What The Admissions Team Loves About HDS

by Kat Woodard

Editor’s Note: In this post, the HDS Admissions Team shares a few of their favorite things about the HDS community and campus culture.

Odeviz Soto, Director of Admissions, MDiv ’11

I love HDS’ culture of self-care and how it liberates all community members to be kind to themselves and each other.

Margaret Okada-Scheck, Associate Director of Admissions

I love walking around HDS and seeing so many friendly faces, or folks who smile and wave. I also love watching all the trees on the HDS Campus Green change with the seasons.

Alessandra Luedeking, Admissions Officer

I love the people at HDS. As an intentionally pluralistic community, there is a culture of authentic openness, curiosity, and genuine kindness that is unlike any I’ve experienced before.

John Rzasa, Staff Assistant

I love the intentionality of the outdoor spaces near Swartz, which are inviting, open, and provide a sense of community, even if it is too cold to properly use them now!

Kat Woodard, Graduate Assistant, MDiv ’25

In terms of physical spaces, the HDS Commons holds a special place in my heart. I love that we can gather here to study, visit with friends, and participate in impromptu campus events like HDS trivia nights!

Maggie Helmick, Graduate Assistant, MTS ’23

One of the things I love most about HDS is the compactness of our little corner of campus. Having all of our classes contained within such a small space creates an environment in which you do not have to look hard to find your friends and peers, which in my opinion, is central to the welcoming sense of community I have found here.

Nicole Collins, Graduate Assistant, MTS ’24

It’s taken me a while to narrow this down! One of the aspects of life at HDS that has struck me the most while studying here, so far, has been students’ open and unforced generosity. This generosity extends to everything from being willing to have in-depth, genuinely curious conversations about what other students are studying, to holding somewhat spontaneous HDS trivia events.

Samirah Jaigirdar, Graduate Assistant, MTS ’24

One of the highlights of my week is grabbing a cup of coffee from the HDS Cafe with some of my friends before my seminar on religious nationalism! The simple act of getting a warm drink and talking about how our classes and lives are going is a great break from the grind.

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