Choose your destination. Choose Katerina ’20.

By Rachel Nix ’20 on December 19, 2019 at 3:27 PM

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.

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Choose your destination. Choose Eloise ’20.

By Rachel Nix ’20 on December 12, 2019 at 6:45 AM

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!”

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A movement started by an MHC alumna

By Rachel Nix ’20 on November 19, 2018 at 8:31 AM

After busy Black Fridays and Cyber Mondays, #GivingTuesday has become an international movement, responding to consumerism with a focus on philanthropy. For this occasion, we spoke with Mount Holyoke’s very own Asha Curran ’95, Chief Innovation Officer and Director of the Belfer Center for Innovation & Social Impact at the 92nd Street Y in New York City, who led the team that launched #GivingTuesday back in 2012.

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Donor Spotlight: Caitlin Reilly Smith ’98. “It is important for me to give back, and to help provide more young women the opportunity…”

By MHC Advancement on June 29, 2016 at 9:45 AM

Caitlin Reilly Smith '98 majored in anthropology at Mount Holyoke. As it is with so many other alumnae, the lessons learned and the confidence gained from her years at MHC continue to serve Caitlin throughout her life.

What's the greatest lesson you learned while at MHC? I learned how to listen carefully, think critically, write effectively, and speak thoughtfully. Lessons that have been used every single day of my life since graduating.

What's your favorite spot on campus? I always loved walking past Babbo's bench (next to the art museum) on my way to and from class, so now I like to stop and sit on it when I visit campus.

You recently made a gift to MHC. Can you tell us what inspired you to give? I support MHC so that it can continue to provide a top-quality liberal arts education to the women leaders of the future! I have been so impressed by every alumna I have met throughout the years. Their career accomplishments, leadership abilities, and sense of purpose in life are a common thread that I have found ties all MHC alumnae together. It is important for me to give back, and to help provide more young women the opportunity to build that same foundation that will serve them for the rest of their lives.

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Efe Cierkowski ’02: “A Sip of Art is a business with social consciousness.”

By MHC Advancement on June 6, 2016 at 11:12 AM

Efe Cierkowski ’02 left a successful corporate career to follow her passion and open her own business. Born in Ghana, Efe came to the US in 1999 to attend Mount Holyoke and graduated magna cum laude with a self-designed major in financial economics and information technology. Efe went on to work with companies such as Hewitt Associates, Lehman Brothers, and Liz Claiborne, and also earned an executive MBA at NYU Stern. Now, she's the owner and operator of A Sip of Art in West Orange, New Jersey, a paint studio that gives back to the community. Whether it's a painting class open to anyone or a private party, a portion of all proceeds goes to help a good cause.

What does she love most about her new job?

"I love that this is a business with a philanthropic twist that allows me to combine my love for art, party planning and creativity, as well as provide me with an outlet to give back to the community and to causes close to my heart."

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Congratulations to Margarita Fores '80: Asia's Best Female Chef 2016

By MHC Advancement on February 20, 2016 at 2:30 PM

The prestigious title of Asia's Best Female Chef 2016 was recently conferred upon Margarita Forés '80 from Manila, Philippines. Described as an "inspirational chef and restaurateur flying the flag for the Philippines," Forés honed her culinary skills in Italy and heads a restaurant and catering empire that includes "timeless favorites" such as Lusso, Grace Park, and Alta.

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Alumna Spotlight: Markeisha Miner '99. At Mount Holyoke, "I learned to speak with the courage of my convictions without drowning others out."

By MHC Advancement on February 18, 2016 at 2:00 PM

As a student at Mount Holyoke, Markeisha Miner '99 majored in African/African American studies with a concentration on history and politics, but she gained far more than an excellent education here. She knew that the minute she first walked on campus, her life was forever changed.

What's the greatest lesson you learned while at MHC? At Mount Holyoke, I knew I could be whoever I wanted to be and do whatever I wanted and dreamed of doing. Over the years, whenever I need to come back to my center, I think about the young woman I wanted to be, and started to become at Mount Holyoke—the goals and aspirations I formed there—because that is where I learned to find my own voice. I learned to speak with the courage of my convictions without drowning others out.

As an example, during the spring of 1997, early in President Creighton's tenure, I was one of the students who vocally protested the proposed reductions to the Office of Religious Life and the lack of cultural housing space. I learned that, even in the midst of principled, passionate protest, I could learn from and respect people on the opposite side of an issue, while fully hearing their points of view. President Creighton later called that "passionate commitment with dispassionate analysis"—a lesson I applied daily when I was a practicing attorney and that I still rely on now as a law school administrator.

What's your favorite spot on campus? As a student, my favorite place was the garden behind the greenhouse that has the sundial and the wooden stairs that lead up to Reese (even before those stairs were so beautifully renovated!). Every time I return to campus, I make time to walk through that space. I always find serenity there.

Was there a moment you knew your life was forever changed? The minute I walked on campus as a prospective student. When I saw the t-shirt project on the green to raise awareness about domestic violence, met the then-first year student who had just published her own poetry anthology, and saw all of the student organizations in Blanchard, I knew not only that MHC was the school for me, but that my life would be different for having gone there.

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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 Advancement 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
5. APAU

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131 years ago today, Alice Paul, one of the leading advocates for women's rights was born

By MHC Advancement on January 11, 2016 at 3:59 PM

On January 11, 1885, Alice Paul was born. Paul dedicated her life to securing equal rights for women, leading the campaign in the 1910s for the Nineteenth Amendment, giving women the right to vote. After 1920, she led the National Woman's Party to secure constitutional equality for women, fighting for her Equal Rights Amendment.

Few individuals have had as much impact on American history as has Alice Paul. Her life symbolizes the long struggle for justice in the United States and around the world. Her vision was the ordinary notion that women and men should be equal partners in society. Read more on "Who Was Alice Paul"

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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 Advancement 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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