Global Education News - All Years

DUE News Archives: All Years | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 
  • The collaboration between the Committee on Foreign Scholarships, chaired by Professor Linn Hobbs, and the Distinguished Fellowships program, headed by Kim Benard, was very fruitful during the past year. MIT students were awarded a total of 23 major awards, including 5% of the world’s supply of Gates Scholars this year! Even more impressive is the fact that thirty-seven MIT students reached the final rounds of these competitions.

    This year MIT students garnered 1 Rhodes Scholarship, 1 Marshall Scholarship, 5 Gates Cambridge Scholarships, 6 Fulbright Awards, 1 Chateaubriand Fellowship, 2 Kawamura Scholarships, 1 Merage Foundation for the American Dream Fellowship, 1 Udall Scholarship, 1 Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Fellowship, 1 Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Fellowship1, and 3 Goldwater Scholarships1.

  • The February edition DUE newsletter announced the appointment of Melanie Parker, Executive Director of the MIT Careers Office, as leader of DUE’s Global Theme. Melanie took over from Kim Vandiver who led the theme from June 2006 through 2007.

    Members of the recently-reconstituted Global Team which Melanie heads are Michael Bergren (UAAP), Pat Gercik (MISTI), Malgorzata Hedderick (Office of Foreign Study/MITCO), Betsy Hicks (SFS), Alison Hynd (International Development Initiative/PSC), Vijay Kumar (OEIT) and Elizabeth Reed (DUE.) A primary focus for the team will be continued implementation of the recommendations of GEOMIT, the Global Educational Opportunities at MIT Committee established by Daniel Hastings in June 2006. The Committee was charged with defining the best approach for MIT to provide global opportunities in undergraduate education. Several DUE people served on the Committee-- Malgorzata Hedderick, Kim Vandiver and Elizabeth Reed-- and Jen Cook provided staff support. GEOMIT’s final report,
    completed last fall, made 17 recommendations which, overall, reflect the distinctive, innovative MIT flavor that characterizes some of our existing, excellent models for international experience, i.e. CMI, MIT-Madrid, MISTI, IROP, D-Lab, etc.

  • It is no surprise that MIT students seem to continually look for ways to take knowledge developed on campus and use it to make positive differences in foreign cultures and environments. As educators, we know that overseas learning opportunities significantly enhance the overall academic and social development of students, and we are committed to providing a broad selection of these opportunities to MIT undergraduates. Recognizing that UROP research has long played a key role in learning at MIT, it is clear that the Institute’s intensified focus on global learning should fully include cultivation and support of international research opportunities.

  • As a result of the Task Force report, our own discussions through the Global Theme team, and the work of the Global Educational Opportunities at MIT (GEOMIT) committee, there is now campus discussion about how we provide an international education for our students. The data from MITCO indicates that some 23% of our students in each class have an international educational experience at some time in their four years with us. There are three big types of experiences. These are study abroad experiences, international work experiences including internships, and international development. In the study abroad category, we have students who participate in the Cambridge MIT Exchange (CME) and MIT Madrid programs run through MITCO as well as departmental programs and student self-created study abroad programs.

  • Amy Smith and her D-lab team won $200K at the Global Development Marketplace Competition sponsored by the World Bank in Washington DC. Development Marketplace is a competitive grant program that funds innovative, small-scale development projects that deliver results and have the potential to be expanded or replicated. The team was one of 22 winners selected from 104 finalists and 2900 entrants. They developed technologies that produce affordable, clean-burning cooking charcoal from agricultural waste for use in Haiti.

  • DUE’s global theme is committed to ensuring that all MIT students have opportunities to appreciate and learn from other cultures. Kim Vandiver leads the global theme with a team comprised of Michael Bergren, Malgorzata Hedderick, Betsy Hicks, Shonool Malik, Sekazi Kauze Mtingwa, Sally Susnowitz, and Bernd Widdig.

    In the months ahead, this team will implement some of the strategy recommended by GEOMIT (Global Education Opportunities at MIT), a committee convened in June by Dan Hastings and led by Professors Linn Hobbs and Hazel Sive. The charge to the committee was to “develop a comprehensive strategy to ensure that, within five years, any MIT student who wishes to undertake meaningful study, work, or internships abroad may be able to do so without financial or academic penalty.” GEOMIT’s fifteen faculty and staff included several DUE representatives: Peggy Enders, Malgorzada Hedderick, Josh Jacobs, Elizabeth Reed and Kim Vandiver. Jennifer Cook staffed the committee.

  • 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)...

  • At D-Lab, we believe that the best way for students to become global agents of change and collaboration is to send them into the field. That's why every January over MIT's Independent Activities Period, D-Lab provides students enrolled in our classes with an opportunity to gain valuable fieldwork experience around the world. This year, 52 MIT, Harvard, and Wellesley students traveled to 12 countries in Latin America, Africa, and Asia to perform user needs research, build prototypes, and exchange knowledge with our valued community partners.

  • Editor's note: This recent op-ed piece in the New York Times on how to attract women to the field of engineering features D-Lab as one success story in that effort.

    The figures are well known: At Apple 20 percent of tech jobs are held by women and at Google, only 17 percent. A report by the Congressional Joint Economic Committee estimates that nationwide about 14 percent of engineers in the work force are women.

    As a woman with a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering, I look at those numbers with despair.

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