When Natasha Joglekar ’21 confronted some severe medical points again in fall 2018, and was feeling ailing and remoted, she discovered specific consolation in a single class that time period: WGS.229 (Race, Tradition, and Gender within the U.S. and Past: A Psychological Perspective). “I feel that class was generally the one time I talked to individuals all week,” she remembers.
Following a medical depart, Joglekar was capable of return to MIT full time in fall 2020, and shortly took one other class from the Institute’s Program in Girls’s and Gender Research (WGS): WGS.250 (HIV/AIDS in American Tradition). “That’s the category that made me need to be a WGS minor,” she says. “It was so good to get a broader perspective on sickness, one which was not rooted in drugs, therapy, and medical doctors.”
A pc science and biology main (Course 6-7), Joglekar discovered that the coursework for her WGS minor offered her with perception into the human components that drive so many societal outcomes. “WGS research helped give me a framework for understanding the world,” she says, “in the identical means that my physics and math lessons did.” She provides that WGS lessons helped her perceive myths about varied minority teams, in addition to the methods youngsters are socialized to consider them.
Assist for girls in tech
Joglekar, who was named a Burchard Scholar in 2019 for excellence in her WGS research, says she all the time knew she wished to check the humanities, in addition to the STEM fields, in faculty. However she didn’t solely select MIT as a result of the Institute pairs extraordinary technical and scientific schooling with world-class choices within the humanities, arts, and social sciences. She was additionally impressed by the gender parity she noticed on a go to to campus.
Whereas at highschool in a Boston suburb, her techie lessons have been predominantly male; at MIT, she noticed each women and men pursuing science, know-how, and math. “You come right here and see, oh my god, listed here are all these women doing all these cool issues,” she says. “I knew I might go right into a technical area, and I wished to go to a spot with a variety of ladies in tech and a assist system for girls in tech.”
One of many supportive networks Joglekar discovered on the Institute was the lab of Tyler Jacks, the David H. Koch Professor of Biology, director of the Koch Institute for Integrative Most cancers Analysis, and a frontrunner within the area of most cancers genetics. Working by means of MIT’s Undergraduate Analysis Alternatives Program (UROP), Joglekar performed most cancers analysis within the Jacks lab, investigating the mix remedy potential of a small molecule inhibitor on tumor heterogeneity. “The lab was an exquisite place to study,” she says. “They have been the group I wanted.”
Friendship and group
Group is of central significance to Joglekar, whose household all the time emphasised the significance of friendship. That’s why she has spent a lot of her extracurricular time at MIT supporting community-building efforts. She served on the Govt Council of the Biology Undergraduate Pupil Affiliation, which runs departmental research breaks and school dinners. She additionally served on the Undergraduate Pupil Advisory Group for the Division of Electrical Engineering and Laptop Science (EECS), which works to enhance systemic points, reminiscent of departmental communications.
The latter expertise specifically gave Joglekar the prospect to work straight with leaders within the EECS division. “That has been one of many highlights of my undergraduate expertise,” she notes. “They’re so good at listening and taking suggestions, they usually have influenced how I need to be at some point if ever I’m in a management place.”
In reality, Joglekar served in a number of management roles throughout her time at MIT. Along with her committee work, she was editor-in-chief of the MIT Undergraduate Analysis Journal, the Institute’s solely peer-reviewed scientific journal serving the undergraduate inhabitants. And, like a superb chief, she is candid about her journey. “I don’t need individuals to assume, ‘have a look at this one who’s flying by means of life.’ Removed from it. I struggled at totally different instances for various causes,” she says. “However I’d nonetheless do it another time!”
Joglekar is now planning to work as a analysis assistant in a hospital, and expects her expertise in WGS will assist her perceive sufferers higher — and even perhaps deal with among the social determinants of well being. “WGS offers you the instruments to grasp so many issues, together with underlying biases,” she says. “I feel everyone ought to take a WGS class because of this. It’s related no matter what you do.”
Story by MIT SHASS Communications
Editorial and design director: Emily Hiestand
Senior author: Kathryn O’Neill