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Diversity and inclusion

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Boston Magazine

Sally Kornbluth, the 18th president of MIT, speaks with Boston Magazine reporter Jonathan Soroff about why she is excited to lead MIT, Smoots, Boston weather and sports, and how to encourage more girls and women to pursue STEM careers.

The Boston Globe

Boston Globe reporter Aaron Pressman spotlights how The Engine has “backed a number of promising climate-tech startups” and has “helped attract many other investors to climate tech.” Additionally “three-quarters of startups backed by The Engine had a founder or chief executive from an underrepresented minority group, and 44 percent had a woman in one of those roles,” Pressman notes. “From our point of view, it is unacceptable not to believe that people of very diverse backgrounds should be the next founders,” says Katie Rae, CEO and managing partner of The Engine.

NPR

NPR’s Vicky Hallett spotlights two teams of innovators who will receive support and mentorship from MIT Solve, an initiative aimed at driving innovation to solve pressing global challenges, for their work focused on equitable health solutions. "Where we want to play a role is by ensuring technology is designed for and by underserved communities," explains Alex Amouyel, executive director of MIT Solve.

The Boston Globe

Undergraduate Evelyn De La Rosa speaks with Boston Globe reporter Katie Mogg about her experience with the Transfer Scholars Network, a new program aimed at providing community college students with a pathway to four-year universities.  “We want to be as accessible as we can,” says Stuart Schmill, dean of Admissions and Student Financial Services. “The education is better for our students the more diverse the population is. We want to educate the best students from everywhere, from all backgrounds.”

The Washington Post

Washington Post columnist Karen Attiah emphasizes the importance of representation in “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” which featured Riri Williams (Ironheart) as a Black female engineer at MIT. Attiah notes that she is “grateful that ‘Black Panther 2’ exists to show us what #BlackGirlGenius looks like.” 

Forbes

Alumna Geeta Sankappanavar founded Akira Impact, an investment firm that directs capital to support the UN Sustainable Development Goals, reports Cheryl Robinson for Forbes. “The firm invests in companies that support gender equality, clean water and sanitation, clean energy and responsible consumption and production,” writes Robinson.

Fortune

Fortune reporter Gabby Shacknai spotlights Joy Buolamwini PhD ’22 and her research in racial bias in AI. “After finishing grad school, Biolamwini decided to continue her research on A.I.’s racial bias and quickly realized that much of this was a result of the non-diverse datasets and imagery used by a disproportionately white, male tech workforce to train A.I. and inform its algorithms,” writes Shacknai.

Inside Higher Ed

Prof. Kerstin M. Perez writes for Inside Higher Ed about the challenges posed by balancing inclusive teaching with personal and professional endeavors. “I quickly realized that some tenets of inclusive and antiracist teaching advice can undercut the career trajectories, classroom respect and mental health of instructors who are minoritized in their fields—whether due to race, gender or some other nondominant cultural identity—if those tenets are not thoughtfully adapted to our distinct positions in the academy,” writes Perez.

Parents

Parents reporter Tanay Howard writes that “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” offers up powerful role models, in particular Shuri and Riri Williams (also known as Ironheart), who is depicted as an MIT student. “Seeing Shuri and Riri Williams do their thing in Black Panther is not only an exciting dynamic for Marvel comic readers but an inspiration to Black girls and women,” writes Howard.

Associated Press

Principal research scientist Leo Anthony Celi speaks with Associated Press reporter Maddie Burakoff about how pulse oximeters can provide inaccurate readings in patients of color. Celi highlights how oxygen levels can also be measured by drawing blood out of an artery in the wrist, the “gold standard” for accuracy, but a method that is a a bit trickier and more painful. 

Times Higher Ed

Duke Provost Sally Kornbluth has been named the next president of MIT, reports Paul Basken for Times Higher Education. “MIT’s announcement credited Professor Kornbluth with prioritizing investments in faculty, especially from under-represented groups, and strengthening interdisciplinary research and education,” writes Basken.

Bloomberg Radio

The hosts of Bloomberg Radio’s Baystate Business discussed the announcement that Sally Kornbluth has been named the 18th president of MIT.  "[Kornbluth] said that she was excited for those 'global challenges,' and that is something that has been really the mantle of MIT: solving the world’s problems with technology,” reports Janet Wu. “It sounded like she wanted to be part of that.”

Vox

Vox reporter Sigal Samuel spotlights Joy Buolamwini MS ’17 PhD ’22 for her work in uncovering the bias in artificial intelligence and the real-world harm it creates. Buolamwini “founded the Algorithmic Justice League, where researchers work with activists to hold the AI industry to account,” writes Samuel.

Forbes

Forbes contributor Michael T. Nietzel spotlights how Sally Kornbluth, the provost of Duke University, has been selected as the 18th President-elect of MIT. “A highly accomplished researcher, Kornbluth is currently the Jo Rae Wright University Professor of Biology at Duke where she has been a member of the faculty since 1994, first in the Department of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology at the Duke University School of Medicine and then as a member of the Department of Biology in the Trinity College of Arts and Sciences,” writes Nietzel.

The Boston Globe

President-elect Sally Kornbluth discusses her hopes and aspirations for her tenure as MIT’s president with Katie Mogg of The Boston Globe. “I just want to continue the excellence of MIT,” she said. “I hope when I turn my head back down the road some years from now that this will have been viewed as a period of continued excellence, but also of the discovery, innovation, and invention of things that continue to really have a huge impact on the world stage.”