“Neither MIT nor my city of origin is the best indicator of my success, ability or potential…“[m]y success is attributed to the collective influence of many people who have shaped my life.”PIERRE FULLER SM '09, PhD candidate- Graduate student speaker at the 37th Annual MLK Celebration
Throughout spring 2011, MIT celebrated its 150th anniversary with a series of symposia, performances, exhibitions, and landmark events. The Human Diversity and Social Order Forum Series examined how the inherent and occasionally difficult diversity of humans shapes their lives, their creativity, and the political and social context of their existence. People in Perspective profiles MIT staff. MIT150 Infinite History captures first-person recollections of more than one hundred people who have shaped — or been shaped by — MIT. The MIT 150 Exhibition at the MIT Museum displayed 150 objects evoking the Institute's extraordinary qualities. For an overview of the Institute's history, and of the black experience at MIT, visit the MIT150 interactive Timeline.
Excellence is a Shared Path: Working Together for Justice and the Quality of Life
Fiscal Officer, Research Laboratory of Electronics
Weslee S. Glenn PhD '13
Personnel and Operations Administrator, Microsystems Technology Laboratories (MTL)
IAP MLK Design Seminar
Roland Martin is an award-winning journalist, political analyst and CNN contributor.
Martin, one of the most high-profile African Americans in media today, appears frequently on shows like The Situation Room, Anderson Cooper 360°, Lou Dobbs Tonight and more.
From October 2005 to October 2008, he served as a radio talk show for WVON-AM in Chicago, first as mid-day host and later as morning drive host. He is the former executive editor/general manager of the Chicago Defender, former founding news editor for Savoy Magazine, and former founding editor of BlackAmericaWeb.com.
His thoughtful perspective on American politics has earned him much recognition, including the 2008 NAACP Image Award for Best Interview for "In Conversation: The Barack Obama Interview," as well as the 2009 NAACP Image Award for Best Interview for "In Conversation: The Michelle Obama Interview". Martin has won a regional Edward R. Murrow Award from the Radio Television News Directors, the National Association of Minorities in Cable, and the National Associated Press-Managing Editors Conference. In 2009, CNN awarded Martin the Peabody Award for its outstanding 2008 election coverage. He was named one of the top 50 political pundits by the Daily Telegraph in the UK, and was awarded the 2008 President's Award by the National Association of Black Journalists for his work in multiple media platforms.
Martin is a life member of the National Association of Black Journalists and a life member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity. He holds bachelor's degree in journalism from Texas A&M University and a master's degree in Christian Communications from Louisiana Baptist University. Martin has been awarded honorary degrees from Florida Memorial University and the University of Maryland-University College.
Cheryl Charles, a fiscal officer in the Research Laboratory of Electronics, was awarded an MLK Leadership Award for her dedication as a resource for underrepresented minority students, including helping out the MIT Caribbean Club and delivering care packages and home-cooked meals to students.
Charles has been with RLE since 2007 and has held many positions since, including Fiscal Officer for both Pre-Award and Post-Award Administration. She is now the Fiscal Officer forHR/Payroll Administration at RLE. She is responsible for processing payroll, graduate research assistant appointments, UROP appointments, payroll management, labor certification, eDACCAs, eSDS, labor distribution, suspense cost object management; financial administration.
Charles holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting and Business Administration from Northeastern University.
Prior to joining RLE, she had been a Fiscal Officer in EECS and an Administrator for the Deptartment Head and Administrative Officer in the MIT Economics Department. During her time with EECS, she was a volunteer Freshman Advisor for MIT undergraduate students.
In 2007, Charles was honored with an MIT Infinite Mile Award for excellence. In 2006, Charles was inducted into the Quarter Century Club. Membership is offered to faculty, administrative, research, support and service staff who have celebrated their 25th anniversary with the Institute. The club is chartered with promoting good fellowship among long-term associates of the MIT community and furthering the well-being of its membership through cultural, educational and social events.
Weslee S. Glenn (PhD '13) holds an SB in Chemistry from Hampton University and was a graduate student in the Department of Chemistry (at the Sarah O'Connor lab) at the time of receiving an MLK Leadership Award. He was honored for his role in the development of teacher training material on the topic of reducing stereotype threat [view PDF].
He is the recipient of numerous other awards and fellowships:
National Science Foundation Pre-doctoral Fellowship, 2010-13
Walter L. Hughes Award(MIT), 2010
Henry A. Hill Fellowship, 2009-10
MIT Institute Fellowship, 2008-09
MIT Chemical Biology Trainee, 2008-09
HBCU Undergraduate Program Scholar, 2005-08
Hampton University Presidential Scholar, 2004-08
Debroah Hodges-Pabón has been the Personnel and Operations Administrator for the Microsystems Technology Laboratory (MTL) since 2002. She is a well-known member of the MTL, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science(EECS) department, and the MIT communities. Not only is Hodges-Pabón responsible for all personnel matters in MTL, but she is also involved with overseeing office/laboratory renovations and serves as the primary event coordinator.
“I excel in building strong relationships and collegiality with various constituents," she says. Her expertise also includes: "consensus-building in team endeavors, multitasking with changing priorities, organizational skills, negotiations, community building, promoting an inclusive environment, leading large events, resourcefulness, and crisis management”.
Hodges-Pabón was recognized with a staff MLK Leadership Award for going "above and beyond the call of duty so often that to us, the beneficiaries of her efforts, it seems routine," wrote one nominator.
Hodges-Pabón is also the recipient of MIT's 2002 Infinite Mile Award for Excellence, which she would again receive in 2015, for her dedication to helping students and any member of the MTL (and EECS) community.
2012 Tungsten Longevity Award for Mentor Advocate Program, MIT Office of Minority Education (OME), Dean of Undergraduate Education
2014 YMCA Achievers Community Service Award, YMCA of Greater Boston
2015 Elizabeth Ann Seton Award, Archdiocese of Boston
Minority Introduction to Engineering and Science (MITES) is a rigorous six-week residential academic enrichment program for promising high school seniors – many of whom come from underrepresented or underserved communities – who have a strong academic record and are interested in studying and exploring careers in science and engineering.
This national program stresses the value and reward of pursuing advanced technical degrees and careers while developing the skills necessary to achieve success in science and engineering.
MITES was created in 1974 to increase the number of underrepresented minorities in the engineering professions by exposing students to engineering courses during their high school years.
In 2015, MITES celebrated its 40th-year anniversary with a series of events throughout the year. The celebrations culminated in a gala at the Hyatt Regency Cambridge. Those who attended the MITES 40th Anniversary Kickoff Weekend included 257 students, alumni, staff, funders, and friends of MITES and other programs offered by the MIT Office of Engineering Outreach Programs (OEOP).
David L. Chandler, MIT News Office
February 10, 2011
In his keynote address at MIT’s 37th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast Celebration on Wednesday, CNN analyst Roland Martin said that King’s spirit, idealism and commitment to personal action are alive today, as exemplified by the protests that have erupted on the streets of Egypt over the last few weeks.
“The folks in Egypt are trying nonviolence” in their bid for freedom and democracy, and in doing so are following in King's footsteps, Martin said. Emphasizing the important role that young people can play, including the many students gathered at the breakfast, Martin pointed out that it is “the young folks in Egypt driving this entire movement.” He said that this impassioned effort by the young echoes the work of King, who, when he was elected to lead the incipient civil rights movement in Montgomery, Ala., in the 1950s, was still in his twenties — as were many of the other leaders of the movement at the time. These young people, Martin said, were willing to take chances that many of their elders feared to take.
He pointed out that it was a high-school student who carried out the first lunch-counter sit-in in the segregated south in the ’50s, and then four college students who began a sustained series of sit-ins that lasted more than a year and was a major turning point of the growing civil rights movement. “All of a sudden a movement went all across the south, all because four college students decided to do something,” he said. And the whole nation started to pay attention “when the fire hoses and the dogs were turned on the children."
In introducing Martin, MIT President Susan Hockfield said, “I look forward to this celebration every year, for the sense of community and shared purpose.” Diversity makes the country stronger, she said, but “opening the doors turns out to be the easy part." Much harder is achieving real inclusion — creating an environment where those who come from under-represented minority groups “can count on a sense of full citizenship and belonging at MIT.” Achieving that goal, she said, is “our central challenge today.”
Martin, an award-winning journalist who holds a master’s degree in Christian communications in addition to a bachelor’s degree in journalism, spoke with passion, exhorting the more than 400 audience members each to make a personal commitment to specific action over the course of the next year. “We have to have sustained involvement, sustained action if we want to change the direction of this country,” he said.
The election of Barack Obama as the nation’s first black president was “the beginning of a process, not the end of a process,” he said.
After asking people at four of the breakfast tables in Morss Hall to stand up, Martin pointed out that they were greater in number than those who voted to make King their leader on that long-ago night in Birmingham, when he was just the newly appointed minister of a local church. If such a small number of people “started a movement that changed the world,” Martin asked, why couldn’t the people gathered at the breakfast have a similar impact? “There’s enough brainpower, there’s enough energy, there’s enough passion just in this room to literally change the world. It’s been done before.”
The annual breakfast celebration featured musical selections by the MIT Gospel Choir and the Ettienne Group, an invocation by John Wuestneck of MIT’s board of chaplains, a benediction from Chaplain to the Institute Rev. Robert Randolph, and reflections on King's legacy by two students, senior Khalea Robinson and graduate student Pierre Fuller.
Robinson, a civil and environmental engineering major from Washington, D.C., and St. Kitts & Nevis, was an MIT Washington summer intern in 2009, working in the Executive Office of the President in the Office of Management and Budget. She said, “I’ve known since I was seven that I wanted to build bridges and skyscrapers.”
She talked about the importance of collaboration, emphasizing that this means not moving in lockstep, but rather “that we move united by a commitment to excellence ... toward goals that are socially redemptive.” She talked about the difficulty of having to choose between following her own interests or directing her work toward “the most pressing concerns of the 21st century,” such as improved access to clean water, in order to “solve these whispering problems before they become bellowing ones.” She said King urged students “to explore, tap into, and remain true to what he named that all-important, inner and guiding ‘blueprint’ upon which we are to build our lives,“ adding that “we each have a unique and irreplaceable role to play ... to speak bravely, and clearly, with the force of us all.”
Fuller, from Flint, Mich., and a doctoral candidate in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, said that “neither MIT nor my city of origin is the best indicator of my success, ability or potential.” Rather, he said, “my success is attributed to the collective influence of many people who have shaped my life."
Fuller spoke about “recognizing the importance of cooperation” as opposed to focusing on individual achievement. “The academic elite are not the sole proprietors of the solutions to the world’s problems,” he said. “We must humble our ambitions and replace our savior mentality with a servant mentality.” Quoting King, he added that “through our scientific genius we have made of this world a neighborhood; now through our moral and spiritual development we must make of it a brotherhood.”
The drive for diversity
March 18, 2011
MLK Leadership Awards honor three individuals, one program
February 11, 2011
King’s legacy celebrated at MIT
February 10, 2011
37th annual Martin Luther King Jr. breakfast today
February 9, 2011
February 8, 2011
CNN's Martin to deliver keynote address at MLK Jr. breakfast
January 31, 2011