Class of 2023 Spotlight: Kathleen Segal

Young woman posing for picture in chemistry lab holding a glass beaker.

“One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned in the chemistry department is to be OK with failure.”

Name: Kathleen Segal

Hometown: Wellesley, Massachusetts

Major: Chemistry, with a peace and conflict studies concentration 

Activities: Isaacs Lab, head resident assistant of Williams Hall, College Orchestra (EBoard co-chair), Holy Cross Jazz Ensemble

What is a turning point or significant memory from your time at Holy Cross? 

One of my favorite Holy Cross memories is the holiday dinners, particularly Christmas dinner. I’ve gone with the same group of friends every year, and we always recreate the photo we took freshman year. It’s a great moment to relax and enjoy time together before the craziness of finals, as well as reflect on the past year and the ways we’ve grown since the last Christmas photo. 

What are lessons from Holy Cross that you’ll take with you after leaving Mount St. James? 

One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned in the chemistry department is to be OK with failure. I’ve spent two years working in the lab of Andre Isaacs, associate professor of chemistry, and things have gone wrong many more times than they’ve gone right. I’ve learned to remember that figuring out how not to do something puts you one step closer to figuring out how to do something. I’ve also learned how to look at things from multiple perspectives. Through taking classes outside my major, participating in clubs, and just living as a Holy Cross student, I’ve developed the ability to look at challenges from multiple lenses to come up with the best possible solution. 

What are you doing after you graduate? 

I’m pursuing a Ph.D. in organic chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania following graduation.