MIT Change Maker Awards | History

MIT Change-Maker Award History

MIT recognizes outstanding students, faculty, and staff for their work to combat sexual misconduct at the annual Change Makers Awards, started in April 2017. Because much of this work is understated, the Awards are meant to highlight those who affect positive change in our community. Read more here. Look out for a Call to Nominate each spring.

Change-Makers Awards, 2019. 

2019 Change-Maker Award Recipients

This language has been adapted from MIT News.

Undergraduate Student: Gabrielle Ballard, who studies humanities and engineering, was selected for her contributions as a student leader invested in advancing conversations around equity and inclusion inside and outside of the classroom. In her roles as co-chair for the Black Women’s Alliance, a Pleasure educator, a student assistant in the Women and Gender Studies office, and a member of the multicultural recruitment team for MIT Admissions, Ballard has consistently demonstrated a desire to create change, to advance social justice, and to use an intersectional approach to her work.

Graduate Student: Fifth-year graduate student in the Department of Material Science and Engineering Sarah Goodman received the Change-Maker award for her activism and role in shaping local, state, and federal policy. Her efforts include working on the External Affairs Board of the Graduate Student Council to craft responses to the U.S. Department of Education’s proposed Title IX regulations and to give input on federal legislation pertaining to sexual violence in the sciences. Her commitment to advocating for policy change has galvanized graduate students at MIT to use their voices and platforms as well.

Student Group: The Healthy Masculinities Club, founded by graduate student Jay Dev and now led by his fellow graduate students Zack Avre and David Robinson, is a space open to all genders, but composed primarily of male-identifying people. The group was honored for coming together to discuss how to address and challenge harmful attitudes, language, and behavior. Their regular workshops tackle topics including masculinity, boyhood, intersectionality, consent, and sexual violence. The group originated in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning but it is open to anyone in the MIT community.

Faculty/Staff: Amanda Pickett, a program assistant in Career Advising and Professional Development, was recognized for her ability to “call people in rather than calling them out.” She has put on events focused on a variety of topics, including: addressing sexual violence, LBGTQ+ allyship, understanding privilege, and working to create a healthier and safer community. These events have all come from Pickett’s own enthusiasm for having conversations about difficult topics in ways that don’t feel alienating.

Department: The Department of Chemical Engineering, which is led by Professor Paula Hammond ‘84, PhD ‘93, was selected for the hard work its faculty and students have put in to better understand the academic climate and for launching initiatives to make the climate more inclusive and welcoming. The entire chemical engineering department has elected to participate in an Inclusive Environments workshop, similar to the ones held by the Department of Chemistry in 2018. This workshop is a collaborative effort between faculty and students. Students supported the creation of these workshops by helping VPR and T9BR tailor the content to the relevant experiences within the department. Their feedback and guidance proved instrumental to developing an interactive and engaging workshop for all lab groups. Additionally, graduate students created a Women in Chemical Engineering group to continue working on fostering a welcoming and inclusive environment for all identities in the department. These examples underscore how the department and its students have cared and initiated change together.

PLEASURE Peer Educator of the Year: Senior Madiha Shafquat, who is studying biological engineering, has been a powerful and consistent member of Pleasure for two and a half years. She was awarded a Change-Maker award for spearheading several initiatives, including raising awareness about Pleasure in the broader community and seeking to boost the quality of life here at MIT. She has modeled self-care, boundary setting, mentorship, and collaboration for staff and students alike.

Change-Makers Awards, 2018. 

2018 Change-Maker Award Recipients

This language has been adapted from MIT News.

Undergraduate Student: David Dellal was honored for his leadership InterFraternity Council (IFC). As the IFC risk manager, IFC president, and founder / chair of the IFC Sexual Misconduct Committee, Dellal worked to change harmful attitudes that contribute to sexual misconduct on campus. The committee developed the CAP program to incentivize fraternity chapters’ involvement with Sexual Assault and Awareness Month as well as their participation in VPR-led trainings. 

Graduate Student: Claire Webb was recognized for her work with the Title IX Office. As the Graduate Fellow, she helped redesign the office’s website and craft educational materials. Webb's work helps students easily find the education, support, and reporting resources they need. 

Student Group: Graduate Women at MIT (GWAMIT) hosts community discussions, pairs mentors and mentee, and collaborates with the Title IX and Bias Response Office. Their work spurred several climate surveys at MIT, a New England-area survey of graduate students, and a Title IX summit with local institutions of higher education.

Faculty/Staff: Former chemistry graduate student Michelle Macleod and department head Timothy F. Jamison the Department of Chemistry led efforts to train faculty, students, and staff. The Department now requires all principal investigators to host workshops on a bi-annual basis that focus on preventing sexual harassment and creating an inclusive learning and work environment. Their work functions as a model for other MIT departments to follow.

PLEASURE Peer Educator of the Year: Nolan O’Brien was selected as the Distinguished PLEASURE Educator this year to honor Nolan's inclusive leadership in the group. Through community workshops and dialogues in residence halls, PLEASURE promotes healthy relationships and aims to eliminate sexual violence at MIT.

Change-Makers Awards, 2017. 

2017 Change-Maker Award Recipients

Undergraduate Student: Charlie Andrews-Jubelt, for his contributions as a member of Students Advocating for Education and Respectful Relationships (SAFER2) and founding peer educator in PLEASURE. Andrews-Jubelt is known for speaking up to challenge harmful cultural norms.

Graduate Student: Priya Moni, for her initiative to improve the online sexual harassment training programs new students take during orientation by adding content tailored to the MIT community.

Student Group: MIT's Interfraternity Council's Sexual Misconduct Committee, for designing the Consent Awareness and Prevention (CAP) certification program to recognize fraternities who prioritize member education.

Faculty/Staff: Professor David Singer, associate professor of Political Science and associate Head of House at MacGregor, for his work chairing the Presidential Committee on Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response. Singer spearheaded the effort to ensure all faculty and staff receive training on sexual misconduct prevention as well as how to respond to a student who discloses a sexual misconduct incident.

PLEASURE Peer Educator of the Year: Brittney Johnson, for her consistent positive energy, dedication, and constructive criticism as a member of the PLEASURE Executive Board. Johnson has also instituted proactive changes to improve the group’s operations.