Mount Holyoke College
Weissman Center for Leadership

Leadership and Public Service

Leadership and Public Service (LAPS) is for students who can imagine being part of the solution to pressing and critical problems facing the world, or in their countries or communities, through public service. What is public service? It can be running for office, being an elected official, working for the government at any level, advocating for policy solutions, lobbying for constituent needs, or belonging to one of the many institutions world-wide that promote democracy, peace, and justice. It can mean working in embassies, think tanks, foundations, civil society organizations, or serving on a school committee or city council. Public service means being involved, caring about others, understanding the issues, seeing the big picture, listening to all sides, negotiating, learning and growing, sacrifice, staying in the game, and not giving up.

Inspired by the Women in Public Service Project, a collaboration of the U.S. State Department and the sister colleges, students can engage in the co-curricular workshops, and public lectures by renowned policy makers and advocates, along with experiential learning through site visits, internships, and seminars on public policy in Washington, D.C. through PLEN (Public Leadership Education Network).

Mount Holyoke College student Jessica Taylor '17 with Senator Elizabeth Warren

Internships through the LAPS program

Students can intern at the offices of elected officials, as well as non-profit organizations that are working on policy at state and national levels.
Photo of a group of students on a site visit to Washington, D.C.

Careers in Public Service: Site Visits

The Weissman Center, together with our campus partners, sponsors trips each year for students who are interested in careers in public service.
Photo of the capital building in Washington D.C.

MHC Semester in D.C.

This signature program will be available each fall semester to Seniors.
The capital building and the Publlic Leadership Education Network logo

PLEN Grants

Grants are available to MHC students to attend public policy seminars in Washington D.C. that are sponsored by the Public Leadership and Education Network.