Alex Moreno ’22 has a passion for improving her communities. Thanks to Mount Holyoke’s small class sizes and strong community, Alex has been able to connect and collaborate with a diverse network while also supporting her personal growth. Serving on the American Physical Society’s Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity Alliance committee and the College’s Reimagining Campus Safety committee, Alex has helped to ensure that students feel supported, included and safe. “Both of these committees look to make campus more inclusive and safe for communities I am a part of and want to be an ally for, which in turn makes my experience at Mount Holyoke better for me and my peers.”
Once she graduates, Alex is looking to combine her majors in a career in international development. “I hope to work with people across the world to further support them with the skills I have learned here at Mount Holyoke. Every country has its own political history and culture, so I hope using what I know about the political spectrum and world, I can better connect while also understanding my role in international development.”
When you invest in Mount Holyoke, particularly through one of our scholarship aid destinations, you pave the way for students like Alex to find their home and strengthen their communities.
“Scholarship aid has made Mount Holyoke a real thing for me. Apart from just classes, things like conferences and symposiums would not be possible for me. Scholarship aid has allowed me to have the entire Mount Holyoke experience and not worry about how I would finance these opportunities. It allows my financial worries to take a backseat and my student-self to come first.”
— Alex Moreno ’22
Physics and politics double major
Why did you choose Mount Holyoke?
I first visited Mount Holyoke during the Focus on Diversity fly out program. I was not sure where I wanted to go after high school and could not articulate what I wanted for my college experience. I visited on a whim and on a recommendation from my college counselor to look at Mount Holyoke. My visit felt like the first time I could imagine myself at a college. The classes, especially classroom discussions, were extremely interesting and candid. While I can’t remember much of the substance of my few short days on campus, I remember the feeling — feeling very much in the right place. When it came time to make my final college decision, Mount Holyoke was the only school that made me feel engaged and challenged. While I consider myself a thoughtful person, there was no thought that needed to go into this: Nothing felt as good as Mount Holyoke.
What do you value most about your Mount Holyoke education? How has this community helped you thrive?
Mount Holyoke’s class sizes are one of the most impressive things about the College. The small class sizes have allowed me to foster relationships with my professors while also having collaborative environments in every one of my classes. From seminars to labs, I understand how to work with my classmates while also building myself up as a student. Furthermore, having a smaller community allows me to connect cross-divisionally with students in different class years as well as professors from different departments. I have learned to network and communicate with all sorts of people and that would not be possible without Mount Holyoke.
What academic project or pursuit are you most proud of and why?
Last semester, I completed my first research project in Professor Neal Abraham’s intermediate physics lab. This class taught students how to run experiments related to physics and physics concepts while also being introduced to larger physics concepts. For our final project, each student was required to run an experiment and create a full lab write-up, presentation and poster project. On top of that, this was last semester when students left campus due to COVID-19. I was not sure if my limited physics background with the added difficulty of no longer being in a physical lab would allow me to complete the project. Through Professor Abraham’s patience and support and with many hours of reading and studying, I was able to complete my project and confidently present it. While I learned quite a bit about physics in that course, I felt like I learned how to be a physicist and apply the concepts I was learning in a more physical and meaningful way.
What cocurricular activities are you involved in and how have they impacted your academic work?
This year, the physics department at Mount Holyoke opened a chapter of the American Physical Society’s Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity Alliance committee here on campus. I am very proud to be a part of the committee this year and help push the department to find ways to be more inclusive of marginalized groups here on campus. Starting this summer, I joined the Reimagining Campus Safety committee. This committee, sparked by the demonstrations and protests this summer around police brutality and over-policing of Black and brown communities, looks to restructure campus safety in order to guarantee each student, regardless of their identity, feels safe on campus. Both of these committees look to make campus more inclusive and safe for communities I am a part of and want to be an ally for, which in turn make my experience at Mount Holyoke better for me and my peers.
What are your long-term goals and how do you think your Mount Holyoke education will help you to achieve those goals?
After college, I hope to pursue a career in international development. For this reason, I am majoring in physics and politics. I want to become an engineer with a particular focus in the globalizing world. I hope to work with people across the world who have started projects in their home countries and to further support them with the skills I have learned here at Mount Holyoke. I am also aware that every country has its own political history and culture, so I hope that using what I know about the political spectrum and the world can help me better connect, while also understanding my role in international development.
What would you say to an alum who donates to Mount Holyoke to support things like student scholarship aid and internships?
As a first-generation student from a low income background, I would not be in any higher learning institution without student scholarships and internships. While I can try my best to bridge the gap between my peers and myself, I ultimately cannot do it alone, and the support from alums is one of the reasons I am able to have the opportunities I do today.
How has scholarship aid impacted your Mount Holyoke experience?
Scholarship aid has made Mount Holyoke a real thing for me. Apart from just classes, things like conferences and symposiums would not be possible for me. Scholarship aid has allowed me to have the entire Mount Holyoke experience and not worry about how I would finance these opportunities. It allows my financial worries to take a backseat and my student-self come to first.