2023 PKG Public Service Award Graduate Recipient: Cecilé Sadler
The MIT Media Lab is an interdisciplinary research laboratory founded in 1985 that creates transformative technologies, experiences, and systems that enable people to re-imagine and redesign their lives. Cecilé Sadler, a graduate student at the Media Lab, received the 2023 MIT PKG Award for her work that incorporates service and research in expanding STEM and computing education opportunities for youth, particularly those from non-dominant communities.
Within the Media Lab, Sadler is a part of the Lifelong Kindergarten research group, which develops innovative technologies and cultivates caring communities that engage young people from diverse backgrounds in creative learning experiences.
“As a Black woman who is used to being the first, only, or one of the few people who looks like me in engineering spaces, institutions,academic , or even professional spaces, I believe there is an incredible need and value to bringing in more diverse perspectives to the table and giving them a voice when they are present,” said Sadler.
A native of Charlotte, North Carolina, Sadler received her undergraduate degree from North Carolina State University and master’s degree from Duke University, both in computer engineering.
Sadler has always had a passion for working with young people, whether it be her time volunteering at the Raleigh Boys and Girls Club leading STEM projects and programming, working with Durham Public Schools as support staff, or now in Lifelong Kindergarten designing learning environments, technologies, tools, and spaces, for young people to express themselves creatively with computing.
Within the MIT community she has also served on the Diversity + Leadership committee at the MIT Media Lab, and worked with MIT’s Office of Graduate Education program, GradCatalyst, providing insight to prospective students from minoritized groups on the graduate school application process and what it means to be a graduate student at MIT.
“A commitment to serve others is something that has been instilled in me. I see the work that I do everyday as amplifying stories of people that are already doing things who don’t often have their stories told or perspectives valued,” shared Sadler with the PKG center.
After receiving her master’s at MIT’s Commencement, Sadler will continue her work in the Lifelong Kindergarten group pursuing a doctoral degree.