The MIT European Club has been awarded the Golden Beaver Award (Group) as part of the annual MIT Awards Convocation. The award ceremony honors students, faculty, staff, and community members who have made outstanding contributions to the shared life of the Institute. Winners of the Golden Beaver Award (Individual) — which goes to students who have created positive change within their group and campus environment, as well as an ability to overcome challenges — were Favyen Bastani '16 and graduate student Sebastian Palacios.
Deborah Liverman, director of career services at the MIT Global Education and Career Development Center, works closely with members of the winning student group. “The European Club’s leadership has worked extremely hard these past three years to strengthen their organization through student outreach efforts, organizational restructuring, and changing their mission and goals. I worked directly with them in their efforts to organize the European Career Fair and was always impressed with their commitment to the bringing opportunities in Europe to the MIT and greater Boston community. I am enthusiastic about the European Club being this year’s recipient of Golden Beaver Award and believe they are truly deserving of the honor.”
Since 2011, the MIT European Club has given more than $150,000 to fund MIT International Science and Technology Initiatives (MISTI) student internships. This summer the club is supporting research stays for students in France, Germany, Italy, and Spain. MISTI interns prepare for their time abroad with cultural training sessions focused on European history and politics.
“The European Club has grown in leaps and bounds this past year in terms of membership as well as community outreach. They are a vital part of our student organization and MIT community particularly given recent events in our world. The group offers key support connections and networking for our students that are from European countries; in times like today, it is so important that our students find connection with those from their home country and feel welcomed at MIT,” says Leah Flynn Gallant, assistant dean and director for student leadership and engagement at MIT.
Involved with a diverse group of 300 full members and more than 2,800 associate members, the European Club boasts a wide array of activities that contribute to students’ life on campus and their professional careers. In addition to the European Career Fair, the student group hosts a myriad of events throughout the year and devotes some of its revenue to fund student scholarships for MISTI interns in Europe.
MIT European Club (EC) leaders include:
Giulio Alighieri, president: Pursuing his PhD in the Department of Chemical Engineering at MIT, Alighieri works on RNA-RNA interaction to cure cancer. Passionate about European political integration, he joined the EC to get more involved with the MIT European community and connect with partners at the European Career Fair.
Mette Anne Rathje, vice president: Rathje hails from Denmark and is an MIT postdoc in neuroscience. She has been involved with the European Club for the past three years and enjoys its sense of community.
Christina Galonska, secretary: Galonska is a postdoc at the Broad Institute. Before coming to Boston she studied molecular medicine in Germany.
Xiaoyu Leo Wu, treasurer: Wu researches fuel combustion products and transport as a PhD candidate in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. After an internship in Germany with Bosch in 2015, Wu joined the European Club to help promote culture and opportunities for MIT students.
Aleksandra Kalinowska '16, communication chair: Interested in medical technologies, Kalinowska completed her undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering this year and will continue her studies next year in Chicago. Originally from Poland, she enjoys fostering global collaboration.
Each year MISTI sends more than 800 students to over 19 locations to intern, research, and teach at leading companies, research institutes, and universities. MISTI is the flagship international education experience at MIT and a part of MIT’s School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences.