Donor Spotlight: Christine Ianni ’15 pays it forward for future generations.

By MHC Development on June 30, 2016 at 3:47 PM

Only a few more hours left! Mount Holyoke's fiscal year ends tonight at midnight. Each year, every year, MHC counts on the community for support so that students today—and for generations to come—will have the amazing MHC experience. With so many opportunities and so many reasons to give, here's what inspired Christine Ianni '15 to pay it forward:

You recently made a gift to MHC. Can you tell us what inspired you to give? I couldn't be more grateful for the opportunities Mount Holyoke provided me and I hope my gift will help guarantee the same for others.

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Donor Spotlight: Joan Schwartz Weber ’71. “Over the years, my love for and pride in Mount Holyoke continues to grow.”

By MHC Development on June 15, 2016 at 9:22 AM

Joan Schwartz Weber '71 majored in psychology at Mount Holyoke. After getting her PhD, she became a teacher and psychologist, later turning the world into her classroom. Over the years, the lessons learned at Mount Holyoke were never forgotten and fond memories remain dear:

What's the greatest lesson you learned while at MHC? It's not all about grades. I came from a large New York City public high school, and I knew how to get good grades there by figuring out what was expected of me and by testing well. At Mount Holyoke, worlds of inquiry opened up to me, and I was told I was worthy of engaging these without needing to prove I could get A's. (For the most part, I did not get A's!)

You recently made a gift to MHC. Can you tell us what inspired you to give? It's the ongoing wonder of the place, the dynamism. It's the belonging that I feel, and the pride I have in the remarkable young women who continue to grace the place. When I was a student in the late 60's, the college re-committed to its mission of serving women, and here we are, still committed and excelling and inspiring.

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Donor Spotlight: Robin Bliss ’87. “Mount Holyoke changed my life.”

By MHC Development on June 13, 2016 at 10:15 AM

Robin Bliss ’87 credits Mount Holyoke with changing her life: "I would not have had the opportunities I have had without the education I received at Mount Holyoke."

What's the greatest lesson you learned while at MHC? I learned how to think at Mount Holyoke, and for that I am forever grateful. I learned how to process an oral or written presentation, and determine what was and was not being said. I learned how to play devil's advocate, how to find holes in peoples' arguments, how to think through problems myself, and how to apply what I learned to different situations. I also learned how and when to ask questions, and not to be afraid to ask questions.

These skills have been enormously helpful in my professional life as a statistician, where I need to be logical and detail-oriented, as well as in my personal life, because I have a dissociative disorder (multiple identities), and I need to observe my thoughts, emotions, and actions in order to to tell how grounded or dissociated I am and to guess who I might be (myself or an alter).

What's your favorite spot on campus? My favorite place on campus is a specific spot just off the trail around Upper Lake, where I used to go to watch the water ripple when I was a student. It was a place of peace, where the birds would come down from the trees on the opposite side to take a drink.

You recently made a gift to MHC. Can you tell us what inspired you to give? It was the end of the academic year. I always try to remember to give every year, even if it is only a gift of participation.

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Alumna Spotlight: Naima McQueen '11. "Your Mount Holyoke College network will continue to be a powerhouse in your life as you move forward."

By MHC Development on February 11, 2016 at 2:00 PM

Naima McQueen '11 majored in psychology and African American studies at Mount Holyoke. Naima fondly remembers her years at Mount Holyoke—not only the amazing education which prepared her for success but also the incredible community.

What's the greatest lesson you learned while at MHC? Your peers and your professors truly invest in you, and in turn, you learn what investment looks like and how to then invest in others. Your Mount Holyoke College network will continue to be a powerhouse in your life as you move forward.

What's your favorite spot on campus? Rene Davis' Office. It continues to be a second home to me. She has always provided me a safe space to work through challenges, celebrate achievements, and find comfort when I needed it most.

Was there a moment you knew your life was forever changed? During my sophomore year, I took a course called the Inside/Out Prisoner Exchange Program. At the time, it was considered an English course. The course partnered a small group of Mount Holyoke students with a small group of women at the Western Massachusetts Women's Correctional Center for the duration of a semester. It was the most intense course I'd ever taken and I loved every minute of it. It was the first time that I'd challenged myself to think critically about access to education and opportunity. I went on to TA for the Inside/Out course my junior and senior years when Lucas Wilson took it on. The lessons I learned as a student and TA have continued to influence my work as a supplemental educator.

What are your top 5 favorite things about MHC?
1. My professors
2. The bold and brilliant alumnae
3. Driving on to campus (especially during winter when the main gate is wrapped in lights). Regardless of how stressed, exhausted, or aggravated you are, there is something about that first glance of campus after being away that catches you off-guard. There is a reason that MHC is consistently considered one of the most beautiful campuses in the world. I love coming back.
4. Prospect brunch

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Celebrating Community #3: Medical Emergency Response Team

By palme22c on February 3, 2016 at 9:30 AM

Formed in 1996, the Medical Emergency Response Team (MERT) has long been responsible for doctoring the scrapes, sprains, and bruises of Mount Holyoke’s brilliant student body. The team is on-call during the semester and functions as the EMT and first responder squad on campus. They work closely with the South Hadley District II fire department, which is located in the Village Commons, and hold weekly meetings in their firehouse. MERT members have the opportunity to attend continuing education classes hosted by District II, and also have the opportunity to volunteer with District II to gain experience with 911 ambulance calls in the South Hadley community as an EMT or first responder. 

Kirsten Therrien ’14, who was a psychology major with a self-designed minor in Education Through Sport, served as a member of MERT and as an EMT-B with the South Hadley Fire District II during her time as a student on campus. When talking about MHC, Kristen says that she loved being pushed outside of her comfort zone and finding support everywhere on campus—from professors, her advisor, the athletic department staff, student programs, and others. Today Kristen works with the Massachusetts Department of Fire Services, is a Metrics Graduate Fellow at the Isenberg School of Management, and continues to serve as a firefighter and EMT-B with South Hadley Fire District II.

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Alumna Spotlight: Ruanjia Hu '05. "There's no time that is wasted. However many turns it takes on the road to your destination, every turn counts."

By MHC Development on December 30, 2015 at 12:53 PM


Ruanjia Hu '05 is currently a vice president in the mergers and acquisitions team of China Renaissance, a boutique internet and technology investment bank in Hong Kong. 

Ruanjia Hu '05 graduated magna cum laude from Mount Holyoke in 2005 with a double major in economics and psychology. She is grateful for the education she received at MHC, which led her to where she is today. We recently caught up with Ruanjia:

What's the greatest lesson you learned while at MHC? There is no time that is wasted. However many turns it takes on the road to the destination, every turn counts.

What's your favorite spot on campus? I like brunch time shared with friends at Prospect by the lake, starry night with a cup of hot chocolate at the observatory, and all the time I spent in the antique book room in the library. My ultimate favorite has to be Reese lower level which are all lab rooms and workshop.

You recently made a gift to MHC. Can you tell us what inspired you to give? I have given before. Lately work has been hectic and I have not got enough time to reflect. The recent mail I received from MHC "Because we met" was very touching and brought back many fond memories.

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Taryn, because we met...

By MHC Development on October 8, 2015 at 10:39 AM


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Because we met at MHC...

By MHC Development on October 7, 2015 at 3:53 PM


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From Paris to Ferguson: One professor's journey back home, to the reality of police violence

By MHC Development on August 25, 2015 at 8:47 AM

Kira Banks '00 writes in The Atlantic:

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Changing women's lives for the better in Haiti

By MHC Development on May 20, 2015 at 4:25 PM

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."

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