Concepts familiar from grade-school algebra have broad ramifications in computer science.
Elizabeth Reed, who has worked in most areas of career services during her 27 years at MIT, has been named director of the Office of Career Services and Preprofessional Advising.
"I am extremely pleased that Elizabeth Reed has agreed to take on this new responsibility, and I am confident that she will be an outstanding director of OCSPA," said Dean for Undergraduate Education Robert P. Redwine. "She is well respected around the Institute for her knowledge, insight and dedication to our students and their career planning needs."
Reed has been associate director since 1988. She served as interim director from June 1996 to December 1997, during a period of major change associated with reengineering of student services and reorganization of the Dean's Office.
"I am excited to lead a staff which plays such a distinctive role in an MIT education," Reed said. "Our work integrates students' academic learning with effective career exploration. The outcome for our students is a real education. We do this most effectively by partnering with faculty, alumni, employers and colleagues concerned with student life and learning. I look forward to strengthening these relationships.
"The myth still prevails that we serve only engineering undergraduates interested in software companies, management consulting and investment banking. The reality is that we serve students at a wide range of career stages--freshmen, upperclassmen, professional-degree master's candidates, PhDs and postdocs--and with very diverse professional interests. We need to do more, in both thought and deed, to dispel the myth."
As associate director, Reed served as a key member of OCSPA's leadership team, with supervisory responsibility for premedical advising, graduate career services, and career services for the School of Science and the School ofArchitecture and Planning, and the Department of Civil Engineering and Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.
From 1982-96, she worked closely with the School of Architecture and Planning, providing career services to its students and alumni with a focus on developing programs and relationships to equip them for the workplace. Before that, she helped administer MIT's on-campus recruiting program. Her first position at MIT was administrative assistant to the Undergraduate Association; her first supervisor was an MIT student.
Reed was appointed to the Council on Family and Work in June 2000. She led the Task Force on Workplace Flexibility, established in September 2000 to identify issues related to job flexibility for staff, and other work/life concerns. The task force presented its final report and recommendations to the council in May.
Reed received a master's degree in education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a B.L.A. from Sarah Lawrence College. She is a member of the Graduate Career Consortium, an association of career planning professionals focused on serving the career needs of PhDs.
Reed succeeds Christopher Pratt, who is now dean of career services at Columbia University. "I know she and her colleagues in OCSPA will build on the initiatives led by Chris Pratt during the past several years," Redwine said.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on September 12, 2001.