MIT Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Committee

2003 MLK Leadership Award Recipients

Jonathan A. King
Hector Hernandez 'G
Chiquita White

Dr. Jonathan A. King
Dr. King's long history of advocacy for the democratic direction of science and technology. he is deeply respected as a scientist and teacher who possesses a clear and insistent voice, one often raised against the growing trends to alienate and privatize information that should be the legacy of humankind in general. His enduring commitment to promoting greater public awareness of crucial scientific issues has enabled the average citizen to gain a clearer understanding of matters concerned with stem cell research, bio-piracy, and genetically modified foods. As a scholar and mentor in this community, he has inspired countless students and many colleagues to look more closely at the implications of their own work. He has also generously shared his knowledge and insight with others by serving as the Linus Pauling Lecturer at Clark Atlanta University, a Historically Black Institution, and by organizing Massachusetts parents to improve public school systems. Because of his dedication to creating better standards of living for all human beings, the MLK committee firmly believes that he is working to sustain Dr. King's Dream.

Mr. Hector Hernandez 'G
Hector's promising research in biotechnology and exceptional ability to motivate young scholars who are majoring in science. As a teaching assistant in a biochemistry course consisting of undergraduates and graduates, he took on one of the most challenging teaching assignments in the Chemistry Department and emerged as a leader. He also demonstrated a strong commitment to undergraduate research by training five students from diverse backgrounds. A young woman who worked for a summer with Hector's supervision felt inspired to apply to MIT and is now completing her first year of graduate studies. Because of his superb range of talents and solid contributions to our community, Dean Robert Silbey selected Hector to represent the Insitute at a meeting of the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science. More recently, he was chosen by his peers to be Chair-elect of the Chemistry Graduate Council. The MLK Committee believes that his efforts in the service of others embody the essence of Dr. King's ideals.

Ms. Chiquita White
Ms. White's committed and long-standing interest in developing students as candidates for careers in industry. As P&G's Head Recruiter for MIT and School Team Leader, she has tirelessly helped young people to prepare for professional employment by closely interacting with students from the Office of Minority Education's Second Summer program. Her advice and counsel have motivated many to seek meaningful paths that they might have overlooked if it were not for her efforts. In addition to these activities, her work as a fundraiser for the Class of 1985 and memberships on the boards of the Alumni Association and BAMIT has distinguished Chiquita as a person who firmly believes in giving back to her community. The MLK Committee greatly appreciates that Chiquita's desire to improve the lives of others is a significant part of Dr. King's cherished vision.