March 26, 2014-


International travel is growing at Mount Ida College. This year, an unprecedented number of students traveled on four unique faculty-led programs abroad over spring break. Our commitment to international study, an important part of the educational experience here at Mount Ida, is championed through our Center for Global Connections.

Through the Center for Global Connections (CGC), spearheaded by Robin Melavalin, Director of Global Connections and Continuing Education, CGC continues to expand travel opportunities for students to include educational, career-focused and service-learning programs.

“We are in a transformative process here at Mount Ida, where faculty and students are beginning to experience international travel like never before,” says Melavalin.

Our recent growth in the area of international education prompted our announcement for further commitment to study abroad programs by joining 160 other U.S institutions in supporting the Generation Study Abroad Initiative through the Institute for International Education. By joining the Generation Study Abroad Initiative, Mount Ida is committing to significantly increasing study abroad participation numbers by the end of this decade.

Over the past several years, 29 students have completed semester long study in Italy, Chile, Australia, England, Spain and other countries. Currently, a student is in Florence, Italy studying interior design at Lorenzo De Medici.

This spring break, March 7- 16, 36 Mount Ida students and five faculty travelled abroad to experience new cultures, complete coursework and engage in degree focused real-world opportunities in  Ecuador, Belize, China and Costa Rica. In addition, in May, 14 of our students and two faculty members will travel to London, England to complete our spring 2014 study abroad travel programs.  Ninety percent of the students travelling abroad this spring received scholarships from Santander Brank and from Mount Ida through the CGC.  In 2013, we announced  our first collaborative agreement with Santander Bank’s Global Division, Santander Universities,  to allow the CGC to enhance its international travel study abroad programs, including offering financial aid to students who would not otherwise be able to participate in its international travel abroad programs.

Some of the highlighted destination activities for spring break study abroad travel are included below.

Vet Tech Lessons and Clinics in Belize  

This spring break, Mount Ida vet tech professors Dan Young and Kim Karolides, led a group of 14 vet tech students to Belize. Through the Institute for Sustainable International Studies, our group was provided with an in-depth overview of the current animal issues facing Belize, which left a long-lasting impression on all of our students.

“The view of animals in the Belize culture is very different than in the U.S.  Animals are not pets but guards. Most animals are under nourished and the resources to help are limited,” says sophomore Emily Baum. “There were many experiences that emotionally affected each of us and it made us grateful for the resources we are provided with at home.  We wanted to stay back and help those who cared about their animals but were turned away due to a lack of resources.”


Baum went onto to note that her experience in Belize was truly eye-opening and that many valuable lessons and skills for her field were gained.

“We covered many animals and spread education about neuter and spays – information many Belize citizens did not know,” recites Braun. “I personally assisted in multiple surgeries. We all got to use our clinical skills in a stressful environment quickly and accurately, giving me a whole new level of confidence in my veterinary technician skills.”

Other activities in Belize included a trip to the Belize Wildlife & Referral Clinic, exploration of the Xunantunich Maya ruin and snorkeling by a small island to learn about marine animals.

International Business Learnings in China

Liang Tang, associate professor of business administration, led 12 students to China for a study abroad experience that explored current international business trends and issues in the areas of economics and finance.

Highlights of the trip included a visit to Efutures corporation-a Nasdaq listed company, Jangho Curtain Wall Company, Yangjing Beer Company and Renmin University of China. In addition, our group participated in social gatherings with students from Beijing Humanities College, UIBE and Central University of Finance and Economics.


Immersing into the Chinese culture, our students spent time each day exploring sites such as the Forbidden City,  the Great Wall of China and also joined in on a traditional martial art class.

For more information on our Center for Global Education’s abroad programs, visit the center’s homepage.

For more information on Generation Study Abroad, visit their webpage here.

March 24, 2014, Newton, MA – Mount Ida College and East Boston Savings Bank are pleased to announce that 10 students have been selected to receive scholarships from the East Boston Savings Bank Charitable Foundation for the 2013-14 academic year. These scholarships will provide each student with $500 to offset the cost of tuition and assist them in accomplishing academic goals.

Chairman, CEO and President of East Boston Savings Bank, Richard J. Gavegnano, said, “East Boston Savings Bank is proud to support Mount Ida College in awarding scholarships that help our future community leaders. Through our East Boston Savings Bank Charitable Foundation, we work to reward outstanding college students who demonstrate a combination of academic excellence and financial need.”

Deborah Hirsch, Ed.D., Vice President for Development and Director of External Relations at Mount Ida, commented that she “would like to extend a special thank you to East Boston Savings Bank for its support and recognize the impact the Foundation is making on the lives of our undergraduates who are the first in their families to attend college.”


“The scholarships awarded to our students through the East Boston Savings Bank Charitable Foundation will help them to accomplish their goal of obtaining a college degree and will have a lasting impact on their future,” Hirsch said.

Recipients of the East Boston Savings Bank Charitable Foundation scholarships are a group of 10 undergraduates chosen by the Mount Ida Scholarship Committee. Each student’s hometown is located within the communities served by East Boston Savings Bank. In addition to meeting the criteria of achieving high grade point averages, students who are awarded this honor have also demonstrated a financial need.

About the East Boston Savings Bank Charitable Foundation, Inc.

The East Boston Savings Bank Charitable Foundation was established in 1998 by East Boston Savings Bank to provide funding to support charitable causes and community development activities. Since its inception, the Foundation has distributed over $1.4 million in funding to support many deserving charitable causes and community development activities. To learn more, visit the East Boston Savings Bank’s website at

About Mount Ida College

Founded in 1899, Mount Ida College is a small, private college in Newton, Massachusetts that provides career-focused programs built upon a strong foundation of social sciences, humanities, and the arts—all to prepare our students for achievement in their chosen careers, and in life. With a tight-knit, inclusive community, a diverse student body, winning NCAA Division III sports teams, a beautiful and safe suburban campus, and a vibrant school spirit, Mount Ida is the place where students become the best version of themselves. To learn more, visit the College’s website at

March 18, 2014-


Born in El Salvador, Mount Ida College alumna, Karla Ventura ’07, never imagined the types of opportunities her time on campus would create well past graduation as a communications major.  We had the opportunity to sit down with Ventura to learn more about her perspective on why she supports the Fund for Mount Ida and to also find out what inspires what she calls “her crazy enthusiasm for Mount Ida.”

Q: How do you look back on your Mount Ida College experience?

A: “Mount Ida connected me to opportunities I never had in high school. As a freshman, I immediately was encouraged by the student activities director to establish the first ever Hispanic American Club which is now called SALSA (Student Association for Latino and Spanish Americans). That support gave me the confidence to run and get elected to other leadership positions in student clubs. I was and still am a huge fan of Mount Ida activities and events and include many of my professors as friends today.”

Q: Tell us about your career path.

A: “The campus staff and my professors always have played a key part in my career. Since graduation, I have a handful of professors and staff that I consider friends. I go to them for guidance, networking and as references; they know me so well. Since 2008, I have been Grant Administrator for Research Management at Partners Healthcare in Boston. I love the role and company and am always learning. Previously, I’ve held development positions at Massachusetts General Hospital and the Boys and Girls Club of Boston.”


Q: Why do you support the Fund for Mount Ida College?

A: “I think back to those early days as a student when I received a grant for my books from the Learning Circle (TLC). I will always be grateful for the generous help. As an alumna, I want to return that support to someone else in need. I often designate my annual fund donation to what’s meaningful to me. Recently, I supported the new Campus Center and Dining Commons because student activities played such a big role in my life here. Lastly, I support Mustang Athletics activities as many of my friends were Mustang athletes and to honor the legacy of two of my athlete friends who passed: Brian Eyles and Richie Dykas. I’ve made some great friends, particularly our group who goes to the annual Brian Eyles Alumni Lacrosse game at homecoming-you know who you are!”

Q: What other ways do you give back to Mount Ida College?

A: “Besides money, I am still involved at Mount Ida. A couple of summers ago, Student Affairs asked me to help run the Senior Week and Spring Weekend. It was a wonderful opportunity and an experience that brought back great memories. Since graduating, I’ve missed only one alumni event and am currently the Vice President of the Alumni Council. I am active because I hope my crazy enthusiasm for Mount Ida inspires others to give back in their own personal way.”