Elementary School News
6th grade National History Day: Taking a Stand in History
The sixth grade completed their National History Day projects on January 31st and shared their papers, websites, documentaries and performances with parents, students and faculty members.  The theme of the day was Taking a Stand in History and the students were able to articulate how the subjects they selected to research reflected the powerful and inspirational ways people have stood up for what they believed in.

The extraordinary projects showed interdisciplinary depth of study and highlighted our students' special talents and interests.  We are very proud of all the students and we thank Ms. McDougall, Mr. Burke and Ms. Shapiro for all their hard work in bringing this complicated project together.     Students who win the Hunter History Day contest will go on to the NYC History Day Competition.  Winners will be announced soon, and parents will have access (when logged in to the school website) to the websites and performances when we finish the editing process.  Stay tuned!
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High School News
Hunter College High School and Hunter College mourn the loss of Dr. Mildred Dresselhaus
Hunter College High School and Hunter College mourn the loss of Mildred Dresselhaus—Professor Emerita of Physics and Electrical Engineering at MIT, recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and alumna of Hunter College High School (’47) and Hunter College (’51)—who died on February 20, 2017. "Mildred Dresselhaus will be remembered for her intrepid leadership in the scientific community as well as for her role as a champion for women in science,” said Hunter College President Jennifer J. Raab. “Her life will continue to be an inspiration for all people who seek to break barriers.”

Born during the Great Depression to Polish immigrants, Mildred Dresselhaus grew up in the Bronx during an era when women who wanted to work outside the home were generally confined to three career paths: nursing, teaching and secretary jobs. But Dresselhaus had other passions. A whimsical tribute printed by classmates in her Hunter College High School yearbook testified to her early and well-known interest in the fields she would later pioneer: “Mildred equals brains plus fun. In math and science, she’s second to none.” 

It was at Hunter College, she later reflected, that she first “had the idea that women could study physics as well as men could.” Dresselhaus was inspired at Hunter by 1977 Nobel Prize winner Rosalyn Yalow, who recognized her talent and encouraged her to pursue science. After graduating summa cum laude, Dresselhaus received a master’s from Radcliffe and a PhD from the University of Chicago. When she arrived at MIT's Lincoln Laboratory in 1960, only 4% of the students were women. In 1968, she became the first woman to attain full tenured rank at MIT, and she would go on to become a fierce advocate for women in STEM fields. And decades later, Dresselhaus would lift the next generation of barrier-breaking women from Hunter, when alumnae and Hall of Fame inductees Gillian Reynolds ’89 and Sandra Brown ’94—studying under Dresselhaus—became the third and sixth African American women, respectively, to earn their PhDs from MIT.

Nicknamed “the queen of carbon science,” Dresselhaus capped her long and decorated career as a 2014 recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Nation’s highest civilian honor. In his introductory remarks, President Obama paid tribute to her as one of the most distinguished scientists of her generation: “An electrical engineer and a physicist, [she] rose in MIT’s ranks, performed groundbreaking experiments on carbon, became one of the world’s most celebrated scientists. And her influence is all around us -- in the cars we drive, the energy we generate, the electronic devices that power our lives.”
Dresselhaus is survived by her husband, Gene, their four children and five grandchildren.

Here is the link to Dr. Dresselhaus giving her speech as the HCHS Distinguished Graduate, 2009.  It was filmed as she was on her way to China to chair a conference on Nano-tubes during our Commencement ceremony.


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