Higher Ed Content Writing

Student Story: Octavia Pinckney

Octavia Pinckney, M.Arch'23, has seen, “Minorities in this country have been hit disproportionately hard by environmental disasters.” Growing up in Texas, Octavia’s own family was seriously impacted by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. “I understand firsthand what not being prepared for a disaster can feel like,” they say. Katrina’s chaotic aftermath, which left so many people unhoused, motivated Octavia to build a mission-driven career in architecture...

Letting the Light In

A civil engineer by training, Isaura Sagredo M’23 previously worked in Qatar’s futuristic capital city of Doha as a Lead Project Engineer, helping to plan the construction of the driverless metro rail system that ultimately transported three million spectators to the soccer stadium during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. Sagredo was so entranced by the innovative ways that traditional Qatari design elements were incorporated into the 37 stations’ vaulted interiors, that she decided to switch tracks herself and become an interior architect...

Seemingly Real | School of the Museum of Fine Arts | Tufts University

While other parents limited screen time, growing up in Mesa, Arizona Demitrious Matus’ dad took his three boys to the now extinct Blockbuster Video, let them pick out what they wanted, and then binge watch it as a family late into the night. “That was all we did,” he said simply. It wasn’t long before Matus wanted to make his own movies too. A product of the YouTube vlog era he started all his videos from 2013 onwards with the predictable opening, “What’s up guys…” That’s still how he opens many of his films, albeit now ironically and with the alter ego of Meech, the name and persona under which Matus directs and often appears in the vlog-based fake documentaries that have become his genre...

From Baseball to Life’s Curveballs

“I’ve never had an offseason. I’ve always loved the constant busyness of going from one tournament, game, or challenge to another,” said Rian Schwede ’23, a right-handed pitcher who graduates this May with a B.S. in criminal justice. Schwede spent his whole childhood lacing on his cleats in the backseat of his parents’ car between Little League practices, working his way up to the Masters All-Star senior year of high school in Whitman, Mass...

Blazing Her Own Path

For Jackie Ruggiero ’23, the most important lesson she learned in college was to enjoy the moment and “try not to take life too seriously.” Ruggiero’s favorite place to do that is Endicott’s Hempstead Stadium in between the goalposts with her cleats digging into the turf and her eyes trained on the ball. “Soccer has been therapy for me. It gives me the opportunity to tune everything out and focus on playing, hanging out with a good group of girls, and pushing myself to compete,” said Ruggiero, a nursing major and the goalie for Endicott’s women’s soccer team...

The Nonstop Innovator

Senior Ryan Curley has some parting words of advice for next year’s first-year class: “Keep your dorm room door propped open as much as you can. You’ll make friends with all of your neighbors that way.” It worked for Curley, after all. “All of my current roommates were also my neighbors freshman year. We met because we propped our doors open. I’m going to miss coming home and just being able to hang out with my favorite people,” he said...

Queering the Painting | School of the Museum of Fine Arts | Tufts University

Last August in New York City, Amanda Pickler, a self-proclaimed introvert, had to push past the deep discomfort of canvassing strangers to ask if she could take their photos as a basis for a new body of paintings. A SMFA Dean’s Research Award supported her research trip to Henrietta Hudson, New York City’s oldest continually operating lesbian bar. “I went up to strangers, identified myself as an artist, and asked if I could take their picture and eventually paint them,” she said. (Images: Alonso Nichols)

Can Higher Ed Be Decolonized?

Annabelle Estera, Assistant Professor of Education at Endicott College, is increasingly conscious of the fact that the original model for a higher education institution was designed exclusively for white, Christian, land-owning men. “That was the profile of a person both shaping and enrolling in America’s first college,” she says. As a Filipina person, an Asian American, and a woman of color, Estera would have been excluded from that original educational system twice over...

MIT D-Lab students collaborate with adaptive design center in Mexico

Participating in an intensive three-week lab in Yucatán, Mexico, changed how MIT junior Penelope Herrero-Marques views her role as an engineer. The January trip was the first step in a new partnership between MIT D-Lab and Perkins School for the Blind, a Massachusetts-based national service provider and international nonprofit that strives to make education accessible to all children. As an undergraduate studying mechanical engineering at MIT, Herrero-Marques deeply connected with her studies...

Maya Jasanoff in conversation with novelist Nadifa Mohamed

As a young child, historian Maya Jasanoff followed her parents on trips to historic sites around the world. In India, where her mother is from originally, she spotted street signs referencing Shakespeare and imperial British figures and became lastingly curious about how cultures, power, and people cross borders, and the stamp of the British empire on it all. It’s these questions that will form the basis for her conversation with Somali-British novelist Nadifa Mohamed on Tuesday...

Groundbreaking: BAC Trustee Shauna Gillies-Smith Shares the Power Landscape Architecture Has in Community

Shauna Gillies-Smith, FASLA, is a member of The Boston Architectural College Board of Trustees, and was also recently appointed as a Commissioner of the Boston Civic Design Commission (BCDC) by Boston Mayor Michelle Wu. Shauna spoke to the BAC about her appointment and career from an active construction site in Watertown, Massachusetts. Gesturing behind her to smooth new foundations and a rocky slope of dirt, she explained that the project will “bring significant benefit to the public realm.”

Boosting passenger experience and increasing connectivity at the Hong Kong International Airport

Recently, a cohort of 36 students from MIT and universities across Hong Kong came together for the MIT Entrepreneurship and Maker Skills Integrator (MEMSI), an intense two-week startup boot camp hosted at the MIT Hong Kong Innovation Node. “We’re very excited to be in Hong Kong,” said Professor Charles Sodini, LeBel Professor of Electrical Engineering and faculty director of the Node. “The dream always was to bring MIT and Hong Kong students together.” Students collaborated on six teams to mee
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