Meet Your Summer Tour Guides: Amanda Osowski

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!

Introduction: Tran Kim-Senior

Hello everyone!  While I did not have the thrill of experiencing life at Holy Cross as an undergraduate student myself, I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here as an admissions officer.  Now in my second year in the Holy Cross admissions office, I am a bit more familiar with Holy Cross than I was at this point last year.  Holy Cross is truly a unique college institution that really values the development of the whole person and does an incredible job to that end.  What stands out to me the most about the atmosphere here is the strong and extremely close-knit community that exists here between students, staff and faculty members.  Friends and support are two things that are easy to come by here.  In the office, I coordinate the recruitment of ALANA students (Asian American, Latino American, African-American and Native American) and am traveling to parts of Massachusetts and Connecticut, parts of New York City and the state of Virginia.

I was born originally in Cambodia and came to the United States, specifically Richmond, Virginia, when I was eight years old.  I have lived in northeastern Connecticut for nearly four years now and when I’m not working, I spend most, if not all, of my time with my husband and baby, Amaya.  If I am lucky to have free time outside of these two major commitments in my life, I like shop, read and catch up on current events.  I look forward to meeting you through my recruitment travels and when you come to campus.  Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

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

Demonstrated Interest Part Deux

So what if you can’t come to campus to “demonstrate your interest”?  Does this mean that when it comes to Admissions, you’re at a disadvantage?  Should you uproot your family and move across the country so that you have easy access to visiting? Certainly not.

Rest assured that your chances of being admitted to a college do not increase exponentially depending upon the number of times you physically step on campus.  That’s not what we’re going for.  There are many ways that prospective students from every corner of the globe can convey their interest to a college.  Thanks to the wonderful world of technology, the internet is a great vehicle for connecting.  Some of the ways that we invite you to engage with us are through online chats, “Meet Some Students” or simply emailing questions to an Admissions Counselor (look under “Get Connected” on the Admissions website, ).  You can also join our mailing list or take virtual tour.

If you want to interview, but know you can’t make it to campus to have one, worry not.  Holy Cross offers students the opportunity to have an Alumni Interview conducted within close proximity to your hometown.  These interviews are intended only for students who live outside of New England.  Students who request an Alumni Interview must submit their applications to Holy Cross before arrangements can be made.  The deadline for requesting an interview is December 1st and Early Decision candidates are not eligible.

So while we’d love for you to come to campus and experience our beautiful campus firsthand, we understand that this is not feasible for all of our applicants.  We are more than willing to hear your feedback and answer your questions via the internet.  See you in cyberspace!

Allison P. Rose ’06
Assistant Director of Admissions

Bleed Purple

6 mo: purple and white Crusader onesie w/matching bib
18 mo: purple and white Crusader cheerleader outfit
5 yrs: purple and white Crusader sweatsuit
12 yrs: purple and white Crusader basketball t-shirt
17 yrs: purple and white Crusader hoodie
22 yrs: black and white Crusader diploma

I bleed purple.  I always have.  My father, uncles, and aunts began the brainwashing at a young age.  Years of watching football games, attending basketball camps and visiting my sister’s dorm room convinced me that there was only one college for me.  As the application process approached, I took the search seriously and visited many campuses.  These visits, however, only strengthened my love for Holy Cross.  My decision was a no-brainer.

My time spent on Mt. St. James revolved around student government, reading voraciously, and being a Crusader Superfan.  I sled on Kimball trays, tanned on Wheeler Beach, and climbed the Fenwick tower (not really).  On a daily basis I picked my English professors’ brains during office hours, sought help in the Calc Workshop, and repeated Spanish verbs in the MRC.  I attended a retreat, led a retreat and found comfort within the cozy walls of Campion.  I studied at Oxford, studied in my room, and studied in the fish bowl.  I soaked up everything this institution had to offer and still thirsted for more.

At the end of my four years, I wasn’t quite ready to leave.  It’s been nearly two and a half years since I graduated and in that time I’ve spent my days (and many nights) gushing about my experience at HC and meeting potential students, many of whom share my passion. This year I’ll travel to Colorado, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Westchester County, New York and Norfolk County, Massachusetts.  I hope to see you in my travels and would love the chance to tell you about my school.

Allison P. Rose ’06
Assistant Director of Admissions

The Joy of Application Reading

Drew “. . . he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books on birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him, put his arm around my brother’s shoulder, and said, “Bird by bird, buddy.  Just take it bird by bird.”
Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird

In my first blog posting of the year (I’m sure you all have it committed to memory), I claimed that if you spent too much time with your nose in the college guide books, the college search would seem like an overwhelming 4th grade project on birds.

Well, now the shoe is on the other foot — it is our turn.  As I sit here on Sunday afternoon watching the perfect Patriots on television, I am distracted (marginally) by the stack of applications on my coffee table.  When considered as a whole, reading these applications can be overwhelming.  But the only thing for us to do is to simply tackle these applications one at a time, bird by bird.


And when you take that approach, reading applications can be (gasp!) fun.  I’ve read some wonderful essays so far this year about the determination of female preemies, a lesson learned from a French girl at summer camp or even something as simple as a swim in the ocean.

So I guess what I want to say is thank you.

Thank you for telling us about your Eagle Scout project.
Thank you for having the guts to take Calculus.
Thank you for fessing up to that mistake.
Thank you for sending us a Christmas card.
Thank you for sending that CD of you playing the violin (Bach was my favorite).

Thank you for applying.

Andrew N Carter
Associate Director of Admissions
College of the Holy Cross

“Getting in” to college

In between visiting high schools in MA early last week, I found myself browsing the magazine rack at Barnes & Nobles.  In the “Current Events” section, I found a publication which advertised in bold letters on the cover:


I couldn’t help but pick up the magazine and look for the answer.  Alas, it was all a ploy — they never did answer that question.

The title, though, got me to thinking – what’s the point, anyway?   

In this college search process, there is so much focus on “getting in” that very often students and parents lose sight of the point of the college search process.  But what is the point? 

What are students really after? 

I was determined to find out.  At evening receptions in Hartford and Manchester, NH over the last 10 days, I asked the students and parents just that – if you had just one wish in the college search process, what would it be?  I asked them to write their wish down on a piece of paper and submit it anonymously (see picture for a small sampling).   


The results would certainly surprise the publishers of the aforementioned magazine.

Most of the answers had nothing to do with actually “getting in”; the students were much more reflective and their answers were much more personal – finding the right fit, finding happiness and personal discovery.

All of these “wishes” led me to the conclusion that while the media might be obsessed with “getting in”, deep down inside, students still recognize that this process is one enables, nay demands, reflection and personal growth and that is perhaps the most valuable part of the college search process. 

So high school seniors, as application deadlines loom on the near horizon, take a moment between now and then to reflect on it all and answer that question for yourself – what am I really after?

Andrew N Carter
Associate Director of Admissions

Pick a name, any name!

LynnHowdy from Texas!  Unlike my colleagues, I’m not writing from the airport but from my hotel room in downtown Houston.  The students I’ve met this week have been both very interesting and quite interested in Holy Cross.   I’ll be spending time in San Antonio and Austin before catching a plane to Nashville. 

The tip that came to mind during my recent visits was this:  As you begin your college search, pick a name and stick with it!  Be sure that you use the same name when you fill out online inquiry forms, cards at a college fair table or high school visit, and sign in sheets when you visit for campus tours.  Why?  First, we’re keeping track of these contacts, and the only way we’ll know you’re the same person is if you use the same name.  This will also prevent you from receiving duplicate mailings from colleges.  Isn’t one Holy Cross view book to add to the giant pile on your desk/floor/closet enough?  The best bet is to use the name that will appear on your application, transcripts etc.  So sorry Frank, but Francis it may have to be.  Many schools may also ask you for your preferred name or nickname, so you don’t have to start answering to "Gertrude" again if you’ve spent years training others to call you Gertie. 

So give your parents a quick scowl if you don’t care for the name they chose for you, and write it on that form anyway.

Lynn Verrecchia
Assistant Director of Admissions

“Visit” your top colleges at college fairs

SuzanneHi everyone, I am checking in from sunny St. Louis, where I am about to board a plane bound for Chicago, Illinois. I’m currently sitting here eating my favorite St. Louis Bread Company sandwich (which many of you probably know as Panera), the Turkey Artichoke Panini, and looking for a spot in my carry-on bag where I can hide my souvenir St. Louis Cardinals World Series t-shirt from the upcoming Cubbies fans in Chi-town.
My comments from this trip include how impressed I have been with the students that I have met at the various school visits and college fairs in St. Louis. Students came fully prepared and armed with questions ranging from writing their college essays to extra-curricular activities to an avid interest in the first year Montserrat program at Holy Cross. I would say that doing a bit of due-diligence (like reading this!) will definitely help you to make the most out of these visits and will help you to focus your thoughts on determining the best college “fit” for you.

As you begin your college search, college fairs serve as “one stop shop” and are a great way to gather lots of information from different colleges all in one evening. Also, the tables are staffed with pretty easy-going Admissions Counselors or local Alumni, who can answer questions that you may have. Where else but at a college fair can you “visit” a college in California and a college in Massachusetts in less than an hour?

It looks as if my plane is about to board and so I will be signing off until I arrive in the Windy City. My trip to St. Louis was good to me and I hope that it was also good to the several students wisely trying to get a leg-up on the admissions process.


Suzanne R. Timmons
Admissions Counselor

College fair tips

KelliGreetings from the road!  I’m sitting in the airport, on the way back from a wonderful visit to Georgia as I type this.   Other than some much needed rain for a day or two, the weather in Atlanta and Augusta was quite nice.  Much of my time during this trip was spent at several big college fairs, so that’s what I want to mention in this post—college fair tips (great minds think alike Pat).

College Fair Tips:

1.  When you approach a college’s table, introduce yourself.  Admissions counselors don’t bite!  If you’re in a hurry we understand you might not have time to chat, but if you have questions don’t be afraid to ask us for answers.

Atlanta3 2.  Bringing pre-printed labels with you will be a huge time (and wrist) saver.  To avoid carpal-tunnel and increase your college fair efficiency, use pre-print sticky labels which you can affix to colleges’ inquiry/mailing list cards.  Make sure the labels include not only your name and mailing address, but also your e-mail address, year of graduation, gender, and high school (with city and state).

3. If you’re with your parents, you should be the one to fill out an inquiry/mailing list card.  There is nothing that says “immature” like you standing around while mom and dad fill out a card with information we know you know.  [If your arm is in a cast, you’re except from this rule.]

4.  Think of a college fair like an exotic market full of free samples.  Resist the temptation to loiter in aisles talking with your classmates and instead spend your time sampling what all the diverse and varied colleges out there have to offer.  College fairs are an excellent opportunity to not just speak with the schools you’re interested in, but also interact with colleges you may no little (or nothing) about.  They might turn out to have many of the things you’re looking for in a university. 

Not only did this trip remind me of college fair pointers I wanted to pass along to you, but it also allowed me a few hours to play tourist.  A friend who lived in Atlanta introduced me to a local fish house called “Six Feet Under.” It overlooks the city’s Oakland Cemetery and has the best alligator bites you’ve ever had.  I also had a chance to visit the Atlanta History Center, which has a fascinatingly large and diverse number of exhibits related to many different facets of the area’s culture and past.  As an “Olympics-junkie” (Yes, I said Olympics-junkie) I went just to see their exhibit on the 1996 centennial summer games (which were hosted by Atlanta) and wasn’t disappointed.  The exhibit has an interactive trivia game you play against others who are currently visiting the exhibit, and a sports lab where you can “jump” as far as Mike Powell’s world record long jump or race sculls head to head against a friend (On second thought, maybe “Olympics-nerd” is a better description).

Atlantahistorycenterolym Olympics Trivia Game

Atlanta2_2   Atlanta History Center Olympics Exhibit

Kelli J. Powell
Assistant Director of Admissions

Tulips, tulips everywhere

Jrichardson_2Goedendag everyone (Good day in Dutch)! 

4:00AM came early this day in Norway; but fortunately, I was not far from the airport .. only a 5 minute taxi ride.  My flight was scheduled for 6:05AM, so I planned to leave plenty of time to get there. 

Today my plans included visiting several schools in and around the first class city of Amsterdam, Netherlands.  As we approached the Schipol airport (by the way, random trivia fact for you: this is the fourth largest airport in the world!), one can see the many fields and canals that make up western Holland.  Holland is a very small country, the size of just Connecticut and Rhode Island combined.  Known for many things over the centuries, including windmills and wooden shoes, Holland is also quite well known for its Tulip production.

Fields and fields of tulips can be seen splashed across the countryside; its truly a beautiful sight to see!  I would also be somewhat misrepresenting the current state of Holland if I were to continue leading you to believe they still operate many of the country’s windmills, and are running around in their wooden shoes; in most cases, neither still happen with any frequency.  Wooden windmills of the past have been replaced with much more modern and efficient models, producing much of the country’s energy.  The wooden shoes, while still readily available in street shops and major retailers, are only worn by some farmers tending to their fields.  Of course, still without luggage, I had the option of purchasing a pair of wooden shoes for the weekend and my return journey to Boston.  I will admit, I tried a pair on (really, just for the experience, and to be able to say I did, but alas, opted for the more comfortable and modern rubber soled shoe).

  Windmill_crop_2 Tulips_crop2

From Schipol I traveled to Amstelveen, just outside Amsterdam proper, to the International School there.  Terrific students from approximately 20 nationalities are enrolled at the school, making for a wonderfully diverse and interesting experience.  From there, I called a taxi which took me approximately 25 minutes to The Hague where I visited the American School of The Hague.  I reconnected with a wonderful young woman I had met earlier in the year, Andrea Koris, who was here on campus to visit earlier this spring and interviewed with me at that time.  She has some familiarity with the College … her father, David, is an alumnus of the College, and older sister, Caitlin, a current student here.  Andrea said she was still thinking hard about her college options, but felt comfortable knowing she had already made some decisions about where she would feel most comfortable, and what the right environment for her would be.  She continues to hold Holy Cross in high regard, and is looking forward to submitting her application this fall for consideration.  My visit with Andrea and her counselor lasted approximately 90 minutes, and she was back to class, and the remainder of her daily activities.

So, ok kids … get out your globes … its time to recap.  We started in Boston and traveled to London.  From London we traveled to Milan, Trieste, and then Duino, Italy.  From Trieste, Italy, we took a three-hopper: Rome – Amsterdam – Bergen, Norway.  Once in Bergen, we traveled by taxi, fast boat, bus, and car, 7 hours to the United World College in Flekke, Norway: amazing!  From Bergen we went back to Amsterdam for Friday and the weekend.  SO, for those keeping score at home, in four days that would make for 5 countries, 10 cities … 7 flights, 7 taxi rides, 4 tube rides, 4 trips via car, 2 trips via boat, 2 via bus, and 1 via train; WHEW!  SO …

Flight fare $$: let’s not discuss that …
Lost luggage $$: more than I care to think about
Students and contacts: PRICELESS.

As I left The Hague, I was inspired and excited by the students and counselors I had met throughout the week.  This was certainly the most exciting and interesting trip I’ve made in my Admissions Career!

Doei, from The Hague, for now.

James T. Richardson
Associate Director of Admission