• The Burchard Scholars award honors MIT sophomores and juniors who demonstrate academic excellence in the humanities, arts, and social sciences, as well as in science and/or engineering. Named in honor of the first dean of MIT SHASS, John Ely Burchard, the program brings undergraduates together with distinguished members of the SHASS faculty for a series of eight dinner seminars that reflect the range of MIT's research in the humanities, arts, and social sciences.

    The Burchard Scholars award honors MIT sophomores and juniors who demonstrate academic excellence in the humanities, arts, and social sciences, as well as in science and/or engineering. Named in honor of the first dean of MIT SHASS, John Ely Burchard, the program brings undergraduates together with distinguished members of the SHASS faculty for a series of eight dinner seminars that reflect the range of MIT's research in the humanities, arts, and social sciences.

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SHASS names 35 exceptional MIT students as Burchard Scholars for 2015

Award honors sophomores and juniors who demonstrate academic excellence in the humanities, arts, and social sciences, as well as in science and engineering.


The School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (SHASS) is pleased to name 35 exceptional MIT undergraduates as Burchard Scholars for 2015. The award honors sophomores and juniors who demonstrate academic excellence in the humanities, arts, and social sciences, as well as in science and engineering.

Burchard Scholars can come from any school or department of the Institute, and this year’s honorees major and minor in a range of disciplines, including civil engineering, literature, chemistry, political science, electrical engineering, music, physics, mathematics, biology, media studies, and economics.

"What binds the group together," says Margery Resnick, professor of literature and director of the Burchard program, "is a powerful curiosity about ideas. The Burchard scholars are some of MIT’s liveliest undergraduates,” she says. “Selection for the program is extremely competitive, and the students chosen are unafraid to wrestle with new ideas.”

Ideas and conversation at dinner seminars

Named in honor of the first dean of MIT SHASS, John Ely Burchard, the Burchard Scholars Program brings undergraduates together with distinguished members of the SHASS faculty for a series of eight dinner seminars that reflect the range of MIT's research in the humanities, arts, and social sciences. Past gatherings have featured talks on: how American social policies really work; the politics of aid to Haitian trauma survivors; what philosophy tells us about how to make big decisions; U.S. grand strategy in foreign policy; and the art of discovery.  

“The Burchard dinners are, for faculty and students alike, an oasis in our busy lives,” Resnick notes. “I look forward to every dinner as the powerful ideas generated by our faculty are reflected upon, challenged, and enjoyed by this wonderful group.”

Expanding horizons, in community

The Burchard gatherings are famous not only for presenting leading edge research, but for building a warm, supportive community, and for giving students experience in the art of intellectual give-and-take — a skill students value for success in every field. 

“'Engaging' and 'engaged' are defining characteristics of MIT's Burchard Scholars,” Resnick observes, noting that many past winners have gone on to receive other distinguished honors, including Rhodes, Marshall, and Truman scholarships and fellowships. 

Deborah K. Fitzgerald, Kenan Sahin Dean of the School, will congratulate the new class of Burchard Scholars at a reception to be held in their honor in February 2015.

The 2015 Burchard Scholars are:

Evan "Charlie" Andrews-Jubelt '17, mechanical engineering and physics

Vincent Anioke '17, computer science and engineering with a minor in creative writing

Bhaskaran Balaji '16, mathematics and physics with a minor in music

Juan Bautista Hobin '17, mathematics with a minor in economics

Itamar Belson '16, electrical engineering and computer science and comparative media studies

Leyatt Betre '16, physics and political science

Emma Chaloux-Pinette '16, biology

Marina Crowe '16, political science with a minor in management science

Casey Crownhart '17, chemical engineering with a minor in literature

Skylar Goldman '16, chemical engineering with a minor in comparative media studies

Val Healy '16, comparative media studies with a minor in women's and gender studies

Shahrin Islam '16, chemical engineering

Linda Jiang '16, biology and mathematics with a minor in applied international studies

Joseff Kolman '17, physics and political science

Hane Lee '17, electrical science and engineering

Moriel Levy '17, chemical engineering

Julia Longmate '16, civil and environmental engineering

Githui Maina '16, chemical engineering with a minor in history

Veronica Montgomery '16, biological engineering with minors in Spanish and materials science and engineering

Jesus Moreno '16, materials science and engineering with minors in political science and economics

Kristen Murray '16, aeronautics and astronautics with a minor in political science

Chimdimma Okwara '16, materials science and engineering

Abigail Ostriker '16, mathematics with minors in energy studies and economics

Yihui Quek '16, mathematics with a minor in linguistics

Rafa Rahman '16, biological engineering with a minor in public policy

Vaishnavi Rao '17, brain and cognitive sciences

Daniel Richman '17, electrical engineering and computer science

Taylor Rose '16, management science and political science

Christopher Sanfilippo '17, physics and mathematics

Abra Shen '16, brain and cognitive sciences with minors in theater arts and chemistry

Benjamin Tidor '16, computer science and engineering

Dalia Walzer '17, biology

Shenghao Wang '16, mathematics with a minor in Asian and Asian diaspora studies

Ryan Webb '16, aerospace engineering

Lynn Yu '17, mechanical engineering and urban planning

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Story prepared by MIT SHASS Communications
Editorial and Design Director: Emily Hiestand
Assistant: Daniel Pritchard

Topics: Awards, honors and fellowships, SHASS, Arts, Social sciences, Humanities, Faculty, Students

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