MIT Honors Dr. Randal Pinkett
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) presented Dr. Randal Pinkett this month with a Martin Luther King Jr. Leadership Award for his work in helping low-income Boston residents use digital technology to enhance their community.
Pinkett, a former Black Issues In Higher Education Arthur Ashe Sports Scholar and a Rhodes Scholar, was recognized for his work as a doctoral candidate in the Epistemology and Learning Group at MIT’s Media Lab, where he created the Camfield Estates-MIT Creating Community Connections Project. Pinkett received his doctorate from MIT in 2001 and is a 1998 alumnus of the school’s Leaders for Manufacturing (LFM) program, a two-year graduate program in which students earn a master’s degree in engineering and an MBA.
The Camfield Estates initiative introduced computer networking technology to residents in the low- to
moderate-income housing development, which is based in Roxbury, Mass., while simultaneously empowering the entire community to communicate and retrieve information in a new and efficient way (see Black Issues, March 15, 2001).
At the end of a 10-week experimental period during the project, Pinkett documented substantial quantitative changes in how the residents at Camfield Estates communicated with each other.
“Most significantly, there was a real qualitative change in their perception of themselves as learners. Although reluctant at first, they made a 180-degree turn from where they started to where they are now,” Pinkett says.
Since successfully defending his doctoral dissertation, Pinkett has founded a consulting company, BCT (Building Community through Technology) Partners in his home state of New Jersey. As president and CEO of the new company, Pinkett has continued the work of his dissertation project.
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