“I realized early in my college career that religious history is the field I want to study. As a sophomore, I enrolled in Professor Angel Cortes’ course on the Age of Jackson. In it, I was able to explore questions about Christian discipleship and U.S. citizenship I have always had but didn’t have the means of articulating,” said alumnus Colin Crawford ’18, who was recently accepted into the University of Alabama’s Master of Arts program in history. “I will use graduate school to continue to ask those questions, and to prompt others to ask those questions, too.”
Journey in higher education
“At Holy Cross College, I majored in history, but I wasn’t immediately drawn to graduate study. I wanted more of the service-learning experiences I had at Holy Cross, so I joined the Jesuit Volunteer Corps. For one year, I committed to living simply and in community, deepening my spirituality, and working at a day shelter for the homeless in Albuquerque, New Mexico. As that adventure concluded, I discerned I was ready to continue my formal education,” notes Crawford.
Holy Cross College gave him the tools to find professional success.
“My formation at Holy Cross College helped me develop the skills I will need for advanced study. I developed good habits in historical research, writing, and presenting thanks to the mentorship of Professors Cortes and Thomas Spencer. Their guidance has made me a competitive applicant to graduate programs,” said Crawford.
He wants to use graduate study work as an opportunity to better understand some of the encounters he had with the global Church while at Holy Cross College.
“Brother George Klawitter has introduced me to many Holy Cross Brothers from Bangladesh, and through him, I befriended novices at St. Mary’s convent almost all of whom are from West Africa and South Asia. The Global Engagement Trip lead by Professor Dianne Barlas gave me the opportunity to visit Holy Cross apostolates in India. These encounters radically expanded and deepened my perspective of the Church,” commented Crawford. “Holy Cross College revealed to me how the faith links me to others around the world. A graduate program in History will help me contextualize those relationships in time.”
During his time at Holy Cross College, he had the opportunity to be inspired during course lectures and in an excursion that created a glimpse for future exploration.
“In his lecture courses, and in a trip he organized to Mexican-American parishes in the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago, Professor Louis Albarran introduced me to the idea of Catholicism in America as a kind of tapestry: it is rich in its diversity,” said Crawford. “Graduate school will be the first step I take in my attempt to weave the story of South Asian-American Catholics into that tapestry.”