MHC senior’s selfless summer experience

Ruilin Fan’s co-curricular activities include working as an intern in Mount Holyoke’s Archives and Special Collections. Fan was recently featured in a New Yorker article about the Arete Project.

By Xiomara Núñez ’20

In the western mountain region of rural North Carolina, self-governance, physical labor and academics are tasks Ruilin Fan ’18 tackled during an eight week summer program.

Fan, a history and English double major at Mount Holyoke College, was recently featured in the New Yorker magazine for her participation in the Arete Project — annual summer sessions that offer women students alternative education experiences that ingrain them with what the project calls “a selfless devotion to world and humanity.”  

During the sessions, cohorts of female students are responsible for their self-governance by deciding the rules by which they will live and work together. Challenges, such as debates on Amazon Prime deliveries, are essential for the project’s success.

In the article, Fan said that she applied to the program for self-betterment. “I wanted to stop thinking about myself all the time,” she said.

Read the article.