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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 Illianna Termuehlen

Illianna Termuehlen

Environmental Studies Major
The Simple Life: Conservation on a Seabird Island
I packed my belongings into two duffel bags and drove off to Stratton Island. My home would be a single-person tent. I was warned that my neighbors would dive bomb my head and destroy my clothes with their acidic feces. I would be working for Project Puffin, a conservation effort that is reestablishing seabird populations along the Maine coast. Project Puffin sends small groups of scientists to isolated islands in order to gather data and protect the feathered residents that come to nest each summer. I became an advocate for four species of Terns, spending my days monitoring nests, banding and weighing birds, conducting feeding studies, and providing predator and ecological management. I lived and worked on a one-mile-long island, where life was dedicated to the wellbeing of the birds, and where excitement was finding a tiny baby Tern hidden in the rocks, or being awoken at dawn to the sound of songbirds singing.