Three Win Valuable ScholarshipsBy Eva Moy
Three MIT students have won prestigious scholarships to study in Britain next year. Mark E. Lundstrom G won a Rhodes scholarship, while Ian M. Blasch '93 and Seema Jayachandran '93 were awarded Marshall scholarships.
Lundstrom was one of 32 students to win a Rhodes scholarship, out of about 1,275 applicants from 350 U.S. colleges and universities, according to a Dec. 9 Tech Talk article.
While at Oxford, Lundstrom will study "how we can change the educational system of the United States to make our work force more competitive" by changing American schools and producing an environment conducive to life-long learning, he said.
"Future wars will not be fought with nuclear weapons, F-16s, and smart bombs, but with lathes, robots, and the skills of the American employee," Lundstrom said in Tech Talk.
Other countries' governments have learned to work together with industry to be competitive, Lundstrom said. The federal government has the power to make changes in America, but has not pursued it yet, he added. Lundstrom hopes to gain a better international perspective by studying America from the outside.
Lundstrom is currently a fellow in the Leaders for Manufacturing Program, a partnership between industry and academia, he said. He completed an internship at The Boeing Corporation as part of this program, and he will receive masters degrees from both the Sloan School of Management and the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics this year. Lundstrom received the SB in aeronautics and astronautics from MIT in 1991.
Lundstrom is also actively involved as a senior partner in a new high-tech machine tool and medical products manufacturing business, he added. Lundstrom created the company, an outgrowth of a project in the Space Engineering and Research Center, with another graduate student and a professor.
As an undergraduate student at MIT, Lundstrom was captain of the MIT ski team, founder of a program for handicapped skiers, president of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, president of the MIT Chapter of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, head Unified Engineering teaching assistant, and a private pilot, he said.
He is currently the head coach of the MIT ski team.
The British Marshall Scholarships are "Britain's national gesture of thanks to the people of the United States for aid received after World War II under the Marshall Plan," according to a press release from the British Consulate-General in Boston.
Thirty-six American students won scholarships this year, from a pool of nearly 800 candidates. The scholarships cover tuition costs, books, travel, and living expenses at any university in Britain.
Blasch is a senior in mechanical engineering and plans to study for a masters degree at the Imperial College of Science, Technology, and Medicine in London.
"My heroes have been the men and women who have challenged fate and made the unknown known. Like the soldier Odysseus, I want to travel through the unknown trusting in my knowledge and ingenuity to guide me safely," Blasch said in Tech Talk.
Blasch is a member of the Air Force ROTC program and received one of two scholarships to the Air Force's Flight Training School, according to Tech Talk. He won the Air Force Association "Top Pilot in the Northeast" award and aspires to be an astronaut.
Blasch is a pilot and skier and also enjoys bungee jumping.
Jayachandran is a senior in electrical engineering. However, she realized that she liked the physics side of EE more, she said. She is currently working on her thesis in semiconductor research. She is also concentrating in philosophy at MIT.
"I've always been interested in politics, especially science policy. I was interested in politics in high school, like in current events. ... So it was natural to volunteer in [Clinton's presidential] campaign this year. Politics has always been on the side, but now I want to combine it with science," in a position such as analyzing environmental policy in the Department of Energy, Jayachandran said.
Combining these interests, Jayachandran will study the philosophy of physics at Oxford, she said.
She also participated in several activities at MIT, including the Committee on Curricula, associate advising, and varsity tennis (winning an Intercollegiate Tennis Academic All-American Award).
She added that she likes knowing that she will not have to apply for jobs or graduate school next year. After that, "I like the idea of being a professor, going on and getting a PhD. I want to study some more in science, go on to academia or policy," Jayachandran said.
"I was definitely very excited when the final word came," she added.
Hyun Soo Kim '96 contributed to the reporting of this story.