Search Results for: Presidential Fellow

November 10, 2020

2020 Presidential Fellows virtual reception

Since 1999, MIT’s Presidential Fellowship has been one of the most prestigious awards incoming graduate students can receive. The pool of fellowships consist of more than thirty named awards supported by generous philanthropic donations. As a group, they constitute an exclusive opportunity that is celebrated every fall with a semi-formal reception. Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, the Office of Graduate Education reformatted the traditional structure and setting of the reception into a virtual event, and it was sincerely enjoyed by participants despite the unique constraints.

Director of Graduate Fellowships Scott Tirrell provided the opening remarks, introducing Vice Chancellor Ian Waitz and Senior Associate Dean Blanche Staton, all of whom provided insight into how to best utilize MIT’s resources and get the best out of the graduate school experience. Students and administrators were then separated into meet-and-greet style breakout rooms, where broad-ranging topics included research, work experience, and favorite movies. More than 70% of the 90 attendees stayed for most or all of the event.

Exit survey respondents praised the breakout rooms as the star of the show, and 75% said they were interested in attending a similar event in the future. With the uncertainty around the shape of future fellowship receptions, this is very reassuring news. The information gathered will help the Office of Graduate Education improve and build upon previous programming to create events that not only meet expectations, but surpass them, even in a virtual environment.

October 14, 2015

Presidential Fellows welcomed at MIT Museum reception

On September 29, 2015 Chancellor Cynthia Barnhart and the ODGE welcomed the 2015 cohort of Presidential Fellows to campus with the annual Presidential Fellowship Reception. MIT established this prestigious program with the help of generous donors to recruit the most outstanding students worldwide to pursue graduate studies at the Institute.

This year’s reception, held at the MIT Museum, saw the largest turnout to the event in recent history. Welcome Presidential Fellows! Read more

April 25, 2012

Presidential Fellow Places Second in De Florez Graduate Design Competition

A joint entry by David Fenning (Presidential Fellow) and Doug Powell, the Impurity to Efficiency Simulator, won second place in this year’s De Florez Competition for the category of Graduate Design. The competition had 38 applicants in four categories, all of which competed against each other for a total of $18,000 in prize money. The categories were Undergraduate Engineering Design, Undergraduate Engineering Science, Graduate Engineering Design and Graduate Engineering Science. Applicants try to “sell” their products and judges look at the entries’ level of creativity, innovation, practical application, scientific basis and design skill. For more information and the full list of this years’ winners, please visit April 2012 MechE News.

October 14, 2014

2015 Presidential Management Fellows Program deadline Oct. 15

The Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) Program is administered by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM). The Program attracts and selects the best candidates possible, but is really designed with a more narrow focus – developing a cadre of potential government leaders. It provides some sustenance during the first years of employment and encourages development of leadership capabilities. The PMF Program inculcates a lasting bond as well as a spirit of public service, ultimately encouraging and leading to a career in the government. For detailed eligibility requirements, check out the Eligibility webpage. The application closes promptly on Wednesday, October 15, 2014 at 11:59 PM Eastern Time. For questions, please contact Scott Tirrell at

May 16, 2013

Katherine Buckingham and Devin Helfrich announced as Presidential Management Fellows finalists

Congratulations to Katherine Eleanor Buckingham, Master in City Planning degree candidate in the department of Urban Studies and Planning, and Devin Helfrich, Master of Science in Technology and Policy graduate, who have both been named finalists in the Presidential Management Fellows Program (PMF).  The PMF Program is a flagship leadership development program at the entry level for advanced degree candidates, designed to develop a cadre of potential government leaders by providing sustenance during the first years of employment and encouraging development of leadership capabilities. Read more

April 2, 2012

Justin Bates announced as Presidential Management Fellows finalist

Congratulations to Justin Bates, Master in City Planning degree candidate in the department of Urban Studies and Planning, who has been named a finalist in the Presidential Management Fellows Program (PMF).  The PMF Program is a flagship leadership development program at the entry level for advanced degree candidates, designed to develop a cadre of potential government leaders by providing sustenance during the first years of employment and encouraging development of leadership capabilities. Justin has been a dedicated public servant, working as a Zoning Administrator, Deputy Health Officer, and Assistant Radiological Officer for the town of Brattleboro, Vermont, and observed the “incredible impact that governments… can have on the livability, character, and health of a community.” We wish him the best in the final round of selection!

October 5, 2012

Presidential Campaigns to Debate Energy at MIT on Oct. 5

The MIT Energy Initiative and the MIT Energy Club are co-sponsoring a televised energy debate with representatives from the two presidential campaigns on Friday, October 5th, 2012 at 7:00pm in Kresge Auditorium.  The speaker for President Barack Obama is Joseph Aldy, Faculty Research Fellow at the NBER and Professor of Public Policy at Harvard.  The speaker for Governor Mitt Romney is Oren Cass, Domestic Policy Director; Romney for President.  The moderator is Jason Pontin, Editor of Technology Review.  Contact the Energy Club ( for more details; registration is required and can be done online.

October 15, 2011

Kuang Xu Named Xerox Fellow 2011

Kuang Xu, Presidential Fellow, is a student in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department. His research focuses on cloud and distributed computing, and understanding the performance implications of centralized computing. He is one of five graduate students who make up the fourth cohort of Xerox Fellows, honored on October 13, 2011, who focus their research on areas such as green technologies, imaging and smart-document technology, nanotechnology and systems design. The award supports top-tier students in the School of Engineering, especially underrepresented groups, and connects them with Xerox professionals who serve as mentors through the fellowship year. The students are also invited to spend the summer working at one of Xerox’s four research centers worldwide. For the original article and a list of all 2011 recipients, please visit the MIT Engineering News webpage.

August 4, 2011

Biology, HST, CSBi students awarded HHMI fellowships

Four MIT doctoral students nominated by ODGE were among 48 students from 60 research institutions and from 22 countries chosen to receive the International Student Research Fellowship from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI):

  • Carlos Pardo-Martin (Health Sciences and Technology)
  • Jonathan Rameseder (Computational Systems Biology)
  • Ying Qi Shirleen Soh (Biology, Presidential Fellow)
  • Xuebing Wu (Computational Systems Biology)

The HHMI International Student Research Fellowship is highly competitive and supports doctoral students in their 3rd, 4th, and 5th year of graduate school.

Read the HHMI press release:

Congratulations to the winners!

February 22, 2016

Lecture and interactive panel discussion, Profs. Boyden and Jasanoff, Feb. 23

The MIT Sidney Pacific Presidential Fellows Distinguished Lecture Series cordially invites you to a lecture and interactive panel discussion on “Reverse Engineering, and Repairing, the Brain and Mind” by Prof. Ed Boyden and Prof. Alan Jasanoff on Tuesday, 23 Feb 2016, 6:30pm in the  Multipurpose Room, MIT Sidney Pacific. Prof. Jasanoff and Prof. Boyden direct MIT’s Center for Neurobiological Engineering. Post your questions and comments for the event to social media with the hashtag #neuroMITSP. Top questions will win dinner invitation. Get more info and register now (event almost at full capacity). Limited dinner spots available.

October 20, 2015

Lecture & Dinner with Prof. Lawrence Susskind, Oct. 21

The MIT Sidney-Pacific Presidential Fellows Distinguished Lecture Series cordially invites you to a lecture and dinner with Prof. Lawrence Susskind on Wednesday, October 21 at 6:30 pm in the Sidney Pacific Multipurpose Room. The topic of the lecture is “The Theory and Practice of Conflict Resolution: From Global Conflicts Over Climate Change to Disputes in the Lab.”

Larry Susskind is Ford Professor of Urban and Environmental Planning in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning.  He is also the co-Founder and Vice-Chair of the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School and consults for resource disputes around the world.

All attendees must RSVP in advance. Contact:

March 11, 2015

Lecture by Prof. Sadoway: Electrochemical Pathways Towards Sustainability Mar. 12

On Thursday, March 12th, the MIT Sidney Pacific / Presidential Fellows Distinguished Lecture Series presents: Electrochemical Pathways Towards Sustainability, featuring Professor Donald R. Sadoway. In this talk, Professor Sadoway will share his research on electrochemical pathways towards sustainability, as well as his insights into science as a service to society and how to make the world a better place through innovation. Sadoway is the current John F. Elliott Professor of Materials Chemistry at MIT. Professor Sadoway’s research seeks to establish the scientific underpinnings for technologies that make efficient use of energy and natural resources in an environmentally sound manner. This spans engineering applications and the supportive fundamental science. In 2010, Professor Sadoway co-founded Ambri, which utilizes liquid metal battery to provide electricity storage solution that will change the way electric grids are operated worldwide, and is currently serving as its chief scientific advisor. In 2012, he was named one of Time magazine’s “Top 100 Most Influential People in the World” for his continuing work in improved batteries. This lecture will take place in the Mark Multipurpose Room of the MIT Sidney Pacific Graduate Residence (70 Pacific Street, Cambridge), with refreshments to be served at 6 pm, followed by the lecture at 6:30Photo by NTNU Trondheim.

November 6, 2014

Bill Aulet Lecture: Innovation & Entrepreneurship Nov. 6

On Thursday, November 6th, 5:30PM – 6PM, the MIT Sidney Pacific / Presidential Fellows Distinguished Lecture Series presents: Innovation and Entrepreneurship, a Lecture by Bill Aulet. Aulet is the Managing Director of the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship. This event is open to all students and will be in the MIT Sidney Pacific Graduate Residence Mark Multipurpose Room. Refreshments will be served at 5:30, followed by the lecture at 6:00. Please RSVP for this event. Photo by Daniel Foster.

October 7, 2014

Prof. Susan Solomon: How We Learned to Love Environmental Challenges Oct. 8

The MIT Sidney Pacific/Presidential Fellows Distinguished Lecture Series presents A Brief History of How We Learned to Love Environmental Challenges and Why We Will Again by Professor Susan Solomon on Wednesday, October 8th at 6PM at the Mark Multipurpose Room at the Sidney Pacific Graduate Residence. This event is open to all students. RSVP here. For questions, please contact

March 10, 2014

Exoplanets and the Real Search for Alien Life — Lecture by Sara Seager Mar. 11

The MIT Sidney Pacific / Presidential Fellows Distinguished Lecture Series presents Exoplanets and the Real Search for Alien Life with Sara Seager (Class of 1941 and Professor of Planetary Science and Physics) on Tuesday, March 11th, 2014 at 6:30pm (with refreshments at 6:00pm) in the Mark Multipurpose Room, MIT Sidney Pacific Graduate Residence.  Professor Sara Seager is a planetary scientist and astrophysicist.  She has been a pioneer in the vast and unknown world of exoplanets, planets that orbit stars other than the sun.  Her ground-breaking research ranges from the detection of exoplanet atmospheres to innovative theories about life on other worlds to development of novel space mission concepts.  Now, dubbed an “astronomical Indiana Jones”, she on a quest after the field’s holy grail, the discovery of a true Earth twin.  RSVP is optional for the lecture, but required for the dinner lottery.


February 6, 2014

Lecture by Prof. Daron Acemoglu Feb. 11: “Why Nations Fail”

Please join us on Tuesday, February 11th at 6PM in the MIT Sidney-Pacific Graduate Residence Mark Multipurpose Room (Ground Floor, 70 Pacific Street, Cambridge. Map) for an exciting lecture by Prof. Daron Acemoglu. Prof. Acemoglu is the Killian Professor of Economics at MIT. In 2005 he received the John Bates Clark Medal awarded to economists under forty judged to have made the most significant contribution to economic thought and knowledge. He is a co-author of the 2012 best-selling book Why Nations Fail. “Brilliant and engagingly written, Why Nations Fail answers the question that has stumped the experts for centuries: Why are some nations rich and others poor, divided by wealth and poverty, health and sickness, food and famine?” There will be a lottery-based dinner hosted by the housemasters for up to 35 lecture attendees and the speaker right after the lecture. RSVP (optional for lecture-only, required for dinner lottery). The MIT Presidential Fellows/Sidney Pacific Distinguished Lecture Series hosts leading thinkers at Sidney Pacific Graduate Residence, MIT’s largest graduate community. Lectures are open to the public and intended for a general MIT graduate student audience. Photo by Financial Times photos.

November 12, 2013

Quantum Computing lecture by Prof. Scott Aaronson on Nov. 14

The MIT Sidney Pacific / Presidential Fellows Distinguished Lecture Series presents Quantum Computing and the Limits of Efficient Computation, a lecture by Professor Scott Aaronson on Thursday, November 14th, 2013 at 6:30pm (with refreshments at 6:00pm) in the Sydney Pacific Mark Multipurpose Room.  Professor Aaronson’s research centers around the capabilities and limits of quantum computers, and more generally, computational complexity theory.  RSVP for this lecture here, and contact for more information.

October 11, 2013

Robert Langer: Biomaterials and Biotechnology Lecture on Oct 15

The MIT Sidney Pacific/Presidential Fellows Distinguished Lecture Series presents Biomaterials and Biotechnology, a lecture by Institute Professor Robert Langer on Tuesday, October 15th, 2013 at 6:30pm (with refreshments at 6:00pm) in the Mark Multipurpose Room of the Sidney Pacific Graduate Residence.  This lecture is open to all graduate students.  Dr. Langer is a leading researcher and innovator in biotechnology.  His research laboratory at MIT is the largest biomedical engineering lab in the world.  Dr. Langer has written over 1,200 articles, and has 815 patents worldwide.  His patents have been licensed or sublicensed to over 250 pharmaceutical, chemical, biotechnology and medical device companies.  He is the most cited engineer in history.  RSVP here, and contact for more information.

April 30, 2013

A Crisis in Civics? Lecture on May 1

The MIT Presidential Fellows/Sidney-Pacific Distinguished Lecture Series presents A Crisis in Civics? with Ethan Zuckerman, Director of the MIT Center for Civic Media.  This lecture will take place on Wednesday, May 1st, in the Sydney-Pacific Graduate Residence Multipurpose Room at 6:30pm (light refreshments will be served at 6:00pm).  Is digital media changing what it means to be an engaged citizen?  Countless commentators have declared that America is experiencing a crisis in civics, with young people less engaged with civic life than their parents and grandparents.  But an intriguing possibility exists: the practice of civics may be changing shape, moving from offline to online spaces and focusing on new targets.  Ethan Zuckerman will examine the landscape of this new digital civics and consider whether we should have hope for civic engagement in a Facebook age, or a fear of disaffection and slactivism.  RSVP here.

July 27, 2012

Shea and Tikoo Published in Science Magazine

Presidential Fellows Erin Shea and Sonia Tikoo recently co-authored “A Long-Lived Lunar Core Dynamo.” This paper, also co-authored by Ben Weiss and Tim Grove, appeared recently in Science Magazine. Their research suggests that the moon had a much longer lived molten core than previously thought. As stated on MITnews: “The new paper is the latest piece in a puzzle that planetary scientists have been working out for decades. In 1969, the Apollo 11 mission brought the first lunar rocks back to Earth — souvenirs from Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin’s historic moonwalk. Since then, scientists have probed the rocky remnants for clues to the moon’s history. They soon discovered that many rocks were magnetized, which suggested that the moon was more than a cold, undifferentiated pile of space rubble. Instead, it may have harbored a convecting metallic core that produced a large magnetic field, recorded in the moon’s rocks.” The full paper, published January 2012, can be found on the Science websiteImage by NASA.

June 12, 2012

Stephanie Yaung and George Xu Receive Legatum Seed Grants

Medical Engineering and Medical Physics team members Stephanie Yaung (a 2010 MIT Presidential Fellow) and George Xu were awarded 2012 Legatum Seed Grants from Health Sciences and Technology for their project Quantamerix. Quantamerix is developing more accessible and widespread testing for newborns in China, where the screening rate for easily treatable disorders is less than 10% in resource-limited settings. This technology provides doctors with quantitative results before newborns go home with their families, without requiring a separate device to read out the result from a test strip, making the device portable and low-cost. The Legatum Center at MIT awards Seed Grants to assist student teams in developing for-profit enterprises in low-income countries with funding for travel, market research, prototype development, pilot testing and other related expenses that directly advance the project. Read more in the Boston Herald. To learn more about the Legatum Center at MIT, please visit

October 16, 2015

NRMN forum on diversity best practices, Oct. 16

The National Research Mentoring Network to Diversify the Biomedical Workforce (NRMN), headquartered at Boston College, invites you to a forum where outstanding leaders who have led innovative initiatives to address this issue on their campuses for undergraduates, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and faculty, will discuss their programs.  The forum will be held on Friday, October 16, 12:30-4 pm in the Murray Function Room, Boston College.  This presentation will allow for an open discussion on the best practices and how you might implement change at your institution to create a more inclusive environment. Participate in our panel discussion about the challenges and opportunities of diversifying the science workforce, and network with other leaders committed to institutional diversity and inclusion in New England.

Following the panel presentation, one of our panelists Dr. John Matsui from the University of California, Berkeley and a recent awardee of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring will present a Keynote talk on his journey.  Please make sure to RSVP here.  Photo by tylerhoff

January 13, 2015

Andrea Ippolito: Hacking Healthcare

A few blocks from the main hall of the South by Southwest Interactive festival on a sunny March morning, a healthcare hackathon is in progress. Having attended more than a dozen such gatherings, Andrea Katherine Ippolito, a biomedical engineer by training, can rattle off a long list of companies spawned at one of MIT’s previous Hacking Medicine events—a list that includes Pillpack, Smart Scheduling, Podimetrics, RubiconMD, Twiage, Eagle Health Supplies, and HermesIQ. Ippolito is a PhD student at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Hacking Medicine’s codirector for 2013–2014 (along with fellow MIT student Allison Yost), and now a Presidential Innovation Fellow working with the Department of Veterans Affairs. Read more about the hackathons at HealthLeaders Media.

February 14, 2013

Annual ODGE Update to the MIT Faculty from the Dean

Dear Colleagues,

I hope you have had a wonderful start to the new semester. Here (ODGEInfographic2012) please find an infographic summary of highlights of the activities of the Office of the Dean for Graduate Education (ODGE), which includes the International Students Office (ISO) and support for the Graduate Student Council (GSC), during calendar year 2012, grouped by our strategic theme areas ).

Following is an update on selected ODGE new initiatives for 2013:

1)      Educational Innovation:  Read more