Sader Summer Scoop: Milagros Montenegro ’18




Name: Milagros Montenegro

Major/Minor/Concentration: Sociology

Graduation Year: 2018

What are you doing this summer?: Internship





What exactly are you doing?: Research Assistant for Field Research Gallo-Cruz Worcester Women’s Activist

How did you hear about this opportunity?: Professor Gallo-Cruz

What are you most excited about doing within this program?: Placing my understanding of sociology into application.

What are you hoping to gain from your experience?: Learning more about the Worcester community through the stories of its women.

Do you have any advice for prospective students thinking about doing an internship?: Do what sounds exciting and challenging both academically and personally, that’s the only way you will grow as a student/person in the next four years.

When you were in high school, did you expect to have this opportunity in college?:No, but I am extremely fortunate and excited for it.


Interviewee Pastor Judy and she runs the LGBT Asylum Seekers Task Force here in Worcester.

Sader Summer Scoop: Emily Sullivan ’19




Name: Emily Sullivan

Major/Minor/Concentration: Psychology/Sociology

Graduation Year: 2019

What are you doing this summer?: Research





What exactly are you doing?: This summer, as a recipient of the Greisch Scholarship, Dr. Gallo-Cruz and I are analyzing both self-help books as well as memoirs which focus on the topic of dysfunctional families. We are coding these books for the types of dysfunction and the circumstances surrounding the situational or personal challenges they faced. Stemming from this, and most importantly, we are looking at how these people have overcome and moved past their difficult histories. Additionally, we are putting these codes into a coding software that allows us to compare across the different books.

How did you hear about this opportunity?: My sociology advisor, Dr. Gallo-Cruz, had previously created this project with a Holy Cross alumnus. She asked me to help her this summer in the next stage of the project, which I accepted.

What are you most excited about doing within this program?: This research allows me to put what I learn in the classroom into practice. Seeing the theories and concepts which I have learned map directly onto the cases that I am studying displays the direct correlation between theory, practice, and real world application.

What are you hoping to gain from your experience?: This experience gives me the opportunity to see what it is like to be a social scientist. Additionally, I will be participating in the Sociology Honors Program my senior year and this work will be helpful practice for me in creating my thesis.

Do you have any advice for prospective students thinking about doing research?: I would highly recommend doing summer research. It gives you a different perspective on the work that you do as a student as well as that of your professors. If you want to do summer research, talk to your advisors. They can directly assist you or help you find someone who can. Your advisors also know your strengths and weaknesses as well as the classes you have taken which also can help them send you in the right direction.

When you were in high school, did you expect to have this opportunity in college?: I did not expect to have this opportunity in college. Most people just think about the opportunities that you have during the academic year, but Holy Cross offers many different options for the summer as well that I didn’t even know about until I got here.

Sader Summer Scoop: Olivia Lozy ’20



Name: Olivia Lozy

Major/Minor/Concentration: Psychology/Studio Art

Graduation Year: 2020

What are you doing this summer?: Internship




What exactly are you doing?: I work at BBDO in New York City as an  Account Management Intern. I was assigned to the Dunkin’ Donuts account, which is brand new to BBDO (they just won Dunkin’ in May). Specifically,  I’m assisting with compiling competitive reports, analyzing consumer activity through statistics, social media, news, blogs, and other platforms, working with the creative and strategic teams, ensuring accurate budgeting for productions, overseeing production spots, brainstorming ways Dunkin’ can increase brand outreach, to name a few!

How did you hear about this opportunity?: Crusader Connections

What are you most excited about doing within this program?: Being a sponge and learning as much as I can about advertising!

What are you hoping to gain from your experience?: A clearer sense of what I want to do following graduation and what my career path holds. I’d like to know where my talents can most effectively be utilized and if advertising is the industry in which that can happen.

Do you have any advice for prospective students thinking about doing an internship?: Apply to anything that interests you! You might find yourself stepping out of your comfort zone, challenging yourself and learning a lot about something you otherwise never would’ve known. It’s a lovely way to expand both your academic and professional horizons whilst gaining personal experience that can lead you to investing your time in rewarding activities or a career.


Sader Summer Scoop: Pilar Segura ’19



Name: Pilar Segura

Major/Minor/Concentration: Psychology/Neuroscience

Graduation Year: 2019

What are you doing this summer?: Research






What exactly are you doing?:I work as an assistant in the learning & conditioning lab where I handle 6 pigeons on a daily bases.

How did you hear about this opportunity?: Through my professor when I joined his lab

What are you most excited about doing within this program?: I am excited about the freedom I have and responsibility I am able to take that nowhere else is available.

What are you hoping to gain from your experience?: I hope to get published as much as possible during my gap years once I graduate (professors usually take 1-3 years to write up experiments).

Do you have any advice for prospective students thinking about doing research?: Be active, don’t be afraid to ask about what you are interested– it might get you to an opportunity you didn’t expect to be available

When you were in high school, did you expect to have this opportunity in college?: NO WAY!





Sader Summer Scoop: Lily Droesch ’21



Name: Lily Droesch

Major/Minor/Concentration: Economics

Graduation Year: 2021

What are you doing this summer?: Maymester







What exactly are you doing?: I am studying in Rome Italy at the John Felice Rome Center through Loyola of Chicago. The program is 6 weeks long and I’m taking a Theology and Italian class. I’m really enjoying the Italian class as I’m constantly surrounded by the language when walking around the city. The Theology class has been amazing so far and so unique as every class we visit a different church(es). This class is so unique as I get to learn about Catholicism and see churches most tourists would not see.

How did you hear about this opportunity?: I heard about this opportunity from my fall orientation leader and then through emails.



What are you most excited about doing within this program?: I am most excited about getting to know the city of Rome better while also taking classes that are integrated with the culture. It is also very enjoyable to be a part of the Italian way of life as it is something so new to me.

What are you hoping to gain from your experience?: I am hoping to gain a better sense of self and independence but also a new way of looking at things through my courses. I am also hoping to gain new friendships and rich experiences.

Do you have any advice for prospective students thinking about doing a Maymester?: I would 100% recommend a Maymester program as it is the perfect amount of time to test out being abroad and really have a great experience while taking common requirement courses. The courses offered are also so unique and give you a hands on experience where you really get to know the city you’re in.

When you were in high school, did you expect to have this opportunity in college?: No, I never expected to have an experience like this and just thought study abroad was limited to junior year. I love that Holy Cross is so unique in having this program as it is the perfect way to gain experience and teaches you so many things a regular classroom class does not.



Sader Summer Scoop: Efrain Lozano ’19




Name: Efrain Lozano

Major/Minor/Concentration: Spanish and International Studies double major

Graduation Year: 2019

What are you doing this summer?: Internship





What exactly are you doing?: I am the Original Content/Features Intern at the National Football League (NFL) in Culver City, CA. Basically I help create original stories from players, teams, etc. In which the fans could relate to and somehow connect with our organization. I do research packets on each story I’m out in charge of and from there gather and compile footage that is sent to the producers and editors to cut it and put it together. I also get to sit through the edits of the stories I help put together, and sometimes even be present for the shoots.

How did you hear about this opportunity?: My own research as well through Crusader Connections.

What are you most excited about doing within this program?: I’m excited to be able to get the first hand experience of the ins and outs of the NFL. Having the opportunity to have that hand on experience with one of the biggest organizations in the world is great. In addition, having the opportunity to meet and network with so many important people, as it will prepare me to deal with these important people once I graduate from HC.

What are you hoping to gain from your experience?: I hope that after this experience, I am able to grow both professionally and personally. I think that this opportunity is great in the sense that I am taken very serious as if I were a regular employee. This pushes me to try my best every single day I’m in the office, so I definitely know this is a great start for my future career.

Do you have any advice for prospective students thinking about doing an internship?: Take advantage of every single opportunity you have to network with people from every department. You never know who you will meet at your internship, so always ask questions and be ready to put yourself outside of your comfort zone, that will give you the best experience.

When you were in high school, did you expect to have this opportunity in college?: Definitely not! I never imagined that I was going to work for such organization or even meet NFL players one-on-one.

Sader Summer Scoop: Paulina Martin ’21



Name: Paulina Martin

Major/Minor/Concentration: History

Graduation Year: 2021

What are you doing this summer?: Maymester




What exactly are you doing?:I am spending a month in southern India. We spent the first two weeks hearing from various non-profits about the problems India faces today and what they are doing to help, and the second two weeks diving deep into an internship at one of these non-profits. I interned at Sumanahli, an organization that focuses on providing treatment and community to individuals affected by leprosy.

How did you hear about this opportunity?: I saw a sign up in an academic building at Holy Cross! The thought of traveling to a place SO different than anything I’d ever experienced seemed like such an amazing way to end my first year of college, so I sent in my application within weeks.

What are you most excited about doing within this program?: I was most excited to learn everything I could about a different part of the world. I knew very little about Asian/Indian culture before embarking on this trip. Coming here, I’ve loved forming connections and hearing the lived experiences of those who grew up/are growing up with a different world view.

What are you hoping to gain from your experience?: I think coming in, I was hoping to prove to myself that I could withstand a month in perhaps the most different place I could possibly have gone. Now that I’m only a few days from leaving, I can confidently say that not only can I stand it, I can enjoy the adventure. I am coming back to Holy Cross with a greater sense of self, friends across the globe, and an even stronger desire to work with the world’s marginalized.

Do you have any advice for prospective students thinking about doing a Maymester?: Do it. Do it even though it is scary, no, TERRIFYING. These are the experiences that will grow you beyond belief, and introduce you to individuals you otherwise never would have crossed paths with.

When you were in high school, did you expect to have this opportunity in college?: I certainly expected opportunities to study abroad in college, but I never thought I could to India, and I never thought I could fit it in as a month long summer program that allowed me to do even MORE traveling during the school year itself {i.e. a junior year abroad in Europe}.




Sader Summer Scoop: Fiona Busser ’19


Have you ever thought about how you can make the most out of your summer breaks during college? Throughout the summer, we will be highlighting current Holy Cross students in our “Sader Summer Scoop” series to show some of the great summer opportunities students take advantage of. Whether they spend a few weeks in a foreign country during a Maymester program, do research with a member of our faculty, or have an internship in their future field, Crusaders are able to further their education in a variety of ways. To kick off our summer series, Fiona Busser ’19 gives us insight into the Weiss Summer Research Program in the Genetics Lab!




Name: Fiona Busser

Major/Minor/Concentration: Biology Major/Philosophy Minor/Pre-med track

Graduation Year: 2019

What are you doing this summer?: Research






What exactly are you doing?: I am participating in the Weiss Summer Research Program in the Genetics lab of Prof. Geoff Findlay of the Biology Department. I work in our lab on the first floor of O’Neil Hall. We as a lab work with the model organism Drosophila melanogaster (fruit flies) and specifically study the genetics and reproduction of this species. My project investigates a highly conserved gene called Enkurin in order to characterize its function and role in reproduction.

How did you hear about this opportunity?: I knew as an incoming student that involvement in research as an undergraduate student is a benefit that comes along with Holy Cross being a purely undergraduate institution. As I progressed further in my studies within the Biology department, I began to then hear more and more about the research labs and the Weiss Summer research program here at Holy Cross. I then began working in this particular lab the past semester and was then fortunate to continue my work this summer.

What are you most excited about doing within this program?: I am really excited about the amount of time that I have to make a lot of progress on my project. It is always rewarding when we make a breakthrough in the project that moves us along to the next step, or teaches us something new. Having nine weeks to focus on research and learn new procedures and techniques is a huge benefit so that once the school year begins again I will have new skills that will allow me to continue working at a pace that will result in a fair amount of progress being made. I am also excited to learn more about what other labs work on, wither through faculty presentations or from talking with the many other students that are on campus performing various types of research—both in the sciences and in other disciplines.

What are you hoping to gain from your experience?: I hope to not only gain more experience in a laboratory setting, but I also hope to gain a better sense of the collaborative nature of science. By working with both professors and other students, as well as working in conjunction with a lab at UMASS Medical School where my specific project originated, I hope to fully appreciate how the scientific process is dynamic, collaborative, and a well-rounded educational experience. I believe that through the summer research program I can bolster the ways in which I articulate my project, as well as present myself to different audiences all while learning so much from others.

Do you have any advice for prospective students thinking about doing research?: Don’t be afraid to approach professors early on! If you are interested in a particular field of interest that a certain professor specializes in or works on, feel free to go and speak to them about what they do. Not only do they appreciate when students are interested in learning more about particular topics outside of the classroom, but showing an interest and following that up with conversation and certain courses can readily turn into a research position, either during the summer or also during the regular academic year.

When you were in high school, did you expect to have this opportunity in college?: I did not expect to have such a great opportunity as performing such interesting and involved genetics research as an undergrad when I was back in high school. I was not even sure if research was something that I would enjoy, or even want to try. I am so grateful for the opportunities at Holy Cross to expand my learning and to try things that I never expected as now I cannot imagine finishing my biology education without the research I am currently participating in.

Advice on being a Double Major

Double major=more work. Right? Actually, no, wrong.

As a tour guide, one of the most common question I get is “what is it like to double major? Is it hard?” I actually kind of chuckle every time someone asks me this because it reminds me how inaccurately double majoring is viewed.

Let’s break it down. Students at Holy Cross take 32 courses (each course is one credit) in order to graduate. A typical major is anywhere between 10 and 14 courses. So, if you have ONE major, you take 10-14 courses for that major, and the rest of your credits are filled with other classes—whether it be a minor, a concentration, or just a bunch of random classes!

If you have TWO majors, then you take 10-14 courses for one of your majors, AND another 10-14 courses for your other major. It’s really that simple. You do not need to take more than 32 courses in order to double major. The only difference is, you are taking more courses geared towards one major.

In regards to school work, you don’t have MORE work just because you have two majors. Often, majors require a higher level course in order to complete the major, whether it is a 300 level seminar, or a 400 level independent study course. This means that with two majors, you would have to take TWO of these higher level courses, one for each major.

SO, having two majors doesn’t necessarily mean more work. It means you have another field of study you are interested in addition to your other major. In terms of schoolwork, you would be taking one or two more higher level courses that you wouldn’t necessarily have to take if you just had one major. So when it comes down to it, a double major is really an addition of one or two more higher level courses to your class schedule.

After reading all of that you’re problem thinking why double major then? I’ll admit, double majoring is not for everyone. Some students know they only want to student one thing and one thing only. With me, I have multiple interests when it comes to academics. In fact, I wish I could triple or quadruple major but that’s just not an option. Students typically double majoring when they have more than one interest and want to study more than one thing.

On a more personal note, one of my favorite things about double majoring is seeing how my two areas of study, art history and sociology, overlap. And surprisingly, they do. When you double major, you’ll find a lot of interconnectedness within your courses, which help you grasp a better understanding as to how the world works. Another great aspect of double majoring is that you have two advisors, one from each major department. This is a great feature because you will have multiple amazing faculty resources!

In conclusion, double majoring only means you take courses geared to two specific academic areas instead of just one. It doesn’t mean more work and it doesn’t mean harder courses. In fact, I actually encourage underclassmen to take a wide variety of courses their first and second years to see if they find multiple disciplines they’re interested in and can double major in!

If you’d like to learn more about double majoring or any of our academic programs in general, visit our website at:

What is it like to be a first-year student at Holy Cross?

Freshman Year at Holy Cross: Commonly Asked Questions and My Experience

While many first-year students have older siblings to learn from as they venture off to college, I am the oldest in my family, so going off to college was a completely new experience for me and my family. While I felt completely prepared to leave high school and begin this new chapter in my life, there was still so much that I was unsure of — both about college in general and about Holy Cross. Here are some of the things I have learned so far from being a first-year student on the Hill…


What’s it like to be a first year student?

One of my biggest fears when going into college was leaving my high school friends — people I had known my entire life — and making a new group of friends. I’m from a pretty small town and I had gone to school with the same people since pre-school, so making new friends was a pretty big change for me. Within the first few days of school this worry of mine eased. Everyone is so open to meeting new people and making new friends during the first few weeks of school, so if you are worried about making friends, don’t be! Just say “hi” to people! I’ve met such amazing people here at Holy Cross and my best advice is to join clubs and activities that you love, branch out and try new things, and just talk to people!


What is your experience with classes and what are professors like?

Classes at Holy Cross are hyped up to sound impossible — they’re not! From my experience, as long as you pay attention, study, and do your homework, everyone is able to manage their classes and still have time for activities and a social life. Attending every class is more than half of the battle, so be sure to make that a priority. Classes are definitely challenging, but they are manageable. I view the challenging parts of classes as a positive thing because I know that I am learning new material and skills and it forces me to put forth my best effort. Additionally, the professors are really amazing! All of my professors so far this year have really cared about my learning and success. They are available, provide great feedback, and get to know their students. I have grown so much as a writer because of my CRAW and Poetry classes that pushed me to think outside of the box. Although that was initially hard to do, the challenge pays off. I can really sense the value in my college education.

Picking classes is another aspect of coming to Holy Cross that many students seem to worry about. My advice would be to have backup plans, just in case you don’t get your first choice of courses. For both first and second semester, I did not get all four of the classes that I wanted, but since I had backups picked out in my “Moodle” backpack, I’ve gotten to take some pretty cool classes that I wouldn’t have taken otherwise. The bottom line is that everything will work out with course selection and especially as a freshman, you have plenty of time to fill your core requirements! Don’t only take classes that you know you’re good at, definitely try some new things and try to broaden your horizons!


What is your Montserrat experience like?

Like many other students, when I first got my assignment for my Montserrat I was a little disappointed, because it wasn’t my first choice. However, I ended up really liking my Montserrat class because it focuses on a topic that none of my other classes cover. Also, because you spend the full year with the same class and professor, it’s really nice to have that sort of consistency at a time where everything else is changing.


What is it like to live with someone “random” as a roommate?

I was so nervous about who my roommate would be. Even after I got my assignment and communicated with my roommate over text, I still wasn’t totally sure what she would be like. I went into college with the expectation that my roommate and I would be best friends and although that isn’t the case, I still love my roommate and have had a great experience! We live very well together and get along great. It’s actually really nice to have somebody outside of your friend group to come home to every day and talk with. Many of my friends had similar experiences to me, while a few ended up being good friends with their roommates. Either way, the majority of roommates at Holy Cross have a positive experience.


Is Holy Cross living up to your expectations so far?

Yes, and more! I knew that I would really like HC, but it truly has exceeded my expectations and I really do love it. There is something so unique about the opportunities and the people here. You aren’t just a number at Holy Cross, you’re a person with a story. It’s so nice going to a small school and seeing people that you recognize all over campus!

I have really enjoyed getting involved here with SPUD, Admissions Outreach, and Eucharistic ministry. I went on a retreat at the Joyce Contemplative Center and hope to attend another. I also want to join club swimming and try out some more new things! I’m excited about the opportunities that the COES business overlay provides and the Maymesters look amazing. There is so much to do and try here and there is something for everyone.


Takeaways? Final Advice?

Don’t forget to stay on top of your Holy Cross email. A lot of important information is communicated that way. Get involved! That’s how you’ll meet and befriend people. Seriously, don’t worry about things like classes, making friends, and roommates. It will all work out and Holy Cross provides students with many resources along the way. Professors are always willing to help out during office hours and older students and peers are always happy to answer questions that first-year students might have. Try new things, say “hi” to people, try your hardest in classes, and everything will work out better than you ever imagined!


written by Katherine Barrette ’21