DUE News - 2014

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  • For 17 years, the Freshmen/Alumni Summer Internship Program (F/ASIP) has helped freshmen explore career options and hone professional and internship search skills. F/ASIP is a nine-month credited course, running from January to September. The program kicks off during IAP with a full-day symposium for participants, followed by seminars throughout the spring semester and internships in the summer.

    F/ASIP SeminarThe F/ASIP IAP Symposium offers students self-assessment activities and exploration; LinkedIn training and profile building; library tips on researching companies and industries; internship search strategies designed specifically for freshmen; and opportunities to meet F/ASIP alumni.

    This year, a total of 52 freshmen, seven F/ASIP alumni, and MIT librarians Howard Silver and Jennifer Greenleaf participated in the symposium. One student commented, “I found the Alumni Panel and LinkedIn Lab most helpful. The alumni provided useful advice for interviews and networking during career fairs, while Lily Zhang from GECD taught me new ways to connect with people and groups on LinkedIn.”

  • The Admissions office and the entire MIT community welcomed 1045 prefrosh and about 900 parents for Campus Preview Weekend (CPW) on Thursday, April 10 through Sunday, April 13. Volunteers from all over campus came together to welcome the newly admitted students and their families early Thursday morning on the second floor of the student center.

    “This year, we wanted to build on the icebreaker idea we tried with prefrosh at last year’s CPW, so we planned 20-minute orientation sessions and gathered students into small groups right after check-in,” said Katie Kelley, assistant director of admissions and CPW coordinator.Campus Preview Weekend 2014

    Some students arrived on Thursday morning to take advantage of the over 650 events planned for them over the weekend, while others checked in later in the weekend to sample the campus just for the day or an overnight.As soon as students arrived at the desk, they received a neck wallet to house their key cards and other information and were directed to another room to meet with their fellow admitted students and admissions officers. “We thought the orientation would help to facilitate the check-in process, and give us time to explain the program guide, the weekend ahead, and have some fun with the kids. And it did. It was magical,” said Kelley.

  • Freshman Libby Koolik recounts her life-changing spring break experience exploring global water issues in South Africa

    Terrascope, a freshman learning community that tackles major global issues related to sustainability and the environment, has proven to be a learning experience unlike any I have ever heard of at another university. After spending an entire semester developing theoretical solutions to global water-security problems in the Terrascope classroom, Professor of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences Libby Koolik '17Samuel Bowring – in collaboration with his colleague at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU), Professor Maarten de Wit – took forty-three students on a life-altering trip to South Africa over spring break.

    The goal was to take our classroom solutions and see how successful they could be in the “real world.” Along the way, we learned about cool South African languages (including sawubona, the Zulu word for hello), geology, the effects of climate change on Africa’s water problems, South African culture and social issues, the apartheid era, and the deep love and respect the South African people have for Nelson Mandela.

  • Midshipmen and staff from the Holy Cross, RPI, and BU-MIT NROTC Battalions joined together on Saturday, April 5, for the annual Beaver Cup Regatta. The weather was perfect for sailing—windy but not too cold—as a crowd of people gathered on the dock of the MIT Sailing Pavilion to participate or spectate.

    Beaver Cup RegattaThe day began with an overview of the race rules given by the staff of the MIT Sailing Pavilion. There would be two heats of eight boats, with each heat doing two races. The final race would be a single sailor representing each NROTC Battalion. The amount of sailing experience among the midshipmen varied considerably, and it was great to see the less experienced sailors learning from their peers. When they were not out on the water, the midshipmen and active duty staff mingled and enjoyed delicious burgers and other food.

  • Maria Isabella GariboldiMIT senior Maria Isabella Gariboldi, from Italy, has won an international Gates Cambridge Scholarship, a competitive full-cost scholarship that will allow her to pursue a doctorate in materials science at Cambridge University starting this fall. She joins MIT senior Michelle Teplensky, who won a U.S. Gates Cambridge Scholarship earlier this year.

  • Faculty engagement with freshmen continues to be a priority for DUE. As a follow up to the fall Faculty-Freshman Receptions inspired by Dean Dennis Freeman, this spring the Office of Undergraduate Advising and Academic Programming (UAAP) created additional opportunities to sustain these valuable relationships.

    Faculty-Freshmen DinnerAssociate Advisors facilitated six dinners, four of which took place at student residences. Each of these highly successful events—held at McCormick, Baker, MacGregor, and East Campus—drew at least twelve freshmen. Some of the faculty members who participated included Markus Klute, assistant professor of physics; Mark Bathe, assistant professor of biological engineering; Catherine Drennan, professor of chemistry;  Jonathan Runstadler, assistant professor of biological engineering; Helen Lee, professor of comparative media students/writing; and Pawan Sinha, professor of brain and cognitive sciences. The conversations were interactive and lively; many faculty and students continued talking after the events and pursued further dialogue over email.

  • Today, MIT made its undergraduate admissions decisions available to applicants for the 2014-2015 academic year. The Institute admitted 1,419 students to next year’s freshman class. A total of 18,357 students applied, for an admission rate of 7.7 percent.

    “Every year the job of selecting among such a talented applicant pool is more and more difficult,” says Stu Schmill, MIT’s dean of admissions. “I’m always so impressed by the high caliber of students who apply to MIT. It is a truly outstanding group.”

    “Those offered admission to the Class of 2018,” Schmill continued, “exemplify all the qualities that distinguish an MIT student: enthusiasm for learning, strong match with MIT’s mission, and the ability to make an impact on others, in the community, and in the world.  More than a third have won national or international academic distinctions. And in addition to being MIT-caliber scholars, many are athletes or artists or makers. All have exceptional character and motivation.”

  • Clemmie MitchellHow would you spend a year between high school graduation and your first year at MIT? Several members of the Class of 2018 took that gap year opportunity, and their adventures ranged from teaching in a Tanzanian village to working in a San Francisco startup on the verge of acquisition.

    Clemmie Mitchell from Scotland taught English in a Tanzanian village school. “Deciding to take a gap year, after having been accepted to MIT, seemed like the perfect scenario for me,” she says. “While intellectual development is undoubtedly essential for a fulfilled existence, the idea of freedom and exploration has always thrilled me.”

    Her first stop was living with a Tanzanian family, teaching English to children and teachers in an impoverished school district, and taking part in village life from communions to cooking. “The family, the school children, and the other characters in the village with whom I became friends showed me the essence of happiness,” she says. “It does not stem from things but rather from relationships.”

  • Students in Terrascope, one of MIT's learning communities for first-year students, spent their spring break in South Africa, getting a first-hand look at problems related to clean-water access there.

  • Every year, the MacVicar Faculty Fellows Program recognizes a handful of professors who are exceptional undergraduate teachers, educational innovators, and mentors. The awardees this year are Jacopo Buongiorno, an associate professor of nuclear science and engineering; Tomás Lozano-Pérez, the School of Engineering Professor of Teaching Excellence in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science; John Ochsendorf, Class of 1942 Professor of Architecture, with a joint appointment in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering; Heather Anne Paxson, an associate professor of anthropology; and Kristala L. J. Prather, the Theodore T. Miller Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering.

    2014 MacVicar FellowsFounded in 1992, the MacVicar Faculty Fellows Program was created to honor the legacy of Margaret MacVicar, an MIT alumna and professor of physical science who served as the Institute’s first dean for undergraduate education, from 1985 to 1990. MacVicar is credited with numerous far-reaching educational initiatives, including the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP). Founded in 1969 — when MacVicar was just 26 and in her first year on the MIT faculty — the program has since been emulated worldwide.