A New Semester

Hi everyone — I hope you all are staying safe and well in this new and unusual semester. This semester is not what anyone planned, and is certainly not how I pictured my senior year. However, I am still determined to make the most of my second-to-last academic semester here at the College and do so safely!

This semester, I am fortunate to live on campus to research a history thesis on the extent to which American music impacted the reception of female radio Axis propagandists broadcasting to Allied GIs during World War II. I am also taking a seminar on the Gilded Age, a course in the early history of the Ottoman Empire, and an interesting music seminar called “Music, Performance, Community.”

Virtual classes are very different than the typical in-person Holy Cross class, especially seminars. However, it does come with a few perks. For my music seminar, for example, I am working with my colleagues from my D.C. semester at the Kennedy Center to bring a speaker to our class to talk about their work as an arts administrator and the relationship between performing arts institutions and the communities they serve. It is unlikely that such a collaboration would have been able to take place in person — but on Zoom, many professionals have time they are willing to spend with students presenting on their work!

This semester is not what any of us pictured, but I would like to acknowledge the tireless work of faculty, staff, and administrators at the College for trying to make the best of an unpredictable situation. These members of our community always shine, but especially during times of trial, they remind us of the Holy Cross spirit and being people for and with others.


Home, But Still Connected

Hi everyone. I hope you are staying safe and well during this time of uncertainty. Although I am sad my time in D.C. ended early, I am grateful for the time I did have and I have been enjoying more time with my family! Now, I am home researching and writing my thesis and learning remotely for our seminar.  Although this is a time of sadness and ambiguity for many, I will reflect on a few of my favorite things I have done during quarantine (that I would not have been able to do in Washington!).

Almost as soon as Holy Cross students left campus, the Chaplain’s Office announced they would be holding a virtual retreat called “Communitas.” The name comes from a St. Ignatius of Loyola quote (because who else do we quote at Holy Cross) describing “communitas ad dispersam” or “a community in dispersion.” Each Sunday night, we meet in small groups for about 90 minutes to reflect on two talks that were shared that week from leaders. It has been an excellent opportunity to process everything that is happening and still feel connected to the Holy Cross community.

Two of my sisters and I on a walk at a local beach (it was chilly!)

I have also enjoyed spending more time with my family, especially my sisters. I am lucky to live by the beach, so whenever we can we take walks to exercise and get out of the house (safely!). I’ve also enjoyed running more especially as the weather gets nicer and enjoying the beauty of my home town.

A photo of a beach near my house that I took on a run!

Although this is not what I had planned for my semester, I am still blown away by the support I have found in the Holy Cross community. Just last night during our American Public Policy seminar (now held via Zoom) my classmates and I were able to meet and talk to Jon Favreau ’03, who was President Obama’s chief speechwriter until 2013. He shared so much about his time and experience in Washington and was a great resource for all of us!

If you are an accepted student, be sure to check out our Open House this Sunday, April 19. In the meantime, stay safe and well!

Signs of Spring in Washington!

Hi everyone! Hope you are all doing well and staying safe! I write from a very sunny Washington, D.C., where it seems like spring is beginning to bloom. This semester is proving to be one of my busiest yet, balancing a thesis, a seminar, and work full time at the Kennedy Center, but I am loving every minute of it!

One of the perks of working as an intern at the Kennedy Center is free access to performances. Just in the past few weeks, I was able to see dress rehearsals for two operas (Don Giovanni and Samson and Delilah) and sit front row at a performance for the National Symphony Orchestra!  My fellow interns and I have loved getting to take advantage of this opportunity to experience world-class art up close!

Additionally, a few weeks ago my mom came down to visit from Massachusetts. It was great to see her and tour some of the more “touristy” D.C. sites I hadn’t seen yet.  It was a bit chilly, but we enjoyed a beautiful sunset walk around the Capitol!

I am still working steadily on our public policy seminar and developing my thesis. Our thesis is meant to connect to our internship, so I am very excited to write about the relationship between the Kennedy Center and the American Presidency.

Check back in next time to hear about more D.C. adventures!

Moving into Washington, DC

Hi everyone! I hope you all enjoyed a restful winter break. I write this week from Washington, DC (actually Arlington, VA, but close enough) as I am studying away this semester with Holy Cross’ Washington Semester Program. I have been preparing for over a year and I am so happy to finally be here!

A view of the Hall of Nations at the Kennedy Center

Two weeks ago, I started work as the education intern for the Washington National Opera at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Being able to work in such a beautiful building and national landmark is a dream come true, not to mention the proximity to world-class artists and performers.

There are 21 other interns at the Kennedy Center, spread out in various departments, and we meet once weekly for an arts management class and to work on our semester-long project. We are placed in groups and complete a gap analysis for the Kennedy Center — on our last class, we pitch a new program or initiative to a team of executives (just like Shark Tank). My group and I work really well together and I am excited to see work with them on a new KC program.

I work primarily at the Kennedy Center, but I am also able to spend time at the WNO rehearsal spaces in Takoma and office space at the Watergate (yes, THAT Watergate). In addition to my education colleagues at the Kennedy Center, I have been so welcomed by the team at WNO and I am excited and honored to work with them throughout the semester. I have never seen an opera before, let alone met most of its company, and I am so grateful for this unique opportunity to work behind the scenes with some of the nation’s best performing artists.

Check back in soon to hear about some DC exploring (and a visit from my mom)!

Wrapping Up the Fall Semester

Hi everyone!  I hope everyone has survived exam season and is officially home for the holidays. I finished up my two final papers on Saturday and just made it home in time for Christmas! The end of the semester really does fly by, with a variety of performances, projects, and events keeping me quite busy as Christmas quickly approached.

Christmas is definitely one of my favorite seasons here at Holy Cross. This year, the community celebrated withe the 41st celebration of Lessons and Carols. After Kimball’s beloved holiday dinner, featuring roast beef, mashed potatoes, and salads, students, faculty, and community members filled the chapel to celebrate the joy of the Advent and Christmas seasons. Different community members, from professors and students to coaches and administration, proclaimed various scriptural readings about the coming of Christ, in English, Spanish, and Mandarin. Additionally, the choir, orchestra, and organists shared music from many composers and eras to celebrate the season. But don’t worry if you missed it — here is the link to watch a recording of the live stream!

A very snowy Kimball quad!

Looking ahead to next semester, I am excited to share that I will be participating in Holy Cross’ Semester Away Program to Washington, DC, where I will be interning with the Education division at the Kennedy Center. I am very excited for this opportunity to promote arts education and learn valuable professional skills in Washington!

That’s all I have for now — check back in soon to hear about my first few weeks in Washington!



Class Profile: “Pirates in Early America” Seminar at the American Antiquarian Society

Hi everyone! Hope you are all braving the cold weather we are having here in Worcester — it seems winter came a bit early! Luckily, I’ve been staying warm and spending most of my time in the library starting research for three major projects at the end of this semester. One of these is for my seminar at the American Antiquarian Society in Worcester, which I am profiling today!

Every fall, the American Antiquarian Society (AAS) offers an “American Studies” seminar for Worcester college students. This fall, the topic is “Pirates in Early America” and we are led by our wonderful Prof. Wilson from Connecticut College. There are only five of us in the class — and all girls! Each week, we are able to look at primary sources that are particularly relevant to our reading and talk to one of the amazing curators at AAS. I have really enjoyed being able to dive so deeply into one topic and have the opportunity to see so many interesting primary sources!

One of the primary sources curated for our class!

At the end of the semester, each of us will present and write a 20ish page paper on some topic relating to pirates, primarily using the sources available through AAS. Most exciting, the AAS will archive our papers to keep in their records — not quite being published, but very close! I am writing on the role of song both as it actually was on pirate ships and as the public imagined it to be, combining both my history and music majors into one project. While I still have some research to do, I am enjoying working with the American Antiquarian Society and I am excited to present on my topic at the end of the semester.

That’s it for this class profile on AAS. Check back in soon for news on the orchestra concert this week and Thanksgiving!



Fall Break and Professors’ Performances

Hi everyone! I am so excited it is finally fall here at Holy Cross — definitely my favorite season here on the hill! Classes are in full swing, and Dinand Library is busy with students studying for midterms and writing papers.  This weekend, Holy Cross is welcoming parents and families for Family Weekend, and we are looking forward to some good weather for fun fall activities (including a jazz ensemble concert on Friday night!).

This past weekend, Holy Cross welcomed alumni, family, and friends to campus for Fall Homecoming. The weekend was filled with fun fall activities and a home football game against Harvard. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend, as I was in Scotland for Fall Break visiting two of my close friends who are studying abroad for the year at St. Andrews. Although I was sad to miss homecoming, it was a great opportunity for a visit friends and take a bit of a break from academics!

My friends and I on College St (in St Andrews!)

Earlier this month, I was able to attend “Dickinson Songs,” a concert with Prof. Matt Jaskot featuring many of his own compositions. It is always great to see my professors active in their own fields and to see them accomplish great things. It was an amazing concert for all in attendance! This week, I am looking forward to the annual Mike Monaghan and Friends performance, featuring my jazz professor and some of his jazz friends. It is truly one of my favorite concerts of the year and I can’t wait to see it this Thursday!

That’s all my updates from the Hill for now. Check back soon to hear about my research for this semester!

Fall Gateways and Starting Junior Year

Hi everyone, and welcome back to Holy Cross! I am so excited to be in my junior year (although not sure how I’m old enough to be considered an “upperclassman”). Since 1/3 of juniors study abroad, our class has been reshuffled, but I am enjoying getting to know new people I haven’t met before, especially from Fall Gateways!

My partner, Julia Hall ’20 and I are ready to welcome new students!

Like last year, I participated in Fall Gateways to welcome new students to Holy Cross. This year, I worked specifically with Transfer Student Orientation Program, learning more about their specific challenges adjusting to a new campus and helping them through their transition. The entire team, including first-year orientation leaders, became a very tight-knit group before classes even started. We had so much fun welcoming the first-year students on Move-In Day and guiding them through orientation programs — a great way to start the year!

The orientation staff, doing our signature “quiet coyote”

While a lot of my extra-curriculars remain the same from last semester, this year my Spanish class has a Community-Based Learning (CBL) component I am excited for. CBL is a unique program that allows students to both directly impact the community while also contributing a real-world example of topics related to a class. I am excited to work with the Worcester Public Schools Transition Program this year, where we organize activities and games for students — entirely in Spanish! This will be a great opportunity to practice my language skills with more native speakers and build relationships with members of the Worcester community.

That’s all my news from Mt St James for now — check back next time to hear about my new CBL site and fun campus activities!

Spring Fest and Looking Ahead to Next Semester

Hi everyone! I hope you all are enjoying the spring weather! I’ve just finished final exams at Holy Cross — an exciting and stressful week, always — and I am looking forward to a fun and relaxing summer! I will be returning to Worcester in early June to work as a Summer Gateways Parent Orientation Leader, and I am so excited for this opportunity to work with the parents and families of incoming first-year students.

My friend Meghan and I were front row for Jay Sean!

Before the stress of exams sets in, Holy Cross students celebrate the end of the year on the last weekend before classes end with a three-day event collectively known as Spring Fest (sponsored by Campus Activities Board). This year, my favorite part of Spring Fest was the Spring Concert on Friday night, where Jay Sean and Loud Luxury performed on our very own Freshman Field! It was a great way to end the semester and relax before exams.

My friends and I enjoying Spring Concert

Next semester, I am looking forward to taking a variety of different classes (including two seminars, so wish me luck). In the music department, I will be taking a musicology seminar with Prof. Waldoff and six other students. I will be fulfilling my common area requirement for language this semester, as well, with Spanish 301, Composition and Conversation. Finally, I will be taking the Historian’s Craft, a required writing course for history majors, as well as a history seminar with the American Antiquarian Society (AAS). Each fall, AAS sponsors a seminar for local Worcester college students and encourage the use of its wealth of primary source archives. This year, the seminar is entitled Early American Pirates, and I am looking forward to both the subject matter and research opportunities.

In the meantime, I am beginning to search for internships for the Washington, DC Semester Program and I am spending lots of time at the beach! Check back in soon to hear about Summer Gateways!

Jazz, Academic Conference, and Orchestra

Hi everyone! I hope you are enjoying the more spring – like weather we have had in Worcester! It has been a busy couple of weeks, but luckily we had a small break beginning on Holy Thursday through Easter Monday (one of the many benefits of going to a Catholic school!) The week prior to Easter I performed with the Jazz Ensemble, and the week following was Academic Conference featuring the Holy Cross Orchestra!

Our jazz concert this year was one of my favorites (and apparently an audience favorite as well). We performed a variety of interesting repertoire, including “First Love Song” which I was most nervous for (it featured a minute-long piano cadenza right in the middle!). Luckily, “First Love Song” and the rest of the performance went well and everyone seemed to enjoy it as a last send-off before Easter break.

Students in the orchestra came back a bit early from Easter break for our dress rehearsal on Easter Monday evening, but it was helpful preparation for a difficult program! In addition to Tchaikovsky’s 5th Symphony, we played a student composition by Matthew Pinder ’20 called “In a Timeless World.” I had never played a composition with the composer himself, so it was a neat experience to be able to ask him questions (and sometimes criticize his composing) during rehearsal.

We performed as part of Holy Cross’ annual Academic Conference, a day when classes are cancelled  and students who have been working on semester- or year-long projects present throughout the day. Our performance was part of several others, including WRATH, a play based on The Iliad by Liam Prendergast ’19, dance performances, and several academic presentations. The conference (and our performance) was overall a success!

Now it’s back to finishing up classes and trying to make it to exams. Check back in soon to hear about Spring Weekend and exams!