35 exceptional MIT students named Burchard Scholars for 2015


Students selected as Burchard scholars are some of MIT's liveliest undergraduates. They are unafraid to wrestle with new ideas.

December 17, 2014The School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences is pleased to name 35 exceptional MIT undergraduates as Burchard Scholars for 2015. The award honors sophomores and juniors who demonstrate academic excellence in the humanities, arts, and social sciences, as well as in science and engineering.

Burchard Scholars can come from any school or department of the Institute, and this year’s honorees major and minor in a range of disciplines, including civil engineering, literature, chemistry, political science, electrical engineering, music, physics, mathematics, biology, media studies and economics. "What binds the group together," says Margery Resnick, professor of literature and director of the Burchard program, "is a powerful curiosity about ideas."

“The Burchard scholars are some of MIT’s liveliest undergraduates,” she says. “Selection is extremely competitive, and the students chosen are unafraid to wrestle with new ideas.”

Ideas and conversation at dinner seminars

Named in honor of the School's first dean, John Ely Burchard, the Burchard Scholars Program brings undergraduates together with distinguished members of the faculty for a series of eight dinner seminars that reflect the range of research in the School. Past gatherings have featured talks on: how American social policies really work; the politics of aid to Haitian trauma survivors; what philosophy tells us about how to make big decisions; U.S. grand strategy in foreign policy; and the art of discovery.  

“The Burchard dinners are, for faculty and students alike, an oasis in our busy lives,” Resnick notes. “I look forward to every dinner as the powerful ideas generated by our faculty are reflected upon, challenged, and enjoyed by this wonderful group.”

Expanding horizons, in community

The Burchard gatherings are famous not only for presenting leading edge research, but for building a warm, supportive community, and giving students experience in the art of intellectual give-and-take — a skill students value for success in every field. 

“Engaging and engaged are defining characteristics of MIT's Burchard Scholars,” Resnick says, noting that many past winners have gone on to receive other distinguished honors, including Rhodes, Marshall, and Truman scholarships and fellowships. 

Deborah K. Fitzgerald, Kenan Sahin Dean of the School, will congratulate the new class of Burchard Scholars at a reception to be held in their honor in February 2015.

The 2015 Burchard Scholars are:

Evan "Charlie" Andrews-Jubelt '17
Mechanical Engineering; Physics

Vincent Anioke '17
Computer Science and Engineering
minor, Creative Writing

Bhaskaran Balaji '16
Mathematics; Physics
minor, Music

Juan Bautista Hobin '17
minor, Economics

Itamar Belson '16
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science; Comparative Media Studies

Leyatt Betre '16
Physics; Political Science

Emma Chaloux-Pinette '16

Marina Crowe '16
Political Science
minor, Management Science

Casey Crownhart '17
Chemical Engineering; Literature

Skylar Goldman '16
Chemical Engineering; Comparative Media Studies

Val Healy '16
Comparative Media Studies
minor, Women's and Gender Studies

Shahrin Islam '16
Chemical Engineering

Linda Jiang '16
Biology; Mathematics
minor, Applied International Studies

Joseff Kolman '17
PhysicsPolitical Science

Hane Lee '17
Electrical Science and Engineering

Moriel Levy '17
Chemical Engineering

Julia Longmate '16
Civil and Environmental Engineering

Githui Maina '16
Chemical Engineering
minor, History

Veronica Montgomery '16
Biological Engineering
minor, Spanish; Materials Science and Engineering

Jesus Moreno '16
Materials Science and Engineering
minor, Political Science; Economics

Kristen Murray '16
Aeronautics and Astronautics
minor, Political Science

Chimdimma Okwara '16
Materials Science and Engineering

Abigail Ostriker '16
minor, Energy Studies; Economics

Yihui Quek '16
Physics; Mathematics
minor, Linguistics

Rafa Rahman '16
Biological Engineering
minor, Public Policy

Vaishnavi Rao '17
Brain and Cognitive Sciences

Daniel Richman '17
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Taylor Rose '16
Management Science; Political Science

Christopher Sanfilippo '17
Physics; Mathematics

Abra Shen '16
Brain and Cognitive Sciences
minor, Theater Arts; Chemistry

Benjamin Tidor '16
Computer Science and Engineering

Dalia Walzer '17

Shenghao Wang '16
minor, Asian and Asian Diaspora Studies

Ryan Webb '16
Aerospace Engineering

Lynn Yu '17
Mechanical Engineering; Urban Planning


Warm congratulations to all!  



Suggested Links

About the Burchard Scholars Program 

Former Buchard Scholars

Burchard Scholar Program | Seminar Topics and Special Events 


Story prepared by MIT SHASS Communications
Editorial and Design Director: Emily Hiestand
Writers: Kathryn O'Neill, Emily Hiestand
Communications Assistant: Daniel Pritchard