Junior Dayishaa Daga ’22 credits her closeness with professors with her success in pursuing two rigorous STEM majors, biological sciences and data science. In addition to feeling connected to faculty through her academics, Dayishaa serves on multiple committees and clubs that have helped her feel closer to the community. This summer before her junior year, funding through the College’s Lynk initiative enabled her to pursue a remote internship in data science in her home country of Nepal. She learned new skills related to her major and explored possible career paths.
Recent graduate Marisol Fernandez ’20 credits Mount Holyoke with the “compassion, relationships, critical thinking skills, and overall growth” that helped her succeed at Mount Holyoke and beyond. As a student, Marisol learned about the effectiveness and power of representation, thanks to her connections with faculty and staff in the Office of Student Involvement. She hopes to eventually serve in a professional role that enables her to provide hands-on support to students who face similar challenges — to Posse scholars, first-generation and low-income students, Latinx students, and “any other student who is just trying to find themselves in a big, scary world.”
Senior Casey Roepke ’21 has taken full advantage of her Mount Holyoke education, pursuing a double major in physics and politics, a Nexus concentration in Journalism, Media, and Public Discourse, and participating in numerous cocurricular activities. Her experience has been defined by her interactions with her fellow members of the College community.
Coming to Mount Holyoke from Beijing, junior Amy Shiying Wang initially struggled with translating familiar concepts, particularly in her biology class, since her high school science classes had been taught in Chinese. She credits her professors’ patience, responsiveness and encouragement for her success. With their support, she explored her passion for biochemistry and computer science, and was able to combine both of her majors into the perfect internship opportunity: a lab at Baylor College of Medicine, where she used computational biology techniques to analyze RNA sequences. She is also exploring classes outside of the STEM fields. “I also take full advantage of a liberal arts education,” she says. “I think it makes me a better scientist — and definitely a better human being — when I have cohesive learning.”
The global coronavirus outbreak has brought many changes to the Mount Holyoke campus, requiring the College to adapt quickly in order to ensure the safety and well-being of current students, faculty and staff. Transitions to alternative modes of instruction and learning, shifts to remote work and changes in the ways that we connect with one another have led to a wide variety of unanticipated challenges.
Madeline Fitzgerald’s interest in Mount Holyoke was somewhat of a family affair. Her older sister graduated with the class of 2012, and Madeline remembers visiting her sister on campus as a small child. “At the time, Mount Holyoke seemed like the most magical place in the world,” she recalls. As she grew older and began to consider colleges for herself, she realized that she compared all other schools to Mount Holyoke — and that they would never measure up.
Katerina Alvarez ’20 came to Mount Holyoke determined to accomplish big things. A Posse scholar from Miami, Katerina demonstrated extraordinary leadership qualities even in high school. But it wasn't until she came to Mount Holyoke that she discovered exactly where to focus her interests. Now, as she prepares to graduate this December with a degree in statistics and sociology, Katerina is ready to make a difference. Armed with a wide array of accomplishments under her belt, along with the knowledge and expertise that she’s gained from her time at Mount Holyoke, she’s poised to achieve even bigger things beyond the gates.
Hailing from Lake Oswego, Oregon, Eloise Arnot ’20 was first drawn to Mount Holyoke’s welcoming student body when she visited as a prospective student. “I could feel the strong MoHo community and wanted to be part of it,” she remembers. “The students were so friendly and willing to help, and the absolutely beautiful campus made me feel like I never wanted to leave.” Mount Holyoke’s legacy of trailblazing women also convinced Eloise. “I wanted to be surrounded by empowered women!”
Caitlyn Richmond ’21 credits Mount Holyoke with helping her find her voice. The Northampton native was originally attracted to MHC after seeing current students and alumnae land opportunities that she thought could suit her well, too. Once on campus, Caitlyn started to blossom — gaining self-confidence and developing her leadership abilities.
The moment she stepped foot on campus, Verity O’Connell ’20, knew Mount Holyoke was the school for her. Surrounded by the majestic brownstone buildings and lush greenery, the College felt like a place she could grow into and make her home. Four years later, she’s found her place and still revels in the community and tradition that have so profoundly shaped her time here.