Vista • Mount Holyoke College • Fall/Winter 2011 • Vol. 16 No. 2
Meet the Class of 2015
Hometown: Portland, Oregon 21ST Century Scholar
Likely major: It could be anything from neuroscience to film studies to international relations. At the moment, psychology is most likely.
Quotation: “The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.” —ee cummings
Research experience: I spent a summer as a research assistant at the National Center for Rehabilitative Auditory Research in Portland. I learned the process of turning an idea into a grant, a grant into a study, and how a study can make a difference in people's lives.
Making music: I studied trumpet, then my middle school music teacher encouraged me to consider the trombone. She pointed out how few trombone players there are and that even fewer of them are female. Thankfully, I later took her advice.
Favorite jazz song: The first that comes to mind is Duke Ellington’s “Moon over Cuba,” but that may have something to do with the fact that it is a wonderful trombone feature.
To-do list: Hike Machu Picchu, go zip lining in Brazil, take a ski tour around America, skydive out of a plane, and eat authentic thin crust pizza in Italy.
Why MHC: Initially, the location, size, and academics attracted me. I also loved the idea of a consortium of schools. However, the real reason I chose Mount Holyoke is the people. I love how open-minded the campus is.
Hometown: San Anselmo, California
Likely major: Possibly neuroscience; definitely premed. I don’t want to close off my mind to other possibilities that also might spark my interest.
Recent internship: For the past eight months, I’ve worked at the J. David Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease at University of California, San Francisco researching micro genetics of congenital heart disease. I’m studying fruit flies to detect what protein structures directly correlate to heart failure.
Most delicious summer: When I visited my family and friends last summer in France, I decided to learn French pastry from the best by enrolling in the Cordon Bleu of Paris. For weeks I took the Metro to the 15th arrondissement to study the secrets of classic French delicacies. Learning to cook in French with top chefs was truly a treat!
On trying new things: In high school, I decided to step outside of my comfort zone and try a new club that would both teach and excite me. The Cosmic Ray Club did just that [they built a sub-atomic particle detector]. Also, I’ve always been a reluctant runner, and track and field was a sport that I never imagined I would do. So I joined the team and ended up loving to run!
Riding lessons: All I wanted to do when I was younger was spend time with my horses, ride, and show on the California circuit. After nine years spent with these giant animals, I gained a sense of confi- dence that has helped me to muscle through difficult and embarrassing times (such as falling off in front of many spectators) both within the sport and in my daily life.
Hometown: Park City, Utah
Likely major: At this moment in time, I’d most likely major in psychology.
An equestrian education: I’ve ridden for 11 years. When your companion is a 1,000- pound animal with a mind of their own, sometimes things don't go the way you plan. This partnership has taught me to be patient, calm, sensitive, and respectful to others.
Life changer: Ten days in Bolivia helping build a school in memory of five recent graduates of Park City High School. One day, the tiny classrooms were filled with students who were so thankful for every- thing that they had. Being around these lovely people inviting us with open arms into their community was breathtaking.
My music: I play trumpet, piano, drums, and sing. My favorite female artist at the moment would be Adele. I love her tone and how genuine she is and how that flows through her music.
1. I wanted a change in scenery, in people, in everything.
2. I fell in love with the equestrian program.
3. I wanted the completely new experience of a women’s college.
4. I saw what alumnae do with their lives.
Hometown: Bangalore, India
Career aspiration: Not set in stone. A teacher once told me, “The things that you want to do most in life will take you by sur- prise.” Delving into different experiences— books, lectures, internships, fieldwork—is my way of waiting to be surprised.
Recent theatre experience: This summer I worked with a theatre project called Fewer Emergencies, doing production work and acting. I loved running around to the remotest markets in the city to source production materials, building sets till the wee hours of the morning, and simply standing onstage, suspended in performance before an audience.
Photography and documentary filmmaking: When I made my first film (a documentary on music in Bangalore), I found that I could understand people’s tales from their point of view and also retell them with my own. That feeling of being involved and detached at the same time draws me to the camera again and again. Photography and film are also an adventure of sorts— there is an uncertainty and a thrill in capturing a moment before it is no more.
On processing honey: I’ve had hands-on experience in processing and packaging honey with two different NGOs—Keystone (based in the state of Tamil Nadu) and Kaigal Education and Environment Programme or KEEP (based in the state of Andhra Pradesh). Honey collection is a sustainable and important source of income for many tribal people. In fact, their traditional methods of honey collection are so sustainable they do not harm bee populations and are carried out in tandem with the seasons and phases of the moon. I also ate the best honey I have ever tasted—straight from the honeycomb!
What I’m reading: River of Smoke, by Amitav Ghosh. It’s a historical novel about the opium trade in nineteenth-century Asia. I am really enjoying the read, and the fact that he is coming to the Odyssey Bookshop in October [just across the street from campus] is making me doubly excited!
Hometown: Bethel, Connecticut
Likely major: International Relations or Economics
Love of Scrabble: It’s been an amazing journey that has taken me around the country, introduced me to some of my closest friends, and has taught me a thing or two about words (or, at least, about memorizing them).
Favorite Scrabble word: “Zebrass” is a donkey-zebra hybrid. The word is meaning- ful to me as one of the only decent plays I made in my first tournament nearly ten years ago.
Book recommendations: The Death of David Debrizzi by Paul Micou and This Law of Ours by Mohammad Asad
Academic passion: The Middle East has always fascinated me. As the area is unfortunately often misconstrued and misunderstood by the media, I believe it is imperative to work toward understanding its history, politics, cultures, and religions. My attention has been captured by the revolutions that have been happening throughout the Arab world. These revolu- tions, coupled with the use of social media, have allowed for a greater amount of information to flow to and from various countries, facilitating the spread of ideas. Certainly, now is an exciting time to be involved in Middle Eastern studies!
Being a triplet: What has shaped me the most about being a triplet is the knowledge that my brothers will always be there to support me. I realize that while life can sometimes be complicated, family is about forgiveness, love, and constant, unyielding support.
Athletics: Playing team sports has taught me the value of hard work, respect, and trust. In the end, it’s not about wins or loss- es: it’s about loving your team and loving the game. When you enjoy every moment of it, there are no limits as to how far you can go.
Hometown: Amherst, Massachusetts
Tackling challenges: I’ve learned to just dive in. Whether I’m starting my least favorite type of workout, a paper I can’t seem to make work, or a challenging social situation, I start before I have a chance to dread it. I hate to lose as much as I love to win. As a result, I trust I will see the payoff of my hard work.
Russian Wrestler: Dan Gable was a wrestler who wanted an Olympic Gold, but knew he would have to beat a Russian powerhouse to get it. When Gable hit a hard workout, he would picture his Russian rival doing a hard- er workout. That kept him motivated. I first learned this concept at a preseason Ultimate workout my sophomore year. We picked someone we aspired to play like to be our own Russian Wrestler. This strategy has gotten me through grueling training sessions and helped me focus on my goals.
Ultimate Frisbee: I play Ultimate for the physical prowess it demands. Games are fast-paced, intense, physical, and competi- tive, and people are expected to be in great athletic shape. I also play Ultimate for the community it fosters. I’ve yet to find another sport with qualities comparable to the camaraderie and sportsmanship I find in Ultimate—and I’ve played a lot of sports.
Winning bronze in the World Junior Ultimate Championship: Competing in Germany was an honor, and I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to represent my country on a world stage.
College goals: I’ve been fortunate to forge friendships with athletes from all over the world—I look forward to being a part of the strong MHC community in a similar way.
Hometown: Eugene, Oregon, 21ST Century Scholar
Likely major: I’m considering neuroscience, physics, and psychology.
My research: After reading an article that mentioned Richard Dawkins’s work on evolutionary biology, religion, and spirituali- ty, I got thinking about how very similar people can have very different fundamental beliefs. I began researching the biology of spirituality and it became the focus of my extended essay for the International Baccalaureate.
Making music: My instrument is the viola. I’m planning to continue playing through college.
On my iPod: Right now, I’m a bit obsessed with Mumford & Sons. Something about their music resonates with me. I can’t help feeling brighter when listening to them.
Personal philosophy: Mine comes from my yoga practice: stay in the present. You can learn from the past and plan for the future, but do not get stuck in either.
Riding on: Though I have ridden since I was eight and have done the hunter/ jumper show circuit in Oregon and the West Coast, I’ve never really ridden with a team or people my own age. It will be great to have friends who understand the horsey part of my life.
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