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Building an inclusive undergraduate experience

Scott Alessandro, Senior Director of Undergraduate Programs, Rianna Allen-Charles, Associate Director, and Karyn Glemaud-Anis, Assistant Director, MIT Sloan Undergraduate Education, are prospecting. Each is planting seeds to help students and each other meet their goals. The work always begins with two questions. 

“Have you found your community at MIT?” each asks when students stop by the office. “And where have you found it?” Community, each asserts, is central to the office’s approach to student and staff engagement.

“We want to ensure our students feel like they belong in our community, ” Alessandro notes.

Creating a sense of belonging while shepherding students through intense management coursework is challenging but fruitful. The workload is shared across the group: Alessandro focuses on strategic planning, connecting the office’s work to broader institutional goals; Allen-Charles leads students toward degree completion by helping them monitor and adjust their paths as needed; and Glemaud-Anis helps the office connect with students by planning and staging events.

The undergraduate team also recognizes the importance of supporting one another.


Of MIT undergraduates take at least one Course 15 class

The three colleagues consistently focus on the value of diversity, equity, and inclusion  professionally and personally. They create and sustain psychologically safe spaces for their students and one another, and they weave those practices into how they manage strategy, student success, and events.

“Making diversity, equity, and inclusion a primary lens through which we do our work creates a space for us to be our authentic selves,” Glemaud-Anis says. “We cannot create inclusive spaces that center belonging if we don't have that same environment in our office.”

“We are incredibly intentional in making sure DEI is at the start, middle and end of all of the work we do in our office,” Allen-Charles says.

With a sustained commitment to increasing the number of undergraduates enrolled in Course 15 classes, Undergraduate Education is working to ensure more MIT students choose the sense of community the team strives to foster and sustain.