Danielle Wood and Jonathan Wood were recently named Associate Heads of House for MIT's Maseeh Hall. MIT News wrote in part about their new positions:
"Professor Danielle Wood began her MIT journey in fall 2000 as a first-year student, seeking a college experience that would prepare her to contribute to the space sector while working towards social justice. Nearly 21 years later, Prof. Wood is well on the way to becoming an MIT 'lifer,' having earned a bachelor’s degree, dual masters’ degrees, and a PhD at MIT, and returning to MIT as faculty and director of the Space Enabled research group in the MIT Media Lab after six years working in the aerospace sector in the Washington, DC, area. As a student, Prof. Wood found a home in McCormick Hall, the No. 6 Club (a coed, international literary fraternity also known as Delta Psi), and Westgate family housing. When she returned to MIT as faculty in 2018, one of her goals was to pursue the role of associate head of house to connect with the next generation of students.
Professor Wood serves as an assistant professor in the Program in Media Arts and Sciences, holds a joint appointment in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and serves as the faculty advisor for students majoring, minoring, or concentrating in African and African Diaspora Studies at MIT. As the first Black woman faculty member in the Media Lab, Prof. Wood combines a passion for space engineering, sustainability, and policy as she leads student researchers and professional staff on the mission of 'advancing justice in Earth’s complex systems using designs enabled by space.' Her projects combine social justice and space engineering by expanding the 'benefits that people on earth receive from space technology such as satellite earth observation, communication, positioning and microgravity research.' Taken together with her teaching and community-based collaboration in Benin, Brazil, Ghana, and Indonesia, she is helping students harness their growing expertise and design space-based systems drawing from engineering, design, arts, humanities, and social sciences to address systemic injustice and inequity across society.
Jonathan Wood, the other half of the team, works as an IT program analyst and enjoys community service. He currently volunteers with the Boston Court Appointed Special Advocate organization to advocate for the best interests of children in the foster care system. In their free time, the Woods spend time in nature, especially discovering the many trails and parks in the Boston area.
'When I arrived at MIT in 2000, I was immediately intrigued and welcomed by the residential experience,' Prof. Wood wrote to the search committee. Now, the Woods will be there for students who are likewise beginning their MIT careers."