Blair Leader in Science: Daniela Ganelin graduates from MIT

by Ted Jou '99

In 2014, a generous Magnet family made a donation to establish the Blair Leaders in Science Scholarship, for Magnet students who demonstrate strong leadership potential in the fields of mathematics, science and engineering with consideration for financial need. The donors hoped to help make it possible for students to attend their dream colleges by providing a $5,000/year scholarship for four years.

Daniela Ganelin
The first recipient of the scholarship was Daniela Ganelin '14, who graduated from MIT this year with a B.S. in Mathematics with Computer Science. She is continuing at MIT in the fall, pursuing a Master's degree in Computer Science, working on a project at the intersection of machine learning and education research.

Daniela was thankful for the preparation she received from the Blair Magnet, which made her introductory classes easier, even allowing her to skip or substitute some requirements. She also credits the Magnet for getting her "used to not being the smartest person in the room." And after a high school career being stressed about schoolwork, Daniela made sure to prioritize sleep and socialization. "Fortunately," she said, "it turned out that it was a lot easier to do well academically" when she was "healthy and happy." She lived in French House, where she found "an amazing community of good friends and good cooks," including Lara Shonkwiler '17.

Daniela was able to take advantage of many special opportunities at MIT, including international internships through MIT's International Science and Technology Initiatives (MISTI) - she went to China, Israel, Mexico, Taiwan, and France, where she worked on a project investigating Alzheimer’s disease at the Institut du Cerveau et de la Moelle Epiniere. (Other alums have also done internships through MISTI: Abby Ostriker '12 modeled city growth for the Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis and Shaun Datta '14 taught physics and mathematics in Barcelona)

Daniela also earned a math teaching license through MIT's Scheller Teacher Education Program, and after finishing her Master's, she is interested in pursuing a career in education.

Two more Blair Leaders in Science Scholarships were awarded after 2014: