MOUNT HOLYOKE COLLEGE

In May of 2015, about 5,500 students graduated from UMass Amherst during ceremonies at McGuirk Stadium on campus. This is Elizabeth Thomas of Medfield, Mass.
Don Treeger / The Republican

The new US News & World Report college rankings are out, and it's a mixed bag for Pioneer Valley schools, UMass Amherst dropped a spot in the national university rankings -- from 74 last year to 75. Its ranking has remained relatively steady since a big improvement four years ago.

 

Biologist Patricia Brennan examines an orca whale penis in her lab at Mount Holyoke College.
Karen Brown / NEPR

The national March for Science on April 22 – and satellite events around New England – mark a departure for many scientists. Until recently, they did not consider political activism part of their job.

Anjelica Jarrett is a senior at Mount Holyoke College.
Kristin Balboni / Mount Holyoke College

Commentator and college senior Anjelica Jarrett says her fellow students are jumping at ways to resist President Trump's policies related to science, health care and immigration. Jarrett says she's also passionate about these issues. But don't expect to see her at any protests.

The day after President Trump was elected, my friends and I gathered outside Mount Holyoke's majestic library. We were joined by students from all over the campus. A lot of people's eyes were puffy from crying. Many of us had been up most of the night.

What Photographs Can Teach Us About Our Leaders

Jan 24, 2017
Barack Obama before going out to take the oath in 2009
Pete Souza / Official White House Photo

The day before President Trump was inaugurated, commentator and art historian Paul Staiti was passing though an airport in Los Angeles when he noticed Barack Obama’s photograph greeting every arriving passenger.  Staiti found himself contemplating the image, and its imminent disappearance.

Items Left At Emily Dickinson's Grave

Dec 9, 2016
A note found near Emily Dickinson's tombstone.
Martha Ackmann

Emily Dickinson, the great American poet, was born December 10, 1830. Commentator and author Martha Ackmann lives a few miles up the road from Dickinson’s Amherst home, and often takes walks around town, planning her route to include a stop at Dickinson’s grave in West Cemetery -- behind the Mobil station. What draws her attention is the tombstone, and also what's been left on and around it.