Welcome to Graduate Womxn at MIT

Graduate Womxn at MIT (gwaMIT) is an organization to support MIT graduate students seeking a space to talk about the experiences of being a woman and/or being coded as a woman, while acknowledging the diversity among people who have had these experiences. We use the term “womxn” to signify that gwaMIT is a space for anyone who identifies with this mission, which may include transgender women, cisgender women, non-binary people, and gender diverse people.

We work to enhance the professional development, individual growth, and empowerment of all graduate womxn at MIT, while strengthening connections between existing groups.

In addition to our annual conferences, we host a mentoring program and a series of smaller workshops and focus groups throughout the year. Click through our pages to learn more about our organization and how to get involved.

Recent News

Executive Board

Jennifer Hu

Jennifer Hu is a third year Ph.D. student in Brain and Cognitive Sciences. She received her B.A. in Mathematics and Linguistics from Harvard University in 2018. Her research develops computational models of how humans resolve ambiguity in language understanding, with the goal of building better systems of artificial intelligence. As a GWAMIT Co-Chair, she interfaces with other organizations and works to build a more inclusive, empowering community for all woman-identifying graduate students. Previously, she was an active member of Gender Inclusivity In Mathematics at Harvard.

Natalie Eyke

Natalie S. Eyke completed her B.S. in chemical engineering at the University of Michigan in 2014. After graduating, she joined the Chemical Engineering Research & Development Department at Merck & Co., Inc., where she worked on process development for small-molecule pharmaceuticals. In 2017, she began a Ph.D. in chemical engineering at MIT, where she works with Prof. Klavs F. Jensen and Prof. William H. Green. Her research focuses on combining machine learning-based experimental design algorithms with high-throughput experimentation to better understand chemical reactivity and predict reaction outcomes. As a GWAMIT co-chair, she is excited to expand GWAMIT’s professional development offerings to help graduate womxn make informed career decisions, and to support the expansion of the organization’s outreach efforts.

Richa Naik
Conference Chair

Richa R. Naik is a Master’s student in the Computational Science and Engineering Program. She received her Bachelor of Technology (B. Tech) from the Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras) in Chemical Engineering. Her research focuses on the application of computational methods to enhance the stability of perovskites, a promising material for high-performing and cost-effective solar cells. As the GW@MIT Conference Chair, she organizes the flagship events of Orientation Women’s Welcome Lunch, Empowerment and Leadership Conferences.

Gayathri Muthukumar
Events Co-chair

Gayathri Muthukumar is a first-year Ph.D. student in the Biology department at MIT. She received her B.A. in Molecular Biology from Columbia University in 2019. Her research interests lie in understanding and discovering new aspects of fundamental cell biology with an eye towards potential biomedical applications. As event co-chair of GWAMIT, she organizes regular social and career development events.

Kelsey Reed
Events Co-chair

Kelsey Reed is a third year Ph.D. student in the department of Chemical Engineering. Her research in the Swan Group focuses on using theory and simulations to study the self-assembly of nano emulsions in external fields. As one of the Events Co-chairs of GW@MIT, Kelsey organizes both fun and professional development events monthly to help educate, inspire, and bring women together.

MayLin Howard

MayLin Howard is a PhD candidate in the Chemical Engineering department. She earned her B.S. in Chemical Engineering at the University of Rochester in 2016 with a minor in Biology. Her current research involves developing drug delivery coatings for synthetic bone implants to improve patient outcomes. Her role in GW@MIT involves writing biweekly newsletters and managing event calendars.

Garima Sharma
Advocacy co-chair

Garima Sharma is a third year PhD student in the Department of Economics at MIT. She received a BA in Economics from Stanford University in 2015. Her research focuses on understanding women’s bargaining position in the labor market; she also studies agricultural supply chains and how best to shorten them to deliver benefits to farmers. As GWAMIT’s Advocacy Co-Chair she aims to liaise with the Title IX office and university committee on sexual harassment to make MIT safer and more inclusive. More generally she hopes to foster a happy community for graduate women at MIT.

Vrindaa Somjit
Membership Chair

Vrindaa Somjit is a fifth year PhD student in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. Her research focuses on using computational techniques to tune defects in oxides and at oxide-metal interfaces for renewable energy applications and neuromorphic computing. As the Membership Chair of GWAMIT, her role is encourage and enable connections between GWAMIT and MIT’s various departments with the help of GWAMIT’s department representatives. She is also responsible for overseeing the bi-annual General Board Meeting and other initiatives for member engagement. Reach out to her if you are interested in becoming a department rep or even if you are curious to learn more about the role!

Lauren Craik

Lauren Craik is second year masters student in the dual MST-MCP program. Her research focuses on the equity of congestion pricing and integrating equity considerations into formal transportation planning. Prior to MIT she was a consultant specializing in change management for public sector clients and has a degree in economics. As the treasurer of GWAMIT, she works with our partners across campus to ensure that the organization runs smoothly and can keep on doing the work that it does throughout the year.

Taylor Baum
Outreach Chair

Taylor is a second year PhD student in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science department at MIT. She received a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and a B.S. in Neuroscience at the Pennsylvania State University in 2019. She is currently advised by Dr. Emery Brown and Dr. Munther Dahleh. In her current work, she is developing brain state estimation algorithms for use in Closed-Loop Anesthetic Delivery (CLAD) systems and exploring mechanisms of control with the human brain through computational models. As the Outreach Chair for GWAMIT, Taylor hopes to build strong relationships between the Boston community - with an emphasis on young women in the area - and women of MIT.​

Ambar Reyes
Publicity chair

Ambar is a filmmaker and media researcher at the MIT Open Documentary Lab, where she is a graduate student in Comparative Media Studies. She is interested in visual media as a way to explore, represent and engage with the world for social change. As the Publicity Chair for GWAMIT, Ambar documents and disseminates GWAMIT events and projects to create engagement with the MIT community. 

Fiona Chatterjee
Fiona Chatterjee is a second year Ph.D. student in the Biology department. She received her B.A. in Molecular and Cell Biology with a minor in Global Public Health from the University of California, Berkeley in 2019. Her research in Stefani Spranger’s laboratory focuses on the different roles that dendritic cells play in the tumor microenvironment, and how those roles impact anti-tumor immunity. As the gwaMIT Secretary, she writes the biweekly newsletter and manages the event calendars.

Committee Members

Jen Hammelman
Mentoring Committee, Executive Co-Chair

PhD student, Computational and Systems Biology

Bianca Champenois
Mentoring Committee, DEI Chair

MS student, Mechanical Engineering

Sarah Nyquist
Mentoring Committee, Events Chair
Natalie Golota
Mentoring Committee, Matching Chair
Erika Handly
Mentoring Committee
Elizabeth Quian
Mentoring Committee
Lily Liu
Leadership Conference Committee, Spring 2021
Zhutian Yang
Leadership Conference Committee, Spring 2021
Karen Pang
Leadership Conference Committee, Spring 2021
Cherry Gao
Leadership Conference Committee, Spring 2021
Devaki Sakhamuru
Leadership Conference Committee, Spring 2021
Kelsey Reed
Leadership Conference Committee, Spring 2021
Jennifer Hu
Leadership Conference Committee, Spring 2021
Wenchao Xu
Leadership Conference Committee, Spring 2021
Angelica Chincaro Donayre
Leadership Conference Committee, Spring 2021
Richa Naik
Conference Chair, Leadership Conference Committee, Spring 2021