MIT SHASS names 38 extraordinary students as 2021 Burchard Scholars

The undergraduates selected for the competitive program enjoy a seminar series and conversations over dinners with distinguished faculty.

MIT's Hayden Library, located along the Charles River, is home to the Humanities and Science collections.

"It’s perhaps no surprise that a high percentage of the MIT students who receive Rhodes, Marshall, and other major scholarships and fellowships are former Burchard Scholars."


The MIT School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (MIT SHASS) is pleased to announce that 38 MIT undergraduate sophomores and juniors have been named as the 2021 Burchard Scholars.

Candidates for the Burchard program are nominated by their professors and selection is competitive. All students chosen for the program have demonstrated excellence and engagement in the humanistic fields, but can be majoring in science, design, and engineering fields as well as in the humanities, arts, and social sciences.  

With the Institute planning a return to campus operations in the Fall, the 2021 Burchard Scholars will once again be able to engage in the program’s distinctive dinner series. At each evening, a distinguished faculty member gives a presentation on leading research, after which the Scholars, joined at small table groups by several MIT faculty members, discuss the ideas over an elegant dinner. During the course of the calendar year, the Scholars also attend several cultural events in the Boston metropolitan area.

Honing the art of discussion

The Burchard Scholars program is designed to provide promising students a challenging and friendly arena in which to hone skills for expressing, critiquing, and debating ideas with peers and mentors. In the course of their conversations, the Scholars develop respectful, adaptable approaches to engaging in complex intellectual discussions.

Speakers at previous seminar events have included Institute Professor Daron Acemoglu, an economist, discussing artificial intelligence and the future of work; Kenda Mutongi, Professor of History, reflecting on law in post-colonial Kenya; and Vipin Narang, Associate Professor of Political Science, speaking on nuclear security issues. The Burchard cultural events and field trips have included premieres at the Boston Lyric Opera, a post-concert backstage visit with Yo-Yo Ma; and a visit to a newly acquired photography collection at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.

Enthusiasm and aptitude

It is perhaps no surprise that a high percentage of the MIT students who receive Rhodes, Marshall, and other major scholarships and fellowships are former Burchard Scholars. “These students are an extraordinary group of MIT undergraduates," says Margery Resnick, Associate Professor of Literature and director of the Burchard program. “They are thoughtful, smart, and enthusiastic about the opportunity to discuss a wide-range of ideas with faculty and fellow students.”


The 2021 Burchard Scholars


Hillary Diane Andales, sophomore


Gabriella Aponte, sophomore

Chemistry and Biology


Prosser Cathey, junior

Mathematical Economics + Political Science


Alana Chandler, junior

Materials Science and Engineering


Curtis Chen, sophomore

Computation and Cognition


Laura Chen, junior

Biological Engineering


Maggie Chen, junior

Brain and Cognitive Sciences


Claire Cheng, junior

Computer Science and Engineering + Music and Theater Arts


Zachary Chin, junior

Chemistry + Electrical Engineering and Computer Science


Pedro Colon, sophomore

Chemistry and Biology


Ryan Conti, sophomore



Amelia Dogan, sophomore

Urban Science and Planning with Computer Science + Humanities: American Studies


Rujul Gandhi, junior

Linguistics and Philosophy + Electrical Engineering and Computer Science


Swapnil Garg, junior



Malik George, junior

Biological Engineering


Miles George, junior

Biological Engineering


Stacy Godfreey-Igwe, junior

Engineering + Humanities: African & African Diaspora Studies


Ananya Gurumurthy, sophomore



Emily Huang, junior

Electrical Engineering and Computer Science + Political Science


Ibuki Iwasaki, junior

Art and Design


Sahithi Madireddy, sophomore



Isha Mehrotra, junior

Chemistry and Biology


Naomi Michael, junior

Mechanical Engineering


Karna Morey, junior



Rajiv Movva, junior

Computer Science and Engineering


Atharv Oak, sophomore

Computer Science and Molecular Biology


Vaishnavi Phadnis, junior



David Spicer, sophomore

Political Science + Philosophy


Peter Tone, junior

Theater Arts + Computer Science and Engineering


Kathryn Tso, junior

Materials Science and Engineering + History


Max Williamson, junior

Computer Science and Engineering


Kelly Wu, junior

Chemical Engineering


Westley Wu, sophomore

Chemistry and Biology


Megan Xu, junior

Biological Engineering


Jeffery Yu, junior

Mathematics + Physics


Daniel Zhang, junior



Diane Zhang, sophomore

Computer Science and Molecular Biology


Julian Zulueta, sophomore

Biological Engineering



Suggested links

The Burchard Scholars program

Past Scholars

Seminar topics and events


Story prepared by MIT SHASS Communications