The year’s premier showcase of student summer work—the LEAP Symposium—will take place Friday, October 18, in Kendade Hall. The event starts at noon in Kendade atrium, and panel discussions will run from 12:30 to 5:45 pm. About 120 students are expected to present on their research and internship experiences.
At LEAP, students share what they learned over the summer at internships in more than 21 countries. Panel discussions will reveal both what students accomplished and the professional and personal lessons they learned in the process. LEAP is one piece of College’s comprehensive Nexus and Lynk initiatives, which connect classroom learning to career possibilities.
This year’s LEAP participants worked in cities and in the countryside, in labs and newsrooms, in Canadian bogs and on Broadway. They examined binary star systems and nanocrystal quantum dots, TV rating systems and traffic safety. They proposed investment strategies, evaluated health and environmental policy, and advocated for immigrants and educational institutions.
“LEAP is a compelling event,” says Nexus program director Eleanor Townsley, associate dean of the faculty and professor of sociology. “Students at LEAP connect their practical experiences in internships and research with their academic course work and career exploration. They show us how women can act powerfully in the world. They will amaze you!”
All LEAP presenters have taken the fall semester course Tying It All Together: Curriculum to Career, in which they reflect critically on how their learning experiences outside the classroom connect to their coursework at MHC, and how they have shaped their academic, professional, and personal goals.
History professor Holly Hanson, who teaches the course with Townsley, says LEAP panels create “cascade mentoring” as older students tell first-years and sophomores what they need to know to succeed in similar work.
“They are so generous, so thoughtful about what they have learned, and eager to be useful to other students,” Hanson says of LEAP participants. “And as one of the course instructors, I get a glimpse into the meaningful conversations students have with their advisors and other faculty when they return from their internships and summer experiences. It is a cascade of generosity.”