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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 Leila  Kouakou

Leila Kouakou

Environmental Studies Major
Go With the Flow: Education and Research on the Connecticut River Estuary
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 to assess the health of the ecosystem. The results of her research will be used by local and national government for future conservation efforts. In addition to research, Leila worked with the Center to educate the local community on environmental conservation issues. She lead a guided kayak tour, attended town hall meetings about land protection and maintenance, and collaborated with a girls in science grant to engage young people in nature. As one of the first interns for the Center in its first year, Leila was presented with many challenges regarding planning and communication as well as problem solving in the field.