Jenny Wang

Department: Mechanical Engineering
Hometown: Wellesley, MA
GCF Position: MindHandHeart: Department Support Project

I work to promote and facilitate student involvement with the Department Support Project at MindHandHeart. DSP aims to be a bridge between department leaders, students, and campus experts so connecting with students is an integral aspect of this initiative. So far, I’ve met with students in different departments to learn about their day to day life at MIT and the challenges that they face. More recently, I’ve started working more closely with the Graduate Student Council Department and Classroom Inclusion Initiative. DSP is fairly new so I have a lot of latitude to shape my project, and my activities will probably change in the future.

Jenny helps connect department leaders, students, and campus experts.

How does your GCF project enhance the graduate student community?

In many ways, the grad student experience is more influenced by their departments and labs than the overall institute. Departments at MIT have a great deal of autonomy and each have their own needs, culture, and day-to-day rhythms so a single set of policies and recommendations will not work for everyone. My experiences and interactions with students help DSP become aware of the unique challenges in each department and take those into consideration when working with department leadership. There are a lot of students already working with their departments, and I also want to help them share their experiences of what worked or didn’t work. For example, we held a round table in Feb. 2019 for grad student surveys so students planning surveys can hear from students who have already run a survey.

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

Meeting students from other departments, and meeting people with a wide range of interests and different ways of looking at the world. I have especially enjoyed discovering the smaller departments and programs at MIT. For example, I recently discovered that the science writing students, as part of their studies, shadow grad students to write about their research projects.