SHASS selects 36 MIT students as 2018 Burchard Scholars

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

The School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences is pleased to name 36 exceptional MIT undergraduates as Burchard Scholars for 2018. 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.”

Two recent Burchard Scholars were honored this year with prestigious awards in recognition of their academic achievement. Mary Clare Beytagh, a 2016 Burchard Scholar, was named a Rhodes Scholar, and Olivia Zhao, also a 2016 Burchard Scholar, was awarded a 2018 Marshall Scholarship.

Ideas and 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: growth, inequality, and well-being: lessons from economic history for uncertain times; what jihadists think and what to do about it; what philosophy tells us about how to make big decisions; whether science can win the war on cancer; 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

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. 

Melissa Nobles, 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 2018.

The 2018 Burchard Scholars are:

Vilhelm Andersen Woltz ’20
Major: Physics

Emma Bernstein ’20
Major: Computer Science and Molecular Biology

Emma Bingham ’19
Major: Physics
Minor: Political Science

Ali Daher ’19
Major: Mechanical Engineering

Riley Davis ’19
Major: Materials Science and Engineering, Global Studies and Languages

Megan Diehl ’20
Major: Materials Science and Engineering

Neena Dugar ’19
Major: Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Julia Ginder ’19
Major: Biological Engineering
Minor: Public Policy

Mehitabel Glenhaber ’19
Major: Comparative Media Studies

Erin Grela ’20
Major: Chemistry

Daniel Guberek ’19
Major: Physics

Karina Hinojosa ’20
Major: Earth, Atmosphere, and Planetary Science

Jenna Hong ’19
Major: Computer Science and Engineering

Brice Huang ’19
Major: Mathematics

Anna Kazlauskas ’19
Major: Mathematical Economics
Minor: Computer Science

Lawson Kosulic ’19
Major: Physics

Ohyoon Kwon ’20
Major: Brain and Cognitive Science

Ivy Li ’20
Major: Physics
Minors: Ancient and Medieval Studies, Literature

James Li ’19
Major: Mechanical Engineering
Minor: Computer Science

Kevin Li ’19
Major: Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Babatunde Ogunlade ’20
Major: Material Science and Engineering

Mira Partha ’19
Major: Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Nolan Peard ’19
Majors: Physics, Music

Daniel Perry ’19
Major: Computer Science and Engineering

Miloslawa Piszczek ’19
Major: Computer Science and Engineering

Sarah Powazek ’20
Major: Political Science
Minor: Computer Science

Roshni Sahoo ’20
Major: Computer Science and Engineering

Anna Sappington ’19
Major: Computer Science and Molecular Biology

Kathleen Schwind ’19
Major: Planning

Mahi Shafiullah ’19
Majors: Computer Science and Engineering, Mathematics

Farita Tasnim ’19
Major: Electrical Science and Engineering
Minor: Design

Adam Theriault-Shay ’19
Major: Mathematics

Ethan Vo ’19
Major: Physics

Rachel Wei ’20
Major: Computer Science and Engineering

Michelle D. Xu ’20
Major: Physics

Joseph Zurier ’19
Major: Mathematics


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