Meet the MIT Cheerleaders: Science Cheerleaders by Definition!

Science Cheerleader Hilary here! I’m excited to introduce you to the MIT Cheer Team–a group of dedicated and brilliant students with passions for STEM and cheerleading! Read on below to meet some of the incredible individuals who make up the team! Also, check out the full interview with their coach Kelly!

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BetsyBetsy (New York) – Captain
Major: Chemical-Biological Engineering
At MIT, I’ve had the amazing opportunity to develop synthetic RNA vaccines at the Whitehead Institute. It has given me great exposure to different biological experimentation methods, and has also given me insight into some of the cutting edge research that is happening. I’m excited to see, and be a part of, the challenge and promise of what’s coming next! Cheerleaders are some of the most determined people I’ve ever met. The trick to sticking a tough stunt is the same as that for solving a tough problem–focus and keep giving it your all!

Jennifer (California)Jennifer
Major: Computer Science and Molecular Biology
I have always intended to pursue medicine as a career, but to my surprise I fell in love with coding after taking the introductory computer science course here at MIT. As a result, I chose to major in Computer Science and Molecular Biology–a major that perfectly combines my dual interests. While I would still like to become a doctor one day, I am also extremely interested in the ways that computational methods can be applied to both the optimization and design of medicines, thus bringing more effective treatments to the public quickly and economically. I’m so grateful that I have had upperclassmen mentors who encouraged me to take that first CS class, and I now work to offer the same encouragement to the next generation of coders through Code It!, an outreach program meant to get middle school girls excited about and interested in computer science!

HannaJPEGHanna (Wisconsin)
Prospective Major: Biological Engineering
I am a freshman so I haven’t declared a major yet, but I am looking into biological engineering with a minor in French. I’ve been interested in biology ever since freshman year of high school. The idea of manipulating DNA sequences and looking into mutations sounded really cool, and very useful in the real world. Biological engineering is also one of the largest growing fields! I took French for 6 years in high school and I love the country of France. There are many emerging high-tech biological engineering companies in France and Switzerland, so a minor sounded very useful. I would love to work abroad! As I progress through my years at MIT, I hope to narrow down what I want to do with my major and where I could be successful.

Aubrey (Pennsylvania)AubreyPicture_highres
Prospective Major: double major in Neuroscience and Computer Science
As a freshman I am not yet sure what I want to major in, although I’ve been interested in neuroscience since high school. I find the brain to be one of the biggest unsolved and unexplored mysteries in the world. I think it’s amazing that with everything we know about the world around us, we know barely anything about the organ that makes us intelligent beings, capable of complex thought and emotion. I would also like to try computer science, as I think it can have useful applications to neuroscience, and as the world becomes increasingly electronic, I believe that computer science will be a useful skill to have. I hope to one day do research on preventing and curing neurodegenerative disorders.

Name: Chantal (Florida)
Major: Business Management 
I came to MIT thinking I would study civil engineering, but after completing a research project, I realized civil engineering was not for me. I started taking business related classes, such as accounting and economics, and then realized I enjoyed understanding the flow of money more than anything else. My math training has helped in both my STEM career and in my athletics. As a cheerleader, I think understanding the positions it takes to be a good base can be easily explained through physics. Now it’s more than just telling me how to maneuver myself, but understanding why it is important to be in a set position. In the future, I might want to do work as a business analyst, modifying systems and ensuring that they are properly implemented.

Chelsea (Florida)
Major: Nuclear Science and Engineering
Nuclear engineering can provide clean energy, a more efficient way to fight cancer, and a method to fuel long-term space voyages, among other amazing applications. I haven’t decided what I want to do yet, but nuclear engineering gives me many options. I think cheerleading helps with the teamwork skills that are really important in STEM fields.


Yu-NaYu-Na Lee (California)

Major: Brain and Cognitive Sciences
I love finding out what is going on in the human brain and understanding how things work. Specifically, I’m interested in developmental aspects and disorders of the brain. With my studies, I hope to pursue a career in medicine or research. I like cheerleading because it keeps me focused and motivated.

Jasmin (Virginia)JasminPicture
Major: Computer Science and Electrical Engineering
I plan to major in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, a plan that developed from my love of video games and interest in cyber security. So far, I’ve already learned quite a bit of programming and want to continue to code new things; however, I’m just a freshman this year and I know that plans change. Right now I’m trying to learn as much as I can and eventually figure out what’s best for me. I’m still also looking into possibly majoring in Mechanical Engineering or Physics. After I graduate, I want to do what I love while actively contributing to the safety of those around me.