Firstie Focus: Leora Ferrari ’21

Photo of Leora Ferrari ’21

High school: Medford High School

Hometown: Medford, Massachusetts

Major: wildlife biology, environmental studies

Noteworthy experience: I had the opportunity to be part of a wildlife ecology research camp where I was able to complete an independent scientific research project. I chose to study the effect that the invasive plant oriental bittersweet has on woodpeckers in upstate New York. I hypothesized that woodpeckers would be attracted to nesting in areas with a lot of bittersweet because the plant chokes trees, and a dead tree is an ideal spot for woodpeckers to make nests and find food. I measured the distance between a woodpecker tree and the nearest bittersweet, and found that woodpeckers do indeed prefer to live near bittersweet. I wrote a scientific paper that was accepted for publication by the Journal of Wildlife Ecology Research and put together a poster to be viewed by both judges and the public.

Proudest moment: On Dec. 15, 2016, a month after applying early decision to Mount Holyoke, I got an email saying there was an update to my profile on the MHC website. Soon enough, I was staring at big, bold letters saying “You’re in!” I kept thinking about how all my hard work had truly paid off. It was a good day.  

Why MHC: I believe that Mount Holyoke will give me an outstanding education in science that no other college could match.

First Impressions: The minute I got on the campus, I could see the positive and accepting atmosphere that no other campus I visited had. Also, the amoeba rugs in the science center stood out to me!   

Favorite place on campus: The library, because of how inviting it seems and how serene and peaceful it is. I also like the greenhouse because of all the beautiful plants and flowers.

How I am spending the summer: I am traveling to Quebec, Canada, with family and then to upstate New York to my summer home. I hope to either volunteer or work at a nearby nature preserve there.

Where I want to be in 10 years: I want to be working at a job where I help to preserve and protect wild animals, especially birds, as well as the environment.

Career aspirations: I hope to work at the National Park Service.

Favorite book series: “The Lord of the Rings” by J.R.R. Tolkien

The most important thing in my residence hall room: Believe it or not, a picture of my cat, Clio.

Favorite TV show, movie, music: I am unable to pick one TV show but I love “Parks and Recreation,” “Once Upon a Time” and “Sherlock.” Movie: “The Return of the King.” Music: Paramore and All Time Low.