Have you ever been a member of the Secret Service? Or built proteins from scratch to figure out why Alzheimer’s exists? Surely you’ve written a book on the Art Deco movement from France to America in the 20th century?
John, Steve, and Lily, all current Holy Cross students, are just three examples of the incredible research happening throughout campus every day.
I listened to John Castro, a junior, give a lecture on his award-winning thesis that he completed during his semester in Washington, D.C. After serving as an intern with the Secret Service and interviewing both agents and congressional advisers, John wrote a thesis on the importance of cyberterrorism and national security. What is now being called “the fifth domain of war,” John is one of the first students to complete extensive research on cyberattacks. Perhaps what’s more impressive is that he is just one of 30 students who participates in the Washington, D.C. program.
I met Steve, a current senior, last summer, where he described (in layman’s terms for my non-science mind) the research he was conducting as a paid summer research assistant in the chemistry department. Each summer, roughly 50 students in the science departments alone serve as paid research assistants. Working one-on-one with a chemistry professor, Steve was in charge of building microscopic proteins to determine why they “mis-fold,” which causes neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s. After eight long weeks of hard work, Steve excitedly revealed that he made a breakthrough, and was en route to being published. Not bad for a summer job.
Lily, a junior who has been abroad in Bordeaux, France, all year, was an active admissions volunteer before her passion took her across the Atlantic. Intrigued by both her art history and French majors, Lily sought out a research grant in the winter of her sophomore year to combine her two passions. Soon enough, she was traveling to museums in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Kansas City, and was given behind-the-scenes access to various Art Deco exhibits – all on Holy Cross’ dime. Just two weeks before her flight to France, Lily completed her 80-page book on the Art Deco movement. She is furthering her research in the innumerable art museums of France.
As a solely undergraduate institution committed to research, Holy Cross is full of students completing impressive research normally reserved for graduate students. It is a rare chance for you, as an undergraduate, to dive deeper into your passion, to create something cutting edge, to leave your mark.
Why do I love Holy Cross? Because these three examples are just the tip of the iceberg.