About Us

MEGAWomen is the association of graduate women in the MIT Department of Mechanical Engineering. Our goal is to foster life-long friendships, mentor new women students, help them lead an enriching graduate school life and assist with their personal and professional goals.


MEGAWomen was founded in the early 1990’s by MechE PhD student Jeanne Sullivan and a few other MechE women graduate students during a time when the Mechanical Engineering department had very few women. Jeanne entered the SM program coming from CMU in 1988. She earned the SM degree in 1990 and the PHD degree in 1994. Jeanne spearheaded this effort stating that the,

“Women in MechE has a unique challenge in the world  of Mechanical Engineering both as students and as professionals…” 

Thus began the life of MEGAWomen in MechE.

Executive Team of MEGAWomen


We hold elections every spring semester to help plan events and interface with the Mechanical Engineering department. 

Emily Kamienski

Executive Co-Chair

Kaymie Shiozawa

Executive Co-Chair

Palak Patel

Social Co-Chair

Marie Floryan

Media & Publicity Chair

Julie Shen

DEI Co-Chair

Kristen Hilby

Social Co-Chair

Rima Das

DEI Co-Chair

Heyi Li

Professional Development Co-Chair

Rika Dimitrova

 Professional Development Co-Chair

Kristen Edwards

Social Co-Chair

Rebecca Zubajlo

Advisory Role

Yajing Zhao

Advisory Role

Our Mission


MEGAWomen was started to provide resources for professional, academic and personal development of MechE graduate women. As part of its mission, MEGA Women also organizes social events to foster lifelong friendships and student-faculty relationship. Events include:

Semesterly Dinners

Graduation Receptions

Faculty and Alumni Seminars

Tea & Ice-cream Socials

Mentoring Events

Breakfast with New Admits



Women at MIT Group (GW@MIT)

GWAMIT Graduate Women’s group at MIT dedicated to supporting all women and women-identified persons within the MIT graduate community. We work to enhance the professional development, individual growth, and empowerment of all graduate women at MIT, while strengthening connections between existing groups.

Margaret Cheney Room is a safe space for women at MIT with breastfeeding rooms, showers, couches, and a kitchen.

MechE Graduate Group (GAME)

MechE Graduate Student Association (GAME) is for all Mechanical Engineering graduate students. They host a variety of events including socials, research exhibitions, galas, orientation events, quals prep events, and more. They also host a server of past Quals for practice.


ME REFS (student trained mediators) are students who were trained in mediation and conflict management. They are a completely confidential resource. 

Community Wellness
MIT Mental Health and Counseling

MIT Mental Health and Counseling – They are completely free to students. Their resources include support groups, counseling, referrals to other couselors,  psychiatrists for prescription management, and more. They are a great resource for dealing with stressors.  

MIT Housing

MIT has a few on-campus housing options. These options range in type, location, and affordability. Most students live off-campus in the surrounding Cambridge or Somerville area.


Health Care, Insurance, and Disabilities

MIT has an on-campus medical center with an urgent care. Graduate students funded through most research, fellowships, or TA-ships (teaching assistant-ships) will have their healthcare insurance (including the extended plan) paid for by the department so you do not need to waive it (this is the normal options for graduate students). For addition family members (spouses and children) there will be an additional cost.

Also there are two offices to help if you have a disability or need additional supportive technology.

MIT Spouses and Partners

MIT Spouses and Partners is a group that hosts a variety of events and tackles issues facing families.

Hardships & Family Funding
  • The Graduate Student Short-term Emergency Fund will assist graduate students by providing financial support when they need help with unexpected and unavoidable emergency expenses. Registered students can apply for funds when they have exhausted all other resources. Funds distributed to students will not need to be repaid.
  • Doctoral Student Financial Hardship Funding will assist PhD students who find themselves in financial hardships arising from special circumstances that may impact their long-term academic progress. The Office of the Vice Chancellor in collaboration with Schools and Departments will implement a new financial assessment process for identifying and addressing doctoral students in significant financial distress to meet the 2019 School Deans’ commitment. Funds that students receive under this new model will not need to be repaid.
  • As a pilot offered in the 2020-2021 academic year, the MIT Grant for Graduate Students with Children may be used flexibly to cover expenses such as child and health care and housing. Grants of $2,000 to $4,000 will be given dependent upon the number of children a student has living with them. Combined with the generous medical plans we offer, we believe this new grant program will help alleviate some of the financial pressures MIT graduate student parents face.
  • Guaranteed Transitional Support | Office of Graduate Education (mit.edu)for one full semester for PhD and SM/PhD students in unhealthy situations (e.g., the student is experiencing bias, discrimination, harassment, other violations of MIT policies, or other aggressive behavior from their advisor or colleagues in the unit they are wishing to transfer from).
Graduate Office of Education

Graduate Office of Education They are the centralized resource who handles everything for graduate students from funding for graduate student groups to medical leave to absences from class. 

  • If you are ill, have a family emergency, or similar issue and need to miss class, go to their Office in Building 3
  • If you need personal support to navigate a difficult situation, you can email gradsupport@mit.edu or call (617) 253-4860 to set up an appointment 

Note: They are mandatory reporters to IDHR which means cases of bias and discrimination will be reported to that office. 

Violence Prevention and Response

VPR advocates for survivors of violence and can offer guidance through difficult situations. They are a completely confidential resource like REFS or Ombuds.

Discrimination & Bias Issues

MIT’s Title IX Office (IDHR) They are a resource for faculty, staff, and students responsible for handling ANY claim of bias or discrimination at ANY level. They also do prevention and advocacy workshops. They are NOT a confidential resource which just means concerns reported to them are documented.

iREFS & Ombuds

iREFS & Ombudsman are general confidential resources open to any graduate student. These resources are similar to the ME REFS program but are not specific to mechanical engineering. They provide a wide range of resources from conflict management to resource guidance.

Graduate Student Council

GSC has a variety of groups and does a TON of work for graduate students at MIT. A few things we would like to highlight are the graduate stipends committee who works with the administration to increase our monthly stipends every year, the housing group who are committed to improving housing options for students, and there are many more! They also fund student activities!

Making at MIT
International Students

The International Students Office is an amazing resource for all questions for international students about visas, taxes, and more. They host lots of events for international students including tax workshops, mixers, etc.

Recent Past Exec Members


Andrea Lehn

Executive Co-chairs

Yajing Zhao

Co-Professional Development Chair

Rebecca Zubajlo

Executive Co-chairs

Ashley Beckwith

Co-social Chair

Nastasia Winey

Co-social Chair

Kristen Railey

Co-Professional Development Chair

Caroline McCue

Co-social Chair

Carolyn Sheline

Co-social Chair

Wenhui Tang

Heyi Li

Kaitlyn Gee

Kristen Edwards

Maha Haji

Heena Mutha

Emma Nelson

Grace Gu

Larissa Neitner

Shahrin (Rin) Islam

Zongying (Ivy) Xu

Judy Beaudoin Frontin

Leah Mendelson

Mary Tellers

Lauren Chai

Stephanie Proule

Pin-Yi Chen

Yan Han

Elise Strobach

Heejin Ahn

Crystal Owens

Ambika Bajpayee

Michela Geri

Sarah Thornton

Kirki Kofiani

Teresa Baker

Tania Ullah

Amy Banzaert

Dawn Wendell

Tiffany Groode

Lynette Cheah

Sara Hupp

Joany Tisdale

Sasha Manoosingh