Danielle Connor '06

Hometown: Ipswich, Massachusetts

Danielle Connor ’06 was attracted to Mount Holyoke because of its Frances Perkins Program for nontraditional students. “I wanted rigorous academics, and I was excited to take advantage of the Five College consortium,” she said. What she also found was a supportive community and committed students. “Mount Holyoke is a place where you can push yourself to the edge and then to new edges. It’s an ideal place to cultivate numerous passions.”

One of Danielle’s longtime passions is an interest in the environment. “I designed my own major--Literature and Writing: The Environment--which focused on sustainable development, specifically agriculture, and creative writing. Having the chance to pursue agricultural research in Brazil and Costa Rica thanks to MHC fellowship funding made the issues resonate in a personal way and that really fueled my learning.”

Then, during the summer of 2006, Danielle worked as a farm intern with Native Seeds/SEARCH (NS/S) in Tucson, Arizona. “I went there through a fellowship from MHC’s Center for the Environment. NS/S works to build a seed bank that provides traditional culturally significant seeds to Native Americans free of charge, and to help native groups attain funding for development projects.” Along with helping to cultivate endangered seeds that are indigenous to the Sonoran Desert, she also made a documentary about the organization.

Danielle now teaches holistic goal setting in the Leadership Excellence for Women program at Klamath Community College in Oregon. “It’s a tool for sustainable living that helps people shape viable pathways to their goals with consideration of material, environmental, and personal factors. I believe in it; my experience has been that lasting change stems from individual dedication. My hope is that individuals together in community can help local concerns grow into solidarity with neighboring communities and, ideally, spread change across the planet.”