Alvin Harvey receives the 2024 Graduate Student MLK Leadership Award

PhD candidate in the Human Systems Lab and citizen of the Navajo Nation Alvin Harvey received the 2024 Graduate Student MLK Leadership Award. MIT’s MLK Leadership Awards are given annually to students, alumni, staff, groups, and faculty members who embody the spirit of Dr. King’s work.

Harvey is a Graduate Community Fellow and a crucial leader in MIT’s Native American Indigenous community on campus, including involvement in the Native American and Indigenous Association (NASA), the MIT chapter of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES), and MIT’s First Nations Launch rocket team.

Harvey played an integral part in forming an Indigenous Alumni group, contributed to the success of “The Indigenous History at MIT” course, and worked with local indigenous elders to start an exchange program between MIT Students and Aquinnah Wampanoag youth.

To quote a nominator, his leadership has also played an integral role in completing many collective efforts, “including getting a dedicated native student space on campus in 2020, renaming Columbus Day to Indigenous People’s day in 2020, and [an MIT] indigenous faculty [hire] in 2023.” 

Another nominator highlighted his “personal integrity, spiritual leadership, calm and patient positivity, aptitude for teaching, gift for mentoring, and genius for community building.”