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.
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 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.
Stephanie Kong is a fifth year Ph.D. student in Chemical Engineering. Her research in Paula Hammond’s lab focuses on developing biomaterials for drug delivery applications in cancer nanomedicine. Within GW@MIT she is charged with updating and maintaining the website, and all publicity efforts. She is especially interested in collaborative projects that address intersectionality issues at the interface of race and gender and fosters inclusivity of diverse groups. She also serves on the board for Graduate Women in ChemE (GWIChE).
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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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.