The School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (SHASS) has named 35 exceptional MIT undergraduates as Burchard Scholars for 2017. 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 physics, history, biology, economics, Chinese, French, engineering, mathematics, international studies, management, and philosophy. "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 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 school's first 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 MIT's research in the humanities, arts, and social science fields. Past gatherings have featured talks on: 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; the art of discovery; and a political history of gravity.
“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 of young scholars and citizens."
Expanding horizons, in community
The Burchard gatherings are famous not only for presenting leading edge research, but for building a warm, supportive community, and giving students experience in the art of give-and-take in intellectual conversations — 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.
Melissa Nobles, the Kenan Sahin Dean of SHASS, will congratulate the new class of Burchard Scholars at a reception to be held in their honor in February 2017.
The 2017 Burchard Scholars are:
Meia Alsup, sophomore in materials science and engineering
Natasha Batten, sophomore in chemical engineering
Jaclyn Baughman, sophomore in physics
Margaret Bertoni, sophomore in mechanical engineering
Phoebe Cai, junior in mathematics and economics
Samantha Cawthon, sophomore in brain and cognitive sciences
Ann Chen, junior in mechanical engineering with a minor in history
Herng Yi Cheng, junior in mathematics
Matthew Coupin, junior in materials science and engineering
Caralyn Cutlip, junior in mechanical engineering with a minor in German
Anshula Gandhi, sophomore in electrical engineering and computer science
Ying Gao, junior in mathematics and economics
Benjamin Harpt, junior in physics
Christopher Hillenbrand, sophomore in chemistry
Nicholas Hoffman, junior in Earth, atmospheric, and planetary sciences
Yuliya Klochan, junior in philosophy and political science
Tinna-Solveig Kosoko-Thoroddsen, sophomore in chemical engineering with a minor in Chinese
Jennifer Lee, sophomore in electrical engineering and computer science
Feng Ping "Angela" Leong, junior in mechanical engineering
Jessy Lin, sophomore in electrical engineering and computer science
Stacie Lin, sophomore in biology
Ian MacFarlane, junior in physics
Oghenefejiro Oruerio, junior in mechanical engineering
Audrey Pillsbury, sophomore in chemical engineering
Mary Jane Porzenheim, sophomore in biology
Ankita Reddy, sophomore in biology
Uma Roy, sophomore in mathematics
Megan Schussman, sophomore in brian and cognitive sciences and philosophy
Jacqueline Shen, junior in biology with a minor in applied international studies
Nafisa Syed, sophomore in biology
Emily Tang, sophomore in electrical engineering and computer science
Amanda Wu, junior in brian and cognitive sciences
Sefa Yakpo, junior in management with a minor in French
Rachel Yang, junior in electrical engineering and computer science
Jingyi Zhao, junior in mathematics