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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
Growing & Sharing the Environment with Local and Global Communities

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Our panel explores the intersections between growing, sharing, and learning about sustainability through agriculture, gardening, environmental research, and outreach. In Pioneer Valley, New England and abroad, we cultivated connections as researchers, workers, and educators. Leila experienced working for an environmental nonprofit on research and education in Connecticut. Lynn learned about the botanic garden at Mount Holyoke and developed online tools for plant education. Izzy farmed at Book & Plow Farm in Amherst and developed a plan to reduce local food waste. Eleanor helped educate about sustainable agriculture at LIFE Monteverde in Costa Rica. Shannon researched and recommended food system sustainability advancements at Mount Holyoke. Each panel member combined their interest in the environment and sustainability with communications and community outreach, understanding the importance of education to further sustainability initiatives.


Timothy Farnham

Associate Professor of Environmental Studies

avatar for Eleanor


Sustainable Farming at LIFE Monteverde, Environmental Studies Major
Eleanor was a sustainable farming intern at LIFE Monteverde, a coffee farm in Monteverde, Costa Rica. There, she assisted a graduate of the University of Costa Rica in his research project measuring the volume of wood and carbon from Cypress trees, an exotic species, located on the... Read More →
avatar for Leila  Kouakou

Leila Kouakou

Go With the Flow: Education and Research on the Connecticut River Estuary, Environmental Studies Major
Leila conducted research on submerged aquatic vegetation in the Connecticut River Estuary for the Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center of Connecticut Audubon. Revisiting a 20-year-old study in the same area, she collected data on the diversity, density, and distribution of aquatic plants... Read More →
avatar for Shannon Paton

Shannon Paton

Shannon worked in coordination with the Miller Worley Center for the Environment and Mount Holyoke Dining Services as a Campus Food System Sustainability Fellow. She researched and analyzed Mount Holyoke’s current practices to understand its current AASHE Stars Sustainability Ratings... Read More →

Izzy Putnal

Hands in the Dirt: Connecting People and Food on Book & Plow Farm, English Major
Over the summer, Izzy worked on Book & Plow Farm in Amherst, MA. She worked with five other crew members to grow fruits, vegetables, and flowers for Amherst College and the larger Amherst community. Working on the farm, she seeded, planted, cared for, harvested, and delivered vegetables... Read More →
avatar for Lynn Shen

Lynn Shen

From Dirt to Grid: Gardening on a College Campus, Environmental Studies Major
Lynn spent the summer at the Botanic Garden of Mount Holyoke College. Under the guidance of the Garden staff, she had hands-on experience with horticulture and plant cultivation. On top of that, she worked with two other interns as a research team to look into the history of the garden... Read More →

Friday October 20, 2017 12:30pm - 1:25pm EDT
Cleveland L3