The Inside Scoop on DUE: December 2016
MIT students’ personal account of desert farming in New Mexico earns top honors from college broadcasting association.
An audio documentary produced by nine freshmen has received a 2016 Student Production Award from College Broadcasters, Inc. (CBI). Their piece, “Rebeldes: A Journey Through New Mexican Agriculture,” took first place in the Audio Documentary/Public Affairs category at the National Student Electronic Media Convention in Philadelphia.
The students created the documentary as part of Terrascope Radio, a class offered by the Terrascope freshman learning community. Each year, a cohort of Terrascope freshmen explore a complex problem focused on issues of sustainability and the environment. This particular cohort focused on food security and ways to feed the world’s population over the next century.
The documentary is an engaging and informative look at farmers in a desert landscape, and at how their individual farming styles reflect their personal values. It explores modern industrial farming, centuries-old collective water-distribution organizations, ancient Navajo corn customs, and semi-urban organic farming. First broadcast on WMBR, the piece was then distributed nationwide by the Pacifica Radio Network on its popular “Sprouts” program.
"It’s a fantastic audio story,” says Terrascope Lecturer Ari Epstein, who co-created the class in collaboration with MIT's Comparative Media Studies/Writing. “It’s fun to listen to and creatively made, and it really gives you a sense of the deep, personal connection these farmers have to the work they do. It’s wonderful for the students to have received this national recognition for the high quality of their work..."
The Office of Undergraduate Advising and Academic Programming welcomed 12 enthusiastic students to MIT from Salemwood Middle School in Malden, Massachusetts on November 17. The middle schoolers, who represented grades 5-8, eagerly arrived on campus to learn firsthand what makes a successful student.
They began their visit at the Edgerton Center by participating in CSI: MIT, an interactive activity designed to develop skills necessary to work successfully in groups. The activity was a forensics lesson in which the students attempted to solve a hack on campus using fingerprinting, blood-typing, chromatography and use of microscopes to examine hair and fiber samples. After Edgerton, the students enjoyed a campus tour, followed by a special lunch hosted by some of the UAAP’s best and brightest Associate Advisors: Obasi Onuoha '17 Course 3), Ayomide Fatunde ’18 (Course 10), Filip Twarowski ’17 (Courses 16 and 18), Katie Fisher’19 (Course 2A), and Raul Boquin '17 (Course 18).
The MIT visit came about as a result of a project by Salemwood’s students to develop their own professional development day modeled after their teachers’. Salemwood School’s mission is to provide students with professional development opportunities to encourage higher levels of engagement and involvement to improve student learning. To that end, they surveyed over 400 5th‒8th grade students to identify what aspects of being a student they felt were most important to their success. The top four areas they cited were how to develop good study habits, test preparation, working in groups, and time/stress management. We all agree that MIT students are fully equipped to speak about the importance of these habits for academic success!
The middle schoolers came prepared with questions to ask the UAAP’s 5 Associate Advisors. Some of these included: “What is the project/work you have done that you are most proud of?”, “What is a subject you were bad at when you were younger and how did you turn it around and get good at it?”, and “Did you ever feel like quitting in your life?” MIT’s five student leaders responded to the questions by generously sharing their personal stories and experiences with the Salemwood students.
It’s safe to say that the day made a big impression on the Salemwood students. One 7th grade boy compared the experience of learning from MIT students about how to become a better student to learning how to become a better basketball player from LeBron James!
On November 17, Global Education held its annual Thanksgiving dinner for exchange students studying at MIT for the fall term or full academic year. This annual event brings together current exchange students, along with MIT students who previously studied abroad, to share in this American tradition. Many exchange students expressed their gratitude for the chance to make friends from around the world and to become part of the MIT community.
GECD together with ten different academic departments (Courses 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 16, 17, 18) are currently hosting 38 exchange students from eight different academic exchange programs: Cambridge, Imperial, Oxford, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Sciences Po, Pretoria, and ETH Zurich. The students represent 16 different nationalities from around the world. Among these students are the first exchange students from Japan through a new agreement with the University of Tokyo for Courses 2, 3, and 22.
The MIT Formula SAE team takes a great leap forward to build their 2017 race car.
Imagine if you and a group of students were tasked with designing, building, testing, and driving a Formula-style electric race car from the ground up. Every year.
For students who are members of MIT Motorsports — a.k.a. the MIT Formula SAE (FSAE) team, originally founded in 2001 — that task determines how they spend their free time, on weekends, evenings, and often, January Independent Activities Period as well as summer.
On a recent Saturday in the Edgerton Center’s Area 51 Student Shop (Room N51), about two dozen students on the FSAE team were sitting at large work tables, huddled over their laptops, designing components for their 2017 vehicle using the Solidworks design software. Friendly banter, shared jokes, and periods of serious focus characterized the day. One student, senior Brian Wanek, sat wearing a helmet inside a prototype of what would be the driver’s seat, while sophomore Wasay Anwer measured the frame.
The task for this year — borrowing from a Daft Punk song — is building a harder, better, faster, stronger car for the June 2017 Collegiate Design Series hosted by the Society of Automotive Engineers in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Last year’s performance was nothing to shrug at. MIT's team passed all inspections, placed fourth in vehicle cost (spending the least amount of money to construct the car), placed fourth overall in design, and sixth overall in a field of 21 teams from around the globe...
The offices within the DUE came together on November 2 to host a day of stress relieving activities for students. The 2nd annual DUE Recharge Day was a collaborative effort to provide students with an opportunity to engage with the DUE offices and take a few minutes out of their day to relax and “recharge.”
Each office hosted its own unique activities, and they were all very popular with students! These included:
- Global Education and Career Development: GECD Play Time
- Registrar’s Office: Puzzles & Coloring
- Undergraduate Advising and Academic Programming: Cookies & Crafts
- Student Financial Services: Good Fortune
- Admissions: Bubble Gum & Bubble Wrap
- Office of Minority Education: Hugs and Hot Chocolate
- Edgerton Center: Balloon Pop Portraits
Students were given a “passport” card to use to collect stickers from each office they went to. If they visited at least four offices, they were entered into a TechCash raffle, and the first 100 students to complete the challenge received a DUE Recharge portable cell phone charger. Over 400 students participated in the challenge, and 130 completed it. Congratulations to our raffle winners, Jad Elmourad, Veronika Jedryka, Jordyn Mann, and Rose Wang!
A special thank you to the DUE Recharge Committee, who worked hard over the past few months to bring this event to life. The committee included Camilla Brinkman (Edgerton), Elizabeth Durant (DUE HQ), Cheryl Mottley (OME), Meredith Pepin (GECD), Michelle Pezzulli (SFS), Maura Tierney (Admissions), and Jessica Zdon-Smith (Registrar).
On October 12 and November 2nd, Kate Quinn and Kathy Cahill of the ATIC/Accessibility/Usability Team conducted two “teatime” information sessions on Assistive Technologies for students with disabilities, with the assistance of staff from Student Disabilities Services (SDS). One session was about Distraction Free Tools, providing information to students about technology-based tools such as website, email, and ad blockers that help students focus on work that needs to be done. Kate also demonstrated web-based timer tools that help students work on tasks for a preset amount of time. Our second session was about PDF Annotation Tools to make notes, highlights, and other markups to enhance comprehension and usability of their readings. These were very well received and we look forward to collaborating on some further sessions during spring semester.
In November, four MIT students were selected as 2017 Marshall Scholars. After graduating from MIT in June, they will begin graduate studies in the UK next fall.
Matthew Cavuto, a senior majoring in mechanical engineering with a concentration in biomechanics and biomedical devices, will pursue advanced research in prosthetics and assistive technologies at Imperial College London and Cambridge University. Zachary Hulcher, a senior majoring in physics and electrical engineering and computer science, will engage in high-energy physics research at Cambridge. Kevin Zhou, a senior majoring in physics and mathematics, will earn advanced degrees in applied mathematics and particle physics at Cambridge and Durham University. Daniel Zuo, who is graduating next spring with BS and MEng degrees in electrical engineering and computer science, will complete MPhil degrees in advanced computer science and machine learning at Cambridge. Another student was named an alternate.
Funded by the British government, the Marshall Scholarships are awarded to up to 40 Americans each year. The highly competitive scholarships finance two years of graduate study in any field at any U.K. institution. Scholars are selected on the basis of academic merit, leadership ability, and ambassadorial potential. More details about this year's Marshall Scholars can be found in the announcement in MIT News.
Four MIT students have also been named 2017 Schwarzman Scholars. Seniors Lisa Ho, Anita Liu, and Melody Liu, and alumna/graduate student Alix de Monts, were selected to join the second-year class of this newly-established prestigious program. Schwarzman Scholars participate in a special one-year master’s program at Tsinghua University in Beijing designed to prepare global leaders of the future. This year, over 2,000 candidates from 119 countries competed for 129 spots. To learn more, read the Schwartzman Scholars article in MIT News.
We are pleased to announce that the Office of Distinguished Fellowships is now part of Undergraduate Advising and Academic Programming (UAAP). Kim Benard will continue to lead the office and has a new title: Assistant Dean of Distinguished Fellowships and Academic Excellence. Julia Mongo will still be overseeing the Fulbright US Student Program. You can find Kim and the Office of Distinguished Fellowships at their new location in 7-104.
When a plan to improve stoves in Peru met unexpected challenges, MIT senior Sade Nabahe rose to meet them.
Sade Nabahe’s time at MIT has been defined by engineering projects that help people around the globe with everyday problems. Even when seemingly straightforward ideas have proven tough to implement, she has stuck with them and remained committed to improving the quality of life for people living in poverty.
Originally drawn to MIT by an interest in prosthetics, as well as a general love for math and science, Nabahe is now a senior majoring in mechanical engineering. She has worked on projects for communities in Tanzania, India, Peru, and Lesotho, and has traveled to Peru to research, test, and implement several technologies that promote health and sustainability in local communities. She plans on finding a way to combine her engineering background and interest in global development to one day impact people’s lives through policy.
While Nabahe’s approach has shifted during the last four years, her overall aim has stayed the same: “My overarching goal in life has been to, no matter what, help people."
Nabahe, who is originally from Tucson, Arizona, fell in love with the fast-paced engineering culture at MIT when she attended the six-week Minority Introduction to Engineering and Science (MITES) program as a senior in high school. “I guess I was always good at math and science in high school, but engineering never crossed my mind until coming [to MIT] and becoming more immersed in that environment,” she says...
As part of the ongoing development of MIT’s footprint in Kendall Square, GECD has been relocated from E39 to E17-294. All teams (Career Services, Prehealth Advising and Global Education) occupy one suite that includes on-campus recruiting interview rooms.
All drop-in advising services that were previously running out of GECD Express, GECD’s satellite office in 5-118, have moved to E17. Drop-in hours can be found on GECD’s website.
Due to ongoing construction in and around E17, the main entrance to the building at 40 Ames St. is closed. Students and other visitors should instead enter through the E18/E19 entrance at 50 Ames St. until further notice. For anyone needing an elevator, the best entrance is through the MIT Medical building (E25).
DUE welcomed a number of new employees between September 28 and December 7, 2016. Congratulations to all!
|Jodi Swain, Administrative Assistant II
Karen Signorelli, Assciate Director, Communications
|Huda Elasaad, Visiting Scholar
Student Financial Services
|Matthew Cromie, Assistant Director, Financial Aid
Andre Barbosa, Assistant Director, Financial Aid
|Nadi Kassim, Technical Instructor
Office of Minority Education
|Isabel Ryan, Program Coordinator
|Thomas Scahill, Staff Associate I|