Holly R. Cashman '94

How has your Hood education benefited you?
My Hood education not only gave me the analytical skills and language proficiency I would need to be successful in graduate school and in my subsequent career, but, more importantly, it also allowed me to develop the self-confidence to reach for my dreams, the interpersonal skills to work with other people to achieve them, and the sense of social responsibility to want to give back.

How did your time at Hood prepare you for graduate school coursework?
My time at Hood prepared me for graduate work and my career through courses and research experiences that allowed me to work independently under the guidance of caring and demanding faculty members.

How did you find the transition from Hood to graduate school?
My transition from Hood to graduate school was relatively easy. After the Hood experience, I was prepared (academically, socially) to jump into life in a competitive program at a large research university.

How did your extracurricular experiences prepare you for life after Hood?
Living in the Spanish House helped me develop my language skills, and participating in T.E.A. (Tolerance Education Acceptance) helped me understand myself and connected me to the LGBTQ community.

Did you decide your major right away?
I changed my mind a couple of times, a fact that I enjoy sharing with my advisees today! The subjects that would become my majors—Spanish and History of Art—I first encountered as core curriculum requirements.

What is your favorite memory of Hood?
There are too many to list, from simple times hanging out with friends in Meyran to challenging academic experiences on campus and studying abroad. If I had to pick one, it might be first receiving my Hood Ring.

Who was your mentor while at Hood?
I was lucky to have so many talented and generous mentors at Hood. Professor Roser Caminals-Heath, who advised me in my honors thesis, was my mentor in Spanish, and both Professors Anne Derbes and Frederick Bohrer were my mentors in history of art. Professors Kerry Strand and Carol Kolmerten, co-directors of the Honors Program while I was at Hood, were also my first mentors before I found my majors.

If you had an opportunity to speak to a prospective student about Hood, what would you tell him or her about your time at Hood?
I would tell them to take advantage of the academic and social opportunities while you’re there because the time will go by very quickly. Take advice from people (fellow students, faculty and staff, your family), but listen to your inner voice, too. Find what you are passionate about.

What role has your education at Hood played in helping you attain your career and personal goals?
Hood provided me with a very clear model for the kind of professor I wanted to become—one who works hard studying something she is deeply passionate about and is enthusiastic about teaching and mentoring students—and for the life I wanted to have—a balanced life including work, friends and family, cultural enrichment and community service. I knew from my interaction with faculty mentors at Hood that professors can have a major impact on students’ lives.

Why did you choose Hood for your undergraduate education?
I visited the campus and it felt like home. That sounds simple, perhaps simplistic, but that is how I remember it.