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Our Record of Success

For decades, Holy Cross has helped scores of students secure highly competitive fellowships

Holy Cross students and alumni have a strong record of success securing highly competitive grants and scholarships, such as the Fulbright, Truman, and Goldwater, among others.

For the past several years, The Chronicle of Higher Education has listed Holy Cross among the “top producers” of Fulbright awards for American students. The highly competitive Fulbright grants each year go to only about 1,700 U.S. students, chosen for their leadership potential and their commitment to immersing themselves in another country. Some scholars spend the academic year teaching English in countries across the world. Others complete groundbreaking research on a wide range of topics and issues. Learn more about the Fulbright program.


2017-2018 Recipients

Thirteen members of the Class of 2017 and one member of the Class of 2016 have been awarded Fulbright grants to work and teach abroad during the 2017-18 academic year.


Haylie Butler ’17 has been awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Galicia, Spain. As a Biology and Spanish double major with premedical aspirations, Haylie studied abroad in Argentina and Costa Rica her Junior year where she engaged in public health related research and service. Her largest contribution to Holy Cross and greater Worcester has been her formation of XCHROM, a volunteer organization providing mentorship to young women in science, and the planning of Holy Cross’ inaugural Women in Science Day. After completing her Fulbright, Haylie hopes to return to South America for a year to work with a public heath non-profit and then matriculate into medical school where she will earn her MD/MPH.


Timothy Gardner ’17 has been awarded a Fulbright Research Grant to the Philippines. A Biology major, Environmental Studies minor and Studio Art minor, he has been involved with several groups on campus including the Writer’s Workshop, the Student Art Society, and the Hanify-Howland Lecture Committee. Working with Dr. Jo Marie Acebes at the University of the Philippines - Los Baños, he will be studying the migration patterns of Humpback whales and the viability of a new Marine Protected Area in the northern Philippines.



Hildie Hoeschen ‘17 has been awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant (ETA) Grant to La Rioja, Spain. As a Sociology major and pre-medical student at Holy Cross she focused her studies on medical sociology and anthropology, with a specific interest in women’s health and maternity care. On campus she was involved with a number of organizations, including Students for Responsible Choices (SRC), CABA, and XCHROM, and was on the Steering Committee for the 2017 inaugural Holy Cross Women in Science (WinS) Day. During her time in Spain Hildie will be supporting teachers in English language classrooms at CPC San José in La Rioja’s capital city of Logroño.


Alexander Kochenburger ’17 has been awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Morocco for the 2017-2018 academic year.  From Storrs, Connecticut, Alex is an International Studies major with a focus in the Middle East.  On campus, Alex volunteered as a greeter in liturgical ministries and participated in Student Programs for Urban Development (SPUD), and club and intramural sports.  He also spent 6 months studying abroad in Morocco in 2015, after earning a Critical Language Scholarship from the Department of State and a place in Amideast’s Semester Abroad Program.  While on Fulbright in Morocco, Alex will teach English at a Moroccan university, continue studying Arabic, and travel around the country.


Catherine Leeber ‘17 has been awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Galicia, Spain. A Spanish major and an Education minor, Catherine was also part of the Teacher Education Program. During her final semester at Holy Cross, she was a full time student teacher of Spanish at Forest Grove Middle School in Worcester. Catherine  contributed to the Holy Cross community in a number of ways; as an Admissions Tour Guide, a member of the Purple Key Society, the publicist for the Autism Awareness Club, as well as involvement with liturgical ministry. During her time in Spain, she will be teaching English to high school students as well as serving as an ambassador for North American culture.


Holly Nord ‘17 has been awarded a Fulbright Teaching Assistantship to Taiwan.  At Holy Cross, Holly was involved in SPUD (Student Programs for Urban Development), Student Government Association Senate, Spring Break Immersion Program, and Dance Ensemble. A political science and Chinese double major, Holly spent the fall of her junior year studying Mandarin in Beijing and the spring interning at an NGO in Shanghai. Holly recently completed working as a Research Assistant at Worcester Community Housing Resources, and hopes to continue working in the nonprofit sector following her year in Taiwan.


Sean O’Rourke ’16 has been awarded a Fulbright Student Award to Ireland. Sean was an English major at Holy Cross and his studies in Irish literature began during his year abroad at Trinity College Dublin. Upon returning to Holy Cross, he continued exploring the field through the Holy Cross Summer Research Program and his senior honors thesis. He will continue studying this subject during the coming academic year at University College Cork. Sean also volunteered as a tutor for students at the African Community Education program through S.P.U.D and co-founded the Holy Cross Creative Writing Club, serving as its vice-president in its first year. He intends to build on all of these experiences during his time as a Fulbright scholar.


Khorally Pierre ’17 has been awarded a Fulbright Teaching Essistant Grant to Mexico.  Graduatng with a doublé major in English and Spanish,  she was involved in both the Sigma Tau Delta English Honors Society and the Sigma Delta Pi Spanish Honors Society.  Khorally also had been engaged in  several groups on campus including MPE and the Caribbean African Student Assemblage (CASA), first as the Community Liaison and later as Co-chair. 




Samantha Speroni ’17 has been awarded an English Teaching Assistantship to Thailand. Sam is a Psychology major and Neuroscience minor.  During her time at Holy Cross,  Sam was a pole vaulter on the Varsity Track and Field team serving as captain her Senior year. She was also a research assistant in the lab of Dr. Alo Basu working on projects related to learning and memory.  After volunteering on an elephant conservation in Thailand in High School,  Sam knew she wanted to explore and immerse herself in Thai culture.  Upon return from her Fulbright, Sam hopes to attend medical school and eventually work in International Medicine. 


Luke Thompson ‘17 has been awarded a Fulbright Teaching Assistant Scholarship to Taiwan.  As a graduating senior with a double major in Chinese and Political Science, he credits his time volunteering with SPUD at the African Community Education Center tutoring children of African refugees as his inspiration for applying to Fulbright. Last summer, he interned at the Rhode Island Attorney General's Office Criminal Division. Luke has had a passion for studying Chinese since high school and intends to make it a lifelong pursuit.



Caroline Tibbitts ’17 has been awarded a Fulbright Teaching Assistantship to Malaysia. At Holy Cross, Caroline has been an active member of Gateways Orientation, worked as an intern in the Donelan Office of Community Based Learning, and has served as a leader for both the International and Spring Break Immersion programs. As an International Studies major and Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies concentrator, Caroline spent her junior year in Bologna, Italy, exploring new cultures and building community, something she hopes to continue next year in Malaysia. After graduation, Caroline hopes to work in the international non-profit sector that strives to empower women and girls.  


Mary Kate Vanecko ’17, of Chicago, Ill., has been awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to South Africa where she will be teaching English to high school students. A political science major with a concentration in gender, sexuality, and women’s studies, Vanecko hopes to pursue a career in public service after completing her Fulbright. At Holy Cross, Vanecko was a member of the College Honors Program; a Charles Carroll Fellow; the lead community organizer for the Student Program for Urban Development; the chair of the student outreach and advocacy committee for the Student Government Association senate; and the secretary for Women’s Forum. Vanecko spent her junior year studying abroad at Trinity College in Dublin. 


Melody Wauke ‘17 has been awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Greece. She is a Classics major who was involved in several activities on campus, including the Holy Cross chamber orchestra, the Classics honor society,  Manuscripts, Inscriptions, and Documents Club, and the Senior Interviewer Program. She studied abroad for a semester in Athens, Greece as a junior. She is excited to return to Greece, where she will be teaching English at the Hellenic American Educational Foundation in Psychiko, a suburb of Athens. 



Drew Weller '17 has been awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship in Nepal. A Chemistry major in the College Honors and Pre-Health Programs, Drew was involved with the Spring Break Immersion Program, Student Programs for Urban Development (SPUD), First Year Lab Assistant Program (FRAP), and the Holy Cross Outdoors Club. In addition to teaching English, he hopes to better understand the intersection of education and medicine by interaction with diverse populations in Nepal.