MIT Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Committee

2004 MLK Leadership Award Recipients

LaRuth McAfee 'G
Salvatore Molica '75
Blanche Staton
J. Phillip Thompson


Ms. LaRuth McAfee 'G
Ms. McAfee's dedication and commitment as a Chemical Engineering graduate student and leader, who has worked tirelessly to create a greater spirit of collaboration and inclusion in our community. Graduate Student Volunteer Day, an idea first introduced byMs. McAfee to the GSC when sh served as its Orientation Chair, has been part of four orientation programs. It is already regarded as part of her legacy. As a result of it, the MIT Public Service Center was recently awarded further funding for increased graduate student involvement. In addition to overseeing programs and initiatives, she has provided very able leadership as Co-Chair of the Black Graduate Students Association and Treasurer of the GSC. Realizing the importance of supporting inner city youngsters, she has spent Saturday mornings tutoring local students in mathematics and science. The MLK Committee believes that her generosity and concern for others embody Dr. King's philosophy.


Dr. Salvatore Molica '75
In her letter of nomination, Ms Maryanne Kirkbride, Clinical Director for Campus Life, cited his many years of service as a gifted clinician at Dorchester's Codman Square Health Center, which, during your tenure, has distinguished itself as a facility for providing care to disadvantaged and low-income patients. As one of the first family physicians in this area, he has demonstrated a sustained interest in making his practice and the center increasingly more responsive to the needs of your patients and their community. Dr. Molica's work as a medical director has remained focused on expanding services for those who might not otherwise enjoy access to them. The MLK Committee believes that these efforts as a physician, administrator, teacher, and role model exemplify the values of Dr. King. Your work is an enduring monument to him and his legacy.


Ms. Blanche Staton
Ms. Staton has been cited for her tireless commitment to assisting graduate and undergraduate students while they meet the challenges of life at MIT. As an Associate Dean of the Graduate School, she has inspired and sustained many promising young scholars by being a compassionate and innovative administrator. Her encouragement of women students has led to the formation of the Graduate Women's Group and the Women's Book Club. Because of her role as a liaison for MentorNet, a network for women in engineering and science, she has expanded opportunities for future professionals in a range of disciplines. Realizing the need to reach out beyond the academic community, Ms. Staton serves as president of the Board of Directors of the Cambridge Community Center. The MLK Committee salutes Ms. Staton for responding to Dr. King's still resonating question: "What are you doing for others?"


Dr. J. Phillip Thompson
Dr. Thompson has been cited for his long-standing commitment, as a scholar and activist, to addressing the issues of race, class, and power in inner cities and the global realm of migration and human rights. While serving as director of the Mayor's Office of Housing Coordination in New York City and subsequently, its Deputy General Manager, he developed significant critical views of the sometimes flawed policies concerned with homelessness and public housing. At Columbia University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he had distinguished himself as a dynamic thinker and teacher, exploring topics that range from community economic development to the existing tensions between African American establishment politicians and neighborhood leaders. The MLK Committee believes that this dedication to seeking social justice through innovative thought and socially responsible action embodies Dr. King's ideals. Dr. Thompson's work is a fitting tribute to his legacy and the continuation of his Dream.