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At LEAP, nearly 300 Mount Holyoke students present about their internships and research experiences. You will hear from future policy makers, activists, entrepeneurs, data scientists, teachers, researchers, and market analysts. Most will tell stories of unmitigated success and transformative learning. Others will share details of unexpected challenges they faced, and how they were required to shift and adapt in response. Students worked in 42 countries in every imaginable field. They will discuss important issues of social justice, relate how they met challenges of communication and expression in new contexts, and talk about how to find and succeed in summer internships.

LEAP is designed to give students who aspire to undertake internships and summer research the opportunity to learn from their peers. It is also for the whole Mount Holyoke community where family, friends, faculty, staff and our alumnae come together to celebrate the work and contributions of the presenters.

We are hugely impressed by students in College 211 and inspired by their individual success and collective learning. Their work in bringing the LEAP Symposium to fruition was exceptional. We thank the faculty, staff, alumnae, donors, and internship and research providers whose contributions have make this event possible.

LEAP presenters: Congratulations.
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Friday, October 20 • 12:30pm - 1:25pm
The Justice League: Law, Advocacy, and Public Policy

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Peace and progress are built through dialogue. In their internships, members of this panel listened, advocated, bridged divides, and explored policy solutions to problems of injustice, inequality and government inaccessibility. We held internships with PartnersGlobal, the American Foreign Service Association, the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, and the offices of Senators Warren and Gillibrand. In our presentations, each of us will reflect on how our experiences as public service interns supported our development into future change makers. We will address the challenges, frustrations, and feelings of inadequacy associated with careers that require us to reconcile our ideals of peace and progress with what we can practically accomplish, and discuss the innumerable ways in which our summer internships expanded our sense of community and our vision of our future careers.


Christopher Mitchell

Assistant Professor of International Relations and Politics, Mount Holyoke College

avatar for Nada Al-Thawr

Nada Al-Thawr

Impact Beyond Ourselves, Computer Science and International Relations Major
As international students, it’s sometimes difficult to connect the work we do in the US to our homes. Coming from Yemen, I knew that I wanted to contribute to the peacemaking process back home somehow, all the way from D.C. this summer. Interning at PartnersGlobal was the way to... Read More →
avatar for Kelly  Bentdahl

Kelly Bentdahl

“I’m an Educator Not a Litigator:” Balancing Enforcement and Teaching in Anti-Discrimination Law, Philosophy Major
The Massachusetts Commission against Discrimination was founded in 1946. Though its jurisdiction has expanded greatly since then, its mission remains the same: to eradicate discrimination in the state of Massachusetts. In pursuit of this goal, the Commission is empowered to enforce... Read More →
avatar for Niamh Gronningsater

Niamh Gronningsater

From the Classroom to U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand's New York City Office: Fostering a Constituent Rapport, Politics Major
This summer, I had the privilege of working as a Constituent Affairs Intern at the New York City office of U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. Born and raised in New York City, I focused on local politics and contributed ideas which reflected my values as a constituent, woman, and student... Read More →
avatar for Maryanne Magnier

Maryanne Magnier

International Relations Major
This summer I got the chance to intern at Senator Elizabeth Warren's office in Washington, DC. I attended briefings, wrote memos, communicated with constituents, and more (I got to hear Ben Carson speak!). It was a really cool experience to see the inner workings of a prominent senator's... Read More →

Sofia Elisa Rivera

Superhuman Service and the People Behind Them, International Relations Major
The American Foreign Service Association (AFSA), the professional association and labor union of the United States Foreign Service, recognises and awards the exemplary service of its fellows each year. As the Awards and Outreach intern this past summer, I got to meet and get to know... Read More →

Friday October 20, 2017 12:30pm - 1:25pm EDT
Kendade 203