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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 Natalia Provolo

Natalia Provolo

Psychology Major
The Food You Choose: Understanding Our Eating Decisions
How does the color of your plate affect your food consumption? How do your surroundings contribute to your food choices and eating behaviors? Through her summer internship at Cornell University’s Food and Brand Lab, Natalia learned the answers to these questions, as well as how to design kitchens, restaurants, grocery stores, and even school cafeterias, to unconsciously persuade ourselves to choose the healthier option. Natalia contributed to the lab through data analysis, questionnaire development, and newsletter design. However, her main focus was interviewing expatriates to determine how foreign residence affects weight fluctuation. In addition, she co-founded a campaign with the aim to stop, fight and conquer body shaming and promote self-love and body positivity. Overall, Natalia’s experience as a behavioral marketing intern provided her with a breadth of knowledge of the intricacies of our daily food decisions, and a newfound confidence and appreciation for psychological research.