Today, April 10, marks the 139th birthday anniversary of Frances Perkins, class of 1902. Long before women's liberation was a part of our vocabulary, Frances was a trailblazer for generations of women who would follow her. As the first female Cabinet member in the nation's history, this remarkable woman tussled with politicians, industrial management and labor leaders in her capacity as Secretary of Labor, fighting for the rights of working people everywhere.
Kira Kmetz FP'06 majored in geography with a minor in history at Mount Holyoke. She currently lives in San Francisco, CA with her partner of twenty years. Kira writes poetry and is currently working on a historical novel. She also tutors elementary school students, volunteers at the San Francisco SPCA, and enjoys practicing and performing the Japanese ensemble-drumming art of taiko. With all her activities, Kira finds the time each year to give back to her alma mater:
What's the greatest lesson you learned while at MHC? That women's colleges are truly vital and must be supported and championed, so that current and future generations of smart, eager women have the opportunity to become their best selves.
A part of campus life for more than 20 years, La Unidad is an organization where self-identifying Latinas and their allies can express their identities through cultural, educational, and social activities. Through these activities, the organization heightens awareness of the presence of Latin culture on campus and in the community at large.
Julissa Sargoza ’14 is one of the many alumnae who found support and familiarity in the group during her time at Mount Holyoke:
"Will, because we met, I stopped fearing statistics, aced my graduate neuropsychology classes, and can still find my way through the pharmacology small print in a drug ad. Because you help up the highest standards, I came to see myself as an achiever. Thank you!"
—Dr. Nechama "Diny" Capland FP'06
Cathleen Heyliger FP'16 was recently awarded a Davis Projects for Peace grant to help victims of sexual assault in her hometown of Léogâne, Haiti.
The massive earthquake in 2010 that struck Haiti had untold consequences, extending beyond the physical damage and loss of 300,000 lives into the very fabric of the society. Despite an outpouring of support to aid recovery in the capital city, a culture of sexual assault began to take hold in smaller towns and villages.
"Sexual assault always existed, but the earthquake made it worse,” recalled Heyliger, who is majoring in psychology and gender studies. “When buildings collapsed, women and children had to go to camps for displaced persons. The camps were not secure, and there wasn't enough police presence."