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Charge, Membership, Process & Acknowledgements

» Charge of the Student Advisory Board
» Membership of the Board
» Process
» Acknowledgements

Charge of the Student Advisory Board

During her transition into the role of MIT's 16th President, Dr. Susan Hockfield actively sought to engage the MIT student body through an advisory group led by the Graduate Student Council and Undergraduate Association. This group, formally known as the Student Advisory Board to MIT President Susan Hockfield, was charged with three essential tasks:

  1. To provide MIT’s 16th President, Dr. Susan Hockfield, with a perspective on MIT culture and community, challenges and opportunities facing MIT, and qualities and priorities of MIT students.
  2. To develop a vision for the future of the MIT student experience
  3. To act as a vehicle for students to voice their opinions.

In many ways, the Student Advisory Board Final Report represents a snapshot of the many facets of MIT experience, and what we might work towards for the future, from the student perspective.

Membership of the Board

The Student Advisory Board was led by co-chairs Barun Singh (Graduate Student Council President, 2004-05) and Harel Williams (Undergraduate Association President, 2004-05).

Over 110 MIT students applied to be members of the Student Advisory Board. Final membership of the group was selected by the GSC and UA Presidents and Vice-Presidents, after an interview process. Individual members were chosen because they were motivated, excited and open-minded. The group as a whole was chosen to represent the diversity of the campus. A list of final membership is given below.

Members of the Student Advisory Board
Graduate Members Undergraduate Members
Barun Singh G (Co-Chair)
Harel Williams ’06 (Co-Chair)
Hector Hernandez G (Co-Vice-Chair) Rose Grabowski '05 (Co-Vice-Chair)
Andrew Brooks G Farah Ghniem '07
Benjamin Crosby G Janet Lieberman '07
Elizabeth Kwack G Mary Williamson '06
Emilie Slaby G
Neel Kantak '05
Eric Jonas G Patrick Desuza '05
Joost Bonsen G Shreyes Seshasai '08
Michael Folkert G
Sid Puram '05
Michael Shirk G Susannah Dorfman '05
Satwik Seshasai G  


This Board has attempted, to the best of our ability, to capture within this report the views of the student body as a whole. Where students do not agree on an issue, the variety of student opinion has been expressed. Student input was solicited through a number of open forum discussions and through electronic feedback. Over the course of five months, the Board held four lunches with President Hockfield to discuss the topics within this report and submitted to her a briefing paper prior to each of the lunches. These briefing papers were made publicly available and student feedback was requested on them. The content in this final report is therefore a combination of information from the briefing papers, student input and feedback, and discussions held with President Hockfield.

In surveying the past and considering the future of MIT during this period of transition, three overarching themes emerged. The first of these is the central role of academics, research, and professional development - our principle reason for being at the Institute. Second, the powerful impact of our community experiences in shaping our growth as individuals outside of the lab and classroom. The final theme embraces the Institute as a whole - integrating the short and long term and connecting everyday action with the big picture.


We wish to acknowledge the many students, faculty, staff, alumni, family-members, and friends who spoke with us, both formally and informally, as we sought to craft this Perspective and prepare for our interactions with President Hockfield. We would also like to thank President Hockfield for engaging the student body throughout her transition into MIT through the creation of this Board, and Kirk Kolenbrander, Senior Advisor to the President, for his work in facilitating the process. Thank you.

Webpage created and maintained by Barun Singh: barun[at]