Jacquelyn Taylor is among the 102 scientists and researchers to receive a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), the highest honor bestowed by the United States Government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers.

“I congratulate these outstanding scientists and engineers on their impactful work,” said President Obama. “These innovators are working to help keep the United States on the cutting edge, showing that Federal investments in science lead to advancements that expand our knowledge of the world around us and contribute to our economy.”

The PECASE Awards highlight the key role that the Administration places in encouraging and accelerating American innovation to grow our economy and tackle our greatest challenges.

Taylor was nominated by the Department of Health and Human Services as one of the most meritorious scientists and engineers whose early accomplishments show the greatest promise for assuring America’s preeminence in science and engineering and contributing to the Department’s mission.

READ MORE


Taylor will deliver a MIT MLK Luncheon Seminar talk on Tuesday, January 10, 11:45am-1pm in MIT Room W20-307 (Mezzanine Lounge, Student Center)

Hypertension Genomics and Nursing Science: A Tale of 3 Studies, and counting
The talk will describe three different studies that Taylor has conducted in hypertension genetics in black families and will illustrate how she has built on this science to the work she is doing today, particularly in Flint, MI.

 

 

During his time as a 2015-16 MLK Visiting Associate Professor, Baratunde Cola recruited, advised and supported Ali Sina Booeshaghi, an undergraduate MIT student whose work has received a 2016 SACNAS Student Presentation Award.

The Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) is a society of scientists dedicated to fostering the success of Chicano/Hispanic and Native American scientists—from college students to professionals—to attain advanced degrees, careers, and positions of leadership in science. This year, the National Conference gathered over 4000 students and professionals in Long Beach, CA. Taking place over three days, the conference showcased both undergraduate and graduate student presentations, offered scientific symposia, keynote addresses, professional development sessions, and a grand exhibit hall in which students interacted with over 300 exhibitors representing colleges and universities across the nation.

In addition to these activities, the conference was also an opportunity for students to present their research in a professional setting. This year, over 1000 posters and oral presentations were delivered at the conference. Each year SACNAS receives comments from attendees highly impressed by the caliber of student research. The undergraduate and graduate students consistently present research that surpasses expectations in their respective categories.

Booeshagi represented the MIT Mechanical Engineering Department at this year’s conference with work titled “Harvesting Electric Energy from Waste Heat: A Novel Approach Utilizing a Thermo-Electric Liquid Cold Plate”. The conference judges recognized it as a standout among the student presentations and selected Booeshagi to receive one of the 2016 SACNAS Student Presentation Awards.

In a letter to MIT’s Mechanical Engineering Department, the SACNAS Student Presentations Committee wrote: “It is our honor to share that Ali Sina Booeshaghi’s communication skills and command of the research topic were exemplary…We feel that your program is enhanced by the participation of Ali Sina Booeshaghi, as such commitment will drive fellow researchers to similar heights. Congratulations on hosting such a talent.”

Such a talent was nurtured by a forensic engineer/mechanical engineer father, with whom Booeshaghi interned during summers, helping to investigate accidents. Though Booeshaghi has an interest in a law career, he chose to study mechanical engineering as an undergraduate. “It isn’t just learning about the mechanics of movement,” he said before entering MIT. “It’s about learning the mindset of an engineer and how to think. … It teaches you to apply fundamentals and solve any problem you’re faced with.”

Booeshaghi also had the opportunity to work with Prof. Cola of Georgia Institute of Technology, who served as visiting faculty at the MIT Mechanical Engineering Department. “Sina was a pleasure to work with and really helped me to make the most of my time as an MLK Scholar,” says Prof. Cola. “I started my time at MIT with this simple idea to combine cooling chips and generating electricity with a new application of liquid thermoelectrics…Sina’s hard work and sharp mind brought the idea to life in record time. He is a very insightful student whose career I look forward to following.”
Nomination deadline EXTENDED: 11:59 pm on Monday, December 5, 2016  FRIDAY, DECEMBER 9, 2016

The MLK Jr. Leadership Awards are given annually to students, alumni, staff, groups, and faculty who embody the spirit of Dr. King’s work. “Service to the community” is defined in the broadest sense and includes academic, research, religious, and secular contributions in which integrity, leadership, creativity, and positive outcome are apparent.

Recipients will receive their awards at the MIT MLK Celebration Awards Dinner on February 15 and acknowledged at the MLK Celebration Luncheon on February 16. See the list of previous MLK Leadership Award Recipients.

If you wish to nominate a person or organization, please apply at the Institute Equity & Community Office website by 11:59 pm on Monday, December 5, 2016.

Questions or comments? Contact Tobie Weiner (email or phone x3-3649) or Acia Adams-Heath (email or phone 3-2792).


MLK Celebration Planning Committee (MLK CPC):
  • Acia Adams-Heath, Senior Staff Accountant, Sponsored Accounting
  • Edmund Bertschinger, Institute Community and Equity Officer
  • Raul F. Boquin, ’17 Mathematics major
  • La-Tarri Canty, Director, Multicultural Programs, Student Activities Office
  • Sharon Clarke, Senior HR consultant, Information Systems & Technology
  • Jerome Friedman, Institute Professor Emeritus
  • Tiera Guinn, ’17 Aeronautics and Astronautics
  • Sally Haslanger, Professor, Linguistics and Philosophy
  • Alyce Johnson, Manage of Staff Diversity and Inclusion, Human Resources Department
  • William Kindred, MLK CPC Staff Co-chair, Administrative staff, Lincoln Lab
  • Heather Konar, Communications Officer, Office of the Dean for Graduate Education
  • Deborah Liverman, Director, Career Services, MIT Global Education and Career Development
  • Paul Parravano, Co-director, Office of Government and Community Relations, Office of EVPT
  • Zina Queen,  MLK CPC Staff Co-Chair, Administrative Assistant II,  Political Science
  • Mareena R. Snowden, G Nuclear Science and Engineering
  • Tobie Weiner, Undergraduate Administrator, Political Science

MIT-Reif-logo
To the members of the MIT community,
It is hard to think of a moment when our nation more urgently needed the example of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Even at the distance of decades, we can take inspiration from his character and his conduct – his dignity, integrity, selflessness and moral vision, and his relentless focus on what really matters, in the quest for a more just, peaceful and unified society.
So I write now with two purposes.
Please nominate the leaders who lift us up!
First, I ask that we pause, here in our own time and place, to contemplate the example of those members of our community who, in the spirit of Dr. King, lift us up and bring us together.  I urge you to nominate those whose inspiration you find meaningful – students, faculty, staff or alumni, pursuing their work as individuals or as groups – to receive the annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Leadership Award.
Please submit your nomination by December 5 here.  You can find more details at the foot of this letter. We will honor the winners as part of our annual MLK program, to be held on February 16, 2017.
Joining forces, making progress

Second, I write to remind us all that – building on decades of previous progress – many people across MIT are engaged in an intense, ongoing effort to help our own community grow more just, peaceful and unified.
No one has given more thought or heart to this work than the outstanding student leaders who have led our campus dialogue over the last year, and the devoted staff who work every day to help all our students feel at home at MIT. Dedicated alumni groups like Black Alumni of MIT (BAMIT) are also playing a crucial role, along with Academic Council’s Working Group on Community and Inclusion and ICEO Ed Bertschinger.
This summer, I asked Vice President Kirk Kolenbrander to join forces with all those engaged in this work to focus us on concrete ways we can make our community stronger, define how we at MIT might start to help society address issues around bias and violence, and begin to implement a plan of action.
This month – both at the November 16 faculty meeting, and through a letter in The Tech – Kirk will offer an update on their shared progress and outline their further aspirations.
I hope you will join me in thanking all those involved for their leadership in this difficult and deeply important work.
Sincerely,
L. Rafael Reif

 

Sekazi Mtingwa et. al. awarded APS Prize

Sekazi Mtingwa and his colleagues Dr. James Bjorken and Dr. Anton Piwinski have been awarded the 2017 Robert R. Wilson Prize for Achievement in the Physics of Particle Accelerators by the American Physical Society (APS). The prize recognizes and encourages outstanding achievement in the physics of particle accelerators. It consists of $7,500 split between the recipients, a certificate, an allowance for travel, and a registration waiver to attend the presentation meeting.

Dr. Mtingwa is currently Principal Partner at Triangle Science, Education & Economic Development, LLC, providing a variety of consulting services in science, education, and economic development. He is the first African American to receive a top Divisional Research Prize from the APS.

Dr. Mtingwa is invited to give a talk at the APS April Meeting, held in Washington, DC, January 28-31, 2017. The talk is to address “the detailed, theoretical description of intrabeam scattering, which has empowered major discoveries in a broad range of disciplines by a wide variety of accelerators, including hadron colliders, damping rings/linear colliders and low emittance synchrotron light sources.”

READ MORE


 

 

 

Ta-Nehisi Coates is among the winners of the 2016 PEN Literary Awards. The $10,000 awards span fiction, drama, sports writing, biography, translation, poetry, and more. Winners were announced at a ceremony on Monday, April 11, 2016 at The New School in New York City.

Coates, author of Between the World and Me (Spiegel & Grau/Random House), was honored with the PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay, judged by Verlyn Klinkenborg, Meghan O’Rourke, and Luc Sante. This award celebrates a book of essays published in 2015 that exemplifies the dignity and esteem that the essay form imparts to literature. Toni Morrison (PEN/Saul Bellow Award for Achievement in American Fiction) is among the other 2016 awardees. Coates’ father, Paul Coates, accepted the award on his son’s behalf.

“The books, authors, subjects, and subjectivities that this year’s judges found most worthy of PEN Literary Awards are ones that give voice to the voiceless, put the marginalized in the mainstream, and tell stories untold,” said Suzanne Nossel, Executive Director of PEN America.

Founded in 1922, PEN America is an association of 4,400 U.S writers working to break down barriers to free expression worldwide. Its distinguished members carry on the achievements in literature and the advancement of human rights of such past members as Langston Hughes, Arthur Miller, Susan Sontag, and John Steinbeck. For the last 90 years, PEN American Center has been working to ensure that people everywhere have the freedom to create literature, to convey information and ideas, to express their views, and to make it possible for everyone to access the views, ideas, and literatures of others.

 

READ MORE

To the members of the MIT community:

Every November, I routinely send a letter seeking nominations for the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Leadership Award. The danger with any routine is that we cease to think about its meaning.

The MLK awards celebrate individuals or groups whose service to our community embodies the spirit of Dr. King’s work, and demonstrates exceptional integrity, leadership, creativity and positive outcomes.

In recent weeks, we have seen campuses across the country struggle to resolve profound internal tensions, in pursuit of a community that offers equity for everyone. At MIT, we are exploring those topics, too.

How we live and work together as a community matters a great deal to me. Along with the rest of MIT’s leadership, I want to make sure that everyone who earns a place at MIT finds a welcoming and supportive environment here – a sense of home.

In that spirit, I would like us now to seize our annual opportunity to celebrate those who lead us in this work, in keeping with Dr. King’s ideals.

I encourage you to consider nominating an individual or group for the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Leadership Award. Nomination letters should be sent by December 21, 2015 to mlkaward2016@mit.edu.  You can find more detail below.

The awards will be presented on Wednesday, February 10, 2016, at MIT’s annual Martin Luther King, Jr. gathering.

I hope to see many of you there.

 

Sincerely,

L. Rafael Reif


The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Leadership Award

The Award is given annually to students, alumni, staff, and faculty whose service embodies the spirit of Dr. King’s work.

Who is eligible?

MIT alumni/ae, undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, and staff
are eligible for nomination for this award. Both individuals and groups, including living groups and student and professional associations, may be considered.

Service to the community is defined in the broadest sense and includes academic, research, religious, and secular contributions in which integrity, leadership, creativity, and positive outcome are apparent.

How do I submit a nomination?

If you wish to nominate a person or organization, please submit your letter to mlkaward2016@mit.edu by December 21, 2015.

Members of the MLK celebration planning committee will select the awardees, and recipients will be announced at the celebratory event on February 10.

Who serves on the MLK Celebration Planning Committee (MLK CPC)?

  • Acia Adams-Heath, Senior Staff Accountant, Sponsored Accounting
  • Edmund Bertschinger, Institute Community and Equity Officer
  • La-Tarri Canty, Director, Multicultural Programs, Student Activities Office
  • Shannan Clarke, Associate Director, Regional Programs East, MIT Alumni Association
  • Sharon Clarke, Senior HR consultant, Information Systems & Technology
  • Phillip Clay, Professor, Urban Studies and Planning
  • Sally Haslanger, MLK CPC Faculty Co-chair, Professor, Linguistics and Philosophy
  • Eboney Hearn, Assistant Dean, Diversity Initiatives, Office of the Dean for Graduate Education
  • William Kindred, MLK CPC Staff Co-chair, Administrative staff, Lincoln Lab
  • Helen Elaine Lee, Director of Women’s and Gender Studies, Comparative Media Studies/Writing
  • Deborah Liverman, Director, Career Services, MIT Global Education and Career Development
  • Paul Parravano, Co-director, Office of Government and Community Relations, Office of Executive Vice President & Treasurer
  • Zina Queen, Administrative Assistant II, Chemistry
  • Mareena Robinson G, Nuclear Science and Engineering
  • Tobie Weiner, Undergraduate Administrator, Political Science
  • John Wuestneck, Chaplain

When will the awards be presented?

The awards will be presented on Wednesday, February 10, 2016, at the 42nd anniversary celebration of MIT’s annual Martin Luther King, Jr. event and program.

Where should I turn with questions?

If you have questions, Ms. Tobie Weiner would be pleased to assist. She can be reached at iguanatw@mit.edu

 

SEE PAST WINNERS

 

 

Ta-Nehisi Coates: National Book Award Winner

Ta-Nehisi Coates Between the World and Me (Spiegel & Grau/Penguin Random House) took home the 2015 National Book Award in Nonfiction.

Established in 1950, the National Book Award is an American literary prize administered by the National Book Foundation, a nonprofit organization, in the categories of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and young people’s literature. Winners of the 66th National Book Award were announced at a lavish ceremony and benefit dinner at Cipriani’s in New York City on November 18. Winners in each category received a bronze sculpture and a purse of $10,000.

Coates’ other honors this year include the Kirkus Prize and the MacArthur “Genius” Grant. “Given the kind of year that Ta-Nehisi Coates has been having, it would be tough to consider his Between the World and Me anything less than a favorite to win the nonfiction prize,” says the National Book Foundation.

The 2015 Judges for nonfiction were Diane Ackerman, Patricia Hill Collins, John D’Agata, Paul Holdengräber, and Adrienne Mayor. All five writers appeared as National Book Awards Nonfiction finalists for the first time:

Ta-Nehisi Coates, Between the World and Me (Spiegel & Grau/Penguin Random House)
Sally Mann, Hold Still (Little, Brown/Hachette Book Group)
Sy Montgomery, The Soul of an Octopus (Atria/Simon & Schuster)
Carla Power, If the Oceans Were Ink: An Unlikely Friendship and a Journey to the Heart of the Quran (Henry Holt and Company)
Tracy K. Smith, Ordinary Light (Alfred A. Knopf)

Coates is now in the company of a pantheon of writers that includes: William Faulkner, Ralph Ellison, John Cheever, Bernard Malamud, Philip Roth, John Updike, Katherine Anne Porter, Norman Mailer, Elizabeth Bishop, Saul Bellow, Donald Barthelme, Flannery O’Connor, Adrienne Rich, Thomas Pynchon, Isaac Bashevis Singer, E. Annie Proulx, Alice Walker, and Charles Johnson.

READ MORE


 

2015 NBA Non-Fiction Award Winner: Ta-Nehisi Coates (Full Speech)


 

ABOUT THE BOOK

In the one hundred fifty years since the end of the Civil War and the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment, the story of race and America has remained a brutally simple one, written on flesh: It is the story of the black body, exploited to create the country’s foundational wealth, violently segregated to unite a nation after a civil war, and, today, still disproportionately threatened, locked up, and killed in our streets. What is it like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it? And how can we all—regardless of race—honestly reckon with our country’s fraught racial history and free ourselves from its burden? Between the World and Me is Ta-Nehisi Coates’s attempt to answer those questions, presented in the form of a letter to his adolescent son. Coates shares with his son—and readers—the story of his own awakening to the truth about history and race through a series of revelatory experiences: immersion in nationalist mythology as a child; engagement with history, poetry, and love at Howard University; travels to Civil War battlefields and the South Side of Chicago; a journey to France that reorients his sense of the world; and pilgrimages to the homes of mothers whose children’s lives have been taken as American plunder. Taken together, these stories map a winding path toward a kind of liberation—a journey from fear and confusion to a full and honest understanding of the world as it is. Masterfully woven from lyrical personal narrative, reimagined history, and fresh, emotionally charged reportage, Between the World and Me offers a powerful new framework for understanding America’s history and current crisis, and a transcendent vision for a way forward.

 

Baratunde Cola: 40 Under 40 Award

Baratunde Cola was among Atlanta Business Chronicle’s 40 Under 40 Awardees.

From the Atlanta Business Chronicle (6 Nov 2015):

About 400 people turned out for the annual awards event Thursday night in the Fox’s Egyptian Ballroom. A dusting of star power fell on the audience when honoree and Atlanta native Christoper “Ludacris” Bridges stepped to the stage, and Master of Ceremonies Kevin Scott snapped a selfie with the entertainer. Ludacris thanked his family, including his eight godmothers who guided him growing up in Atlanta, and the volunteers at his foundation in accepting his 40 Under 40 Award. Georgia Tech professor Baratunde Cola, who is researching carbon nanotube technology, joked that it was appropriate to have a college professor follow Ludacris.

READ MORE

Ta-Nehisi Coates: Multiple honors

Ta-Nehisi Coates is having a stellar year after the publication of Between the World and Me (Spiegel & Grau/Penguin Random House, 2015).

Visit these links to read each section:
Kirkus Prize, Winner
MacArthur “Genius” Grant, Winner
National Book Award for Nonfiction, Finalist


Kirkus Prize

Coates was honored with the Kirkus Prize in nonfiction at a ceremony in Austin, TX on October 15, 2015. This year’s judges praised Between the World and Me as “a formidable literary achievement and a crucial, urgent, and nuanced contribution to a long-overdue national conversation.”

Now in its second year, the Kirkus Prize honors writers who have received a starred review from the literary journal Kirkus Reviews. It is one of the richest literary awards in the world, awarding $50,000 to the writers in each literary category — nonfiction, fiction and young readers’ literature. The panel is composed of nationally respected writers and highly regarded booksellers, librarians and Kirkus critics.

Coates’ fellow honorees were Hanya Yanagihara (fiction) and Pam Muñoz (young readers’ literature). Their works were selected from a pool of 1,032 eligible books.

 

2015 MacArthur “Genius” Grant

Coates received a 2015 MacArthur “Genius” Grant for his journalism, which interprets “complex and challenging issues around race and racism through the lens of personal experience and nuanced historical analysis.”

The MacArthur Fellows Program awards unrestricted fellowships to talented individuals who have shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction. The fellows are nominated then selected on three criteria: exceptional creativity, promise for important future advances based on a track record of significant accomplishment, and potential for the fellowship to facilitate subsequent creative work.

Coates joins 24 other MacArthur Fellows this year, among them MIT economist Heidi Williams. The fellows were chosen for “shedding light and making progress on critical issues, pushing the boundaries of their fields, and improving our world in imaginative, unexpected ways,” according to MacArthur President Julia Stasch. “Their work, their commitment, and their creativity inspire us all.”

Coates-tweet

READ MORE

MacArthur Foundation Video

 

 

National Book Award for Nonfiction

On October 14, 2015, the National Book Foundation announced Coates’ Between the World and Me (Spiegel & Grau/Penguin Random House) as one of five finalists for the 2015 National Book Award for Nonfiction by the National Book Foundation.

Established in 1950, the National Book Award is an American literary prize administered by the National Book Foundation, a nonprofit organization, in the categories of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and young people’s literature. Winners in each category will be announced at the National Book Awards Ceremony and Benefit Dinner in New York City on November 18, 2015.

The 2015 Judges for nonfiction are Diane Ackerman, Patricia Hill Collins, John D’Agata, Paul Holdengräber, and Adrienne Mayor. All five writers appeared as National Book Awards Nonfiction finalists for the first time:

Ta-Nehisi Coates, Between the World and Me (Spiegel & Grau/Penguin Random House)
Sally Mann, Hold Still (Little, Brown/Hachette Book Group)
Sy Montgomery, The Soul of an Octopus (Atria/Simon & Schuster)
Carla Power, If the Oceans Were Ink: An Unlikely Friendship and a Journey to the Heart of the Quran (Henry Holt and Company)
Tracy K. Smith, Ordinary Light (Alfred A. Knopf)


 

ABOUT THE BOOK

In the one hundred fifty years since the end of the Civil War and the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment, the story of race and America has remained a brutally simple one, written on flesh: It is the story of the black body, exploited to create the country’s foundational wealth, violently segregated to unite a nation after a civil war, and, today, still disproportionately threatened, locked up, and killed in our streets. What is it like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it? And how can we all—regardless of race—honestly reckon with our country’s fraught racial history and free ourselves from its burden? Between the World and Me is Ta-Nehisi Coates’s attempt to answer those questions, presented in the form of a letter to his adolescent son. Coates shares with his son—and readers—the story of his own awakening to the truth about history and race through a series of revelatory experiences: immersion in nationalist mythology as a child; engagement with history, poetry, and love at Howard University; travels to Civil War battlefields and the South Side of Chicago; a journey to France that reorients his sense of the world; and pilgrimages to the homes of mothers whose children’s lives have been taken as American plunder. Taken together, these stories map a winding path toward a kind of liberation—a journey from fear and confusion to a full and honest understanding of the world as it is. Masterfully woven from lyrical personal narrative, reimagined history, and fresh, emotionally charged reportage, Between the World and Me offers a powerful new framework for understanding America’s history and current crisis, and a transcendent vision for a way forward.

 

Sylvester Gates, Jr. will receive an honorary doctor of science degree from Memorial University in Canada. The honorary doctorate recognizes extraordinary contributions to society and exceptional intellectual achievement.

The two other honorees are retired Supreme Court Justice and former member of the House of Assembly Robert Wells (honorary doctor of laws degree) and actor Robert Joy (honorary doctor of letters). The doctorates will be awarded at the fall convocation ceremonies in October 2015.

Dr. Gates will receive the degree of doctor of science honoris causa during the 3 p.m. session of fall convocation on Oct. 23, 2015 at the Arts and Culture Centre in St. John’s.

READ MORE