About Us

Awards and Recreation Advisory Committee

Zesiger Member of the Month

John Shriver

Where are you originally from?

I grew up in North Chevy Chase, MD, outside Washington DC.  I arrived at MIT in 1976, and earned a BS and MS.  I've lived within a quarter-mile of Massachusetts Ave ever since 1976.


What brought you to MITRecSports?

I remembered how well the Freshman swimming PE class was taught.  It was the first time I was taught swimming with any intelligence, explaining the mechanics.  I made a lot of progress then, but I'd forgotten most of it.

When I decided to learn to swim for fitness, that recollection led me to choose MITRecSports as the place to take group lessons.  The instructors have been great, and the other swimmers are interesting folks as well.  I've more than met my goal of being able to swim a mile twice a week.


How long have you been a member of MITRecSports?

I started the swim lessons in April 2013, and became a member in November 2013.  I joined the Masters Swimming group in September 2014.


What is your favorite aspect of the Alumni Center or Zesiger Center?

I've always liked the Alumni pool as a building, such an early modernist building, which really works.  (It's from before modernism was just a form.)  So wonderful when the sun streams in through the windows.

But the Zesiger center pool has plenty of advantages, like lots of lanes, and wide lanes.  The fitness center upstairs is great for cross-training.


What do you like to do for fun?

I also enjoy music (listening), photography, and collecting information about Washington DC transportation history.


Who or what inspires you?

Seeing the occasional Olympic swimmer working out in the Zesiger pool.  I'm never planning to be a racer, but watching them move through the water like it's not there is mesmerizing.


What tip would you give to others who utilize MITRecSports?

The pools are great exercise, and low-impact on the body.  There are a lot of great instructors.

Alumni / Wang Member of the Month

Congratulations to the Alumni/Wang Members of the Month

Hannah Curtis

Hannah is an 8 year old girl who has a rare form of debilitating epilepsy (CSWS, ESES). She started having nighttime seizures at age 10 months, went mute at age 2 for 5 months, but her true diagnosis was not known until age 4 with the onset of daytime grand mal seizures. Hannah has been out of school for 2 years due to her disease worsening and her medication side-effects. At one time Hannah took 49 pills per day, although that number is now down to 12 pills per day across 7 medications. Hannah has been in special education since age 2.

Hannah began swim lessons at age 6 at MIT. Last summer Hannah's disease worsened, and after a number of different medications were tried, it was decided that a risky and aggressive6 month treatment of high dosage steroids was required. Hannah's weight went from 64 lbs in September 2013, to 141 lbs in February 2014, limiting Hannah to a wheelchair to traverse more than 50 feet due to severe leg edema and pain when walking. Unfortunately, Hannah's reaction to the steroids was severe, hospitalizing her twice for respiratory problems.

The only meaningful exercise Hannah could do during this treatment period was swimming. Hannah swam at MIT each day she could, some weeks 5 or 6 times per week. Had it not been for swimming, Hannah's physical condition from the steroids may have been even worse. The water allowed Hannah to move around without the pain in her legs, and move more naturally by minimizing the awkwardness of her enlarged and overweighted body.

Hannah has been off the steroids for 4 months now. The result from the steroids: Hannah disease has been reversed, reduced, and contained by the steroid treatment - all but a cure. Hannah's three epileptic foci have been reduced to one highly localized focus in her frontal lobe. The steroids worked.

Today Hannah continues to swim 3-5 times per week at MIT as part of her physical recovery plan. Hannah also takes aquatic physical therapy at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Charlestown once per week. Hannah's aquatic skills and endurance continue to increase. Her weight is down to 114lbs and dropping. Hannah can now swim backstroke on her own for 20ft, and kickboard two laps. She continues to work on her "ice cream scoops" and "pizzas" strokes.

Hannah's goal weight is 80 lbs., and her swimming goal is to swim the backstroke by herself for a full lap. Hannah finds extra motivation when the lifeguards are watching her - "Look at me lifeguard! I'm swimming on my own!" - is often heard in the teaching pool when Hannah is in attendance.

Lifetime Fitness Award

The DAPER Lifetime Fitness Award is an award which recognizes MIT members for their contributions, hard work and dedication to athletics, physical education and recreation.  The criteria for this award include 20 years of involvement in personal fitness as a DAPER member and regular user and other various contributions to DAPER such as committees, teaching, assisting with teams, etc. MIT community makes nominations. To nominate an individual, please email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

The award is given out at the Alumni and Zesiger Anniversary celebration.


2013- Christine Pizer

Read more: Lifetime Fitness Award

Annual Awards

Aquatic Member of the Year

In recognition of dedication to the Aquatics program and contribution to the MIT Recreation. Presented annually, voted on by employees awarded at the Zesiger/Alumni Anniversary celebration.

2013 Recipient-Liz Barnes

Fitness Member of the Year

In recognition of contribution to MIT Recreation and dedication to health and wellness. Presented annually, voted on by employees and awarded at the Zesiger/Alumni Anniversary celebration.

2013 Recipient- Vicky Palay

Read more: Annual Awards

Recreation Advisory Committee


James (JC) Cheng, Alumnus Dennis Jillson, Staff
Phil Alexander, Faculty Todd Billings, Staff
Alec Anderson, Undergraduate Student Tuka Al Hanai, Graduate Student

To contact the committee for information or questions email:  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The purpose of the Recreation Advisory Committee (RAC) is to provide input and/or advice to DAPER Administration concerning facility operations, programs, and activities as they relate to Recreational Sports programs, informal recreation and DAPER membership services.

Read more: Recreation Advisory Committee

Facility Hours (Full List Here)

Zesiger Center
Mon - Fri: 6:00 am - 11:00 pm
Sat:  7:00 am - 9:00 pm
Sun:  9:00 am - 11:00 pm

Alumni/Wang Center
Mon - Fri: 11:45 am - 9:00 pm

Quick Schedule Links:

Swimming Pools

Open Recreation (Courts,Track, Fields)

Johnson Ice Rink

February 2015 Newsletter

News & Events

Facility Orientation


Facility Orientation

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