tyler clites on his time at harvard

Harvard College Class of 2014, BS Engineering Sciences - Biomedical and Mechanical Engineering. Currently earning a Ph.D. in the Harvard/MIT Health Sciences and Technology Program


About Tyler:

I am a graduate student in the Harvard/MIT Health Sciences and Technology program. I also did my undergraduate degree at Harvard College. By day, I develop neural control strategies for prosthetic devices as a member of the Biomechatronics group at the MIT Media Lab. My wife and I live in Harvard Yard in the freshmen dorms, where we serve a

s freshmen proctors. We have a two-year-old Samoyed named Daisy, who is a fluffy, white bundle of joy. I grew up in NH, and have never lived outside of New England (except for my mission in Brazil). I have a twin sister named Jessica, who studied dance education at BYU and is now a dance teacher at an elementary school in Twin Falls, ID.


Why Harvard, and what helped your application? 

I applied to Harvard because I thought I should. I was valedictorian of my public high school class, and was very involved in student council and athletics. When application season rolled around, I "shotgunned" the IVY league schools, submitting  applications everywhere except Cornell and Brown. In retrospect, I'm not sure what made the difference for my acceptance to Harvard. I do remember that my interview focused almost exclusively on the role of my membership in the church on my social identity, and that I left feeling very positively about the conversation.

What makes Harvard special?

Harvard is a wonderful place. In my opinion, Harvard's greatest strength is the vast array of resources available to its students. The system is set up to give students every advantage and opportunity at success, however they choose to define it. The beautiful architecture sure doesn't hurt, either!

What was it like to be a member of the church at Harvard?

I felt very comfortable as an LDS student at Harvard. In my experience, the community was very accepting and intellectually curious about what the church meant to me, and why my membership had played such a strong role in shaping my path through school. I served a mission after my first year; the process of leaving was exceptionally smooth, and I was able to re-acclimate fairly easily when I returned home. The local singles ward is incredibly strong, and is made up of young adults from schools and professional pursuits throughout the greater Boston area.

How did you fund your education?

I received a high level of financial aid, and the rest was right on par with what my parents had set aside for me (approximately the same cost as BYU).