Posts Tagged ‘Montserrat’

Why Holy Cross? We let you write on the walls.

Thursday, April 24th, 2014

Zachary WielgusIt began as one of those ideas that sound good in your head but don’t quite manifest in real life.

Create a poster that we ask all visiting admitted students to sign to create a visual welcome and introduction to the Holy Cross community. How would we print something that large? How would we get all — or even the majority — of the visiting admitted students to sign? How much of it will be left blank?

Sometimes you get lucky, I guess. It’s been a wonderful point of pride to welcome students who arrive for a campus tour or day visit and, after greeting them with a congratulations and Holy Cross pennant, directing them to “The Wall.” Multiple Holy Cross students corralled the hundreds of admitted students at Accepted Student Open House on April 13 to “sign the wall.” Moms and dads excitedly gaped at just how far some students had come (Boise, Idaho, and Beijing, China, two clear winners), while potential Class of 2018 Crusaders found classmates and neighbors also occupying the same 28-square-feet of wall.

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This is what I love about Holy Cross. First, the ability to let small ideas morph into wonderful and meaningful actions. This is also how Montserrat went from optional First Year Program to required (and well-loved) first-year seminar. This is how so many students create their own major or secure an internship never-before pursued.

But second, watching The Wall fill up with the rainbow colors of excited students from literally all over the world paints a brilliant picture of our student body. Holy Cross will introduce you to people who think differently, speak differently, learn differently, and hail from cities and states you have never visited. That’s what college should be: a change from your four years of high school, not only in class offerings and bedrooms but also in the strangers with whom you connect from all corners of the globe.

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Sign The Wall. Leave your mark. So many others have.

Zach Wielgus

Assistant Director of Admissions

Meet Your Summer Tour Guides: Amanda Osowski

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

Hometown:  Hopkinton, MA

Year: 2014

Major: History

Activities: Mock Trial Team, Holy Cross College Choir, Giving tours to prospective students and working with the Admissions Office!

One of my favorite memories of freshman year was traveling with the Mock Trial Team. The Holy Cross Mock Trial Team traveled to various colleges and universities this year, including the University of New Hampshire Law School, the University of Massachusetts, Tufts University, and Clark University. The team would stay at a local hotel and would compete in a weekend-long tournament against other schools. It was always nice to get away for a couple of days during the semester! Although we were still working hard during the weekend to perform well as a team, we still got to have a lot of fun together! The coaches would always take the team out for a group dinner and it was always a good time. The coaches are knowledgeable, friendly, and also hilarious at times! Participating on the Mock Trial Team allowed me to develop my analytical and public speaking skills as well as helped me to branch out and meet new friends and upperclassmen.

Favorite Place to Study at Holy Cross: The lower stacks of Dinand Library (it’s cozy and quiet!)

Favorite Class:  Montserrat. I was in the Natural World Cluster and I lived in Wheeler Hall. My Montserrat class was called “The Road to Armageddon. ”  In this class, we learned about the history and science behind nuclear energy. We studied nuclear energy development all the way back to the founding of the atom and back up to the recent nuclear reactor meltdown in Japan. I really enjoyed the discussion and met a lot of my close friends in that class. Also, my professor was awesome and became a great guiding resource for me at Holy Cross!

The Longest Answer to the Simplest Question

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

I cannot tell you how many questions I’ve been asked today. This time of year, admission counselors spend the better part of their day fielding questions from students, parents and counselors.   Some require simple answers (yes, we have an English major), while others require a more in-depth response (Montserrat is…).

On occasion, a student will ask a seemingly simple question, and may be surprised by a response that is lengthier than expected. Never is this more true than in the case of the old favorite—the “average GPA” question. Students rightly want to know if their academic performance will measure up in our pool, and frankly we’re glad you asked. But that doesn’t mean we’re able to give you the simple answer you were hoping for. We consider each student within the unique context of their high school, making it impossible to identify a number which we think represents a universally “good” GPA. The grading scale (3.0, 4.0, 4.5, 5.0, 6.0, 8.0, 10.0, 12.0, to name a few we’ve seen), weighting (or lack thereof), strength of curriculum, grade inflation/deflation and other factors unique to your high school are all considered. We study high school profiles and websites, and sometimes make phone calls to counselors to gather all of the information we need to assess your academic performance. It’s our job to understand what a “good” GPA is at your school. And this time of year, it’s our job to try to explain that to you.

Somewhat flustered by my response, students sometimes follow-up with a question they are sure will elicit a short, numbers-only answer: “What’s your average SAT score?” And I take a deep breath, and we’re off again…

Lynn Verrecchia

Associate Director of Admissions

What is Montserrat?

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

LynnVerrecchia.BLOG2Holy Cross’ first year program, Montserrat, has been the subject of many questions from students and parents over the past few years. The conversation usually begins, “I read about that program, Mont….?” Though many struggle with the pronunciation (sound it out-it’s easier than it looks!), most are intrigued by its goals and excited to participate.

For those of you who have never heard of Montserrat, or those of you who are excited about it but still don’t completely understand what it is, this blog’s for you.

Learning: Your Montserrat seminar

-the Montserrat seminar is one of your four courses during your freshman year

-it’s a year-long course (other courses are semester-long)

-there will be only first-year students in the class (you may have upperclassmen in other courses)

-classes are small and discussion-based

-students select their top choices (from nearly fifty seminars) and are placed in one of those classes

-some seminars are team-taught by two or more professors

-sample seminars from 2009-2010: The Structure of the Mind, Violence & Non-Violence and Literature & Science

Living: Residence hall life

-first year students are housed in three residence halls

-students are grouped together by cluster (groups of seminars) ensuring that all students in your seminar will also live in your residence hall

-students participate in programming like banquet dinners, documentary screenings, and author talks

Doing: Getting involved in the campus community and beyond

Past students have:

-conducted a memoir-writing workshop to help local high school students find their voices

-organized a student panel discussion about racial and ethnic relations on college campuses

-interviewed Southeast Asian-Americans in Worcester about their life histories

-received special training from Worcester Art Museum curators to lead visitors through an Italian painting exhibition

To learn more, visit the Montserrat website.

Lynn Verrecchia
Sr. Assistant Director of Admissions