Volunteer Spotlight: Maureen Connolly ’18 and Isabella Cuellar ’18

Name: Maureen Connolly

Major: Chemistry

Hometown: New Canaan, CT

What are you going to miss most about Holy Cross?

The community – it’s truly a second family that I know I’ll have forever but not necessarily at my fingertips the way it is now

Do you have any plans for the future?

I am working in White Plains, NY for PepsiCo in a Foodservice Sales position.

What did you learn at Holy Cross that you will take with you into the world?

I learned how to adapt to different situations, personalities, and time demands that I know will be invaluable to me moving forward.

What piece of advice would you like to share with prospective students?

Embrace all that Holy Cross has to offer – there are so many opportunities so do not hesitate to get involved

How do you feel you’ve grown over your time at Holy Cross?

I have grown tremendously. I am more capable as far as time management and a more confident individual than I was when I first arrived on the Hill.

What is your favorite thing about HC?

The friends I have met, I couldn’t imagine my life without them

What is the most exciting event you’ve attended this year?

The Women In Business Conference… The keynote speaker was fantastic and really inspired me not to be intimidated by anyone. It showed me that I can be a strong, confident woman when I enter the workforce next year.


Name: Isabella Cuellar

Major/Minor: Psychology Major, Education Minor

Hometown: Coronado, CA

What are you going to miss most about Holy Cross?

I am going to miss the community and close proximity to all my friends. 

Do you have any plans for the future?

I accepted an offer as a teacher with Teach for America in New York City

What did you learn at Holy Cross that you will take with you into the world?

I learned to be a stronger leader and confidence in taking initiative in all aspects of my life.

What piece of advice would you like to share with prospective students?

I would encourage prospective students to take advantage of all the unique opportunities that HC has to offer and to step out of their comfort zone to try new things.

How do you feel you’ve grown over your time at Holy Cross?

I have grown intellectually and spiritually through the diverse classes I’ve taken and the multiple opportunities in the chaplain’s office that I have engaged in.

What is your favorite thing about HC?

I love the supportive and welcoming community at Holy Cross where students are accepting and encouraging of each other.


History of Women at Holy Cross

Did you know that Holy Cross wasn’t always a co-educational institution? In 1836, Father James Fitton purchased the land now known as Holy Cross to serve as an all male academy. With his pastoral responsibilities taking time away from his academy management, Father Fitton handed over his land to Bishop Joseph Fenwick, who held the College’s first Commencement of six male students in 1849. Within three years, the College had increased to 100 male students.

Since its opening, Holy Cross has served as an exquisite institution and has continued providing one of the finest educations to approximately 2,900 students today. With 48% men and 52% women, Holy Cross students serve as men and women for and with others, as Holy Cross students are urged to measure their personal successes in life by what they have done to better the lives of others. The fairly equal ratio of men to women at Holy Cross allows for the accumulation of diverse opinions, perspectives, and experiences which make Holy Cross so special.

Opening its doors to women in 1972, Holy Cross has included them in all aspects of campus- academics, athletics, and extracurricular activities. For example, “Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies” has increasingly become a popular academic concentration for all students. This concentration explores the many facets of gender and encourages students to delve deeper into the every day assumptions and marginalized experiences. Within this concentration are study abroad opportunities, capstone projects, volunteer and research opportunities, and student organizations including the Feminist Forum and Pride.

Outside of academics, there are many opportunities strictly for women. The Sister to Sister Collaborative  (S2S) is a campus-wide committee open to female ALANA and international students, staff, faculty, and administrators of Holy Cross. It seeks to create opportunities for ALANA and international women to feel supported and included in the Holy Cross community by providing a forum for developing and nurturing dialogue around issues that impact their daily lives. In addition to S2S, the Women’s Corner, created by Sociology and Anthropology departments, features diverse perspectives, promotes open exchange, and fosters critical inquiry in a space that highlights issues pertaining to women, gender, and sexuality.

Holy Cross also offers opportunities for women to be successful both before and after their four years at the college. The Women in Business Conference is open to female students and celebrates, honors, and inspires those pursuing a business career and offers an opportunity to network. The Women’s Institute of Summer Experimental Research (WISER) provides accomplished young women entering their junior or senior year in high school the opportunity to earn college credit through a seminar-style course in the natural sciences as well as to gain hands-on research experience in a state-of-the-art laboratory. The Women in Science Day aims at maintaining and enhancing the involvement of women in the STEM disciplines by allowing high school students to participate in interactive lab demonstrations offered by the departments of Chemistry, Biology, Physics, and Mathematics & Computer Science, as well as STEM-specific browsing sessions, with representatives from the College.

There are many extracurricular and athletics groups open for female students as well. These include all-female a cappella groups, and all female Division 1 sports teams and club sports teams such as women’s soccer, rugby, volleyball, lacrosse, and basketball.

 Since 1972, women have been vital in the success and experience of Holy Cross. They have been an integral part of the campus’ student body by contributing new perspectives, opinions, and experiences. Without women, the Holy Cross we know today would not be same.  In celebration of Women’s History Month, the College has held and continues to showcase a series of events, performances, and lectures, which take place throughout the month of March and are open to the public.


written by Joanna A. ’19




What do you love most about interacting with prospective students/families?

Even though applicant decisions have been released, prospective students are still visiting campus! For this week’s Spotlight, current Outreach Admissions volunteers reflect on the question, what do you love most about interacting with prospective students/families? Read their answers to see what your visit to campus means to our volunteers!



Telling the prospective students and families how Holy Cross will allow them to explore their academic and extracurricular passions in an even deeper way than high school.

-Spencer Caron ‘20, Philosophy and Neuroscience double major, from Belchertown, MA










Hearing everyone’s story is the thing I love most about prospective students. We all have a reason to why or how we got to Holy Cross and hearing everyone’s different stories is a great way to interact with them.

-Kelly Connors ‘20, Political Science major, from Leominster, MA









I love hearing about the variety of interests that people have in Holy Cross and their reasons for coming to visit.

-Katie Kelsh ‘20, Political Science and Spanish double major, from Evanston, IL










They are eager to hear about the daily lives of the students here

-Danielle Wilson ‘18, Economics and Physics double major, from Rockville Centre, NY









I love helping students and their families through what I know is such a tricky time. If looked at properly, college admissions can be exciting, not just scary!

-Paulina Martin ‘21, Undeclared major, from Mansfield, MA








I love sharing with them my own experiences and how I have grown as a student, person, and friend while here at Holy Cross.

-Allie Silge ‘20, Economics major and Art History Minor, from Lake Forest, IL









I love just talking about how great this school is. If I love the school so much, why wouldn’t I want to share my love to others?!

-Michaela Fleming ‘20, Political Science major and Italian Minor, from Framingham, MA









I really enjoy expressing how much I love Holy Cross. Also, having been in the position of prospective students before, I know how stressful the application process is, so I would like to ease their concerns about it as well as  give them a better understanding of what Holy Cross is like.

-Maddie Piccione ‘20, Psychology major and Neuroscience minor, from Weston, MA






I love hearing about the different places families come from.  It is exciting to know that some people are so enthusiastic about Holy Cross that they travel for hours just for a tour or info session!

-Emily Mercier ‘21, Undeclared major, from Cumberland, RI

The Light at the End of the (Admissions) Tunnel

Two projector screens light up the dark room. These extended computer displays can be seen as portals into the lives of our applicants, much like eyes are looked at as windows into the human soul.

I’ve spent the better part of the last four weeks in the admissions committee room with twelve of my colleagues. With our decision release date of March 17th, we still have a couple of weeks left to go.

Day by day, some things have changed while others have remained the same. At any given time, a fly on the wall could observe a counselor sitting down or standing up, switching seats or swapping snacks. Our applications have rolled up The Hill from down the street and from out of state; some applications have even been out of this world! As each new candidate comes into focus, counselors take time to walk around in the file for a while. We seek out A’s and advanced classes, as well as interviews, instances of interest, and additional information. I can honestly say that it’s been an inspiring and entertaining journey getting to know thousands of Holy Cross hopefuls over these past few weeks.

When it comes to making decisions, we operate by majority rule. Some verdicts are unanimous, while others are split. The committee is composed of a baker’s dozen of higher education professionals who hail from distinct places and who embrace diverse viewpoints. The thirteen counselors who make up the College of the Holy Cross Admissions Committee can be thought of like the thirteen different kinds of cards in a deck (two through ace). We hold different values and each one is a crucial component of the whole. The multifariousness of both our committee members and our applicant pool makes participating in the game of admissions a unique challenge and joy.

As the overhead lights dim and the projector lights brighten on this day, I’m beginning to see the light at the end of the (admissions) tunnel, and I’m sure that you are too. Thank you to all of our applicants this year – it’s been a pleasure to read your stories and to learn about your lives. May good fortune find you on March 17th!


by Tom McHugh