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