Excellence in STEM

Mount Holyoke excels in preparing students for careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).  Among baccalaureate colleges over the past 50 years, Mount Holyoke has the greatest number of women graduates who went on to earn doctorates in STEM. Today, about 35 percent of Mount Holyoke students major in STEM.

 
Carolyn Lau Picture
Carolyn Lau ’15: My lab courses prepared me for graduate-level research.
Vickie Victor
When her advisor suggested computer science, Vickie Victor ’18 said no way. But she tried it anyway — and landed a summer internship at Google.
Felicity Emerson
Felicity Emerson ’17: I have grown into a strong, confident and competent individual and aspiring scientist after four years living and learning at MHC.
Lindsay Sceats
Lindsay Sceats '11: Preparing for my my senior thesis gave me practice in looking at data with a critical eye and forming my own scientific opinions.
Liz  MacLauchlan drawing a parabola on the blackboard
Liz MacLauchlan ’13: I learned about teaching and managing a classroom through my tutoring and work as a teaching assistant in the Chemistry Department.
Emma Carr and Lucy Pickett in the Chemistry Lab
Led one of the earliest collaborative research groups that involved faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate students
Mai-Anh Ha, a graduate student at UCLA
Mai-Anh Ha ’13: my graduate level specialization at UCLA and was inspired by my chemistry courses and lab experience.
Saryu Fensin ’06: As a chemistry major I participated in research during my undergraduate training which is not possible at the larger universities.
The Lynk: Connecting Curriculum to Career
Cristina Ghenoiu ’04: analyzing the latest breakthroughs in the scientific and medical world is part of my every day job, and exhilarating!
Claire Ricker '95
Claire Ricker '95: I advise against devaluing your history degree & encourage students to explore opportunities besides traditional history-oriented paths.
Mahmuda Afrin Badhan
Mahmuda Afrin Badhan ‘11: my MHC education taught me to appreciate my individuality as a woman in science and never sell myself short as I persevere
Allison Cressy
Allison Cressy: distinguishing between what people say and why, what is really going on, and the significance of the difference between the two is crucial.
Alaine Johnson
Alaine Johnson '10: To immerse myself in another language, culture, and in literature that was socially and politically significant was truly powerful.
Margaret Stevens
Margaret Stevens '14: Solar cell research at MHC led me to the electrical engineering Ph.D. program at Tufts University.
Laura E. Fernandez ’08: After my lab experience at MHC, I completed a Ph.D. in Theoretical Computational Chemistry and work at ACS Nano and Nano Letters.
Evan Towle '97: The anthropologist knows that every family will make its own meaning and grieve in its own way.
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Nana Dufie Addo ’05: I co-founded the Ghana-US Alumni Network and was awarded “Next Generation Leader’ by the African Leadership Network.
Mervnide Pierre
Mervnide Pierre '14: I would not be where I am without advising and guidance, so finding a mentor/advisor invested in my success was crucial to my journey.
Marsha Allen FP’10
Marsha Allen FP’10: My final year at Mount Holyoke changed me. I realized that with hard work and the right support network, I could be a scientist.
Rita C. Economos ’01 chiseling rock in the field.
Rita C. Economos ’01: At Mount Holyoke I learned grit and courage — I don’t think I could have learned them so well, and with such joy, anywhere else.
Anuja De Silva ’03: my interest in polymer and material science led to graduate school and my career in the semiconductor industry.
Raheal Boadi-Yeboah ’11: my chemistry background from MHC has been helpful in my doctorate courses at the University of Buffalo.
Biologist Koty Sharp ’98 employs metagenomics to reveal intricate relationships between interdependent organisms at sea.
Lucy Picket in the chemistry lab
Outstanding research in ultraviolet absorption spectroscopy of organic molecules
Dr. Gretchen L.H. Harris
Gretchen Luft Harris Ph.D. ’63: Mount Holyoke is a place where women are encouraged women to pursue their goals and this means beyond college
Insun Yoon '09
Insun Yoon '09, My research experience inspired me to become a compassionate and competent dentist.
Laura Zingle ’03
Laura Zingle ’03: my academic/work experience made me a better stage manager and I thank MHC for shaping me into a more confident, worldly individual.
Michelle Bennett Studio Headshot
Michelle Bennett '06: Cultural Anthropology helped me learn to navigate two different cultures and inspired me to pursue a masters degree.
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Emily McClintock '14: I would not be where I am nor would I be as effective a teacher as I am without the department, professors and courses.
Crystal Nguyen ’05: the people I met at MHC including my advisor have been supportive and helped me at every step of my career.
Alex Adame
Alex Adame '04: My MHC experiences continue to inspire me to strive for the ideals of social justice, community, and close collaborative relationships.
Luong Nguyen
Luong Nguyen ’12: I learned to conduct independent research, program algorithms, and present my ideas effectively to multiple audiences.
Lydia Young
Lydia Young '75: MHC helped her become a strong leader in a field with few women
Kelsey Schramma from MHC to Princeton
Kelsey Shramma '12 is a third year graduate student, recently published in Nature Chemistry
Hayat R Ahmed ’13: After graduation, I sought to understand the elusive nature of HIV and engage in current strategies to search for a cure.
On the bridge of a ship during a recent transit down the Delaware River on a cargo ship.
Rachel Soraruf Medley ’02: Go outside your comfort zone — even rejections can be opportunities in disguise
Michelle Johannes ’93, Research Physicist
Michelle Johannes ’93 is an expert in the physics of energy in the lab — and on the volleyball court.
Catherine "Katie" Dietrich ’12, Medical Student at University of Florida
Catherine Dietrich ’12: my work has benefited greatly from the skills I gained in higher level biochemistry classes and my undergraduate lab experience.
Lila Reid '15
Lila Reid '15: Mount Holyoke gave me the opportunity to fuse my interests in dance and teaching through a career-oriented and practical approach.
Angela DiCiccio ’08: my work is a serendipitous mix of my experiences as a biochemistry major and my research with Professor Chen in materials science.
Making Samanu
Rose Wellman '05: The best classrooms center on collaboration, exchange, and diversity of thought and experience. This was something I learned at MHC.
Rudo Makonza Goto '13
Rudo Makonza Goto ’13: The interdisciplinary nature of Biochemistry enhanced my critical thinking.
Photo of Heidi Roop ’07 doing fieldwork in Greenland
Hooked on science after an unintended geology class in her first semester at Mount Holyoke, Heidi Roop ’07 has traveled the world as a climate scientist.
Alexandra Horne ’12
Alexandra Horne ’12: My experiences at Mount Holyoke helped me grow into the sort of woman confident in her ability to do whatever she wants.
Elizabeth (Zab) Johnson
Elizabeth (Zab) Johnson ‘94: A blended major combined my love of music and science and set me on an interdisciplinary path.
Nora Bond ’14
Nora Bond ’14: my study of psychology helped me discover that understanding that people are people, first, is the key to better work.
Photo of Lina Cashin ’88
Colonel Lina Rivero Cashin ’88 credits her dual-degree in math and physics for helping her enter the space operations career field
Stephanie Otema Dzandu ’09: I have gained a deeper understanding of petroleum activities, from well-drilling to the economics of how revenue is obtained.
Laura at microscope
Laura Breitenfeld '17: Raman Spectroscopy is just the beginning.
Lillian Smith
Lillian Smith '09: Because of my background in Anthropology, I bring something to the table that someone with a business or statistics degree doesn't.
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Osato Iyore Ayanru ’05: on my Fulbright in Ghana, I studied medicinal plants that traditional healers prescribed to to HIV + patients.
Jennifer Trehey O'Malley '89
Jennifer Trehey O'Malley '89: I found surgery was not my life's work, but this thing called research I ended up loving.
Emily Harcourt ’09: because of my student research experience working the chemistry lab, I work comfortably with different techniques across disciplines.
Katharyn Fletcher ’09: my double major in chemistry and german studies inspired me to pursue post-graduate research fellowships in Hamberg.
My-Linh Nguyen ’13: my chemistry and french background allowed me to connect with my scientist colleagues at the Embassy.
Debbie Fazen ’04: my independent research with Professor Gomez and the skills I gained were vital to my success as a Regulatory Affairs specialist.
Shehzeen Hussain. Photo by John Martins
A woman in the heavily male fields of physics and engineering, Shehzeen Hussain ’14 wants to solve community energy problems using both.
Abigail Daane
Abigail Daane '04: Professors at MHC showed me it was possible to balance career and family.
Tenaya Vallery '10
Tenaya Vallery '10: my undergraduate research experiences at MHC were pivotal to my acceptance to Yale.
Yarrow Axford '97 working with a student. Photo credit: Eilleen Molony.
Yarrow Axford ’97: My undergrad research at Mount Holyoke College sparked a career in climate science.
Aubry Koehler
Aubry K Hildebrant '07: Medical Family Therapy presented a unique combination of social science, medicine/healing and understanding other people's stories.
 Kim Cameron-Dominguez
Kim Cameron-Dominguez '04: I was moved by the questions that anthropology requires that we ask of and about ourselves.
Kelsey Schramma from MHC to Princeton
Kelsey Shramma '12 is a third year graduate student, recently published in Nature Chemistry
Julita Penido - Best Laid Plans
Julita Penido '12: in the Astronomy Department, I learned to be open to new possibilities, even if they didn’t follow the conventional path to success
Felicia Harrsch ’14 (right) giving a poster presentation to the community at a public health outreach event
Felicia Harrsch ’14: MHC prepared me for graduate school, and my background in neuroscience and chemistry has given me a leg up in pharmacy classes.
Jiaxi Song ’12: I pursued independent research that prepared me to work in a highly interdisciplinary research field.
Natercia Rodrigues
Natercia Rodrigues '06: it has been a priority to learn within the context of a supportive community that values mentorship.
Alessandra Geffner-Smith '14
Alessandra Geffner-Smith '14: As a MHC student, I gained the academic foundations of my field and the confidence to make valuable professional connections.
Photo of Veronika Kivenson FP’13 aboard a research vessel
Alum Veronika Kivenson’s NSF grant allows her to use a supercomputer to examine how microbes metabolize pollutants found in marine sediment.
Katherine Kraschel ’06 JD, Associate Counsel
Katherine Kraschel ’06: each day at Harvard Law School, I apply the critical and analytic thinking skills my professors at MHC pushed me to sharpen.
Katherine Bracher
Katherine Bracher ’60: Every night I sketched comet Arend-Roland and took pictures in the observatory dome and was hooked!
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Abena Opoku ’10: The biochemistry program prepared me to be resilient and press through the challenges I face in the corporate world.
Melissa Holmes ’90
Mount Holyoke Alumnae Make Meaningful Contributions Behind the Scenes: Melissa Holmes ’90
Mojun Zhu ’11: my strong science research background helped me better understand the fundamental aspect of medicine as it relates to clinical practice.
Margaret (Mollie) Frederiksen '13
Margaret (Mollie) Frederiksen '13: My history as a dancer combined with my interest in the human body and how it works drew me towards dance medicine.
Ariel Hayat '15
Ariel Hayat ’15: my passion for music, storytelling, and authentic connection has continued to be a grounding point in my life following graduation.
Janet Buhlmann '89 PhD.
Janet Buhlmann '89: at Pfizer, I work with academic partners helping to translate their discoveries at the bench into novel therapeutics.
Nelia W. Dunbar ’83 sits in an ice cave conducting field work in Antartica.
Nelia W. Dunbar ’83: My professor's curiosity, love of fieldwork, and self-confidence gave me the enthusiasm to go on really exciting adventures.
Dr. Ashfia Huq
Dr. Ashfia Huq '96: Making lithium ion and other batteries better using neutron scattering.
Shelly T Hsiao '10: I love practicing medicine and feel confident in my skills because of the solid science education and chemistry research experiences.
Catherine Colello Walker
Catherine Walker ’07: the ability to chart your own unique path is tremendously valuable in becoming an independent thinker and researcher
Dawn Zhang ’09: I built the skills in my scientific training to help my team synthesize information and advise senior management on strategic priorities.
Katharine Hinkle ’02 and her geology students underneath a glacial erratic in Franconia Notch, NH.
Katharine Hinkle ’02: Connecting students to the natural world they live in is why I am teaching and what Mount Holyoke gave me the ability to do.
Barsha Dash '14: Pursuing internships outside MHC to amass technical skills and build connections which proved pivotal for acceptance to graduate school.
Dana Reuter ’15 digging fossils.
Dana Reuter ’15 : I am very interested in what mammals eat and how that has changed through time with climate and vegetation changes.
Sonia Mistry '03
Sonia Mistry '03: Today, I know exactly who made my clothes, and every day I support these workers in exercising their fundamental rights.
Yanni Lai at the seashore
Yanni Lai ’14: I found the psychology professors always ready to help students and their valuable guidance continues to inspire me after graduation.