Madeleine Laitz

Department: Electrical Engineering & Computer Science
Hometown: Rochester, NY
GCF Position: Violence Prevention & Response: Programming Assessment

I am a graduate student in EECS working with Violence Prevention and Response as the Graduate Community Fellow to launch a graduate student diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) pilot group in EECS called THRIVE: Tools for Honing Resilience and Inspiring Voices of Empowerment. The group consists of Core Team members who are trained by and work closely with MIT’s VPR office and Institute-wide REFS program to provide peer-to-peer support focusing on underrepresented minority diversity (cultural, gender/sexuality, and stage of life) in EECS. THRIVE also has Community Members organizing DEI events and educational events to promote physical and mental health.

Madeleine helps facilitate programs that provide peer-to-peer support for underrepresented students in EECS.

How does your GCF project enhance the graduate student community?

The formation of THRIVE would not only provide peer-to-peer support and community building diversity, equity, and inclusion events, but would also serve as a centralized resource connecting graduate students with the many offices of support at MIT (e.g. VPR) to improve wellness and empower the graduate student body.

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

MIT’s Violence Prevention and Response office is comprised of inspiring advocates, and it is a privilege to work with a community striving every day to bolster support for the students, faculty, and staff at MIT. It has been a great experience to learn about the work of VPR, and to discuss new initiatives to reach and provide for the diffuse graduate community at MIT.