DSL Brown Bag Series

The MIT Alumni Association sponsors several "Brown Bag" lunches each year for Resource Development and Alumni Association staff to "bring the campus and campus issues to W98”. All the sessions are held in W98-602. For all of these, feel free to bring your lunch. Drinks and a dessert option will be provided. Please RSVP, so we may anticipate the number of attendees, to Lizzie Army earmy@mit.edu.


Building a Better World: The Future of Public Service at MIT, with Kate Trimble– Noon, Tuesday, May 8, 2018
Our featured guest is Kate Trimble, the Associate Dean for Public Service and Senior Director of the PKG Center, who joined MIT in October 2016. Kate’s professional experience includes advancing community-engaged scholarship at Brown University’s public service center; leading a neighborhood development non-profit agency in Pittsburgh, PA; and developing a national urban policy research agenda at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC.  After a year-long planning process, Kate and her team have just finalized a new strategic plan for the Center and for public service more broadly at MIT.
Topics to be discussed include:
• Why does public service matter at MIT? How does it advance student learning and development? How does it impact and benefit communities?
• New directions for service at MIT; PKG Center strategic plan update; Current PKG programs and new initiatives
• Opportunities for deeper engagement by students, staff, and alumni

Student Activities @ MIT with Dean Gustavo Burkett  - Noon, Wednesday, April 11, 2018
Gustavo (Gus) Burkett is the Senior Associate Dean of Diversity and Community Involvement in the Division of Student Life. He came to MIT last summer after serving at variety of senior posts, most recently as the Director of Student Involvement at Boston College. He received a bachelors and a masters degree  in Higher Education Administration from the University of Maine. He is currently completing a PhD in Higher Education at UMass Boston. Gus has been working in Student Affairs for over 15 years.

Gus oversees six key areas in the Division of Student Life, all of which are either new or undergoing significant change as MIT continues to adapt to today’s opportunities and challenges, and to provide leadership experience and training for undergraduate and graduate students alike.  

  • Campus Activities Complex – home to over 17,000+  events each year.
  • Student Activities Office – coordinator of 450+ student clubs and activities.
  • Chaplain to the Institute and Office of Religious Life – A space for exploring and professing faith and spirituality. The Chaplain provide confidential counseling and crisis support.
  • Intercultural Center – new location provides a space for students to explore intersectionality of identities.
  • Office of Multicultural Programs & LGBTQ+ Services – Provides support to students from different racial identities, sexual orientation, and gender identities/expression.
  • The Hobby Shop – premier “maker space”, soon to be celebrating its 80th anniversary.


Meet MIT's new Vice Chancellor, with Prof. Ian Waitz -  Noon, Monday, December 11, 2017
Our featured speaker is Ian A. Waitz, the newly appointed Vice Chancellor of MIT. Created in July, the Office of the Vice Chancellor (OVC) leads the offices of undergraduate and graduate education (formerly DUE-Dean for Undergraduate Education and ODGE -Office of the Dean for Graduate Education) and is responsible for overseeing the first year undergraduate educational experience, as well as catalyzing and leading broader institutional efforts to improve residential education. Reporting to the Chancellor, Ian also works closely with the Vice President and Dean for Student Life, the Dean for Digital Learning, and School and Department leadership.

Ian has been on the faculty at MIT since 1991, serving as the department head of Aeronautics and Astronautics from 2008 to early 2011, and as dean of the School of Engineering from 2011 until June 2017. In all that he has done, he has prioritized attracting and retaining the most talented people in the world to MIT. He is committed to expanding pathways for engagement; opening more opportunities within MIT and beyond; and providing an exceptional, inclusive, and fun learning and research environment for all students, faculty, and staff. He received his BS in 1986 from the Pennsylvania State University, his MS in 1988 from George Washington University, and his PhD in 1991 from the California Institute of Technology.

Topics to be discussed:

  • Scope and priorities of the Office of the Vice Chancellor
  • Redesigning the first year experience at MIT
  • Trends in graduate education / the graduate experience at MIT
  • Advancing innovative residential education at MIT
  • Ways to engage with Ian and the Office of the Vice Chancellor


Religious Life at the Institute, with Reverend Kirstin Boswell-Ford - Noon, Thursday, November 16, 2017
Our featured speaker is Reverend Kirstin Boswell-Ford, who is Chaplain to the Institute, and Director of the Office of Religious Life. Rev. Boswell-Ford began MIT this summer, coming from Brown University, where she served as Associate University Chaplain, working with 20+ Protestant student groups, and the interfaith community. She is completing her PhD in Anthropology and Sociology of Religion at The University of Chicago Divinity School, from which she also holds a Master of Divinity. 

Rev. Boswell-Ford is the second Chaplain to the Institute, and the first Director of the Office of Religious Life. Her role affirms MIT’s interest in the holistic development and support of students, faculty, staff, and alumni. Comprised of over 20 chaplains and 40 student groups, the Office of Religious Life reflects the diversity of the institute’s community. Through regular opportunities for worship, prayer, and study, the office supports students, faculty, staff, and alumni of all faith traditions and belief systems, and of no faith tradition. Working closely with numerous campus partners, the chaplains provide religious, spiritual, and educational programming, as well as confidential counseling and crisis support.

Topics to be discussed:

  • Variety of faith traditions at MIT
  • Chaplain support for students, faculty, staff, and alumni
  • Interfaith initiatives
  • Crisis response
  • Community involvement  


Learning more about Student Support and Wellbeing (SSAW), with Dean David Randall –  Noon, Tuesday, October 10, 2017
Our featured speaker is Dean David Randall, who leads Student Support and Wellbeing (SSAW), a new group in the Division of Student Life. David has worked at MIT for 12 years and most of his years were in Student Support Services providing individual support to undergraduate students. He has a PhD in Clinical Psychology from Penn State University where he studied the transition between high school and college. SSAW was established in July 2016 when Dean Suzy Nelson arrived at MIT, and represents the Institute’s commitment to making sure all students receive the support they need.

David’s group supports all MIT students by providing individualized services, coordinating resources, and offering innovative prevention and education programs. It is comprised of several offices including Student Support Services, Student Disability Services, Violence Prevention and Response, Alcohol and Other Drug Services, and the CARE Team. This department works closely with numerous campus partners, including MIT Medical and Mental Health and Counseling.

Topics to be discussed:

  • The history of SSAW
  • Current organizational structure
  • CARE Team and a student story
  • Special programs (Connector, CASE, food Insecurity)
  • Faculty education


DSL Brown Bag Lunches from previous academic years can be found HERE.