MIT Tells Story of Fellow’s Graduate School Trek

Friday, February 15, 2019

Raspberry Simpson, a Department of Energy National Nuclear Security Administration Laboratory Residency Graduate Fellowship (DOE NNSA LRGF) recipient, is featured in a story about her journey to graduate school posted on three Massachusetts Institute of Technology websites.

Simpson, an MIT plasma physics doctoral candidate, is one of four students chosen for the inaugural DOE NNSA LRGF class. She studies with Richard Petrasso and works with Tammy Ma at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory on novel diagnostics for inertial confinement fusion and high energy density physics experiments.

The posts describe Simpson’s early participation in MIT’s Summer Research Program, which gives students from underrepresented groups a taste of graduate-level work. The project, with professors Lindley Winslow and Janet Conrad, “put it into my mind subconsciously that MIT was a place for me, that I could do science and be accepted in this space,” Simpson says in the article.

Simpson went on to earn a bachelor’s degree from Columbia University and to work with Winslow on developing a neutrino detector and to work on astrophysics experiments at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Her experience with the summer research program prompted Simpson to apply to MIT. It also encouraged her that another woman of color, Mareena Robinson Snowden, also was in the program. Robinson Snowden later was chosen for the DOE NNSA Stewardship Science Graduate Fellowship, the LRGF’s sister program.