Hilary Noll ’05

Home town: Albuquerque, New Mexico

As a prospective transfer student, Hilary Noll ’05 said she was considering several academically rigorous liberal arts colleges that offered interdisciplinary approaches in their environmental studies programs. “Ultimately, I chose Mount Holyoke for its history of educating women leaders, and the opportunity to join a community of unapologetic, intelligent women from all backgrounds.”

Another strong draw was the chance to self-design her environmental studies major. Hilary wanted to examine the sociopolitical, ethical, and feminist aspects of current environmental dilemmas; her self-designed concentration became globalization, sustainable development, and justice.

Prior to graduation Hilary accepted a position with Green Corps, the field school for environmental organizing. She worked for several months with Toxics Action Center (TAC), a leading New England nonprofit group that assists communities facing direct health threats from environmental pollution. “I worked out of the Boston office and helped to launch TAC's Rhode Island office. I assisted community groups in southeastern Massachusetts and throughout Rhode Island with their campaigns for a healthier future. I also helped establish an environmental justice coalition.”

Hilary then returned home to the southwest where, for six months, she organized constituencies in support of Go Solar, New Mexico!, clean-energy legislation that passed successfully. She’s now taking classes in preparation for graduate studies–possibly in sustainable architecture–while working with the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance on several statewide campaigns to protect public lands from urban sprawl and drilling for oil and natural gas.

When she looks back on her Mount Holyoke years, Hilary said she is most inspired by the “daring, hardworking, clever, inquisitive, and supportive students and professors in the community. It was the greatest privilege to be surrounded with such folks. I carry their inspiration with me every day.”