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 30 percent of Mount Holyoke students major in STEM.

 
Katharyn Fletcher ’09: my double major in chemistry and german studies inspired me to pursue post-graduate research fellowships in Hamberg.
Katherine Bracher
Katherine Bracher ’60: Every night I sketched comet Arend-Roland and took pictures in the observatory dome and was hooked!
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.
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.
Saryu Fensin ’06: As a chemistry major I participated in research during my undergraduate training which is not possible at the larger universities.
Michelle Johannes ’93, Research Physicist
Michelle Johannes ’93 is an expert in the physics of energy in the lab — and on the volleyball court.
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!
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
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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.
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.
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.
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.
Crystal Nguyen ’05: the people I met at MHC including my advisor have been supportive and helped me at every step of my career.
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.
Raheal Boadi-Yeboah ’11: my chemistry background from MHC has been helpful in my doctorate courses at the University of Buffalo.
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.
Stephanie Otema Dzandu ’09: I have gained a deeper understanding of petroleum activities, from well-drilling to the economics of how revenue is obtained.
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.
My-Linh Nguyen ’13: my chemistry and french background allowed me to connect with my scientist colleagues at the Embassy.
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
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.
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.
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
Lydia Young
Lydia Young '75: MHC helped her become a strong leader in a field with few women
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.
Jiaxi Song ’12: I pursued independent research that prepared me to work in a highly interdisciplinary research field.
Laura at microscope
Laura Breitenfeld '17: Raman Spectroscopy is just the beginning.
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
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.
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.
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.
Debbie Fazen ’04: my independent research with Professor Gomez and the skills I gained were vital to my success as a Regulatory Affairs specialist.
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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.
Image of student with include women T-shirt.
Building on an existing faculty initiative, Mount Holyoke is partnering with MassMutual to train women in the emerging field of data science.
Dawn Zhang ’09: I built the skills in my scientific training to help my team synthesize information and advise senior management on strategic priorities.
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.
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.
Elizabeth (Zab) Johnson
Elizabeth (Zab) Johnson ‘94: A blended major combined my love of music and science and set me on an interdisciplinary path.
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.
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.
Margaret Stevens
Margaret Stevens '14: Solar cell research at MHC led me to the electrical engineering Ph.D. program at Tufts University.
Dr. Ashfia Huq
Dr. Ashfia Huq '96: Making lithium ion and other batteries better using neutron scattering.
Melissa Holmes ’90
Mount Holyoke Alumnae Make Meaningful Contributions Behind the Scenes: Melissa Holmes ’90
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.
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.
Carolyn Lau Picture
Carolyn Lau ’15: My lab courses prepared me for graduate-level research.