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Thirty-one MIT students selected as Burchard Scholars for 2014

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The School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (SHASS) has named 31 exceptional MIT undergraduates as Burchard Scholars for 2014. 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 in a wide range of disicplines, including biology, linguistics, chemistry, electrical engineering and political science.  "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 adds. “Selection 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 SHASS dean, John Ely Burchard, the Burchard Scholars Program brings undergraduates together with distinguished members of the faculty for a series of eight dinner seminars that reflect the range of research in the school. Past gathering have featured talks on the presence of law in everyday life; how American social policies work; what philosophy tells us about how to make big decisions; political misinformation; 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 also for building a warm, supportive community, and 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 says, noting that many past winners have gone on to receive other distinguished honors, including Rhodes, Marshall, and Truman scholarships and fellowships.

Deborah K. Fitzgerald, the Kenan Sahin Dean of SHASS, congratulated the 2014 Burchard Scholars at a reception held in their honor in February.

Congratulations to the 2014 Burchard Scholars:

Elizabeth Berg ’16
physics; minor, literature

Halide Bey ’15
biology; political science

Kathryn Buggs ’16
economics; minor, Spanish

Matthew Davis ’16

Alexandriya Emonds ’15
electrical engineering; brain and cognitive sciences

Sofia Essayan-Perez ’15
brain and cognitive sciences; minor, applied international studies

Hope Flaxman ’16
chemistry; minor, economics

Marisa Fryer ’15
environmental engineering; minor, literature

Beth Hadley ’15
computer science; minor, music

John W. Halloran, Jr.  ’15
political science

Felicia Hsu ’15
biological engineering

Emily Kellison-Linn ’16
computer science and engineering

Kelly Kochanski ’15
physics; earth, atmospheric and planetary science

Emily LaVerriere ’15
brain and cognitive sciences; biology; minor, literature

Taibo Li ’15
electrical engineering and computer science

Carl Lian ’15
mathematics; minor, Music

Royal Morris ’15
comparative media studies; computer science and engineering; minor, brain and cognitive sciences

Olivia Murton ’15

Alyssa Napier ’16
chemistry; linguistics

Quynh Nguyen ’15
biology; minor, ancient and medieval studies; chemistry

Kayvon Pedram ’15

Julie Ramseier ’15
biological engineering; minor, music

Stephen Suen ’15
comparative media studies

Caitlin Tan ’16
brain and cognitive sciences

Phong T. Vo ’16

Anna Walsh ’16
computer science and engineering

Spencer Wilson ’15
mechanical engineering; minor, comparative media studies

Anthony Yu ’16
economics; mathematics

Laura Zhang ’15
mathematics and computer science; writing; minor, economics

Joanne Zhou ’15
biology; minor, brain and cognitive sciences

Penghui Zhou ’16
economics; computer science; minor, psychology

Story prepared by MIT SHASS Communications
Editorial and Design Director: Emily Hiestand
Senior Writer: Kathryn O'Neill
Communications Assistant: Kierstin Wesolowski

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