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All in the family

Melissa Gonzalez with her brother Gabriel Gonzalez at home in Texas. Melissa is joining her brother at MIT.
Melissa Gonzalez with her brother Gabriel Gonzalez at home in Texas. Melissa is joining her brother at MIT.
Photo courtesy / The Monitor

Senior Gabriel Gonzalez offered a straightforward scouting report of life at MIT when his kid sister expressed an interest in following him here.

"He told me I'd hate MIT, yet I'd never want to leave," said Melissa Gonzalez, one of 59 members of the Class of 2006 who is following a sibling to MIT. "He told me if I wanted to sleep during my college career, MIT was not the place for me."

Gabriel, who is majoring in mechanical engineering, also compared Cambridge and Boston to their hometown of Weslaco, Texas, population 27,812, eight miles from the bridge over the Rio Grande to Nuevo Progresso, Mexico.

"He told me there are a lot of crazy people that can be quite amusing at times and Boston is a hell of a lot more fun," she said. "It will be an experience I'll never forget."

Gabriel and Melissa both participated in the MITE2S (Minority Introduction to Engineering, Entrepreneurship and Science) summer program on campus following their junior year at Edcouch-Elsa High School, where both were valedictorians.

They both will reside in Simmons Hall. While it's comforting to have Gabriel nearby, Melissa does not expect them to depend upon each other for companionship.

"We definitely won't hang out together--at least not in the 'I'm your best friend sense,'" she said. "I'm sure we'll go out upon occasion and help each other out, but for the most part we'll stick to our own crowd. It's great having family around, but we definitely need to keep our space, especially since we're both going to be living at Simmons. We don't want to get annoyed by each other."

Josiah Rosmarin, a graduate of Mansfield (Ohio) High School, also does not expect to hang out with his brother, Isaac, a senior in electrical engineering and computer science. "We probably won't spend too much time together," Justin said, "but that's because we have different interests, not because we'll be avoiding each other." Isaac's advice: "Go to class, listen to the upperclassmen, and work hard."

Emily Hilton, whose brothers Eric and Henry are members of the Classes of 2003 and 2004, respectively, followed them here because MIT is "the number-one-ranked college of engineering in the country." Eric and Henry are majoring in mechanical engineering. All three Hiltons were valedictorians at Del Rio (Texas) High School.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on August 28, 2002.

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