Sad news about a member of our community

September 05, 2014

To the members of the MIT community,
I share the sad news that graduate student Austin Travis, aged 26, passed away on Wednesday, September 3, 2014. Chemistry was his home department, but he was also well known in Biology as a member of Professor Barbara Imperiali's lab, which takes a cross-disciplinary approach to exploring protein structure, function and design. Austin was raised in Pleasantville, New York and lived off campus in Cambridge. Our hearts go out to his family and friends in their sorrow.
I write to urge that you take a moment, now, to reach out to the people around you – where you work and where you live, to friends old and new. The strength of our community is the strength of countless individual bonds of kindness, awareness, sympathy and support. We strengthen those bonds if we face this loss together.
The Institute's full range of student support and mental health services -- accessible via the MIT Together site -- is available to all members of the MIT community.
Students can turn for support to Student Support Services (s^3) and their faculty advisors, as well as their housemasters and graduate resident tutors (GRTs), or their resident advisors in the Fraternities, Sororities, and Independent Living Groups (FSILGs). The Office of the Dean for Graduate Education -- 617-253-4860 -- can offer particular support and advice for graduate students. I encourage anyone in our community who feels affected by this death to contact Mental Health Services at 617-253-2916.
We will share any plans that emerge to honor Austin's memory.
In sympathy,
L. Rafael Reif