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Class of 2017 Senior Projects Give Real-World Experiences
Posted 06/02/2017 02:00PM

The Senior Project internship program has been part of the academic experience at the Academy since 1973. Every year, our seniors research sites, contact sponsors, coordinate the internship responsibilities, manage their 60-hour requirements, communicate with their faculty/staff mentors, and write reflections. The Class of 2017 attended their internships beginning on Monday, May 8. Their internships took place at numerous organizations and businesses in fields such as medicine, education, engineering, law, communications, marketing, social work, journalism, and many others. For some students, Senior Project confirms their career aspirations. For others, it helps them narrow their interests or determine a direction.


On Wednesday, May 31, nine seniors gave presentations about their Senior Project internship at an all-school assembly.

Jennifer Case ’17 interned at The Washington Post where she interviewed Holy Cross alumna Lanay Montgomery ’12 who recently signed to play with the WNBA. She also sat in on a meeting that included Tom Hanks, Meryl Streep and Steven Spielberg, who are doing research for a new film. “That was the highlight of my Senior Project,” Jennifer remarked.

Shadowing nurses in the Suburban Hospital emergency room helped Megan Conley ’17 confirm that nursing is the right career field for her. She witnessed several traumas during her internship and was allowed to help with some of the treatments. “The whole experience was incredible, and something I would have never imagined seeing,” she remarked.

During her internship at the Kennedy Krieger School, Emily Halm ’17 shadowed teachers of students who have intellectual disabilities. She worked one-on-one with students in classrooms and observed the teachers as well as the therapists for the students. The experience helped Emily realize that she may be better suited to working in one of the specialized therapies for children with special needs (physical, speech, occupational, etc.). Of the experience, Emily remarked, “I am now ready for the next chapter of my life, and it all wouldn’t have been possible if it wasn’t for Holy Cross.”

Before Senior Project, Jessica Falcinelli ’17 wasn’t sure which career path she wanted to pursue. Then came the Frederick Flight Center. There she shadowed instructors, learned maintenance, and taxied and piloted different types of planes. Her internship has been extended throughout the summer and Jessica plans to earn her private pilot license. She is grateful to Holy Cross for the experience and encouraged the Juniors to take full advantage of the opportunity next year.

Isabella Orgel ’17 interned at the NIH/ National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Isabella plans to major in public health in college and the internship gave her a sampling of many different aspects of public health specialties. She remarked that though her experience consisted of a lot of reading and research, she found the opportunity invaluable. Isabella remarked in her speech, “I wouldn’t say that the purpose of Senior Project is to have fun, or even to figure out what exactly you want to do in your life. I think it’s about acclimating to the workforce and gaining an advantage in the professional world.”

Reann Philogene ’17 plans to major in art with a concentration in photography in college. Her internship was with freelance photographer and artist, Dominique Fierro. During her project, Reann learned strengths and weaknesses about herself and how to capitalize her strengths and minimize her weaknesses. She noted, “Working with Dominique helped me to realize that even though it is difficult it is always worth it to pursue your passion.”

At the Shady Grove Rehabilitation Center Bryn Strzelec ’17, shadowed physical therapists both for inpatient and outpatient services. She learned that many of the patients who receive physical therapy at Shady Grove have experienced strokes. She noted in her presentation, “I knew before that I wanted to go into Neuro Physical Therapy, but this hands-on experience has helped confirmed my plans for the future.”

Ingrid Torp ’17 interned at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. She spent time reviewing information, attending meetings, visiting police headquarters and providing office assistance where needed. Ingrid noted that she enjoyed learning how the ATF was “helping the police with some violent crime areas.”

During her internship, Hugh Zhang ’17 researched information for the Gender Task Force of her sponsor, Global Communities. Her research included evaluating international organizations on their practices of gender sensitivity. During her project, Hugh also created and gave two presentations to groups within the Gender Task Force. She noted of the experience, “I had to be clear and concise and well-prepared for all sorts of questions. Through the research and the presentations, I practiced my writing and public-speaking skills which will be extremely useful in my future college and career life.”

Senior Project Coordinator Lois Gobbi will retire at the end of this year after 10 years managing the program. She noted how much she has enjoyed working with hundreds of students. During the Cap and Gown Awards Ceremony on Thursday, June 1, President Katy Prebble thanked Lois for her commitment to the program.


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