One of the things that sets Mount Holyoke apart from our peers is the fact that our campus serves as a living laboratory, offering students, faculty, staff, and members of the community a unique opportunity to experience restoration ecology first hand, in our backyard. Working with Kate Ballantine, assistant professor of environmental studies, Mount Holyoke students are taking the lead in reversing ecosystem degradation and damage, starting in South Hadley. Project Stream, the Restoration Ecology Program site just north of Upper Lake, now serves as a living classroom where faculty, undergraduates, and even visiting high schoolers can research and learn.
Recent graduate Ellen Chilemba '17, an economics and studio art double major, has found a way to empower Malawian women to support themselves through entrepreneurship. Her nonprofit organization, Tiwale, is a youth-led community based organization in Mtsiliza (Lilongwe), Malawi, that empowers women through educational and economic opportunities. Their mission is to empower women to develop sustainable ventures that transform our communities from poverty-stricken to entrepreneur-vital.
Commencement is always a bittersweet moment; the end of a wonderful adventure, and the beginning of an exciting new journey. On May 21, more than 550 students crossed the stage, signaling the end of their undergraduate career. In what has become tradition, the Career Development Center (CDC) has been celebrating the first destinations and aspirations of each year’s graduating class with a “My Journey Begins” photo project. Over the past couple of months seniors have created signs highlighting their next steps after Mount Holyoke College. These journeys will take them to all different fields and around the world, from teaching to tech and from Guatemala to Edinburg. This is #TheMountHolyokeEffect.
When recent graduate Sarah Robinson ’17 came to Mount Holyoke, they knew that the liberal arts education was an important draw. “I was looking specifically for colleges with computer science, but also colleges with liberal arts so I could get more of a breadth of education,” said Robinson. A computer science major and math minor, Robinson landed a web developer position in LITS (Library, Information and Technology Services) their first year, and took on the ambitious project of updating the online campus map, eventually becoming the project’s lead programmer. The updated online campus map which launched this spring is a much more versatile tool, providing campus geographic information in the familiar layout of a Google map and also including the names and locations of every building and academic department.
Growing up in Ethiopia, Woyneab Habte ’17 was shocked to find that many of her female classmates at the university were forced into sex trade in order to pay for food and school supplies. After coming to Mount Holyoke, Habte launched On-Her-Own, a copy shop on the campus of her former university that aims to permanently provide low-income female students from rural parts of Ethiopia with non-exploitative means of income.This is the first thriving student jobs program in Ethiopia.
While neither Onji Bae ’18 nor Hashma Shahid ’17 had considered pursuing computer science when they enrolled at Mount Holyoke, their connection with the enthusiastic computer science community helped them realize new passions and changed their career trajectories. Now they are inspiring the next generation of girls to get involved with computer science through the Girls in Tech conference. This is #TheMountHolyokeEffect.
Despite its unassuming location in South Hadley, Mount Holyoke serves as a vibrant microcosm of our complex world.
Our students come from 47 states and 57 countries, and 27 percent of students are international citizens. Our faculty work all over the globe and speak or read a multitude of different languages. Our alumnae live in over 140 countries. The McCulloch Center for Global Initiatives offers 150 study-abroad programs in 50 different countries. This diverse mix of experiences, skills and perspectives inspires our community to think critically, work collaboratively and generate creative solutions to challenging problems. This is #TheMountHolyokeEffect.
Thank you for a wonderful Reunion!
These past two weekends, hundreds of alumnae gathered on our stunning campus to reconnect with classmates, welcome the class of 2017 as our newest alumnae, and create new memories at our beautiful alma mater. Take a look at this wonderful Reunion recap from the Alumnae Association. Did your favorite moments make the cut?