Alumnae News

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.

(L-R) Emily Teter, Eileen Dinn '19, Emily Muldoon '12, Tesfay Rezene, Katy Prebble

In observance of National Migration Week, the Holy Cross community gathered for a student-initiated assembly focusing on what it means to be a refugee, and what the Catholic church teaches about immigration. Eileen Dinn '19 worked with Director of Social Justice Emily Teter to organize the presentation with members of the Holy Cross Student Council and Pro-Life Club.

In addition to the information presented by the students, alumna Emily Muldoon '12 shared about her work with Lutheran Social Services of the National Capital Area, where she works to support refugees, asylum seekers, and victims of trafficking in reaching self-sufficiency upon their arrival in the United States. Emily introduced Tesfay Rezene who spoke about his harrowing journey, fleeing from his small village in Eritrea at age 14 due to what the United Nations describes as "blatant disrespect for human rights." He lived in a refugee camp for three years in Ethiopia until he gained refugee status to come to the United States as an unaccompanied minor. At just 17-years-old, speaking no English, he lived with a foster family in Silver Spring. He attended high school and college and graduated from Penn State University in 2018 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Global Studies. He now works with Emily at Lutheran Social Services. Emily said, "He is the embodiment of resilience...He reminds [clients] that a better, safer life is possible, [and] he is a living example of this."

Chi-Emeka Egwuagu '14 was selected to be included in the "Women of William and Mary", a section of the blog "Humans of William and Mary". Her interview was part of the College of William and Mary's yearlong celebration of women being admitted as students at the college. In her interview, "Envisioning a Community of Support," Emeka shared about the impact of her experience at Holy Cross on her life. She says, "When I hear from so many of my friends that they hated high school and don't talk to their high school friends, I get sad because my experience from the beginning was probably some of the best times in my life, not that I am someone who lives in my high school glory days, but our community was so bonded it [was] genuinely like a sisterhood. I was in a sorority at William and Mary and I would still say nothing compares to AHC." She also notes that the importance of the all-girls' leadership she experienced at Holy Cross gave her added confidence in her co-ed college environment. "I saw female leadership as a norm and my all-girls school reinforced that idea and the idea that women are and will continue to be powerful leaders."

Emeka graduated from William and Mary in May 2018 and is now a first year student at Columbia University Law School.

Read the entire blog post here.

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