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Desirée Plata

2009 Recipient

Chemical Oceanography
Thesis Title: Carbon Nanotube Synthesis and Detection: Limiting the Environmental Impact of Novel Technologies
Advisors: Prof. Phil Gschwend, MIT; Dr. Christopher Reddy, WHOI

Some excerpts from nominations:

  • "Although based at MIT, Des contributed significantly to the well-being of JP students through her service as a rep, a TA and a friend. She is a selfless individual who often puts the well-being others before herself and is more than deserving of the Pantelyev."
  • "Desiree demonstrates an incredible dedication to the communities around her and has reached out to many people in the Joint Program. She takes time to appreciate the work of faculty members and to bring students together in their support. In addition, Desiree helped set up the ride share makes life easier for JP students and is environmentally responsible."
  • "Desiree exemplifies the two qualities identified by the Panteleyev award. As a TA for Aquatic Chemistry, she went above and beyond the call of duty for a TA and helped students learn the class material...She prepared lectures, answered questions, and baked brownies to get students through the semester. On a more personal level, Desiree has been a source of moral support for the students who followed her in the program. She has always been a supportive ear and source of good advice on navigating the program."
  • "More than any other student I can think of in the Joint Program, Desiree has worked diligently to improve the experience of her fellow students in both formal and informal ways. In addition to her work as a student representative, she frequently helped make other students aware of academic and personal enrichment opportunities at MIT, WHOI, and externally. She successfully connects the two campuses and makes all students feel welcome. Desiree is an excellent role model and ambassador for the Joint Program."
  • "Desiree Plata is one of the few Joint Program graduate students whose really fits the bill of 'improving quality of life' in the Chemical Oceanography program. She has been a constant source of encouragement and advice for per-generals students in addition to a phenomenal TA and advocate for students. Despite the tiring job of being a rock for us all, Desiree is also truly inspirational in that her societally-relevant research on mitigating the adverse impacts of a novel technology (carbon nanotubes) while encouraging its potentially beneficial growth are destined to become a benchmark for environmentalism in the future. Who else can say they prevented environmental pollution BEFORE it happened but Desiree!"


Desirée Plata showing her 2009 Panteleyev Award. (Photo by Tom Kleindinst)