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: 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}.




Why Holy Cross? The Research Opportunities

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.

Zach Wielgus
Admissions Counselor