Transfer Focus: Lainie LaRonde ’20

Photo of Madelaine (Lainie) LaRonde ’20

Previous college: Colgate University

Hometown: Manlius, New York

Possible majors: sociology, gender studies, the Five College Reproductive Health, Rights, and Justice program

Why MHC: During my freshman year at my previous college, I visited a friend who goes to Mount Holyoke and I was struck by the inclusiveness and the friendly vibe. I really felt like I could belong and find people who celebrated each other for being themselves. I was also struck by how diverse the students are and I realized I was missing that in my college experience.

First impressions: Mount Holyoke is somehow mysterious yet welcoming — I feel as though there are a million quirky things and people to discover, and all of them will be wonderful. Also I’m pretty sure that there are morally ambiguous mermaids in the lake.

Favorite places so far on campus, South Hadley, the Pioneer Valley: The Thirsty Mind coffee shop! And the open-air amphitheater.

Proudest moments: Winning third place at the state championships with my high school rowing team, knowing that we worked our absolute hardest. Receiving a “superior” rating on my National Council of English Teachers poetry portfolio. Seeing the shiny new cover of “Voices,” my high school’s literary magazine, emerge from the shipping crates after my first year as an executive editor.

Noteworthy work experience: I worked in my local public library for two years, and am currently working at a local coffee shop-slash-restaurant. While it’s not particularly intellectual work, both jobs have taught me valuable skills, from learning how to work with different kinds of people to how to use the espresso machine with ease.

Career aspirations: I’m not sure where my career will take me, but I’m hoping to do work that impacts people’s lives in tangible ways. I’m considering nonprofit work or other activist-oriented careers, especially in terms of LGBT, feminist and other intersectional issues. I would also love to bring my love of writing, particularly poetry, into my work and life.

Favorite book, author: “The Secret Life of Bees” by Sue Monk Kidd will never cease to amaze me and illuminate new life lessons. I also love the writing of Rainbow Rowell, Amy Tan and J.K. Rowling.

Favorite TV show, movie, music: It’s a toss up between “Parks and Recreation,” “The Great British Baking Show” and “Sense8” / “Hidden Figures” /  alternative rock like Børns, Panic and Nirvana

Favorite social media: Tumblr