DUE News - 2012

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  • On June 11th, the DUE community came together to recognize and celebrate the outstanding contributions of DUE staff members. Each year, staff within DUE nominate their peers for their contributions in Communication and Collaboration, Community Customer Service, Diversity and Inclusion, Innovation and Creativity and Leadership. Congratulations to all the 2012 DUE Infinite Mile Award recipients!

    DUE 2012 Infinite Mile Awards Collage

  • On May 30, the Office of Educational Innovation and Technology’s (OEIT) STAR program (Software Tools for Academics and Researchers) was awarded a JFYNet Innovation Award for Technology in Education at a ceremony at the Boston State House. The award recognizes significant contributions to the cause of improving high school student achievement through the use of technology. This year’s awards were focused on innovative uses of technology in STEM education and college readiness. The awards are presented by JFYNetWorks, a Boston-based non-profit enterprise that, for the past 12 years, has helped schools effectively use technology to improve student success.

    JFYNET Innovation Award Recipients

    OEIT began a collaborative project with JFYNetWorks and a high school biology teacher at North Shore Technical High School, Shannon Donnelly, in the spring of 2010. The goal was to adapt StarBiochem, a molecular 3-D visualizer developed and used at MIT, to help high school students better understand the four basic biological macromolecules:proteins, sugars, fats, and nucleic acids – a topic that is included in Massachusetts standardized tests. This effort has resulted in the development and implementation of inquiry-based activities that enable high school students to use StarBiochem to explore the molecular structures typically encountered within Introductory Biology and high school biology curricula. Gary Kaplan, Director of JFYNetWorks explained the choice of STAR, “STAR creates vivid, colorful, dynamic online visualizations of molecules so that students can see what they look like in three dimensions [and] manipulate them.”

  • The news is everywhere. For the first time ever, Americans now owe more on student loans than on credit cards. Students are borrowing twice what they did a decade ago after adjusting for inflation, the College Board reports. Total outstanding debt has doubled in the past five years — a sharp contrast to consumers reducing what's owed on home loans and credit cards.

    Just how bad is it? Americans now owe more than one trillion dollars and higher education students are borrowing more than one billion a year. Much of the increase is attributed to tuition hikes at the nation's universities, but university leaders blame the increases on a decade of cuts in state aid to public universities.

    The average student debt load nationwide tops $25,000, while the job market for recent graduates continues to struggle. Graduate after graduate tells stories of owing so much money on student loans that they're spending half of their monthly salary on the payments, which means in many cases they can't afford rent on a place to live by themselves. Hundreds of American students have protested their financial plight. Demanding a right to “debt-free degrees”, they are burning their loan documents because they believe the government should forgive all student debt, just as it bailed out big banks.

  • As a group, the entire class of 2015 is impressive. However, within their first year at MIT, seven freshmen distinguished themselves through their level of commitment and contribution to MIT’s living and learning community. Upon entry to MIT, these new students made a commitment to not only participate in clubs, athletics, research, service and other dimensions of this campus, but they engaged in deep, sustained and influential ways. Their performance has been exceptional and they have quickly made an impact on our campus.

    • Bruno Faviero - Distinguished Achievement in Leadership Award
    • Adrian Jimenez-Galindo – Distinguished Achievement in the Arts
    • Mari Kordell - Distinguished Achievement in Athletics
    • Margo Dawes - Distinguished Achievement in Diversity and Culture
    • Joel Schneider - Distinguished Achievement in Academics and Research
    • Jeffrey Sperling - Distinguished Achievement in Entrepreneurship
    • Maryam Zekavat - Commitment to Service on Behalf of Others

    On May 17, we acknowledged the outstanding accomplishments of these students at the Freshman Awards Ceremony. Senior Associate Dean and Director of Undergraduate Advising and Academic Programming Julie Norman presented the awards. President Hockfield and Chancellor Grimson were also present and congratulated the students for their significant contributions.  There individual contributions and accomplishments are described below:


    “The way is clear, the future bright for solar vehicles”

    On a Friday morning in May, WCVB (Channel 5) producer Clinton Conley and cameraman Bob Oliver came to N51 (the Edgerton Center space for clubs and teams) to film the Solar Electric Vehicle Team (SEVT). An interview with SEVT team member Julia Hsu ’14 and Edgerton Center Clubs and Teams Manager Stephen Banzaert aired June 14 on The Chronicle entitled “MPG OMG.” There is also footage of the Chopper del Sol racing in Australia as well as the team at work.

    Julia Hsu of SEVT

    Watch final segment “Looking to the future” featuring Edgerton’s SEVT

    SEVT is now preparing for the American Solar Challenge. The race, beginning on July 14th, starts in Rochester, New York and ends in St. Paul, Minnesota. The team will cover eight states in eight (hopefully sun-filled) days.

  • Dean Daniel HastingsIn recognition of his commitment, service and scholarship to the Institute, Dean Daniel Hastings will hold the Cecil and Ida Green Education Professorship effective July 1. This endowed professorship is particularly significant as Dan is only one of three recipients of the chair since its establishment in 1974. The first recipient was Seymour Papert, a pioneer of Artificial Intelligent and the use of computers in learning, followed by Margaret MacVicar, the founder of UROP and MIT’s first Dean for Undergraduate Education. The Cecil and Ida Green Professorship in Education is one of nine distinguished chairs the Greens endowed at MIT.


    Outstanding UROP Mentor Awards

    This year’s Outstanding UROP Mentor Awards were presented to:

    • Assistant Professor Tanja Bosak (Earth, Atmospheric, & Planetary Sciences)
    • Graduate Student Halil Tekin (Electrical Engineering & Computer Science)

    Recipients were selected from UROP students’ nominations of research mentors who have demonstrated exceptional guidance and teaching in a research setting.

  • The Mentor Advocate Partnership program, or MAP, celebrated its 5th year anniversary with the End of Year Celebration on May 9th at the Hyatt Regency Cambridge. MAP, coordinated by the Office of Minority Education, is a volunteer mentoring program seeking to foster the holistic development of students along academic and non-academic dimensions. It is a fun way to give back and reconnect to the MIT community, offering experience and support to incoming freshmen and sophomores.

    The End of Year event brought together MAP mentors and protégés, as well as Institute-wide program advocates, for a celebratory dinner interspersed with personal testimonies and awards that honored the relationships facilitated by this program. Julie Norman, Director of the UAAP, shared a moving personal testament to the power of her own mentor/protégé relationships over the 5 years she has served as a Mentor. Several protégés including rising junior Devin Cornish, and Khalea Robinson ‘11 (via letter) offered their own insights into how their mentors have supported and inspired them at the Institute and beyond.

    Debroah Hodges-Pabon and Sandy Tenorio (center left and right, respectively) receive the “Tungsten” Longevity Award from long time MAP mentors Bonny Kellermann, left, and Sekazi Mtingwa, right.

    Harry Sanabria, left, and Professor John Belcher, right, are honored with the “Ionic Bond” award.

    Awards acknowledging outstanding participation in the program were given to mentors and protégés alike. Some highlights included:

  • 2012 iCampus Prize winner Danny Ben-David with Pres. Susan Hockfield

  • The Sophomore Year Experience is an initiative expanding on the work of the Sophomore Year Transition Program in Undergraduate Advising and Academic Programming (UAAP). MIT Staff from several offices, including UPOP, Residential Life Programs, Alumni Office’s Externship Program, Public Service Center, Global Education and Career Development and UAAP, have formed the SYE Committee to develop programming and bring awareness to available resources for sophomore students.