Archive for the ‘Tran Kim-Senior’ Category

Diversity at Holy Cross

Friday, November 16th, 2007

Tran If you were to look at the percentage of underrepresented students at Holy Cross and then compare it to other colleges’ numbers, you’re not going to find much of a difference.  But just like you can’t judge a book by its cover, you also can’t gauge a college’s multicultural atmosphere by percentages alone.  That only gives you one part of the bigger picture.  After this past Perspectives Multicultural Overnight Program, which is under my umbrella of office responsibilities, I have been thinking a lot about diversity and multiculturalism, especially as it pertains to Holy Cross.  After having attended another wonderful liberal arts institution and worked at a different one in admissions prior to my current gig, I have the luxury of observing the multicultural atmosphere at two other liberal arts colleges.  What in my mind is unique about Holy Cross is the support systems that are in place to one support students who don’t feel represented by the majority and two to increase awareness of other cultures and identities on campus.

First, there is a consortium of Multicultural Student Organizations (MSO’s) that is comprised of about a dozen student organizations classified as multicultural in nature and represent identities ranging from Asian to LGBTQ to international students.  Second, there is a group of multicultural peer educators (MPE’s) who work with various groups on campus from students to staff to educate them about various issues of acceptance and diversity and do a wonderful job.  It’s programs like these that strengthen diversity on college campuses and not the number of underrepresented students present.  But more importantly it is the people who are behind the programs who make multicultural life at Holy Cross what it is.  I’ve had the opportunity to work one-on-one with many of the wonderful people who are involved with multicultural affairs and they are some of the most dedicated, supportive and innovative individuals I’ve met.  As a former underrepresented student, I find myself often impressed and envious of the kind of support that students at Holy Cross receive to help them acclimate to life on the hill.

You might be asking why the people at Holy Cross are different and I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that this is a Jesuit institution that very much emphasizes social justice and service.  There is a different kind of accountability that we have to each other as members of this community because of this identity that doesn’t exist at other campuses.  It goes beyond just being civilized but takes it many steps beyond to another level of kindness and caring between community members that I don’t find at other colleges, at least not the ones I’m familiar with.  So for those of you who are very much concerned about multiculturalism at Holy Cross or at any other institution, I encourage you to do some digging into the community beyond the percentages of underrepresented students.  High percentages don’t mean a thing if there aren’t systems in place to cultivate intercultural learning and provide support for the underrepresented students.  And if you have questions about multiculturalism at Holy Cross, please don’t hesitate to shoot me an email.

Tran Kim-Senior
Assistant Director of Admissions
Coordinator of Multicultural Recruitment

The 411 on Worcester

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2007

Tran Greetings from good old Worcester!  I’ve been in the office the last two days but spent the rest of my week prior traveling around to Worcester schools.  Though not as exotic a travel territory as my other colleagues who have been to the Windy City and fascinating Europe, I must say that I loved my travels nonetheless because it gave me a great opportunity to really explore Worcester.  Before this, all I really knew of Worcester was Holy Cross and a fabulous Vietnamese restaurant called Pho Dakao on Park Avenue which my husband and I regularly frequent.  There are lots of differing views on Worcester, some good and some negative, so I thought I’d offer my take on Worcester in case you weren’t at all familiar with the city or have questions about it.

First of all, Worcester is now the 2nd largest city in New England (we beat Providence recently who we’ve been neck to neck with for this prize slot behind Boston which will probably remain #1 for many more years to come) and with being the 2nd largest city, there are lots of resources and opportunities available.  But I think it’s one of those cities that these resources and opportunities are not readily visible and you have to do some searching and digging for them.  If you were only glimpsing Worcester from the highway, it would be easy to think that Worcester is run down with lots of industrial buildings.  But take a closer look and you will see that it has a lot more to offer.  There are numerous cultural offerings throughout the city including a wonderful art museum (that I have yet to visit, but have heard many praises for!).  There is a vast array of restaurants offering cuisines from Vietnamese (my personal favorite) to Mediterranean to African to American.  There are a number of cultural festivals that take place throughout the year as well such as the African Cultural Festival and the Blackstone Canalfest, which is a street festival with music, food, dance, art, etc.  There is a great deal of diversity in the city with a huge variety of ethnic groups represented.  So for those of you who are already culture junkies, Worcester is a treasure trove and for those of you eager to explore different cultures, Worcester is equally exciting.

As a large city, Worcester has many needs.  That presents HC students with many opportunities to practice one of the tenets of the Jesuit tradition: men and women for others.  Students are able to be very involved in service and tap into a lot of different service areas from working with children to public health to athletics.  These activities also serve as wonderful learning opportunities as well.  In addition, students are able to get academic year internships in the city that range from working in business areas to the sciences to education.

All in all, I feel like Worcester is a great backdrop for a college environment because you are able to apply what you learn in the classroom immediately by simply leaving campus for a moment and venturing into the city.  And Worcester is currently going through a great deal of revitalization so it’s an even more exciting time to be here because you can be a part of that.  So I invite you to take a closer look at Worcester, especially in person if you can.  Worcester gets a bad rap sometimes and I feel it’s the product of negative first impressions.  But as they say, you can’t judge a book by its cover.  So I encourage you to do some digging and really explore all that Worcester has to offer.  Here are some links that you can use to start your exploration of Worcester:
http://www.holycross.edu/studentlife/worcester/
http://www.worcester.org/
http://www.ci.worcester.ma.us/
http://www.worcester.ma.us/

Tran Kim-Senior
Assistant Director of Admissions
Coordinator of Multicultural Recruitment