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45 expected for MITES program this summer

The School of Engineering's MITES Program (Minority Introduction to Engineering and Science) has admitted 45 underrepresented minority high school juniors to its 1996 class, which begins June 24.

Now in its 22nd year, MITES, a rigorous six-week residential summer course, introduces promising minority students to careers in engineering and science, stressing the value and reward of pursuing advanced technical degrees. Participants are selected from a nationwide pool of applicants who belong to one of the following minority groups: American Indian, African American, Mexican American, Puerto Rican and other Hispanics.

Laura M. Robinson, executive director of special programs for the School of Engineering and the MITES Program's administrative director, said 20 of the those admitted for 1996 are African-American, 13 Mexican-American, six Puerto Rican, three American Indian and three other Hispanic. There are 21 females in the group and 24 males.

Ms. Robinson, an alumna of both the MITES Program (1975) and of MIT (1980), said the program receives support from the Office of the Provost, but 80 percent of the annual $300,000 budget comes from several sponsors.

"This program would not be possible without the dedication of our sponsors, many of whom are personally involved with MITES and have supported us for a number of years," she said. "Their participation adds depth and excitement to the program and we are grateful for their generosity."

Current sponsors are the Dibner Fund, Dow Chemical Corp., DuPont Chemical Co., Eastman Kodak Co., Ford Motor Co., GTE Foundation, Hewlett-Packard, Intel Foundation, Ronald A. Kurtz '54, 3M Corp., Robert Meyerhoff '44, NYNEX Foundation, Pratt & Whitney/United Technologies and Schlumberger.

MITES students are totally immersed in campus life during their six weeks at MIT. There are classes and daily assignments in calculus, physics, biochemistry, chemistry, writing and engineering design. In addition, students have many opportunities to discuss career options with MIT faculty members and with practicing scientists and engineers who are invited to speak on campus. Field trips include visits to labs at sponsoring companies.

Faculty from the School of Engineering, the School of Science and the School of Humanities and Social Science participate in MITES. Among the faculty this year is another MITES alumnus, Steven L. Lee, a Martin Luther King Jr. Visiting Professor at MIT. He is a computer scientist/mathematician at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on May 22, 1996.

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