Two new “Committed to Caring” professors, Solomon and Smith


October 13, 2015

committed to caring: Professors Solomon and Smith

The final two rounds of MIT “Committed to Caring” faculty honorees for 2014–2015 are being posted on the infinite display and on posters around campus: October 13 and December 7. Meanwhile, the Committed-to-Caring call for nominations for 2015–2016 stays open until Dec. 7 at 11:59 pm.

Each year, graduate students nominate MIT “Committed to Caring (C2C)” professors, who go above and beyond expectations to make a positive impact on the lives of graduate students. A selection committee chooses the top nominees, and ODGE has the pleasure of showcasing each professor’s work and the student testimonials to the professor’s impactful teaching.

Tuesday, October 13, Eboney J.N. Hearn, Assistant Dean of Diversity Initiatives in the ODGE, announces and congratulates two new Committed to Caring (C2C) professors.

  • Frank Solomon, Biology
    “Talk to Frank”
    Professor Frank Solomon cares about and respects students. He truly listens, and he understands. For these reasons, when someone in Course 7 is having trouble, be it academic, professional, or personal, they are advised, “Go talk to Frank.” One such student recalls, “That single conversation was more helpful to my professional life than any other I have ever had.” Frank Solomon’s caring and effective style of teaching has been recognized before, with the School of Science Prize for Excellence in Graduate Teaching, in 2011. What makes Frank’s impact unique is that students come to him with the big issues. Solomon believes it is very important to ask, “How are we training people, and for what?” 
  • Kord Smith, Nuclear Science and Engineering
    A door always open
    In addition to Professor Kord Smith’s commitment to helping his students academically, he takes an interest in their personal development and well-being. Despite the norm of continual research throughout the summer, Kord encourages his students to pursue internships outside of MIT, and he has personally facilitated many of these connections. Smith relates to his students’ MIT experiences, having attained his PhD here, and he often shares stories of his own path. Additionally, he plans and organizes retreats for his students, to help them experience a balanced work life. According to his nominators, “His door has always been open to students,” even on some Saturdays.

As you spot the newest C2C professors this week, we’re hoping it reminds you to recognize someone who’s shown a commitment to caring! Nominate your professors here. Who’s gone above and beyond to create a supportive and positive working environment? Who’s check in on your well-being, or provided stellar opportunities for networking and professional advancement? Who’s helped you or your fellow students professionally with outstanding formal or informal mentoring?

Over the course of the C2C campaign, we have been delighted to showcase many individual styles of teaching and caring at MIT! 

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