BE Board:Diversity Recruitment Visits

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For current website see begradboard.mit.edu

Join in and visit either a predominantly minority serving US college or university, or your US undergraduate institution to help recruit US under-represented minority graduate students to our Department of Biological Engineering! Contact jbehr at mit (Jonathan Behr) for information.

All current students eligible for trips! Recruiting Program Faculty Advisors: Prof. Leona Sampson and Prof. Linda Griffith

Purpose

To further the Department of Biological Engineering's efforts in recruiting U.S. under-represented minority graduate students through BE sponsored trips of current BE graduate students to colleges for recruiting. MIT defines under-represented minorities as African American, Hispanic American, and Native American.

Method

The BE Department would sponsor 4-6 current BE graduate students on visits to (1) their former undergraduate institution (~2 visits) and (2) to predominantly U.S. under-represented minority colleges and universities (2 students, on each of ~2 visits, see below for details) to give a graduate student perspective and recruiting talk and to meet with students. Total of ~6 student trips to four schools a year.

Two types of visits:

  1. Visit to former undergraduate institution: two trips, each with one BE graduate student, to their U.S. alma mater.
  2. Visit to predominantly under-represented minority institutions: two trips, each with two current BE graduate students, to predominantly under-represented minority U.S. institutions (list to be determined). Since the students will most likely not know the school, it seems best to make the interactions more personal by sending two students together on these visits. This would also allow for two students with very different research interests to visit to show the range of research.

Visit Materials

Each trip would contain a seminar with the BE students speaking about why they choose graduate school, why MIT, why biological engineering, and, if desired, a brief summary of the graduate studentís current thesis research (presented for a scientific and engineering undergraduate population). The second half of the presentation would include a BE recruiting presentation including pre-made slides with information about pre-req.ís, applications, life in BE (social and academic), overview of different research options, life at MIT, and life in Boston. Effort would also be made to set up more time to meet with students or faculty to let them know about the BE Division.

Arranging Visits

Contact would be made with departments through already established faculty or student contacts, the Science & Engineering Honor or Scholarship Offices at Minority Serving Institutions, or a department's administrative office. Effort should be made before the trip to find out as much as possible about the students in the department (their curriculum, undergraduate research opportunities at their school, and where they go after graduation). Upon arriving at the schools, time should be arranged to meet with the host to explain what the presentation will include, and to answer any of their questions about your visit. In order to reach many students, the presentation may be given to two different groups of students (sophomores & juniors, for example) in one department or to students in two different departments (an engineering and a biochemistry department and/or the Honor & Scholarship student's seminar, for example), while visiting.

Administration of Program in BE

The program would be advertised and administered through the BE Graduate Admin.'s office, with advice from the BE Admissions Committee as needed. The call for proposals for visits will be put out in the fall and spring, and collected on a first come-first served system throughout the year (up to total number of funded visits per year). Over time, records of whether more applications are filled and students acceptanced into our programs from the visited schools can be tracked, by the support staff for the Admissions Committee.

Proposal process to be selected for visits

To be selected to participate in these visits, a "proposal for recruitment" from the current graduate students would be submitted. The following would be considered:

  • For a visit to former undergraduate school: proposal should include why your undergraduate institution is a good institution to recruit under-represented minority engineering/science undergraduates. Both new and senior graduate students are eligible, since each perspective offers valuable information; new students have just gone through the application and remember the important factors at that time, and senior graduate students can present a larger view of the graduate school experience.
  • For a visit to a predominantly under-represented minority institution: application should include what schools you would be willing visit, and why they would be good locations for recruiting minority science/engineering undergraduates. Again, both new and senior graduate students are eligible, since each perspective offers valuable information; new students have just gone through the application and remember the important factors at that time, and senior graduate students can present a larger view of the graduate school experience.
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