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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.
avatar for Kelly  Bentdahl

Kelly Bentdahl

Philosophy Major
“I’m an Educator Not a Litigator:” Balancing Enforcement and Teaching in Anti-Discrimination Law
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 both state and federal anti-discrimination laws on behalf of the Commonwealth. It is also instructed to educate the public and must balance these two objectives, often choosing whether to prioritize sanctioning those who violate the law, and instilling in them a belief in the importance of preventing harassment and discrimination. As an enforcement intern with the Commission, Kelly investigated claims of discrimination in employment and public accommodations and became a part of the conversation on balancing enforcement and education in the fight to eliminate discrimination. She gained investigative and legal writing skills, as well as an appreciation for the important role of government in fighting prejudice and promoting pluralism.