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  • Terascopers setup exhibit at the Aquarium of the PacificLast year, students in Terrascope, one of MIT’s alternative freshman programs, created an interactive museum in Lobby 13, where hundreds of visitors learned about the science of tsunamis and about the devastating effects of a tsunami that struck Valdivia, Chile, in 1960. Now they are taking their work to a much wider audience—the 1.4 million visitors expected to pass through a new exhibit opening this summer at the Aquarium of the Pacific, in Long Beach, California.

  • On May 1, UAAP and ATIC sponsored a networking event in E25 for staff, students, and faculty involved or interested in assistive technologies for people with disabilities. While there are a number of groups and individuals on campus dedicated to this work in many capacities, they are spread across campus and don’t often come together. This was a chance to share information and ideas about future collaborations.

    At the networking event, student leaders who organized the 2017 Assistive Technologies Hackathon gave a presentation about their annual event, which was held in March at the Beaver Works makerspace in Kendall Square. The AT Hackathon fosters collaboration between students and community members around impactful projects, exposes students to assistive technology, and provides an opportunity to work with a client to design a tool that meets a real need.

    Persons with disabilities who have a need for an assistive technology are matched with student project teams. They meet for dinner and discussion two weeks before the Hackathon occurs so that project teams can understand what the customer is asking for. During the two weeks between the dinner and the Hackathon, project teams develop sketches and plans for a solution. During the Hackathon, the teams attempt to create an actual product from their plans. 

    Some examples of projects include:

    • Team Dan – Man with cerebral palsy. Team created a number of pieces of technology for Dan’s house and installed them after the Hackathon.
    • Team Mary – Hackers created a head-mounted device that attaches to a baseball cap.

    The Department of Mechanical Engineering created a video about an AT Hackathon customer named Lilly and her project team (see above), which captures the spirit of the event...

  • UAAP is pleased to announce the recipients of the Freshman, Outstanding Associate Advisor, and Freshman Advisor Awards for 2017.

    Freshman Awards

    Each year, the Office of Undergraduate Advising and Academic Programming recognizes the accomplishments of the freshmen class in the areas of athletics, research, leadership, performing arts, and entrepreneurship. This year, six members of the Class of 2020 were acknowledged for their contributions to MIT.

    Bouke Edskes, Athletics
    Bouke was nominated for his contributions to the Men’s Swimming and Diving Team. At the NCAA Championships this spring, he was runner up in two events while also being on four relay teams that were in the top eight in the country. Bouke is always front and center cheering for his teammates, and is the most improved member of the team. In addition to his athletics, Bouke maintains a strong academic performance and is currently doing a UROP.

    Joseph Espiritu, Research
    Joseph was nominated for his aptitude and the high quality research skills demonstrated as a UROP student in the Koehler Lab at the Koch Center, where he is researching the chemical probing of the Lin28B protein and clarifying its potential for therapy. Joseph has developed new protocols and methods for molecular biology to support screening efforts, and these accomplishments are nearly unheard of for an undergraduate student. In addition to his research at the Koch Center, Joseph is a member of the ESG Learning Community and works as a teaching assistant for the Office of Minority Education...

  • Annual celebration of excellence honors staff for contributions on behalf of students, the department, and the Institute.

  • For students interested in study abroad who don’t want to spend too much time away from campus or internship opportunities, Global Education’s IAP in Madrid offerings are increasingly becoming an attractive option. Founded in 2007, MIT’s popular slate of IAP programs in Madrid continues to expand in courses and enrollment. Students currently have the choice of three options: Global Literature taught in English by Professor Margery Resnick, Spanish II taught by lecturer Ana Yanez Rodriguez, and Advanced Spanish Conversation and Composition taught by senior lecturer Margarita Ribas Groeger.

    All three courses provide MIT credit and the opportunity for cultural immersion through homestay accommodations. Funding is available for the programs, and GECD’s Global Education staff will assist students in applying for scholarships to fund their studies.

    Although the time may be short (3–4 weeks), students find their IAP in Madrid experiences to be truly transformative on academic, cultural, personal, and social levels.

    Here’s what some of our 2017 IAP-Madrid students had to say about their experiences:

     Amber in Spain“Each week exposed me to more Spanish culture and history than I ever would’ve learned back in the United States. Academically, my Spanish speaking skills skyrocketed. I understood so much more in conversation with my host family by the end of the program than I did when I first arrived. This was really my only chance to study abroad and it was truly a life-changing experience.” (Amber, a Course 6 senior who took Spanish II)...

  • The Global Education team once again held a photo contest where we asked students to show us in pictures, “How does the MIT community engage in learning, research, service, and work around the globe?” There were four categories, each with first and second place winners. The categories were:

  • After many years of planning and discussion, the most commonly used petitions reviewed by the Faculty Committee on Academic Performance (CAP) migrated online as the fall 2015 term opened. The Late Add/Drop (LAD) project is the latest in the series of new online forms, outlined in the Student Information System (SIS) Roadmap, which began with the Registration form in 2013 and continued with Add/Drop/Change status and HASS Concentration forms in 2014. Forms for graduate students and other purposes are in the pipeline.Online CAP Petitions

    Now students who miss Add or Drop Date can initiate a CAP petition from the familiar Student Forms and Petitions website; in fact, a student who tries to add a subject after Add Date will be taken directly to the LAD page and guided to create a Late Add petition. As with Add/Drop/Change forms, the new CAP petitions automatically show the student’s choice of major, class year, advisor name, and other information. Students type in a justification for the request, and then click submit.

    From there the CAP administrator oversees a fully online workflow that gathers statements from advisors and instructors, assigns the petition to a Committee meeting date, prepares an agenda packet, records the Committee’s decision, updates the student’s record, and assesses relevant fees and fines. The system keeps stakeholders informed throughout the process, sending emails with a link back to each person’s My Forms page...

  • Substantial rise will benefit students and families across the economic spectrum.

    MIT will substantially increase its financial aid expenditures for the coming year, taking steps that will benefit students and families across the economic spectrum.

    The changes — which will result in more generous MIT scholarships for nearly all students who receive financial aid — will drive a 10.4 percent increase in the Institute’s undergraduate financial aid budget for 2016-17, to $114.2 million.

  • In the spring of 2017, the Office of Minority Education (OME) and Global Education and Career Development’s (GECD) Prehealth Advising team collaborated to offer drop-in services on-site at OME. In this pilot effort, Prehealth Advising staff met with students interested in medical careers and answered their questions.

    With 16 students participating over three days, it was a successful initiative. “Having pre-health drop-ins in the OME was very convenient,” says Hermoon Worku ’17. “Because I’ve worked with and been a part of the OME community/family for the last four years, it was also a place I felt comfortable and supported, which was nice because sometimes the task of applying to medical school can feel daunting and make me feel out of place. I think the sessions also showed the Prehealth Office’s clear dedication to all MIT students interested in medical professions, and their willingness to partner with the OME emphasized their support of students of color, who are typically underrepresented in medicine and medical schools.”

    Prehealth Advising offers regular drop-in hours during the academic year at GECD’s office to discuss topics ranging from course selection to deciding where to apply to medical school. Recognizing that these services could be made even more accessible, especially to underrepresented populations, Prehealth Advising eagerly accepted OME’s proposal to offer advising services in their office space.

    “The OME is always looking for ways to better serve students. In fact, the students were the first to recommend that the OME engage more deeply in Prehealth Advising,” notes OME Director and Associate Dean DiOnetta Jones Crayton. “This is how the idea for Prehealth Advising hours in the OME came to fruition. We are looking forward to offering the program again during the academic year..."

  • Under the leadership of Sharon Bridburg (HR) and DiOnetta Jones Crayton (OME), DUE has created a new Diversity and Inclusion Council (DDIC). The Council’s mission is to advocate and work for diversity and inclusion within DUE by defining and executing actions that will make MIT a more inclusive community, at home and abroad.

    DUE DDICFostering diversity is already a mission of DUE, and diversity and inclusion are core values per DUE’s Strategic Plan. Founding Council members believe that a culture of inclusion requires more than an assertion of shared values; it requires sustained effort and the leadership of many across our community. The Council plans to assess DUE’s current efforts surrounding diversity and inclusion, and identify new opportunities and strategies to promote a diverse and inclusive workplace.

    Creation of the DDIC was influenced by local and national events that have highlighted deep divisions between Americans around issues such as race, class, and transphobia. In the last few years, student protests on college campuses across the country have increasingly focused on practices and policies with the potential to erode community and perpetuate discrimination and oppression...