Alumnae News

Joanne Carl '76 says her daughter Michelle Cousté '11 always loved construction sites. When Michelle was little Joanne would push her stroller to construction sites where she would be fascinated with the activity. It's no wonder that Michelle is now an Assistant Superintendent for Clark Construction working on the Metro Silver Line Phase 2A project in Ashburn, VA. Her journey began while researching civil engineering for her AP Calculus class at Holy Cross. It changed her entire plan for college. Michelle relates the story in a recent Clark Construction blog post "Michelle Cousté on Ensuring Quality as a Woman Field Leader in Construction."

At Clark, Michelle compares her job to a ballet, "At its core, I am the one coordinating and enabling all of the different trades to do their work for the day. One of the most beautiful things to me is watching two very skilled equipment operators work together with big machines to achieve something." 

Read the entire story here.

Michelle has kept in touch with her alma mater and has volunteered with the Holy Cross Robotics team, helping them prepare for their competitions and helping the team apply for a donation.

Photo courtesy Clark Construction Group, LLC


Brittany Menjivar '17 was recently selected as one of five screenwriting mentees for the AT&T Hello Lab Mentorship Program, which pairs up-and-coming screenwriters with directors and gives them the opportunity to have their short films fully funded and produced in Hollywood, under the guidance of Lena Waithe. Britt, a junior at Yale University majoring in English and Film, traveled to Los Angeles to kick off pre-production in June, and is currently doing remote work on the project. She returns to LA to shoot her film in August.

Britt credits her Holy Cross film class with sparking her love of film. She says, "I wouldn't have pursued film after high school. I wouldn't have gone to college knowing screenplay formatting; I wouldn't know anything about the Beat Sheet or film terminology; I wouldn't love movies the way I do today. I'm so grateful that I was able to take a course that prepared me for the next steps so well." In addition to this opportunity, Britt has written, directed, and acted in several plays at Yale. She has also been a music journalist for the pop culture website "The Young Folks" since her senior year at Holy Cross.

Read more about the program here.


Photos: Shayan Asgharnia

On Friday, March 22, Holy Cross held its annual Career Day program, welcoming 16 alumnae back to discuss the choices that led them to their career paths. The program is organized by the Holy Cross Counseling and Alumnae offices.

The Career Day program began with an all-school assembly keynote address by Dominica Groom Williams '00. Dominica is Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion at Freddie Mac, where she leads the company's efforts to recruit and retain a diverse employee base and to provide equal opportunity in their contracting practices. Before joining Freddie Mac, she was the Senior Director, Global Supplier Diversity and Sustainability at Marriott International. She has been recognized as one of the "Top 100 Women" in Maryland by The Daily Record, for her leadership, community service and mentoring, and as one of Maryland's top Leading Women under the age of 40. She was named a Top Influential Leader in Diversity by the National Association for Minority Companies for her commitment to diversity and inclusion. In 2016, Holy Cross recognized Dominica as a Distinguished Alumna. In her address, Dominica shared about the influence Holy Cross had on her career path and offered words of advice to the girls about how their solid educational foundation will ultimately serve them well in their future.

Following the assembly, the Freshman and Sophomore classes attended a panel discussion with Tyler Cumbo '07, a business law attorney; Erin Dunn 04, an early childhood special education teacher; and Lauren Dorozynski '06, a nurse at Children's National Medical Center. Juniors and Seniors attended pre-chosen breakout sessions with alumnae from a variety of different career fields. Alumnae discussed the choices they made that helped them determine their careers. They discussed the opportunities they followed in college and options they pursued in determining the fields they chose. They also discussed what their current jobs involve and answered questions from the students. Following the program several of the alumnae remained during the lunch period to continue their conversations with students.

Honoring Black Women in Leadership was the theme for this year's Black History Month Assembly on Friday, February 15. The annual program is organized by members of the Holy Cross Onyx Club. This year, the members created a special video for the assembly in which Onyx Club members portrayed prominent Black women leaders.

Following the video, alumna Kimberly Peeler-Allen '94 shared her story. She spoke about how her experiences as a student at Holy Cross shaped the adult she became, including choosing to take a challenging AP US History class, but not take the exam, and choosing not to apply to Princeton. These choices she now references when encouraging other women of color to take risks. She also shared about her experience serving for a summer as a Congressional intern for Rep. Pat Schroeder. Kimberly is the co-founder of Higher Heights, a national organization building the political power and leadership of Black women from the voting booth to elected office. In 2018, Kimberly was selected as one of the Roddenberry Fellowship's 20 incredible established and emerging activists to devote an entire year to projects that will make the U.S. more inclusive and equitable through their inaugural cohort.

Following the keynote, Katiushka Howell '22 performed "Lift Every Voice and Sing" also known as the Black National Anthem. To conclude the assembly, President Katy Prebble thanked the Onyx Club and Kimberly. She then remarked how Holy Cross aims to have all students empowered to achieve their highest goals.

"I was so well prepared for college!" This sentiment was noted by many of the Class of 2018 alumnae who spoke to junior and senior homeroom advisories on Thursday, January 10 at the annual Tartans Come Home program. More than 40 Ladies of the Academy (LOTAs) returned to share about their first semester of college. These graduates are attending colleges all over the country and internationally.

The returning LOTAs spoke about their choices for college, selecting roommates, managing school work and free time, resolving issues on their own, and the college campus cultures. Many alumnae noted how the course load at Holy Cross exceptionally prepared them for their college work. Most also remarked that the strong writing skills they acquired at Holy Cross served them very well in college. After visiting the junior and senior advisories, the alumnae reconnected with each other, current students and faculty members. Tartans Come Home occurs annually and is coordinated by the College Counseling and Alumnae Affairs Offices.

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