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  • The Office of Minority Education is recruiting faculty and staff mentors for the Mentor Advocate Partnership (MAP) program. The Mentor Advocate Partnership is a volunteer mentoring program for first-year MIT students. MAP seeks to foster the holistic development of students along both academic and non-academic dimensions. At the core of MAP is a sincere, trusting partnership between student and staff that has the potential to persist throughout the undergraduate years. The MAP kick-off/orientation will be held in February 2008.

  • In mid-November, two very talented MIT students were chosen as winners of the prestigious and highly competitive Marshall and Rhodes scholarships. Ali Alhassani was selected as a Marshall Scholar and Melis Anahtar was selected as a Rhodes Scholar. Kim Bernard, Program Advisor in the Distinguished Fellowships Office, advised all the major scholarship participants as they worked through the application and interview process.

  • MIT has a well established system of external feedback for its various units. This is through the existence of external "Visiting Committees". These committees are composed of individuals who care about MIT. These include members of the MIT Corporation, alumni of MIT and other external national experts. These committees, usually about 15 people strong, gather every eighteen months to two years to examine a unit. Visiting Committees play three major roles:

    • They provide an external perspective on the needs and issues of the unit for the senior administration (they report to the President and Corporation).

    • They can, on occasion, articulate the needs of the unit.

    • They can provide external insights to force internal change in a unit.

  • Betsy Hicks, executive director of Student Financial Services, noted several highlights and trends in financial aid, loans and student employment for 2006-07 in her annual Report to the President. The reports are submitted in the summer and will be compiled and posted online at http://web.mit.edu/annualreports. You can see more statistics for undergraduates on the “MITGO” page of the SFS web site at http://web.mit.edu/sfs/financial_aid/mitgo_undergrad.html.  

  • On September 7th about 400 students in MIT’s Introduction to Biology Course 7.012 were given a homework assignment on proteins. The homework problem set asked questions about the structure of a protein. To answer these questions the students used StarBiochem developed at MIT by a collaboration of MIT Biology Professor Graham Walker, MIT Physics Professor John Belcher, and the OEIT Software Tools for Academics and Researchers (STAR) developers.

  • Goal

    The goal of the IT theme is synonymous with the goal of the Student System Vision Study: to develop a next generation Student System vision that will support the evolving needs of the MIT community and improve the student experience. The entire MIT community-- students, faculty, staff and alumni-- rely on MIT student information systems to provide excellent service in over 115 critical core business applications such as managing admissions, academic and financial records. The Vision Study is a large scale project that will engage the whole MIT community and provide a road map to support future student information system. This vision will understand from a user perspective how we can maximize service, minimize complexity, provide a seamless end-to-end experience and support face-to-face interactions.

    Besides facilitating many administrative aspects of day to day life and learning at MIT, student information systems (SIS) are part of the infrastructure that insures excellent teaching and learning. These systems will be essential to enabling recommendations of the Task Force on the Educational Commons such as increased emphasis on global education and changes to the General Institute Requirements.

  • Dean Steve Lerman, Dean Larry Benedict and I have started a set of joint discussions on attitudes to integrity and responsible behavior at MIT. These come in the context both of recent events as well as more general concern in the community that choices on integrity and responsible behavior are seen as cost benefit calculations rather than a commitment to core values.

  • MIT was proud to announce that six students received Fulbright grants this past year, and they have now all begun their research abroad.

  • The months of September and October find MIT’s admissions officers scattered around the country, talking to as many parents and students as possible about the Institute. While it is true that most students are familiar with the MIT name, many of them are far less familiar with the “real” MIT – in other words, the reality of our culture, community, and people. I am writing this article in San Diego after visiting one of the top high schools in the area, where the students were amazed to hear of the breadth of programs and opportunities we offer.

  • A group of high school students from Wayland High School, John D. O'Bryant School of Math and Science, and Cambridge Rindge and Latin School spent the summer designing and building their own version of the Segway – the DIY Segway. They worked with Ed Moriarty and four MIT students as part of the Edgerton Center Outreach Program. Now they have a site (that is getting lots of hits) showing their engineering adventure: http://web.mit.edu/first/segway .