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.”
Your generosity during this uncertain and difficult year has been essential. During the 2019–2020 fiscal year, 9,670 alums, family members, friends, faculty, staff and students made gifts and pledges to Mount Holyoke totaling $30.7 million. 30% of alumnae (8,793) gave back to Mount Holyoke, and $8.86 million was raised for The Mount Holyoke Fund to meet the College’s immediate needs, including $346,544 for the Emergency Student Relief Fund to support students during this unprecedented crisis.
A dedicated volunteer, Barbara Kelly ’71 has maintained an active connection with Mount Holyoke, both in service to her classmates and to the College. Over the years, she has helped plan reunions and lent her time and talents as a class agent, reunion gift caller and Cornerstone representative.
Now a member of the Reunion Lead Gift Committee for her upcoming fiftieth reunion, Barbara appreciates the continued opportunities that she has as an advancement volunteer — not only to cultivate longtime friendships but to discover new camaraderies with classmates she may not have known during her time on campus.
As a student, Riley Smith ’15 embraced all that MHC had to offer. A politics major and theatre arts minor, Riley acted in several theater productions, rowed on the College’s varsity crew team, served as a class officer and worked in the Office of Admission as a Harriet Newhall Fellow.
Riley's connection to Mount Holyoke has remained steadfast beyond the gates. Now, as a head class agent, Riley knows that the next generation of change-makers rely on the support of today's alums and is committed to ensuring the success of College and its students.
As a longtime Head Class Agent, Leslie Smith Green ’94 is deeply committed to Mount Holyoke's mission: to provide exceptional students from all backgrounds with an intellectually adventurous education that prepares them for lives of thoughtful, effective and purposeful engagement in the world.
In addition to her fundraising work to support the College, she has also spearheaded signature initiatives designed to create a deeper connection between alums, current students and the College. Her leadership in launching the MHC Alumnae International Student Sponsorship program — which matches alums to incoming international students who may need assistance and support while traveling alone to a new country — was recognized with the Alumnae Association's inaugural Innovator Award in 2019.
Andrea Lange ’71 has devoted much of her life to higher education, particularly in the public service sector. Now retired, she most recently served as Associate Provost and Dean for Academic Resources at Washington College, where she worked directly with students interested in integrative/experiential learning including job shadowing, internships and bench research on and off campus.
Her commitment to education is also reflected in her role as a Mount Holyoke Class Agent, which gives her the opportunity to support the College's efforts to provide a transformative liberal arts education to exceptional students from all backgrounds.
A dedicated leader and human rights advocate, Marija Tesla ’11 believes firmly in Mount Holyoke's important contribution to the evolution of gender equity and the College's commitment to making change in the global community. As a student, she served as President of the MHC Student Government Association (SGA) and has continued to take on leadership roles beyond the gates as both President and Head Class Agent for the class of 2011, a member of the Mount Holyoke Fund Committee and a former young alumna Trustee. Now pursuing a joint degree from The Fletcher School (M.A. in Law and Diplomacy) and Boston College Law School (J.D.), she knows that that has never been a more important time to support Mount Holyoke and the world's future leaders.