Current Students

Josh Sokol Photo

Josh Sokol

A product of Raleigh, NC, Josh writes bio blurbs with casual flair and a knack for subtle self-promotion. Josh graduated from Swarthmore College in 2011, where he majored in English Literature and Astronomy. He then took his talents to the land of acronyms as a Research & Instrument Analyst (RIA) at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI), where he helped calibrate the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) on the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) for NASA (NASA). His non-astronomical interests include oceans, literature, bad movies, fossils, “taking his talents,” and his succulent plants, which he will also take, along with his talents, to MIT.

Christina Couch Photo

Christina Couch

Christina Couch is a human interest and finance journalist who’s making the transition into science writing. Her writing credentials include work for Wired Magazine, Discover Magazine, The AV Club,, Time Out Chicago and Entrepreneur Magazine and she’s the author of a financial aid guidebook that came out in 2008, but what she’s most proud of is getting to gesture wildly and say “TODAY I INTERVIEWED THE MOST AMAZING PERSON ON EARTH!” to family and friends at least once a week. Christina has spent the last five years living as a permanent traveler and moving to a different city or country roughly every three months (thank you remote work technology). Aside from travel and space and robots (and traveling space robots), Christina’s interests include awkward dancing, indie video games and the first three Die Hard movies.

Michael Greshko Photo

Michael Greshko

Michael Greshko grew up in Huntersville, North Carolina, just north of Charlotte. Ever since he first sported a bowl cut—thankfully, many years ago—he’s been interested in both creating and sharing moments of wonder with others, leading him to science, writing, and performance. Michael recently graduated from Vanderbilt University with a degree in Biological Sciences and a minor in Spanish, and maintaining his schedule was perhaps the biggest wonder of all: Outside of the classroom, he split his time between working in a paleoecology lab, writing award-winning article series for the student newspaper, and performing in student-produced musicals. Needless to say, he’s most comfortable at the nexus of the arts and the sciences, and for this reason among many, he is thrilled to be at MIT this year. Michael is currently orbiting the binary stars of journalism and research science, hoping to live happily on this professional Tatooine as a science communicator and academic. That said, he admits that being a moisture farmer would have its perks.

In his spare time, he enjoys cooking, graphic design, SyFy Channel Original Movies, and hiking. He is also a part-time magician and maintains a respectable playing card collection.

Sarah Schwartz Photo

Sarah Schwartz

Sarah was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. She spent her childhood getting lost in redwoods and stories, collecting wood sorrel and novels, and learning how to identify constellations and split infinitives. Dreading that someday she would have to make a career decision between the sciences or writing, she studied both fields at the University of California, San Diego, where she earned her B.S. in Environmental Systems while taking Revelle College’s rigorous Humanities series and as many writing courses as possible. She has worked in laboratories at UC San Diego, UC Berkeley, UC San Francisco, and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, learning about bacterial aging, natural sunscreens, neonatal hypoxia-ischemia, marine sponge biochemistry, and what to do when you set the ethanol on fire. These experiences fostered her deep respect and appreciation for scientific research and professional scientists; they have also left her eager to keep studying, supporting, and contributing to the natural and physical sciences. Though her primary interests lie in the areas of environmental and human health, Sarah hopes to explore various fields and interdisciplinary challenges, and to generate a broad dialogue about important, exciting science.

In her free time, Sarah loves to bake, sing, hike, and obsess about Giants baseball.

Cara Giaimo Photo

Cara Giaimo

Cara Giaimo graduated from Amherst College with a double degree in English and Biology, a thesis that attempted to illustrate biological principles using techniques gleaned from experimental literature, and several rescue planarians. They all moved to Boston straight away and have pretty much stayed put. Cara has held (with varying degrees of firmness) jobs in gardening, marketing, farmer’s market hummus-hawking, travel writing, genetic researching, and newspaper delivery. Her professional interests include conservation and its movements, bio- and enviro-ethics, and how different cultures view nature (since we can’t know the reverse); some more leisurely ones are gender theory, electric guitars, and weird ice cream. You can find her writing at Autostraddle, Case Magazine, and the Boston Hassle, and her at or @cjgiaimo. If you just can’t find her anywhere, she’s probably on her bike.

Anna Nowogrodzki Photo

Anna Nowogrodzki

Anna spent her childhood amid the black raspberries, creeks, and cornfields of central New York. Though in seventh grade she made a future business card that read “Anna Nowogrodzki, botanist,” she always found the written word as captivating as the natural world. At Dartmouth College, she majored in being out in the woods (Environmental and Evolutionary Biology) and minored in curling up with a good book (English). Post-college, she found purpose in tracking southern pine beetles in the field, editing elementary school science textbooks, studying flower development genes at the New York Botanical Garden, teaching gardening to children in the Bronx, and searching for disease resistance in grapevines at Cornell. In science writing, she is thrilled to have found a field where her inability to shut up about science is actually an asset. Her current interests include agriculture, ecology, plants, why misinformation persists, flawed systems, and how to affect change. She firmly believes in singing with people, goat cheese, mental health advocacy, Excel spreadsheets, and expansive views.

Rachel Becker Photo

Rachel Becker

Rachel is a Boston transplant originally from the Bay Area, California. Her love for science started during college at Stanford University with archaeology, anthropology, and osteology, and grew to include infectious diseases, epidemiology, and finally immunology. Her undergraduate thesis investigations into a novel therapeutic pathway for treating multiple sclerosis inspired Rachel to settle on neuroimmunology for her master’s degree research at Harvard, where she studied how the maternal immune environment shapes fetal neurodevelopment. After years of trying to restrict herself to just one -ology, Rachel realized that she didn’t have to: she loves that being a science writer means being able to indulge all of her scientific curiosities, and is thrilled to be a part of MIT’s GPSW Class of 2015. In her free time, Rachel can be found outside, reading, or at the gym lifting things up and putting them down.