Mount Holyoke European Alumnae Award
In the cooperation with the McCulloch Center for Global initiatives at Mount Holyoke College, the European Alumnae Council annually offers a monetary award to a Mount Holyoke graduating student who wishes to pursue graduate work in Europe. For more information on how to apply please contact the McCulloch Center.
Past winners of the Mount Holyoke European Alumnae award are:
- Mary Pura ’17 – to pursue a master’s degree program in English Literature and Society at the University of Edinburgh
- Emily Castner ’18 – to pursue an International Master’s program in Mathematics at Technische Universität Kaiserslautern
- Javeria Kella ’19 – to pursue a Master’s degree in Development Studies at the Graduate Institute, Geneva
- Ann C. Hewitt ’20, Ancient Studies & Anthropology, to pursue a postgraduate degree program in Archaeology at the University of Edinburgh. You can read her winning essay here.
Ann Hewitt’s Winning Essay for the European Alumnae Award 2020:
“I have an abiding love of art and archaeology. My desire to further understand cultural
transmissions between societies has spurred my desire to pursue a postgraduate degree in
Archaeology at the University of Edinburgh. At Mount Holyoke, I have lived many of my
dreams. As an Anthropology and Ancient Studies major, my courses have challenged me to think more critically and divergently, and from this I have acquired a deeper understanding of our past, different cultures, and the world we live in. Additionally, the Museum, Archives and Public History Nexus has provided me with a chart to navigate career opportunities through excavations, museum internships and archival work. Each avenue I have taken has merged into new passageways to explore. The Laurel Fellowship I received to study abroad at College Year in Athens increased my desire to become an archaeologist. I was not only introduced to the Bronze Age in the Mediterranean, but I was also given the opportunity to travel with my class to Cyprus and visit several of the major archaeological sites there. This experience helped me receive the Explorers Club of New York Grant and secure a place on Dr. Peter Fischer’s Swedish Archaeology Expedition to Hala Sultan Tekke in Cyprus where I was the only undergraduate. Despite my inexperience, my education at Mount Holyoke made me feel competent editing and writing field reports each evening. Additionally, through the generosity of MHC Lynk funding and a grant from MHC alum Caroline Horowitz, I participated in the Poggio Civitate Field School, and through a Benjamin Gilman State Department Scholarship, I prospected rock carving in Kazakhstan from the Bronze Age to the Soviet Era. By challenging myself to work in the field over the course of 14 weeks last summer, my interest in art and archaeology deepened and I became more determined to attend graduate school.
To attend graduate school in Europe will be a life-changing opportunity to do research with
renowned professors, while gaining professional experience working at Scottish archaeological sites, museums, and labs. The program at the University of Edinburgh is strongly aligned with my interests in the burgeoning of civilization, art and trade. Through the MSc., I will explore theoretical and methodological approaches to archaeology and learn about the interplay between the ritual and domestic spheres in Europe. Other areas that I plan to investigate are mobility patterns, European trade in antiquity, the origins and imports of domestic architecture, and roundhouses in Scotland and the late Bronze Age throughout Europe and the Mediterranean. As climate change threatens archaeological sites all over the world adjacent to coastal areas, there is an urgency to protect cultural heritage. The need to document and excavate archaeological sites at risk of being submerged is vital towards our understanding of the world we live in. I would be honored to receive the European Alumnae Council Award which would contribute significantly to the cost of transatlantic transportation I will incur to attend graduate school in Europe.”
Renee Scialom Cary Award for Study Abroad Students
In celebration and fond memory of its founder, Renee Scialom Cary ’48, biennially MHEAC offers a limited number of awards to current Mount Holyoke students studying in Europe to allow them to attend the European Alumnae Symposium taking place on that year. Entries are currently closed.
Applicants must submit their request supported by a short statement (max. 200 words) elaborating on the following statement: “A Mount Holyoke education is a key to the world: My experience.” The final selection is made by the officers of the European Council. The winning essays are published below.
The 2019 winners, who attended the 15th European Alumnae Symposium in Greece, are…
Our winners’ essays:
Gabrielle Lynn Arzuaga ’21, MHC Montpellier, France
‘For a young Latina from a small, rural town in western Massachusetts who never thought she would have the chance to leave New England, a Mount Holyoke education is a literal key to the world. As a low-income college student, her financial situation is always on her mind. The fear that the next bill would be too big for her to pay is an ever imminent fear. Unlike her classmates who get to spend school breaks backpacking around Europe or partying somewhere in South America, she had to work 2 jobs and long hours to pay for the next semester’s textbooks and tuition. Studying abroad never even crossed her mind. But when Mount Holyoke presented her with the opportunity to study abroad, with scholarships and grants to cover costs, she was speechless. She would have access to other cultures, different languages, and far away places that she had only ever dreamed of. Through Mount Holyoke, she would be able to explore a whole new reality that she thought was far out of her reach. For this young Latina, a Mount Holyoke Education is a literal key to the world, and she could not be more thankful for it.’
Zhaouyuan (May) Chen ’21, the London School of Economics, UK
‘”I won’t be silenced.” My tear falls for Princess Jasmine because I find my shade on her as she changes. Mount Holyoke transforms me to be independent like Jasmine, who is enthusiastic about exploring the unknown and fearless at making changes.
I used to be a reserved girl who hardly challenges authority. Back-to-back forty-five-minute lectures are never enough for questions. Years of schooling, I never learned how to understand rather than memorize until I stepped into a whole new world. Here with my peers, I performed African Drum at President Sonya’s inauguration; with the Glee Club, I sang “Do-Re-Mi” for strangers in Salzburg. Amiable professors presented me how the African Nations developed over endless wars, jumped back and forth between Europe and America to piece together modern arts progression, discussed a wide range of topics from my confusions to future of the world. People at Mount Holyoke help me expand my knowledge and cognition.
Hard to specify how much I learned within such a compact two-year. Benefiting from the Mount Holyoke education, I crave for knowledge in a variety form. Instructed to be an autonomous individual, I embrace the world with my liberal soul.’
Taylor Hall ’21, University College Dublin, Ireland
‘As a first-generation college student, I learned very early in life to take advantage of
every opportunity I was given, because especially in a poor farming town, those opportunities are far and few between. From a town with twice as many cows as people to a treasure-trove of knowledge and opportunities, I was terrified, overwhelmed, and absolutely awed at everything that Mount Holyoke had to offer. In my short two-years in college so far, I have done more than I ever imagined I would, between having the chance to complete my work-study in my chosen field, getting the chance to study abroad in Ireland, and having professors push me harder than ever before to explore my curiosity and demonstrate that I am capable of so much more than I ever dreamed, I am more prepared than ever before to prove my ability to the world and to myself. I believe with all of my heart that Mount Holyoke will continue to open doors for me that I never knew existed, and will push me to be my truest self so that I can one day create more opportunities for students like me.’
Congratulations to our winners!