VOLUME 8, NUMBER 1
Chosen from one
of the largest applicant pools in the College's history, the
'07s have shown their leadership skills inside and outside the
classrooom, combining high academic achievement and a desire
for positive engagement in the world. Meet a few of them:
Charleston, South Carolina
If you're a Seventeen magazine
reader, you may already have heard of Anna Boatwright. In "A
Chance to Dance," the magazine recognized Boatwright for her
vision and hard work in creating a program that provides ballet
lessons to underprivileged children at her hometown YWCA. Boatwright
developed her program with the help of leadership skills she
acquired during Take the Lead, the College's annual program
for young women in their junior year of high school. It was
during Take the Lead that Boatwright came to know that Mount
Holyoke was the place for her. Boatwright's dedication to practice
on the tennis court earned her the number one ranking on her
high school team, and she hopes to join her older sister, Sarah
Wade Boatwright '04, on MHC's tennis team. Are they another
Venus and Serena Williams? Boatwright laughed. "The rivalry
is not too bad between us," she said. "Actually, we like to
play doubles together."
Sarah Lau, San
Phyllis Kodi, Accra,
Lau is dedicated to taiko, a traditional form of Japanese drumming.
How dedicated? When she enrolled at Phillips Academy and discovered
that there was no taiko group in the area, she asked school
officials to provide a grant to help her start a group. At a
dinner and reception for grant applicants, Lau did not let the
lack of a drum hold her back from demonstrating what taiko is
all about, using her mouth to create the percussive sounds.
"I really wanted to start a group, because it was such a big
part of my life," said Lau, who began drumming while in fifth
grade and was a member of the San Francisco Taiko Dojo Dream
Team troupe. Originally planning to enroll in the class of 2006,
Lau took a year to train for and run in the Honolulu Marathon
with the National AIDS Marathon Training Program, and to perform
Head of the class?
An exceptional student? Phyllis Kodi was that and more at her
school, the highly competitive Holy Child School in Cape Coast.
She was the top-ranked student during her three years at Holy
Child, capturing awards as the best student in six of her seven
subjects. On national exams, she earned an A in every subject,
a feat that put her among the top five of Ghana's 60,000 high
school seniors. Yet she was also her class's unanimous choice
as assistant senior prefect, and dedicated her time to help
raise money for the Ghana Heart Foundation. Her arrival at Mount
Holyoke marks the first time she has left her native country.
Her plan is to study computer science and economics, work in
the business field, and then use her education and experience
to address the production and distribution challenges facing
Ghana's food industry. "I believe that Mount Holyoke is going
to help me make that happen," she said.
Reshma Patil, Memphis,
you were to have visited California's Duxbury Reef at low tide
over the past four years, you might have run into Kyle Lebell,
doing her part to protect the intertidal ecosystem. During her
freshman year in high school, Lebell helped found the Sustainable
Seas Student Intertidal Monitoring Project, one of a number
of such groups up and down the Golden State's coast. The group
is responsible for counting the algae and invertebrate species
along a section of Duxbury Reef--and if that means getting up
at 3 am to catch low tide, then, so be it. "I'm always
running around and telling people to save the oceans," said
the self-described "fish freak." "I'd like to do something that
makes people more aware of the oceans."
There's never been
much doubt in Reshma Patil's mind that she belonged in research.
She became hooked as a second-grader, watching her two older
brothers conduct experiments. "I just wanted to be in that lab
with them," said Patil, "to be able to go deep inside and see
what causes things to happen." She's been doing her own research
since the third grade, and the subjects have certainly become
more complex and challenging. Her most recent work, in connection
with researchers at the University of Tennessee Health Science
Center, involved an injectable gel for the timed delivery of
therapeutic drugs--a breakthrough that might be of particular
use in treating diabetes--and the role played by a protein in
the scarring of heart tissue after a heart attack. For the past
two years, her work has been ranked first in competition in
the Tennessee Junior Academy of Science program.
Rojas, Miami, Florida
Alison Yee, Armonk,
Rojas's family history straddles the Cuban revolution. A job
transfer was responsible for the arrival of her mother's family
in 1957, before Fidel Castro's rise; her father's family landed
as refugees, making the crossing by boat to Key West in 1965.
In a way, Rojas's thinking about her family's native land straddles
that line, too. "It's hard. I see both sides of the situation,"
she said. Cuban life is certainly evident in Miami, and Rojas
revels in the food, music, and cultural events. She has also
discovered through a school research project that South Americans
make up the newest wave of immigration to south Florida. "Miami
has so many different cultures," said Rojas, who is considering
a major in international relations or political science.
You might say that
the oyster is her world. As an intern with the Connecticut Department
of Agriculture, Yee has spent three years studying Perkinsus
marinus, a tiny parasite that is responsible for the death of
up to 90 percent of the oysters in a given bed each year. Her
work earned Yee selection as a finalist in the 2003 Intel Science
Talent Search, a program that identifies and encourages high
school seniors who show exceptional ability in science and engineering.
She hopes to major in environmental studies at MHC and carry
on with her interests in marine science and parasites. While
she considered larger research universities, MHC "just felt
right," Yee said. "There's more communication with the teachers,
a lot more support and more community."