Frances Perkins Focus: Susan Cooper Daigneault

Susan Cooper Daigneault FP’19

Name: Susan Cooper Daigneault FP’19

Frances Perkins scholar: The Frances Perkins Program is for nontraditional-aged students who seek to complete an undergraduate degree at Mount Holyoke.

Previous college: Community College of Vermont

Hometown: Newfane, Vermont

Major: psychology and education

Past work/volunteer experience: I ran my own daycare for almost 20 years and most recently worked as a third grade paraprofessional in my local elementary school. I have been very active in my community, serving as co-chair and chair of the PTO, coaching T-ball and baseball, volunteering, hosting and supporting the "Journey East" exchange program with sister schools in Inner Mongolia and China, and organizing fundraisers for various school programs and trips.

Career aspirations: My goal is to become an elementary school teacher. I would also like to organize activities and groups that support and empower young girls. I want to be an advocate for children, possibly within the foster care system.

Proudest moments: My proudest moments are raising my children, my 18-year marriage, graduating with my associate's degree and now, my acceptance into the Frances Perkins Program at Mount Holyoke.

Why MHC: I came to visit six years ago and it just hit me that I needed to be here! The women who spoke that day shared their personal experiences and successes and were so inspiring. The campus was absolutely beautiful and there was this overwhelming feeling that everyone around you was supporting and cheering you on. The environment at Mount Holyoke is like no other that I have experienced.

First impressions: From the first time I met the admission staff, I knew I had found my educational home. Everything I felt that first day has been absolutely true — fellow classmates, professors and my new Frances Perkins sisters have been incredible. They go out of their way to connect and support one another or just be a friend. I have found a very special place to continue my education.

Favorite places: I love the entire MHC campus but a couple of favorites are the Octagon Room for quiet study, Dickinson Hall to be with fellow FPs and the the Eliot House Lounge for Interfaith Lunches on Wednesdays. In South Hadley, I love hiking Mount Holyoke with new friends and meeting at Tailgate for lunch.

Who is in your family: My husband, Charlie, and our children: Ryan and his wife Erin, Derek and his wife Samantha, Rachel, Evan, granddaughters Ava and Ella, and a grandson due this June.

Who is your hero: Michelle Obama

Favorite social media: Facebook — it keeps me connected with old and new friends and family who live far away.