worcester, Spring Break Immersion Program (SBIP)

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 in my family line. 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 work with Dress for Success Worcester reminds me how to strive for a better world, my involvement in ministry and a faith community reminds me to be filled with love and hope, and my job at Kimball Dining Hall reminds me to always be patient and accommodating. In my two years here, I have made my own place here on the hill. 

 

 

Caroline McKinley, ‘20

Orientation Leader, Student Program
Glenview, Illinois

Major: Political Science

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

Who am I?
Holy Cross has taken me so many different places. It has taken me into Worcester through Student Programs for Urban Development (SPUD), where I have been allowed to engage with and get to know the people who are sharing their city with me for these four years. It has taken me to the depths of Dinand library, where my capacity to learn has been pushed to its fullest potential. It has taken me to the Hoval on the first warm day of Spring, where I have spent hours talking to my friends and building close relationships with people that will last long after our time at Holy Cross has ended. It has taken me to Roanoke, Virginia and Wheeling, West Virginia through the Spring Break Immersion Program, where I met some of the most loving people I have ever known. It has taken me to Washington DC, where I spent a semester learning about how I can effectively use the tools that I have accumulated at Holy Cross in a new setting. And it has taken me to Galway, Ireland, where I was given the opportunity to see a new place and experience a new culture with the comfort that my home on the hill would be waiting there for me when I got back. Holy Cross has not just been a place for me to grow academically, but a place to learn about how to engage with the world around me.

 

 

Kenna O’Brien, ‘21

Orientation Office Staff
Raleigh, North Carolina

Major: Economics, Psychology

Campus Involvements: Student Programs for Urban Development (SPUD), Club Volleyball, Cool Beans Café Student Worker, Pre-Business Program

Who am I?
My experience at Holy Cross has been one of constant growth. I enrolled thinking I was an Economics major on the Pre-Business track, but one Intro to Psychology class got me hooked on a second major. I have also had the privilege to know what it is like to be an athlete for Holy Cross, on the volleyball team, during my first-year and take a completely different path my second year. Both experiences provided amazing opportunities to meet my best friends and learn more about what I want to do with my time on Mt. Saint James. Stepping outside my comfort zone and trying new things has proven to be very rewarding for me, as I started a job on campus and have been working with the Boys and Girls Club of Worcester through Student Programs for Urban Development (SPUD). Overall, it is amazing what the past two years have given me and I strive to never take my time at Holy Cross for granted.

 

 

Evan Realbuto ‘21

Orientation Leader, Student Program
Rochester, New York

Major: Psychology, Italian minor

Campus Involvement: Community Based Learning (CBL), Working for Worcester, Spring Break Immersion Program (SBIP), Students for Responsible Choices (SRC), Student Worker, Escape Retreat leader, Pax Christi

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 time at Holy Cross thus far 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, and meet new people who share a drive to learn and help others. I’ve gone to McKee, Kentucky and Alamosa, Colorado for spring break immersion trips, and taken 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 rest of my time here on the Hill.

 

 

Sean Sova, ‘22

Orientation Leader, Student Program
Cranston, Rhode Island

Major: Undecided

Campus Involvements: Alternate College Theater (ACT), House Council, Admissions Outreach Program

Who am I?
Coming into college, I thought I knew exactly the person who I was and who I wanted to be, but Holy Cross has completely changed my view for the better. Just by being on the Hill for only a couple of weeks, I saw myself coming out of my shell and becoming the person that I had always wanted to be. I have been able to gain leadership skills as the Communications Coordinator for my dorm, achieve new perspectives from volunteering in the admissions office, and have made lifelong friends, all while discovering what I wanted out of life. Being on Mount St. James has afforded me the opportunity to take a multitude of classes in different areas and to help me find a direction for my future. Although my time on campus has been short so far, I would not trade all the opportunities I have had, or will have, for anything.

 

 

Caroline Stanton, ‘21

Orientation Leader, Student Program
Stamford, Connecticut

Major: Biology

Campus Involvements: Student Programs for Urban Development (SPUD), Admissions Outreach Program, Intramural Soccer

Who am I?
Deciding to go to Holy Cross was a relatively easy decision for me to make. Despite my indecisiveness and determination not to go to the same alma mater as half of my family, the school fulfilled all of my expectations and more, and continues to exceed them today. Not only do I learn in the classroom, but I also learn more about myself outside of the classroom in volunteering for SPUD and at the admissions office. I have met my best friends, and continue to meet new, friendly faces every day on campus, whether it is in class, at Kimball, or on the soccer field. Although the transition to college seemed like it would be difficult, Holy Cross made an intimidating process much easier. It has allowed me to pursue my academic goals in a positive, open environment, which has allowed me to learn about both Biology and fields I never thought I would be interested in. I believe I have become a more well-rounded person because of it. Most of all, Holy Cross has made me excited for what’s to come both during my time here and after college. I look forward to narrowing my interests, making more memories on The Hill, and meeting the expectations of a Jesuit educated student.

 

 

Mack Sullivan, ‘21

Orientation Leader, Student Program
Rocky Hill, Connecticut

Major: Economics, Asian Studies

Student Involvements: Men’s Varsity Swimming, Executive Board of Admissions Greeting Committee, HC Goes Unified Swim, Member of the Pre-Business Program

Who am I?
Coming from a small town, and growing up with all the same people, I have always been someone that has found comfort in familiarity. Coming to college, this sense of familiarity was challenged when I was suddenly  immersed in a new student body and a completely different environment. Since coming to Holy Cross, I have been forced to adapt and been challenged in ways I never imagined. My days spent on the hill have been filled with swim practice, Business Club Meetings, and assisting in planning events for the Admissions Program. As my extracurriculars have helped me grow, I have similarly felt challenged in the classroom. Exploring my horizons through a liberal arts education has opened me up to subjects in history, economics, languages, and much more. Heading into my junior year at the college, I can confidently say that Holy Cross has turned me into a lifelong learner, eager to learn inside and outside the classroom. 

 

 

Nicholas Taliento, ‘21

Orientation Leader, Student Program
Portland, Maine

Major: Political Science, French minor

Campus involvements: College Democrats, Feminist Forum, Tour Guide for Admissions, Montserrat Ambassador, Student worker in the Office of Student Involvement

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 know I have found my home away from home.

 

 

Hannah Thompson, ‘22

Orientation Leader, Student Program
Dover, Massachusetts

Major: History, Studio Art minor

Campus Involvements: Student Programs for Urban Development (SPUD), Pax Christi, Admissions Office Greeter, Spring Break Immersion Program (SBIP)

Who am I?

I am a social person by nature and I love to say hello to people as I walk around campus! By the end of high school, I exchanged greetings with numerous people each time I walked through the halls. When I first arrived on the Hill, it felt odd to be surrounded by so many unfamiliar faces. However, the college makes it easy for students to get involved with clubs, sports, and volunteer opportunities. My involvement with various organizations has introduced me to new people and I have continuously been encouraged to ask more of my community and myself. After one year on campus, I can happily say that I love my new home and the person I am becoming!