Edward Moriarty Wins MIT Gordon Y. Billard and Excellence in Mentoring Awards
MIT Edgerton Center Technical instructor Edward Moriarty was honored with two awards this past semester: The 2022 Gordon Y. Billard Award presented by MIT President Rafael Reif and the Excellence in Mentoring Award from the Office of the First Year.
The Billard Awards are presented to individuals who've demonstrated special service of outstanding merit performed for the Institute. The Excellence in Mentoring Award is given to those who showed special dedication to first-year students.
Moriarty has been with the Edgerton Center since 2000. He is the instructor for the fall EC.A790 Engineering, Art, and Science First Year Advising Seminar (co-taught with Diane Brancazio) and has inspired in young students a love for engineering, by initiating high school STE(A)M outreach programs from Florida to Italy.
Moriarty advances the Edgerton Center’s priority to serve as a valuable resource to many other departments, labs, and centers at MIT as the focus on experiential learning has blossomed over the past 30 years. Moriarty seeks opportunities for collaboration within MIT and with partners around the world for supporting innovative efforts. He has gathered a rich community of volunteers to support these efforts, including MIT alumni and students, teachers and high school students, and past students of programs he has supported around the world.
Excellence in Mentorship Award plaque
"With an approach that may be more MIT than MIT, Ed helps students experience the immense satisfaction of coming up with an idea and seeing it through ... from brainstorming, to designing, to building." — MIT President Rafael Reif
Ed Moriarty and students in an Engineering Design Workshop work on a surface that will display a matrix of red, green, and blue LEDs.
MIT President Reif shared at the Billard Awards ceremony:
"Ed is unable to be here today. He's on an outreach trip with high schools and universities in Spain and Italy, exactly the kind of work that earned him this award in the first place. But he's watching us via zoom so let's do a good round of applause for Ed!
"It would be accurate to say that Ed teaches students about engineering.
Accurate but incomplete.
In the workshops he leads, students learn about confidence, collaboration, and compromise.
They develop the ability to work effectively as a member of a team, to know when to assert their own ideas, and when to step back and let a teammate drive.
They also spend a lot of time making things.
With an approach that may be more MIT than MIT, Ed helps students experience the immense satisfaction of coming up with an idea and seeing it through ... from brainstorming, to designing, to building.
From the First Year seminar "Engineering Art and Science", to summer programs for high school students Ed earns high marks. One student says that he exemplifies the meaning of mentorship.
In a summer workshop known as FRED, "Future Reality Engineering Design", he took on a new challenge. The minds and hands that he was inspiring were scattered across cities, countries and time zones.
For this workshop he recruited students from the incoming class of 2025 to design learning experiences for local high school students.
At a time with everyone learning remotely, "local" looked a lot like "global."
Ed spent long days advising students who were running workshops around the world.
Over the years, some of the projects the students have designed under Ed's guidance, like an electric cello, are clear examples of the blending of technology and art.
But Ed believes that almost any project worth doing is a mixture of both.
He goes far beyond teaching STEM. He inspires creativity, wonder and joy. Accepting the award on behalf of Ed and the MIT Edgerton Center is professor Kim Vandiver.
Kim, There are all these witnesses ... this is for Ed!
"[Ed Moriarty] goes far beyond teaching STEM. He inspires creativity, wonder and joy." — MIT President Rafael Reif
Moriarty enjoyed a surprise party celebrating his award from students and colleagues at the University of Ferrara, Italy.