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Community Building: Mount Holyoke Celebrates New Campus Center
--Students Shape Blueprint for Perfect Campus Center
--Architectural Studies: Building a New Major

The Sparring Scholar: Looks Can Deceive

Going For The Gold: Barbara Cassani '82 Leads London's Bid for the 2012 Olympics

Say Hello to the Class of 2007

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Mount Holyoke College News and Events College Street Journal Vista

WINTER 2003 • VOLUME 8, NUMBER 1

BY DAVID LaCHANCE

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:

Anna Boatwright, 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 Francisco, California
Sarah 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 volunteer work.

Phyllis Kodi, Accra, Ghana
 
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.

Kyle Lebell, Woodacre, California
If 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."

Reshma Patil, Memphis, Tennessee
 
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.

Susana Christina Rojas, Miami, Florida
Susana 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.

Alison Yee, Armonk, New York
 
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."

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