Fellowships & Awards

European Alumnae Council Award for Graduate Study in Europe

In 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, Scotland
  • Emily Castner ’18 – to pursue an International Master’s program in Mathematics at Technische Universität Kaiserslautern, Germany
  • Javeria Kella ’19 – to pursue a Master’s degree in Development Studies at the Graduate Institute, Geneva, Switzerland
  • Ann C. Hewitt ’20 – Ancient Studies & Anthropology, to pursue a postgraduate degree program in Archaeology at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland
  • Yitongyue Lin (Lilian) ’21 – International Relations & Spanish, to pursue an MS in Sustainable Development at the University of St Andrews, Scotland
  • Maya Mauroof ’22 – International Relations, to pursue a Master’s degree in Interdisciplinary International Affairs at the Graduate Institute, Geneva, Switzerland
  • Natalie O’Neil ’23 – Russian & Eurasian Studies with a minor in Politics, to pursue a MSc at the University of Glasgow in Media, Communications, and International Journalism
  • Kathryn (Kit) Corcoran ’24 – pursuing a MSc in Management and Marketing at University College Cork, Ireland

Kathryn Corcoran 24

Kathryn (Kit) Corcoran’s Winning Essay for the European Alumnae Council Award 2023:

“Pursuing my master’s degree in Ireland will give me the opportunity to expand upon my professional skill set, become more fully immersed in the academic and extracurricular communities of University College Cork, continue my study of the Irish language (which I began during my semester abroad at the same university in 2022), and grow personally as a sustainability-minded global citizen. 

As a history major with a minor in environmental studies, I have developed a passion for understanding the complexities of societal transformation over time, including the growth of sustainable and inclusive practices. The MHEAC scholarship would be invaluable for my overall study experience, as the decrease of financial stress would allow me to become more actively involved in my campus community.

One of my biggest goals during my period of study is to become involved in business clubs to make connections within my program and in other business tracks. Such societies offer opportunities to build networks of both academic and professional support, and one of the groups that I think may act as an amazing forum for network-building is the new Women in Business and Leadership Society. Based on my research about them, this group appears to be an exciting and empowering space to meet fellow young women striving to succeed as the next generation of business leaders.

I firmly believe that women of my generation are redefining what professional success looks like, and part of that involves supporting fellow women from all backgrounds. My primary professional goal is to be part of the generation of women in business which celebrates diversity of identities and ideas and works towards solidifying ethical and sustainable practices as the undisputed norms of industry. I am confident that my involvement in both business-oriented and artistic clubs and societies at UCC will allow me to maximize my cultural exchange experience.

The scholarship offered by the European Alumnae Council would additionally allow me to expand upon my network within the European Alumnae community, which I have already begun to participate in through their Facebook page. I recently introduced myself to the community through this page, and I was able to make contact with Barbara Schmidt, the alum representative in Ireland.

When I first found out about the European Alumnae Symposium in Munich in November, I was elated that I will soon have the opportunity to meet fellow Mount Holyoke alums living overseas. Even before learning about the scholarship, I immediately started making plans to attend the symposium, from looking at flights, to beginning a travel fund, to researching accommodation options in Munich.

The free registration and contribution towards my travel costs would allow me to attend the symposium and utilize some of my financial resources for other uses, including paying my rent and tuition fees.

I am so grateful that the European Alumnae Council offers new graduates these kinds of opportunities, and I am confident that the scholarship will both enhance my postgraduate study experience and allow me to become more involved in the global MHC alums community.”

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 2022 winners, who attended the 16 th European Alumnae Symposium in the Netherlands, are…

  • Ina Dombrowski ’24, Cork, Ireland
  • Renee Russo ’23, Graduate Institute Geneva, Switzerland
  • Mickiyah “Mickey” Pope ’23, Queen Mary University of London, UK
Our winners’ essays:
Ina Dombrowski
Ina Dombrowski ’24, Cork, Ireland

Ina Dombrowski ’24, Cork, Ireland

A Mount Holyoke education is a key to the world. I learned this during my very first Zoom classes as a first-year. I realized this in the serene spaces I have found across campus. And I continue to turn my key to the world as I prepare my next steps as a Mount Holyoke student.

To explain all of this, I could literally list all of the new things I have learned and exciting experiences I have had. But the world which Mount Holyoke has introduced me to goes far beyond my notebooks. In the buzz of our lecture halls alone, I have met the families of Hmong immigrants, walked the mystical streets of Bulgakov’s Moscow, sat in the studios of great American impressionists, and traversed Venus’s broiling surface.

Now as I prepare for my semester abroad in Cork (though by the time we meet together for the Symposium, I will already have been two months in Ireland), I can hardly imagine what new parts of the world I’ll discover next and new doors I will unlock along the way. And once I am an alumna myself, I hope to help turn this key on a brighter world and future.

Renee Russo '23
Renee Russo ’23, Graduate Institute Geneva, Switzerland

Renee Russo ’23, Graduate Institute Geneva, Switzerland

Keys are only needed when doors are locked, otherwise, we move freely. Mount Holyoke’s liberal arts education allows that freedom. Even during quarantine, MHC opened doors and helped build connections. These connections are what make Mount Holyoke education a key to the world. Global community is fostered throughout MHC.

From classroom discussions to living in the French LLC, I crafted friendships while strengthening my knowledge of global politics, economics, and history. In 2020, I attended courses with students in ten time zones. In one class, an alumna spoke about her entrepreneurial experience in India, and two years later I contacted her and crafted an internship using LYNK funding.

When doors were locked professors found ways to help unlock these through letters of recommendation, introductions, and knowledge of opportunities. The interdisciplinary approach and world-class connections allow students, like me, to not only know what doors to approach but how to turn the key.

I am now earning my Master’s at the Graduate Institute Geneva in Sustainable Trade and Finance because Mount Holyoke provided the key. As I approach graduation I choose to turn the key, walk through the door, and most importantly — hold it open for others to follow.

Mickiyah "Micky" Pope
Mickiyah “Mickey” Pope ’23, Queen Mary University of London, UK

Mickiyah “Mickey” Pope ’23, Queen Mary University of London, UK

“It’s a leap of faith. That’s all it is. A leap of faith.”

On my first visit to Mount Holyoke, I visited the dining hall and sat with all STEM majors. They greeted me feverishly, then showed me all the projects they had been working on. I remember one of them saying, “If you want to come here, be prepared to take a leap of faith every single time.”

At first, I figured she was referring to the equations written sloppily on her paper. Math hadn’t been my forte. However, sitting alone in my room on the carpeted floor the day college decisions came out, I realized she was referring to this. That silent wanting. I wanted to take that leap of faith.

When I first got to Mount Holyoke, a tradition I experienced was Mountain Day. On a warm day in September, I climbed a mountain and saw the world from an angle I never considered before. I have never been able to rid of that feeling since I first enrolled. That is why, with Mount Holyoke’s help, I can always take a leap of faith.

Congratulations to our winners!