Jade Fischer and Sarah Weidman selected as 2020 Burchard Scholars

The MIT School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (SHASS) welcomes 38 exceptional sophomore and junior students, including Jade Fischer and Sarah Weidman of EAPS, as the new Burchard Scholars for 2020. These students will expand intellectual horizons and leadership skills at dinner-seminars with MIT faculty.

Read this at MIT School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences

Dinner seminars and conversations with MIT faculty

The selective Burchard Scholars program, named in honor of John Ely Burchard, the first dean of MIT SHASS, recognizes students who have demonstrated outstanding abilities and academic excellence in some aspect of the humanistic fields — the humanities, arts, and social sciences — as well as in the STEM fields. 

Over one calendar year, from February to December, the “Burchards” attend a series of dinner-seminars with distinguished MIT faculty, as well as cultural events in the Boston metropolitan area. These experiences provide a challenging, intellectual space in which the scholars further expand their intellectual horizons.

Excellence in the HUMANISTIC and STEM fields

“The Burchard Scholars are an extraordinary group of MIT undergraduates who have demonstrated enthusiasm and aptitude for the humanities, social sciences or arts,” says Margery Resnick, professor of literature and director of the Burchard program. “Selection is competitive, and the students who are chosen are thoughtful, smart, and grateful for the opportunity to discuss ideas with faculty and fellow students.”

The scholars themselves represent a diverse swath of studies across the Institute. This year, the Burchards come from over a dozen different fields of study, among them Biology, Anthropology, Mechanical Engineering, Management, and Music. This year’s selection process was especially competitive, with one hundred applicants vying for a spot.

Developing powerful skills

The Burchard Scholars program is designed to provide promising students a challenging and friendly arena in which to hone skills for expressing, critiquing, and debating ideas with peers and mentors. In the course of conversations, the Scholars develop respectful and adaptable approaches to engaging in complex intellectual discussions.

Many of the MIT students who receive Rhodes, Marshall, and other major scholarships and fellowships are former Burchard Scholars. Most recently, Steven Truong ’20, a 2019 Burchard Scholar, was awarded a Marshall Scholarship.

Applications for the Burchard Scholars program will open again in Fall 2020. 


The 2020 Burchard Scholars

Paolo Adajar, junior
Mathematical Economics + Computer Science + Public Policy

Ifeoluwapo Ademolu-Odeneye, sophomore
Mathematics with Computer Science         

Boluwatife Akinola, junior
Mathematical Economics    

Anna Aldins, sophomore
Music and Theater Arts             

Isabel Barnet, sophomore
Mechanical Engineering

Israel Bonilla, junior
Aeronautics and Astronautics

Owen Broderick, junior,

Kevin Costello, junior
Mathematics + Music                 

Hope Dargan, junior
Computer Science and Engineering + History            

Nadezhda Dimitrova, junior
Aeronautics and Astronautics        

Jade Fischer, junior
Earth, Atmosphere, and Planetary Science                

Rogerio Guimarae Jr., junior
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Madeline Holtz, sophomore

Lily Huo, junior
Biological Engineering

Aditya Jog, junior

Shuli Jones, sophomore
Computer Science and Engineering     

Melissa Klein, junior
Mechanical Engineering + Music and Theater Arts         

Maximillian Langenkamp, junior
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science                

Keiran Lewellen, sophomore

Bhavik Nagda, junior
Computer Science and Engineering             

Neosha Narayanan, sophomore
Materials Science and Engineering     

Avery Nguyen, sophomore
Materials Science and Engineering                  

Samuel Nitz, junior
Computer Science + Molecular Biology  

Isloma Osubor, junior
Mechanical Engineering and Management

Noopur Ranganathan, junior
Anthropology + Biology

James Santoro, sophomore

Haniya Shareef, sophomore
Biological Engineering         

Aaditya Singh, junior
Brain and Cognitive Science Computer Science and Engineering           

Nailah Smith, sophomore
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science              

Madison Sneve, sophomore

Edwin Song, sophomore
Mathematical Economics         

Sarah Spector, junior
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science + Latin American and Latino/a Studies

Shobhita Sundaram, sophomore
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science                

Sarah Weidman, junior
Earth, Atmosphere, and Planetary Science + Physics               

Alyssa Wells-Lewis, junior
Mechanical Engineering       

Kevin Wesel, junior

Carine You, sophomore
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Story Image: Jaume Plensa’s “Alchemist” sits across Massachusetts Avenue facing MIT’s main entrance. Comprised of stainless steel symbols and mathematical equations, this modern-day alchemist has been interpreted by some to represent the need to internalize interdisciplinary knowledge so that it can be used to address today’s complex challenges and transform our world. (Photo: John Parrillo)