Caroline Muniz ‘23
The X-Chrom club works to empower Holy Cross women on their STEM related paths. Within the club, members hope to foster a safe environment in which women feel comfortable sharing their experiences. It is also an opportunity to meet other women with similar interests and knowledge and thus creating confidence within them.
Co-Chairs Gabrielle Aucello ‘23 and Claudia Hajja ‘23 are both very passionate about the club and its message. They are working hard to equip other students with the support that they felt when they both joined. “ I joined XCHROM as a freshman and was under the mentorship of a wonderful senior at the time. She inspired me to continue on with the club, so I worked my way up from member to chair of the organization. I have always felt included and inspired to be my best self as a model for my peers,” said Hajja.
The club aims to provide young girls in underserved communities with purposeful peer, alumni and professional connections. These connections are meant to illuminate the importance of women within the STEM field by aiding them in their academic journeys. “I was between what science major I wanted to study, and learning from all the women of XCHROM and their experiences with the science department helped me make my own path,” said Aucello. These networks can provide opportunities for success both on campus and in the real world.
A typical meeting consists of a discussion about the club’s goals, which usually entails conversations between members to better understand the connections that they have made. The club conducts check-ins with its members for their internal programs such as Members of Mentoring or MOM, which allows underclassmen in the club to develop a mentorship between themselves and an upperclassmen. They also conduct events in which they have monthly spotlight speakers who share their own journeys in STEM. These include Holy Cross faculty, alumni and other various professionals in STEM.
The club has also participated in various off-campus opportunities, such as helping to tutor students in Worcester schools with their homework. Although this aspect of the club has been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the club has big plans to get the program running again in order to build those important relationships and also help more students in the process. “After COVID, we could tell that XCHROM was not known amongst the underclassmen, so this year, our goal has been to spread awareness of this awesome support system on campus,” said Aucello.
The club has big plans to grow and will continue to inspire more women to follow their STEM dreams.
For more information on ways to join or support the club, email Gabrielle Aucello firstname.lastname@example.org or Claudia Hajjar email@example.com with any questions!
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