MIT graduate Marc Graham (S.B. 1995) is so devoted to MITE2S and NASA's RISE programs that he and his wife postponed their honeymoon last summer to allow him to complete his commitment to the academic summer sessions.
"Carolina and I went on our honeymoon to Hawaii before the programs began this year," said Graham, who earned the S.M. in 1997 and is working toward a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering.
Both MITE2S director Karl Reid and Professor Alex Slocum, Graham's advisor, recruited Graham for the two programs' 2002 sessions, Reid as an advanced physics instructor and Slocum as the design instructor. Graham returned this summer as the design instructor for both programs.
"I chose to apply for the positions because I have a passion for helping and working with others and because of my respect for Karl and Alex," said Graham, who was the MIT wrestling team's MVP and New England College Conference 118-pound wrestling champion as a senior. "I knew if they were asking, it was because they thought it was a great opportunity for me."
MITE2S (Minority Introduction to Engineering, Entrepreneurship and Science) is a rigorous six-week summer residential program for rising high school seniors who are interested in studying and exploring careers in science, engineering and entrepreneurship. It was expanded to an all-inclusive program this summer, with a more diverse group of students. Graham, who attended Shaw High School in East Cleveland, Ohio, did not participate in MITE2S while in high school.
NASA RISE (National Aeronautics and Space Administration Research In Science and Engineering) is a program for talented college and university students focused on preparation for graduate school. RISE has always been all-inclusive but generally attracts mostly minority students.
Thirty-two MITE2S students took Graham's mechanical design course and six took his NASA RISE course. His teaching assistants were Rodrigo Prieto (S.B. 1999) and Luis Cabezas-Ulate (MITE2S 2001).
"As a mentor, I gain self-improvement through helping others learn material," Graham said. "Each time I teach, I become more familiar with the material and with how students learn and best work in groups."
For six years, Graham has been a mentor for Jermaine Boynton, 17, and Antwain Bowden, 14, who he met in a buddy program while working at Corning, Inc., in Wilmington, N.C.
"This has been a very rewarding experience for the boys and me," he said. "Jermaine introduces me to people as his father."
Graham, who has written and performed rap music for 20 years, recently received a grant from the MIT Council for the Arts to complete a rap/poetry book entitled "Journey of The Lost Souls," which will be accompanied by a CD of songs from the book. "I'll be presenting the work at MIT in late October," he said. Samples of his material may be heard at http://www.untoldrecords.com.