Bianca Datta

Department: Media Arts and Sciences
Hometown: North Potomac, MD
GCF Position: OGE Programs for Women

Our team organizes programs to support women across MIT. Key events include an annual two-day conference for 70 attendees and 25-30 speakers in which faculty discuss the academic journey, and biannual award ceremony recognizing grad women. Additionally, we plan events on topics such as challenges facing STEM women in academia, public speaking, and other resources to improve the experience of graduate women at MIT.

Bianca (center) works with co-fellows Madeline (left) and Tahoura (right) to organize programs that support women at MIT.

How does your GCF project enhance the graduate student community?

We specifically work to bring together a cohort of enthusiastic and dedicated grad women interested in academia. We help provide those students with the tools they need to prepare for their careers, but we also connect them to a network of engaged faculty members and encourage the participants to connect with each other. Through our Graduate Women of Excellence event we also work to highlight the contributions of grad students to their community. This event gives us an opportunity to bring together women at MIT who dedicate time to meaningful work outside of lab, highlighting their value both as researchers and as members of the MIT community. Bringing together this group is always a rewarding and powerful experience.

What is your favorite part of working in your GCF position?

Meeting such enthusiastic professors is truly inspiring. Every year, I’m impressed by how humble and relatable our speakers are, even though they are incredibly hard working and successful individuals who most of us look up to. I’m particularly touched whenever the speakers discuss the ways in which they inspire each other, and share their own hopes, fears, and experiences with imposter syndrome in a way that really makes all of us feel like we could pursue careers in academia too! I also really enjoy connecting with graduate women across MIT and highlighting the awesome work that we all do. It’s so nice to see this community grow and thrive.