The Inside Scoop on DUE: June 2016
Five-year funding will expand opportunities for MIT undergraduates.
The Victor and William Fung Foundation has renewed its funding to support global education opportunities for MIT undergraduates. In 2011, the foundation made a $1 million donation for scholarships in support of global opportunities for MIT undergraduates. This year they donated another $1 million for this purpose, to be expended during the next five years.
Victor Fung SM ’66 co-founded the Victor and William Fung Foundation in 2006 to commemorate the centenary of the Fung Group, a Hong Kong-based business conglomerate started by his grandfather. The foundation promotes leadership development, principally through scholarship programs with universities, and thought leadership, principally through think tanks and educational institutes.
Fung Scholarships enable awarded MIT undergraduates (“Fung Scholars”) to participate in university-based global education programs, including study abroad, internships, and faculty-mentored research. The scholarships will also continue to expand opportunities for undergraduates to go abroad during Independent Activities Period (IAP) in January and in the summer. The scholarship application opened in March, with the next scholarship recipients going abroad this summer...
Each year, the Office of Undergraduate Advising and Academic Programming recognizes the accomplishments of the freshmen class. This year, six members of the Class of 2019 were acknowledged for their contributions to MIT.
Peter Calvaresi, Athletics
Peter was nominated for his contributions to the men’s water polo team. As a freshman starter in the center position, he had a significant impact on the team, helping them win 14 competitions, including critical wins over Fordham University, St. Francis of Brooklyn, and the Naval Academy. MIT beat the Naval Academy for the first time in the history of the program and St. Francis for the first time in 22 years. Beyond his accomplishments as an athlete, Peter was recognized because he focuses on the team, not himself.
Stephanie Chin, Research
Stephanie was nominated for her aptitude and the high quality research skills she demonstrated in her UROP in Civil and Environmental Engineering Professor Oral Buyulozturk’s lab. According to her nomination, Stephanie is by far the best first year student he has worked with in his career. Not only has Stephanie been involved research at MIT, but also she conducted sophisticated in situ experiments at the prestigious Argonne National Laboratory. Additionally, Stephanie traveled to Kuwait during IAP and made two presentations on research progress to meeting delegates and sponsors.
Kerrie Greene, Leadership
Kerrie was nominated because she has distinguished herself as a leader among her peers most particularly in the Concourse Learning Community. Kerrie stands out as a model of unfailing poise, thoughtfulness, and good humor; she also fosters those qualities in her fellow community members. As a leader in the community, she brings out team spirit and spends time and energy defining what will improve the community. Kerrie also participates in undergraduate research with Professor Ann Graybiel.
Kara Holinski, Athletics
Kara was nominated for her contributions to the women’s basketball team. Kara’s talent, poise, energy, work ethic, leadership, team-first attitude and humble nature all contributed to her recognition as a top regional rookie. Moreover, she was named one of the top freshmen nationally by Hero Sports and she also helped lead the team to their best season in 15 years. Off the court, Kara is conducting a UROP with Professor Bob Langer on a project involving biodegradable polymers for gastric retentive devices. She also volunteers with Amphibious Achievement.
Claire Nord, Diversity & Culture
Claire was nominated for volunteering and playing a central role in organizing activities related to Japan and Japanese culture on campus. While her interest in Japanese culture may have existed prior to MIT, last fall Claire took the class Visualizing Japan and set herself apart in her research of Japanese religion, showing a deep understanding of how religion can differ from culture to culture.
Mary Jane Porzenheim, Academics
Mary Jane is a member of the Concourse Learning Community, and is described as a deeply thoughtful reader who elegantly and carefully analyzes the issue at hand. She is a generous learner and always works to advance the understanding of the group as a whole. This summer, Mary Jane is participating in a UROP with Professor Kay Tye in Brain and Cognitive Science.
The 78 students who will serve as this summer Orientation Leaders have been selected, and have already started to welcome the MIT Class of 2020. Many of the Orientation Leaders volunteered at Campus Preview Weekend, helping pre-frosh with luggage check-in, serving as hosts, and assisting with small group icebreakers at the student welcome event.
On April 26, the Orientation Leaders gathered for their first official training session. Leaders were able to meet each other, learn what peers would be in their small groups alongside them, and engage in some “get to know you” activities. In addition to some quality team-building, the students brainstormed a list of reasons why first year students should participate in all of the Orientation events, and what benefits they can gain from each component of the week. This year’s Orientation Leaders are an outstanding group of students, and they will undoubtedly ensure that Orientation is a success this summer!
UROP Mentor Awards
The UAAP solicits nominations every year from students for the UROP Mentor of the Year Awards. An award is presented to one MIT faculty member and one graduate student/non- faculty UROP supervisor who have demonstrated exceptional mentorship and teaching in a research setting.
UROP students submitted many nominations this year, making the selection highly competitive. This year’s Outstanding UROP Mentor Award recipients are:
Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science
Professor Bateson was nominated for her extensive mentorship that, in the words of one UROP student, goes “above and beyond the expectations for UROP supervisors.” She was also recognized for her inspiring positivity and passion that help shape undergraduates’ academic, career, and personal goals. Bateson came to MIT in 2013 upon completion of her PhD at Yale. She studies comparative politics with interests in crime, violence, civil wars, policing, and informal institutions.
Graduate Student, Mechanical Engineering
Sampriti Bhattacharyya is a PhD student working in Professor Harry Asada’s d’Arbeloff Laboratory for Information Systems and Technology. Sampriti’s UROP students nominated her for her unwavering commitment to developing undergraduates’ research experiences and self- confidence, “…because she wants us to build confidence in our engineering knowledge and in ourselves.” Sampriti’s research focuses on developing underwater drones.
Randolph G. Wei UROP Award
Each year, the UAAP also solicits nominations from UROP faculty supervisors for the Randolph G. Wei UROP Award. The Wei Committee presents the award each spring to the undergraduate who has made the most outstanding contribution in undergraduate research at the interface of the life sciences and engineering. It was established in October 1986 in memory of Randolph G. Wei, a member of the MIT Class of 1987 who majored in biology and chemical engineering and was an active UROP participant.
This year’s recipient is Lauren Paul ’18, who is majoring in brain and cognitive sciences. Lauren has been conducting neuroscience research with Professor Yingxi Lin for the past year and was noted for her maturity and high level of productivity within the lab. Currently, she is working in collaboration with a graduate student on a project likely to result in a high-profile publication.
On May 11, the First Generation Program (FGP) held a recognition ceremony to celebrate MIT seniors who will be the first in their families to graduate from college. Students came together with a handful of first generation MIT faculty to connect one last time before the end of the semester, and to celebrate their achievements.
Dean Dennis Freeman and Professor Paul Lagace, the FGP faculty advisor, addressed the soon-to-be graduates, recognizing the unique nature of their accomplishments. They also urged the students to take time to reflect on their path and show appreciation to family and friends who helped them get where they are now. Dean Freeman and Professor Lagace also presented each senior with their FGP Commencement sash to wear at graduation. This new tradition of special regalia for FGPs began with the Class of 2015.
Relationships with faculty are critical in not only advising and guiding students, but helping them think through their academic plans, such as pursuing internships and global experiences, engaging in UROP, and contemplating future plans for graduate school or professional work. This year, the UAAP recognized seven extraordinary advisors in the following distinct categories:
Creative Advising Activity Award
Professor in Nuclear Science and Engineering, and Material Science and Engineering
Students praise Ballinger for his generosity and creativity with their advising seminar. “Professor Ballinger’s personal sacrifices speak to how much he cares about his students. Beyond sprinkling our weekly seminars with fascinating anecdotes, treating us to iconic restaurants, and assigning interesting topics for study, he gave us the opportunity to to soar over New England’s fall foliage using innovative aviation.” His advisees were thrilled to board four-person planes. “We learned about the physics of flight while also having fun.”
Outstanding Rookie Advisor Award
Professor in Comparative Media Studies and Writing
Students call Taylor “gnarly” or “kool,” or at least that’s how they describe her office. Her associate advisor said, “When I first entered Professor Taylor’s office to meet her, I felt like I was in another world. There were vibrant colors everywhere. Many agree that Taylor puts her heart into advising and reassures them that following the pathway that will make them the happiest, rather than focusing on grades, is most important.”
Outstanding Veteran Advisor Award
Associate Professor in Chemical Engineering
Virk is a veteran advisor with many years of experience advising freshmen, but his attitude and approach are always fresh and relevant. His associate advisor commented, “Despite being a generation apart from his advisees, Virk can relate to students because he is very hip, in addition to being very passionate about the topic of the seminar, Chemical Accidents.” An advisee noted, “I was always excited to meet with him because I ended up laughing while learning. He helped me worry less and put grades into perspective.”
Alan J. Lazarus (1953) Excellence in Advising Award
Professor in Biology
Sive exemplifies excellence in advising. One advisee expressed it this way: “Professor Sive goes out of her way to make her advisees feel at home in their first few weeks at MIT, and is also extremely sympathetic to the difficult transition students experience from high school to college. I personally struggled with this transition, and I don’t know how I would have navigated my first year without Professor Sive’s guidance.” Another advisee who planned to participate in a lot of extracurricular activities was grateful that Sive encouraged her to scale back and focus on the activities that she was really passionate about. “Thanks to Professor Sive, my advising experience has been central to my freshman year at MIT.”
Excellence in Mentoring Award
Michael Bove Jr.
Principal Research Scientist and Director of the MAS Learning Community
Bove personifies mentorship with students. He gives guidance that impacts both their academic and personal lives. A nominee expressed appreciation for Bove’s mentorship with the following words: “He showed me a new way of looking at things in his advising seminar, in addition to giving real life advice that impacted me personally.” Another advisee said Bove helped her get through a tough semester by giving the guidance she needed and pointing her to resources that could help. “He always gave me the encouragement that I needed to succeed.”
Student Champion Award
Senior Lecturer in the Sloan School of Management and Academic Head of Enterprise Management
Chatterjee’s close guidance and caring attitude have helped multitudes of students find their way at MIT. She has dedicated countless hours to students who are in need, always with a positive and encouraging attitude. One nominator said, “Last semester, she spent many hours helping a freshman who was severely struggling.” Students praise Chatterjee for “taking the job of advising each student individually seriously. She helps students set realistic expectations and always encourages a work-life balance.”
Innovative Seminar Award
Morss Professor of Applied Mathematics
Among over 50 freshman seminars, some stand out as exceptionally innovative and creative. Shor’s students concur that his seminar is special. One of his students noted, “The Math Problem Solving seminar is among my best and brightest moments here at MIT. The seminar was organized in such a way that everyone got an equal chance to shine.” Another nominee said that his approach to the seminar “gave us a giant confidence boost. His style of seminar was loose yet productive. Professor Shor welcomed outside questions and tangent discussions, which expanded the learning process.”
Editor's Note: This spring, as part of a new course offered by Concourse and the history department, students built a handset printing press. The following article about this hands-on class appeared in the SHASS news.
A group of MIT students briefly put away their cell phones this spring to concentrate on a much older information storage and retrieval device: the book.
In a hands-on humanities class — Making Books: The Renaissance and Today (21H.343) — students gained insights about early books and book-making technology, not least by actually making paper and building a handset printing press, the kind of press on which the great documents of the Renaissance, the Reformation, and the Scientific Revolution were printed.
MIT historian Anne McCants, who co-taught the class with Jeffrey Ravel, head of the History section, says, "One of the values of making something that seems prosaic, especially something that is now as common as paper, is learning that we moderns are not the only clever ones. People in the past were clever too, and they also knew some things we don't."
"Most of us are now divorced from the process of making the things we use," she explained. "We wear textiles every day but only a few specialists now understand how fibers are made and combined. In the 15th century, however, nearly everyone lived in close proximity to textile makers, and the essential properties of fibers and construction processes were familiar to the general population. That kind of familiarity is very important for being able to innovate with materials..."
As a part of MIT’s Open House celebrating 100 years in Cambridge, Student Disabilities Services (SDS) and the Assistive Technology Information Center (ATIC) united to showcase technology used by MIT students with disabilities. A panel of five current and past students with varying barriers to access shared how they have overcome adversity through the use of technology and disability services.
Included in the panel was graduate student David Hayden, who developed and uses technology to help students with low vision. His device mounts on a desk and is used to enlarge classroom whiteboards and project the image onto students’ laptop screens for easier note-taking, allowing them to control the size, contrast, and other visual features of the image. Many students with visual disabilities at MIT and beyond currently benefit from this technology.
Another student panelist was alumnus Ian Smith, who spoke about his journey here at MIT with regard to his hearing loss.
Prior to entering MIT, Ian primarily relied on hearing amplification. Here at MIT, he taught himself sign language and began using Communication Access Real-time Translation (CART), a live-action service that provides captioning. This allowed him to have greater access to information that he was missing through amplification alone.
Other panelists talked about their experiences with autism, anxiety, attention deficit disorder and learning disability, and how they learned to navigate at MIT. Along the way, they’ve used assistive technology to assist them in achieving their goals. This technology ranged from Kurzweil, a literacy software program that converts text into audio, to closed-circuit TV, which helps with text enlargement.
A common theme throughout the discussion was the importance of establishing a strong support network. In addition to using SDS and ATIC, some of the students used Student Support Services and MIT Mental Health Services. Together, these services helped students navigate challenging conversations, work with faculty and staff to gain access to relevant course material, and develop skills to achieve independence in spite of personal barriers.
After the panel, ATIC offered personal demonstrations for attendees, allowing them to use and explore technology available to students. Audience members were thrilled to talk with students and asked detailed questions regarding different services and technology they use.
On June 3, 2016, the MIT ROTC units revived a proud tradition by conducting the commissioning ceremony onboard the USS Constitution. The oldest commissioned warship in the US Navy, Constitution and her crew were gracious guests. Gifted with gorgeous weather, family, friends, and alumni joined the Institute’s newest commissioned military officers, Ensign Grace Cassidy, Second Lieutenant Matthew Deyo, Second Lieutenant Daniel Getty, Ensign Vincent Kindfuller, Second Lieutenant Alyssa Pybus, and Ensign Carolena Ruprecht, to celebrate their assumption of duty.
Reverend Robert Randolph, Chaplain to the Institute, provided the invocation and benediction. Captain Steve Benke, Commanding Officer of the BU-MIT NROTC Consortium, kicked off the evening with his opening remarks. Dean Dennis Freeman followed, praising the officers’ completion of MIT’s rigorous academic requirements while choosing to pursue a commission and life of service. The guest speaker, Captain Chris Cassidy SM ’00, the chief of NASA’s Astronaut Office and father of Ensign Grace Cassidy, imparted tremendous wisdom to the new officers as he reflected on his own experiences as a naval officer and astronaut.
Each commissionee was individually administered the oath of office and was presented with new officer insignia by loved ones.
Though a joyous occasion, the ceremony was bittersweet. This was the last of many commissioning ceremonies that Reverend Randolph has blessed; he plans to retire this August, after 37 years of service to MIT.
It was also the final commissioning presided over by Captain Benke and Lieutenant Colonel Karen Dillard, Commanding Officer of MIT’s Air Force ROTC Detachment. Captain Benke, a professor of Naval Science, is transferring to the Atlantic Submarine Command in Norfolk, Virginia. Lieutenant Colonel Dillard, a professor of Aerospace Studies, will be retiring and taking a teaching position at Georgia Tech Institute. We are grateful for their service and wish them the best of luck in their new posts.
Fair winds and following seas to our newest officers!
Each year, GECD organizes data from two graduating student surveys into public reports.The data, which is now available on GECD's website, lends insight into what students do after graduation and during their summers. The surveys consist of the Graduating Student Survey, sent to undergraduate and master’s graduates, and the Earned Doctorate Survey, which polls graduate students completing PhDs.
Data from these reports include how many students enter industry jobs or go on to further education or academic jobs; which industries and companies see the most MIT hires; and average starting salaries.
According to this year's Graduating Student Survey, to which 74% of the undergraduate class of 2015 responded, 58% of graduating seniors entered the workforce, with 33% going on to graduate or professional school. Top industries include computer software, consulting and engineering, and the average mean starting salary was $83,455.
In addition, GECD also publishes a biannual Summer Experience Survey report on how undergraduates spend their summers. For the 1,395 students who participated, 63.5% reported having an internship while 35% had a research experience. California, Massachusetts, and New York remain top summer destinations, although 195 student experiences happened abroad.
For those who are interested, all of the graduating student survey data — including overviews, methods, and graphs — is available on GECD’s website.
Each year, UAAP recognizes one outstanding and extraordinary associate advisor among 200 students that participate in the Associate Advisor Program. The number of nominations is a testament to how much both faculty and students value and are committed to freshman advising.
Rebecca Gallivan, Junior in Materials Science and Engineering
Associate Advisor for Professor Ezra Glenn, Urban Studies and Planning
According to Professor Glenn, “MIT's official motto is ‘mind and hand,’ but Rebecca adds to this a second, equally-important pairing: organization and care.” He expressed his appreciation for Rebecca “helping freshmen make sense of MIT's one million and one ways of doing things and being an expert at bringing order to chaos and clarity to confusion.”
Freshman advisees enthusiastically agree with Prof. Glenn’s comments and praised Rebecca for “always taking the time to check in with them, giving great advice, and going above and beyond her role to help them have a smooth transition and experience a productive first year at MIT.”
UAAP is pleased to announce the selection of three distinguished MIT faculty for the 2016 Institute Convocation awards:
Arthur Smith Award for Distinguished Service to Student Life and Learning
Professor in Literature
The phrase “above and beyond” is woven through each nomination letter about Professor Raman. One said he “is the embodiment of what MIT needs in faculty—a thoughtful and caring individual willing to participate, to learn, to educate, and to advise.” An alumnus with degrees in both Course 6 and Literature, he has developed innovative interdisciplinary subjects like Global Shakespeares and the Art of the Probable. Says another nominator, Ramar “brings this kind of commitment to undergraduates and their education to all aspects of his MIT career, year-in and year-out.”
Everett Moore Baker Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching
Edwin Sibley Webster Professor in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Devadas is passionate about teaching, and is able to “make the material in his courses come alive with his excitement.” His enthusiasm is contagious, and is evident is his use of humor and games during lectures. Students noted that Devadas gives individual attention to students, and engages with them both inside and outside of the classroom. One nominator wrote, “His ability to create a supportive class environment helps his students to feel more confident and to grow their love of learning.”
Earll M. Murman Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Advising
Assistant Professor in Nuclear Science and Engineering
A fellow professor in Course 22 noted that he has never seen anyone in his career more dedicated to advising undergraduate students than Short. According to one nominator, “He works hard with each student to identify the sources of difficulty in his/her academic lives.” “Students appreciate him for listening, his practical guidance, as well as the uplifting spirit to see the positive sides of the challenges and trials at MIT.” A student nominator said, “He has had a profound effect on my academic and personal life at MIT. His openness in difficult conversation is a welcome change of pace from the isolating environment sometimes observed. His patience with a hands-on teaching approach and experience in the face of failure have both been crucial to my continued success.”
Global Education holds an annual photo contest to both promote global awareness on campus and to celebrate students’ global experiences. This year, over 70 photos were submitted from MIT students who went abroad any time between spring 2015 and spring 2016.
Student experiences ranged from academic study abroad to international research, internships, and service learning. The 2016 winning photos are featured on the GECD’s website, as well as on Global Education’s Tumblr and Instagram.
DUE welcomed a number of new employees between April 1 and June 30, 2016. Congratulations to all!
|Leah McDermott, Assistant Director
|Christina Andujar,Technical Instructor
|James Horten, Technical Instructor|
|Eugenia Lowery, Technical Instructor
|Meghan Burke, Registrarial Assistant II
Teaching and Learning Laboratory
|Anne Marshall, Associate Director of Assessment and Evaluation
Undergraduate Advising and Academic Programming
|Samantha Tideman, Staff Associate|
The following DUE staff were promoted during the 2015-16 year. Congratulations!
Global Education and Career Development
Office of Minority Education
Individual Recipients and Category
James Blessing, Admissions
Communication & Collaboration
Leslie Bottari, UAAP
Linda Rabieh, Concourse
Aleshia Carlsen-Bryan, GECD
Innovation & Creativity
Jona Repishi, D-Lab
Brenna Heintz, Admissions
Team Recipients and Category
Air Force ROTC Detachment 365 Cadre
Lt. Col. Karen Dillard, Commander
Capt. Peterson Dela Cruz
Capt. Michael Parry
TSgt. Ivy Santiago
TSgt. Jason SpoN
Innovation & Creativity
DUE RECHARGE Team
Leslie Bridson, SFS
Camilla Brinkman, Edgerton
Elizabeth Durant, DUE Admin
Patty Fernandes, Registrar
Meghan Kenney, UAAP
David Kenton, OME
Meredith Pepin, GECD
Maura Tierney Murphy, Admissions
Jessica Zdon-Smith, Registrar
Student Financial Services Customer Service Team