DUE News - 2008

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  • On February 26, Shirley Thompson, Coordinator of Registration Services in the Registrar's Office, will be recognized for the excellent service she provides to faculty and students who look to her for help resolving registration and other academic issues. She will be honored with an MIT Excellence Award in the Serving the Client category. Congratulations!

  • In the January offsite, the DUE Office Heads started to consider the question of how DUE will move from being a good organization that serves MIT to being a great organization that serves MIT. This is based on the book "Good to Great" by James Collins. This book examines a set of companies which measured by market returns went from being good companies to great companies. The book suggests several icators of greatness. As an interesting contrast, the book examines a matched set of companies which over the same time period did not achieve greatness. An example, that many will appreciate, is the contrast between Walgreens and Eckerds.

  • This past fall/winter DUE hosted two well-attended events the first of which was held on Tuesday, November 13th. Our DUE Community attended a “welcome” celebration when the new DUE Headquarters officially opened the doors to its new home at 7 – 133 and 7 -139. The new headquarters brings together the Dean’s Office, Human Resources, Communications, and Finance and Administration. By happy coincidence, the new DUE-HQ carries on the tradition of the former UESA, Undergraduate Education and Student Affairs, when Dean Rosalind Williams and her staff called the location home.

    Next DUE was happy to host its year-end celebration at the Cambridge Marriott Hotel on the evening of Monday December 10th. The well-attended reception offered an opportunity for the DUE community to mix, mingle and share some good cheer with other colleagues and their guests.

  • On February 12th, twenty staff mentors and forty-one undergraduate protégés participated in the 2008 kick-off to the Office of Minority Education’s Mentor Advocate Partnership (MAP) program. Dr. Stacy Blake-Beard, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Management at Simmons College, led an interactive workshop on the dynamic aspects of mentoring and how to make the most of mentoring relationships.

  • Under the guidance of Professors Dava Newman and Jeff Hoffman, Daniel Sheehan of OEIT worked with graduate students Lasse Linqvist (Aero Astro), Joe Essenburg (Mechanical Engineering) and postdoctoral fellow James Waldie to produce a GIS interface to the Java based Path Planner software that was previously developed at MIT. This software calculates metabolic costs and travel time for astronauts' Extra-vehicular Activity (EVA) on the moon and on Mars.

  • The Task Force theme is inseparable from DUE’s central mission of improving the undergraduate educational experience at MIT. Diana Henderson, Dean for Curriculum and Faculty Support, leads this theme.

    To summarize the context: “In response to globalization, advances in science and technology as well as the changes in the preparation and learning style of incoming students, the Task Force on the Undergraduate Educations Commons called for the transformation of the MIT curriculum into a curriculum for the 21st century, in its report released in October 2006. It was recommended that this transformation include increased flexibility in the core requirements, definition of a new core SME requirement and HASS first year experience, as well as promotion of collaborative learning and improving advising, assessment and other key aspects of undergraduate education.”

  • MIT's annual Campus Preview Weekend (CPW) is coming soon! From Thursday April 10 through Sunday April 13, the Office of Admissions will provide the opportunity for students admitted to the Class of 2012 and their parents to visit MIT and experience all facets of life here.

    This is an exciting opportunity for all of us to showcase our offices and work. Last year's CPW featured over 500 events and brought a record 949 prefrosh and 800+ parents to campus. CPW is the most important of MIT's yield events: of those who attended CPW last year, 81% chose to enroll at MIT.

  • Three Arab students representing the MIT Arab Student Club did a tour through the Middle East talking with high school students about science, engineering, and MIT. They made presentations in Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Syria, and Israel. While the Admissions Office did not sponsor this group, they did help them with materials and connected them with alumni in the area. Alam Alayan, one of the students, sent the following in an email to Admissions during his trip:

  • The Class of 2011 Alumni Connection Luncheon was held on January 31 in the Stratton Student Center. Twenty members of the class of 2011 enjoyed a catered lunch and some sound advice and words of wisdom from members of the Class of 59, 79, and 99. Dedric Carter 99’, Andy Schulert 79’, Sharon Wason 79’, and Alfredo Kniazzeh 59’ spoke about the challenges they faced as undergraduates at MIT, how much has changed since they were undergraduates, and with regard to challenging physics classes, how much seems to have remained the same.

  • MIT is experimenting with extending project-based learning (PBL) courses to freshmen. While a major concern to many faculty has been the time and energy such courses demand, Professor Leslie Norford suggests the challenges for scaling up a PBL pilot course is less about faculty commitment and more about the spaces they will require for effective learning. He wrote in the February, 2007, issue of the MIT Faculty Newsletter: