Tag Archives: MSRP

February 19, 2014

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Mareena Robinson speaks at 2014 MLK Celebration

Mareena Robinson, a two time alum of the MIT Summer Research Program and PhD candidate in Nuclear Science and Engineering, was the graduate student speaker during the 2014 MLK Celebration.  The event also featured the MIT Gospel Choir and an Invocation by Rev. Rahsaan Hall.  The MLK Celebration is an assembly of speakers, presentations and song which serve to inspire the community to rededicate to the vision of Dr. King.

Read more about Robinson and the event on MIT news; click “Read more” to see a video excerpt from the Celebration (Robinson’s talk begins at 14:40).
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December 9, 2013

MSRP alum Gamboa interviews groundbreaking scientist and alumna Villa-Komaroff

As a part Roadtrip Nation, a movement that empowers people to travel the country and speak with leaders from across disciplines, MSRP alum Jackie Gamboa joined two other inquisitive travelers for a journey from California to Massachusetts. In the course of their trip, Gamboa and her fellow travelers met with MIT graduate alum Lydia Villa-Komaroff – the third Mexican-American woman to earn a PhD in the United States and co-founder of SACNAS, the Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science.

View a video of this inspiring interview online at Roadtrip Nation’s website.

November 22, 2013

Program Assistants

Now Hiring: Program Assistant applications for MSRP due Dec. 20

Program Assistants (PAs) for the MIT Summer Research Program (MSRP) are responsible for working closely with the MSRP Director and Assistant Director of Diversity Initiatives to provide mentorship and facilitate a positive research experience for approximately 50 interns. PAs meet with interns to provide assistance and mentoring, and to assist them with various program requirements including scientific posters, abstracts and research papers. Applications are due Friday, December 20th, 2013 at 5:00pm. Direct questions to Monica Orta, Assistant Director, Diversity Initiatives & MIT Summer Research Program, at mmorta@mit.edu.

The program is scheduled to run from June 8 to August 9, 2014. PAs are expected to fully participate in the Summer Program, with a time commitment during the summer of approximately 20 hours per week. There will be 5 mandatory meetings and trainings throughout the spring. Additionally, PAs must be available for the duration of the program, the first and last week in particular. All MIT graduate students are eligible for this position. Strong organization and communication skills, knowledge of presentation skills and techniques (including PowerPoint), as well as experience teaching and/or mentoring undergraduates are required. PAs must be able to comfortably and effectively interact with students from a variety of ethnic, social and geographic backgrounds. The compensation is a $5,000 stipend for 10 weeks, paid weekly.

November 15, 2013

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MSRP Alum Gopeesingh named Rhodes Scholar finalist

MSRP Alum and Hampton University senior Josh Gopeesingh (Chemical Engineering) has been named a finalist for the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship. He will interview in Barbados on November 23rd. Out of approximately 1,000 applicants who are endorsed by their respective universities, only 200 achieve finalist status. Rhodes Scholars further their studies at Oxford University in England.

A native of Trinidad, Gopeesingh is a student in the Honors College and captain of the HU sailing team. He was awarded the Arthur Ashe, Jr. Sports Scholar Award this year as well. Gopeesingh has a 3.76 grade-point average and during the summer months has conducted research at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Syracuse University.

Read more about Gopeesingh on the Hampton University News website.

November 5, 2013

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Meyer discovers new role for ‘hunger hormone’

About a dozen years ago, scientists discovered that a hormone called ghrelin enhances appetite. Dubbed the “hunger hormone,” ghrelin was quickly targeted by drug companies seeking treatments for obesity — none of which have yet panned out. MIT neuroscientists have now discovered that ghrelin’s role goes far beyond controlling hunger. The researchers found that ghrelin released during chronic stress makes the brain more vulnerable to traumatic events, suggesting that it may predispose people to posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

“Perhaps we could give people who are going to be deployed into an active combat zone a ghrelin vaccine before they go, so they will have a lower incidence of PTSD. That’s exciting because right now there’s nothing given to people to prevent PTSD,” says Goosens, who is also a member of MIT’s McGovern Institute for Brain Research. Lead author of the paper is Retsina Meyer, a recent MIT PhD recipient, 2009 Hugh Hampton Young Fellow, and former MSRP Program Assistant. Other authors are McGovern postdoc Anthony Burgos-Robles, graduate student Elizabeth Liu, and McGovern research scientist Susana Correia.

Read the rest of the article on MIT News.

September 17, 2013

Nicholas explores intersection of law and business

An 2008 alumna of the MIT Summer Research Program, Shanita Nicholas is currently in her second year of Columbia Law School’s three-year J.D./M.B.A. program. “Business and law are so interconnected,” she says. “To be able to study them at the same time and merge ideas is wonderful.” Her interest in the overlap and intersection of these two disciplines was piqued in 2010, while developing a paperless requisition process for the FBI as an IT consultant. “Being able to merge the two in ways that I’ve always thought of them as being related,” she explains, “and seeing how [that relationship] plays out in everyday life outside of academia, has been really interesting.” Read more on the Columbia Law School website.

August 22, 2013

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Building community for underrepresented minorities may be key to American competitiveness in the sciences

On the blackboard in this MIT classroom, a list of positives and negatives are represented not with pluses and minuses but with pluses and deltas.  The Greek letter here stands for “change,” as it does in myriad formulas familiar to these undergraduate students of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).  The distinction in symbols comes from a spirit that favors momentum to inertia, because here — where the ultimate goal is innovation — an outcome that isn’t positive needn’t be final or permanent.

The two graduate students who serve as advisors to this group of 11, POD 2, are leading them through a call-out session where everyone must share something good and something that needs to be changed from their past week as summer research interns.  A young woman records the running tally. The students are almost entirely women and minorities severely underrepresented in the STEM fields — African Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans — the target demographic of the MIT Summer Research Program (MSRP).

Every summer, MSRP brings approximately 50 undergraduate students from different universities and colleges to MIT for nine weeks, hoping that by the time they return to their home campuses for the new school year, they will have decided to pursue a graduate degree in STEM. Continue reading at Aljazeera America. Photo by Justin Knight Photography. 

July 17, 2013

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Cyntrica Eaton on her life and work as a scientist

Cyntrica Eaton, an alumna of the MIT Summer Research Program, sat down for an interview and answered questions on her life inspiration and her work as a scientist. The interview is featured by ScienceLives and the National Science Foundation. Cyntrica Eaton is an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science at Norfolk State University in Virginia. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Maryland, College Park. She is the author of several publications, including A Framework for Detecting and Diagnosing Configuration Faults in Web Applications and Advances in Web TestingPhoto by NSF. Read more

January 2, 2013

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MSRP Alumnus Valencia Makes Forbes List

Pedro Valencia PhD ’12, an alumnus of the MIT Summer Research Program, was named in the December 2012 Forbes 30 under 30: Science and Healthcare list as one rising stars who are transforming their fields. Valencia figured out how to more quickly synthesize nanoparticles that can be used to make drugs more effective and less toxic and to put multiple drugs inside the same nanotech medicine. His research led to many distinguished publications and a start-up Blend Therapeutics. Valencia earned his BS in chemical engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2007, and completed his MS in chemical engineering practice at MIT in 2009. He was the recipient of the NSF Graduate Fellowship, and co-advised by Professor Langer and Dr. Omid Farokhzad of the Brigham Women’s Hospital – Harvard Medical School. See the original post at forbes.com.

December 11, 2012

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Alumnus Henry receives $3.6 M to develop high-efficiency solar reactor

Researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology have been awarded three grants totaling more than $9 million from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) to develop energy technology solutions.  The three new awards are for projects involving solar fuel generation, power generation from vortices of solar heated air and energy storage.  Asegun Henry, assistant professor in the Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering as well as MIT Mechanical Engineering alumnus (MSME and PhD) and MSRP alum, will receive $3.6 million to develop a high-efficiency solar reactor to produce solar fuel.  Using liquid metal, the reactor transports heat away from the sunlight-collection point to a chemical reaction zone, minimizing the loss of solar heat.  This system could enable cost-effective solar fuels that would be used for transportation and continuous electric power generation. 
Read the entire report in the Georgia Tech Newsroom.

October 24, 2012

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Meet the MIT Summer Research Program 2012 Interns! (video)

The MIT Summer Research Program (MSRP) provides nine exciting weeks of intensive research experience to undergraduates considering graduate school. This past summer, 39 interns conducted research in 14 different departments, working in labs under the guidance of experienced scientists and engineers who are MIT faculty members, postdoctoral fellows, and advanced graduate students. Nineteen of the host labs were new to the program, joining over 250 faculty members who have been key to MSRP’s success since it began. MSRP seeks to promote the value of graduate education; to improve the research enterprise through increased diversity; and to prepare and recruit the best and brightest for graduate education at MIT. Students who participate in this program will be better prepared and motivated to pursue advanced degrees, thereby helping to sustain a rich talent pool in critical areas of research and innovation. Click “Read more” to see a great video about this past summer, or visit the MSRP page on the ODGE website.

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May 3, 2012

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Robinson wins prestigious Stewardship Science Graduate Fellowship

In April 2012, Mareena Robinson was one of five students awarded the prestigious Stewardship Science Graduate Fellowship (SSGF), which is sponsored by DOE’s National Nuclear Security Administration. Robinson is a first year doctoral student in the department of Nuclear Science and Engineering, with a focus on nuclear security. She is also a former participant in the MIT Summer Research Program. This fellowship program provides four-years of outstanding benefits and opportunities to students pursuing a PhD in areas of interest to stewardship science. “The holistic focus on developing students into skilled and insightful researchers in the area of stewardship science is what initially intrigued me about this fellowship.” said Robinson.  “My goal in my graduate and broader professional career is to continue to advance my technical and political intuition through diverse experiences.”  Read more about Robinson in MIT NSE News.

August 31, 2011

Diverse interns participate in MIT Summer Research Program

This year a cohort of  talented and diverse interns participated in the nine week MIT Summer Research Program (MSRP). Meet the interns here. These undergraduate students came to MIT from all over the United States, including Puerto Rico, to conduct research in preparation for graduate school. 70% are undergraduate juniors, 17% are sophomores, and 13% are seniors.

August 28, 2011

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Sergio Cantu paper featured on Physics Today

Sergio Cantu, a two-year participant of the MIT Summer Research Program, just published a paper entitled Teaching introductory undergraduate Physics using commercial video games.  “Commercial video games are increasingly using sophisticated physics simulations to create a more immersive experience for players. This also makes them a powerful tool for engaging students in learning physics. We provide some examples to show how commercial off-the-shelf games can be used to teach specific topics in introductory undergraduate physics. The examples are selected from a course taught predominantly through the medium of commercial video games.”  The paper was featured on Physics Today‘s Facebook page as well as on their homepage.

July 20, 2011

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Alone With Schubert and 2 Flying MIT Robots

As Pilobolus continues its 40th-anniversary season at the Joyce Theater, the group, which started in 1971 and is named after a fungus, is — by the looks of it — working hard to maintain its playful edge. For its third program of the season, Pilobolus also offered the New York premiere of “Seraph,” a short piece with a long list of creators. In it Matt Del Rosario is joined by two X-shaped robots — they dart about the stage like alien wasps — prettified by bright, sometimes flashing, lights. Choreographed with the engineers, programmers and pilots of the M.I.T. Distributed Robotics Laboratory, “Seraph” is credited to Robby Barnett, Molly Gawler, Ms. Jaworski and Itamar Kubovy in collaboration with the laboratory (directed by Daniela Rus) and the former and current M.I.T. Ph.D. students William Selby, Brian Julian, Daniel Soltero, Andrew Marchese and Carrick DetweilerRead the rest of the article in The New York Timesphoto by Andrea Mohin