LEAP: passion gets empowered and employable.

There’s a world of opportunity within—and beyond—our gates.

Mount Holyoke College will help you identify—and leap toward—the career opportunities you want. And at each step along the way, the College’s faculty and staff will be rooting for you!

We caught up with some student participants of the 2015 LEAP symposium, who test-drove their classroom learning in a variety of ways through summer internships and research. Mount Holyoke College: where passion gets empowered. And employable.

Alexa Fifield ’16

Major: Politics
Minor: Sociology
Study abroad: London School of Economics
Summer 2015 internship: A legal technology firm in Hong Kong
LEAP 2015 talk: “Hacking It in the Tech World: Working at a Start-up in Asia’s Silicon Valley”
Campus involvement: Western Riding Team, Student Government senator, Club Sports Council representative
Honors thesis: On Reaganomics
Award: Leadership Scholarship

Celine Mudahakana ’17

Major: Sociology
Minor: Development Studies
Summer 2015 internship: Product development and fundraising at Indego Africa’s home office in New York City
LEAP 2015 talk: “Fashion with a Conscience: A Social Non-Profit Enterprise Partnering with Rwandan Cooperatives to Empower Entrepreneurial Women”
Study abroad: Applied to study abroad in Montpellier, France (for fall 2016)
Campus involvement: Mount Holyoke African and Caribbean Students’ Association (MHACASA)
Selected achievements: Started an income-generating project, Weaving for Peace, in her home country of Rwanda; invited to the Clinton Global Initiative University conference, where she participated in their LEAD program; currently enrolled in the Valley Venture Mentors Accelerator Program, Springfield, Massachusetts; awarded a Grinspoon Entrepreneurial Award.

Megan Shadley ’16

Major: Geology
Summer 2015 internship: Conducted independent research for Harvard Forest in Petersham, Massachusetts
LEAP 2015 talk: “Fire History in Southern New England”
Campus involvement: Mount Holyoke Women’s Rugby Football Club
Honors Thesis: “Climate History and Transgression: A Case Study of Ware Pond, MA”

Evelyn Perez Landron ’16

Majors: French and International Relations
Minor: Development Studies
Summer 2015 internships: Girls In Tech Morocco (a non-profit organization) and New Work Lab (a for-profit global start-up company) in Casablanca, Morocco
LEAP 2015 talk: “From Bonjour to مرحبا : My Moroccan Ride”
Study abroad: Montpellier, France (spring 2015)
Campus involvement: Marketing coordinator for The Network, a student-run organization established to provide a sense of community among students outside of the classroom
Award: Mary Vance Young Scholarship

Niina Kitabayashi ’16

Major: Biological Sciences
Summer 2015 internship: Partridge Creek Farm, Upper Peninsula, Michigan (an educational farm providing direct service and outreach to the community)
LEAP 2015 talk: “Farming Social Change”

Hillary Detert ’16

Majors: Biological Sciences and History
Summer 2015 internship: Conducted oral cancer research at Virginia Commonwealth University’s Morgan laboratory
LEAP talk: “Fighting Stigmas with Science: HPV-16 and Oral Cancer Research”
Domestic exchange: Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire (spring 2015)
Campus involvement:

    •  At Mount Holyoke: cross country, Mount Holyoke Emergency Response Team, Operation Smile, Mount Holyoke Pre-Dental Society
    •  At Dartmouth: graduate biological sciences research assistant; marketing intern for 99 Rock WFRD (Dartmouth radio)
Honors thesis:
“An exploration of the interconnected biomechanics of mammalian skull, sinus cavity, and tooth development,” following up on the work of legendary oral anatomist E. L. Du Brul
Selected achievements:
Elaine B. Marieb Science Foundation grant; completed the 2014 Tuck Bridge Business Program at Dartmouth

Jemimah Kamau FP’16

Majors: Politics and French
Summer 2015 research: Conducted research in Kiambu County, Kenya, on educational experiences
LEAP 2015 talk: “Harambee—one classroom, one Kenya”
Campus involvement: Mount Holyoke African and Caribbean Students’ Association (MHACASA); Pre-Law Association; Passport to Leadership
Honors thesis: “Does education, whether formal or informal, and the length of education influence voting among Kenyans?”
Selected award: The Kelly Sottile Community Service Award in recognition of the library she is creating for primary school pupils in Ting’ang’a, Kenya, her home village.

Maria Saraf ’16

Major: Biological Sciences
Minor: Politics
Summer 2015 research: Conducted at a clinic in a Rhode Island correctional facility
LEAP 2015 talk: “Don't Puff your Life Away: A Project on Smoking Cessation with Inmates”
Campus Involvement: Vice President for MHC Model United Nations; Project Coordinator for MHC Habitat for Humanity; Peer-Led Undergraduate Mentoring System (PLUMS) mentor in the Department of Biological Sciences
Honors thesis: “Gecko Locomotion” (UMass Amherst lab)

Loie Hasler ’16

Major: Psychology and Education: Teacher Licensure Program
Summer 2015 internship: Elementary English teacher in Nejapa, Nicaragua
LEAP 2015 talk: “My Best Friend is a First Grader”
Study abroad: University of Stirling, Scotland (fall 2013); Royal Holloway University, Egham, England (fall 2014)