2023 DMSE graduates shine at celebratory reception

Graduating seniors and advanced-degree students gather for a reception and awards ceremony, recognizing their research, teaching, and service to the department.
Categories: Awards, Events, Students

DMSE graduates, their families and friends joined faculty and staff for a reception in a tent on Eastman Court on Thursday to celebrate their achievements, just hours before the OneMIT Commencement Ceremony brought together the entire MIT community.
The event brought all DMSE graduates together on a warm and sunny midday—undergraduates and graduate students receiving advanced degrees—some in regalia, others in summery linens and cottons.

The DMSE graduating class of 2023 included 21 undergraduates and 30 advanced-degree students.
Addressing the crowd, department head Jeffrey Grossman called what graduates have accomplished extraordinary. 
“My mother used to tell me, ‘When somebody shows you who they are, listen,’” Grossman said. “And what you graduates have done is to show us who you are. And it has been an incredible honor and privileged and pleasure to listen.”
With receptions in other departments happening on courtyards throughout MIT at roughly the same time, Grossman called materials science and engineering “the best major on campus.” DMSE graduates, he said, have an incredible call to action.
“We are atom builders. We are making solid matter from the atomic scale. We are measuring, we are synthesizing, we are testing, we are piloting, and we are scaling up materials so that they can make an impact on the world in a positive way,” Grossman said. “Today, more than ever, the greatest challenges and opportunities that this planet faces will rely on the development of new materials.”
The event included an award ceremony acknowledging undergraduates and graduate award winners for outstanding research, teaching, and advocacy for the department. Associate Professor James LeBeau, the undergraduate academic officer for DMSE, announced the winners of the undergraduate awards.

Outstanding Sophomore Award: Jenna Houle 
Julian Szekely Award for Outstanding Junior: Linnaea Uliassi 
Joseph M. Dhosi Outstanding Internship Award: Shu Yang Zhang 
Outstanding Senior Award: Samuel Song 
Outstanding Senior Thesis Award: Priya Ganesh 
Undergraduate Student Teaching Award in Teaching an Undergraduate Subject: Steven Ngo 
John Wulff Award for Excellence in Teaching an Undergraduate Subject: Yukio Cho
Horace A. Lubin Award for Outstanding Service to the DMSE Community: Tess Buchanan and Kirmina Monir

Associate Professor Robert Macfarlane, chair of the DMSE Department Committee on Graduate Studies, announced the winners of the graduate student awards.

Exceptional First Year Performance Award: Vijay Veeraraghavan
Graduate Student Community Service Award: Allison Kaczmarek
Graduate Student Teaching Award in Teaching a Graduate Subject: Julian Rackwitz
2023 Outstanding Doctoral Thesis Award: Thomas Defferriere

Grossman urged all 2023 graduates to keep in touch. “We want to stay connected. We want to keep teaching you. We want to keep advising you. We want to keep learning from you,” he said. “We will always be your home, and we want to stay connected.”apani

Photos: Ryan Kendall and Jason Sparapani