The Lynk Initiative is a systematic approach connecting students' academic work with practical experience and career exploration. Through The Lynk, students will identify their strengths, network with successful professionals, and define life and career goals. More
Endowed Internship—connecting liberal arts to the world of work: $100,000
Without funding, students often must turn down summer internships in order to earn money to help defray expenses associated with their MHC experience. A paid internship, however, eases that stress and allows students to pursue a path connecting their liberal arts education to the world of work.
Visiting Practitioners Fund—linking the theoretical to the practical: $250,000
Since the heart of the Lynk Initiative is linking the theoretical to the practical, "professors of practice" each year will be invited to teach or co-teach a semester long course and to collaborate with students and faculty in providing hands-on experience in their fields, including internship opportunities. Pairing faculty with practitioners will allow the College to model but also to interrogate the relationships between critical inquiry and practical action in the world. Examples of potential visiting practitioners range from symphony conductors and film producers to policy analysts and journalists to robotics engineers. Alumnae will be encouraged to participate.
A $250,000 endowment gift allows the College to think past financial constraints when imagining which visiting practitioners to invite to engage with our students and faculty.
Curriculum Development—connecting undergraduate educations to long-term career goals: $500,000
The kinds of courses our faculty are planning, with their intentional focus on liberal arts approaches to the professions, will address student interests in connecting their undergraduate educations to their long-term career goals while preserving, even strengthening, the College's commitment to the core values and skills of the liberal arts: critical thinking and ethical reasoning, understanding of human cultures and the natural world, the capacity to speak and write persuasively and to work collaboratively, and the ability to apply knowledge to concrete problems.
A $500,000 endowment gift provides the funding necessary for our faculty to explore and refine the curriculum in support of the relationship between liberal learning and Lynk.
LEAP Symposium: $1 million
At the annual LEAP symposium (Learning from Application), students present their summer internship or research projects. They reflect critically on how these learning experiences outside the classroom connect to their course work at the College and how they are shaping their academic, professional, and personal goals. In 2012, more than 140 students presented.
A $1 million endowment gift will fund the LEAP Symposium and allow for continued development of this important expression of our students’ work both inside and outside the classroom.
Senior Symposium: $1 million
During this inspiring daylong event, seniors showcase their intellectual passions, independent projects, and scholarly research. Students from the arts, humanities, languages, social sciences, and natural sciences share their research and work on an array of topics in both stimulating and engaging sessions. In spring 2012, nearly 150 students presented.
A $1 million endowment gift will fund the Senior Symposium and provide the opportunity to refine and grow this important academic event.
Directorship, Community-Based Learning Program—connecting academic work and purposeful engagement with the world: $1.5 million
The Weissman Center’s Community-Based Learning (CBL) program connects academic work and purposeful engagement with the world. CBL links Mount Holyoke College students with communities through courses, independent studies, internships, and research and service projects that combine learning and analysis with action and social change.
Students learn about communities and apply ideas, theories, and models to social issues in a practical context while gaining insights from practitioners in community-based organizations. CBL enhances students’ understanding of social issues and concerns, and fosters leadership, citizenship, organizing, and advocacy skills.
A $1.5 million endowment gift will name the Directorship for Community-Based Learning.
Senior Directorship, The Lynk—connecting students' academic work with practical experience and career exploration: $2.5 million
The senior director will be appointed by the dean of faculty and will have responsibility for all aspects of the development and implementation of The Lynk. The Lynk connects students' academic work with practical experience and career exploration. It includes a range of advising resources, as well as networking with accomplished alumnae. And funding for a summer internship or research. This position, housed in the dean of faculty’s office, will be filled by a faculty member who will serve a three- to five-year rotating term.
A $2.5 million endowment gift will name the senior directorship ($2 million) and provide generous funds for The Lynk programming ($500,000).
Summer Scientific Research Program—collaborative research between students and faculty: $5 million
The opportunity for a student to conduct research side-by-side with her professor—whether in the lab or the library—is invaluable. Collaborative research among faculty and students has long been a critical element of the academic culture at Mount Holyoke, providing students with outstanding mentoring and access to sophisticated scientific instrumentation and techniques that few undergraduates experience. Our purpose in promoting such collaboration is to attract and retain students in the sciences an to prepare Mount Holyoke women to contribute significantly to scientific and medical knowledge. Most of our science majors perform independent research, in many cases culminating in the preparation of senior honors theses. These summer research opportunities are a primary reason why Mount Holyoke has consistently outperformed its peers in producing women scientists.
In the summer of 2012, grants totaling $235,000 were awarded to 47 students conducting research projects.
A $5 million endowment gift will ensure consistent, high-level funding for our students’ summer research experiences and decrease dependence on the unpredictable funding cycles of private foundations and public funding.
Regional Fellowship Program—MHC student cohort linking their education to internships and future careers: $5 million
Imagine a cohort of 20 Mount Holyoke students in one city, each participating in her own paid internship yet joining the others for informal lectures and experiential learning to link their liberal arts education to their internships and future careers.
A $5 million lead endowment gift will establish this innovative and collaborative program and provide the program’s foundation. It would also underwrite the associated administrative costs. Students would each receive a paid internship in addition to a housing allowance. Opportunities exist to align the fellowship with an individual corporation or industry. Ideally, the donor would serve as a mentor and resource to the Mount Holyoke cohort.
Nexus Program—7 academic tracks designed to intentionally integrate liberal arts with future ambitions: $10 million
Created with support from our 2007 Mellon Centers of Excellence grant and individual donors, the Nexus program is designed to help our students more intentionally integrate their academic experiences with what they hope to accomplish in the world. The Nexus program encourages students to apply their theoretical learning to practical issues through internships, off-campus research, and community engagement. The program serves as an alternative to a minor or second major, and is typically begun during the sophomore year. Examples of approved Nexus tracks include Law and Public Policy; Journalism, Media, and Public Discourse; Engineering; and Global Business.
A $10 million endowment gift will support continued innovation and development of the Nexus program and underwrite the Nexus dictatorship.
Mount Holyoke Internship Program—a paid experience for every student: $20 million
A summer internship can be a powerful and transformative experience. By applying what they learn in the classroom in a professional setting and often a new cultural context, students are pushed to see their MHC course work, their career plans, and themselves from a new and expanded perspective.
In the summer of 2012, the College awarded more than $600,000 in funding from donor funds to approximately 185 MHC students for internships; of these, 72 were for internships abroad.
This $20 million transformational endowment gift will fully fund Mount Holyoke’s internship program, ensuring that every student will have the opportunity to receive a paid internship while attending the College.