Teaching and Outreach initiatives
"I am a material girl in a material world" [Madonna - Material Girl]
I love fusing educational initiatives and innovation in the fields of materials science and manufacturing. This is illustrated by a project I proposed on 3D printing of salt dough, a food-safe modelling material made of flour, salt, and water, for early childhood education. In early 2020, I was awarded a Lemelson-Vest Fund for Student Innovation grant in support of this project, to develop a new child-safe printer design to extrude the edible clay-like material, and study how the rheological properties of the dough affect printability.
I am co-leading the Materials Initiative for Comprehensive Research Opportunity (MICRO), a new online materials research and education program for minoritized undergraduate students. MICRO is being inaugurated in the Fall 2021 and provides URM undergraduate students from around the country with a semester-long opportunity to learn and conduct materials research with MIT.
I am currently preparing two manuscripts on both these topics to emphasize their educational and intellectual merit .
I have strived to advance support structures for students and reduce social inequities. In 2018, I created the Resource for Easing Friction and Stress program in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at MIT (DMSE REFS). REFS is a confidential peer-mentoring group that serves the graduate student community. As a REFS organizer, I have received extensive training in conflict management to help fellow students find a way forward in difficult situations they may encounter in their personal or professional life.