The staff of the Physics Academic Programs Office supports every aspect of the Physics education program at MIT. We are a friendly, welcoming team of professionals dedicated to the success of all students in MIT Physics degree programs or taking an MIT Physics course.

From inquiries about the undergraduate major or questions about admission to our doctoral program, to overseeing degree completion and celebrating graduates, we are available at every step of the Physics education journey: providing information, interpreting academic policy, administering advising, organizing classes, and solving problems. As a part of your extended support network, we’re also available to help with non-academic issues as well, pointing you towards opportunities and resources of all kinds.

If you have a question about any aspect of academic life at MIT, ask the Academic Programs Office and we’ll help you find the answers you need.

Meet the Academic Programs Team

Shannon Larkin, Physics Academic Administrator

Shannon Larkin
(she, her, hers)
Academic Administrator


Shannon oversees the administration of all Physics Department academic programs and manages the five-person staff of the academic office. She can be a resource on MIT policy and procedures to both faculty and students. She likes to keep her office open to welcome visitors, keeping on hand a ready supply of tissues, chocolate and hugs. Her main job, as she sees it, is to help students navigate through the delightful and arcane labyrinth that is MIT, acting sometimes as Cleric, sometimes as Bard, or rising to Paladin when necessary. Frequent visitors will be asked what they are currently reading, and be encouraged to discuss at length.

She lives in Cambridge with her husband Joe, an English Shepherd named Ladybird, and a blue-tongued skink named Godzilla. When out of the office, she might be found singing professionally, specializing in music of the late Renaissance and early Baroque. She is a soprano but tries not to act like one. Or she might be out playing agility with Ladybird, who is much better at the game than Shannon is.

On campus schedule: Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays

Sydney Miller
Graduate Programs Administrator

Sydney Miller
(she, her, hers)
Graduate Programs Administrator


Sydney manages the graduate student experience from prospective applicant inquiries through degree completion and graduation.

Sydney works with current students on recruitment and outreach for the department and is the staff liaison for the graduate admissions committee. She responds to inquiries from prospective applicants, handles applications, coordinates decision meetings, and runs the open house and orientation events for the prospective and incoming graduate class. Sydney staffs the first-year research seminar, documents written and oral exam results, thesis committee formation, and other academic progress benchmarks for current students. She publicizes thesis defense arrangements, collects completed theses for the department, and celebrates degree completion and commencement. Sydney provides letters to certify student status and funding and is the staff advisor for grad student groups, events, and activities. She is an alumna of the Physics Values Committee and champions their work. Sydney co-manages the grad student lounge and front office supplies when we are on campus and has ordered lots of catered lunches and snacks over the past 3+ years. Sydney and her dog Turbo are both adjusting to working remotely.

On campus schedule: Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays

Michal Holland, Undergraduate Advising and Program Coordinator

Michal (Mike) Holland
(he, him, his)
Undergraduate Advising and Program Coordinator


Michal (Mike) Holland manages the undergraduate student experience from prospective student applications all the way through to degree completion and graduation.

Some of my responsibilities include:

  • coordinating academic advising systems,
  • maintaining data, and communicating with faculty and students
  • administering semiannual advanced standing exams
  • administering peer-tutoring program,
  • managing hiring of undergraduate graders;
  • liaising with Society of Physics Students and Undergraduate Womxn in Physics officers
  • freshman pre-orientation program;
  • coordinating activities such as academic expo, sophomore orientation, family weekend, open houses, end-of-year dinners;
  • overseeing UROP and thesis proposal processes; processing undergraduate paperwork

Mike lives in Stoughton Massachusetts. He enjoys playing basketball, listening to music, and spending time with family and friends. Some of his other hobbies include traveling, coaching basketball to youth and trying different foods.

On campus schedule: Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays

Paige DiMatteo,
Student Payroll Coordinator

Paige DiMatteo
(she, her, hers)
Student Payroll Coordinator


The Student Payroll Coordinator processes and manages student appointments for the Physics Department. They also assists graduate and undergraduate students with any payroll/timesheet related issues or concerns.

Here are some of the things that the Student Payroll Coordinator can help undergraduate students with:

  • timesheet issues/questions
  • student employment (TA, Graders, UROP)
  • payroll related issues
  • verification letter for UROP
  • timesheet & direct deposit procedure

Here are some of the things that the Student Payroll Coordinator can help graduate students with:

  • TA and RA appointment related questions
  • payment or account related issues
  • Graduate grader and proctor appointment; payment and setting up appointment
  • fellowship related questions; please email

Paige lives in Woburn, Massachusetts. She enjoys traveling, hanging out with friends, and the warm weather. Whenever she has free time, she loves to bring her dog Gracie to the dog park.

On campus schedule: Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays

headshot of Leah Kahn with trees in background
Leah Kahn
Course Manager

Leah Kahn, (she, her, hers)
Course Manager


Leah provides administrative support for the department’s teaching staff and to the undergraduate program within the Academic Programs Office.

Some of her responsibilities are:

  • assisting faculty and teaching staff in managing courses
  • coordinating the final exam schedule with faculty
  • organizing meetings, grading sessions, tutor sessions, exam reviews and other course activities
  • working with faculty and disabilities office to provide testing accommodations
  • administering the subject evaluation process
  • scheduling of section lecturers and recitation instructors each term
  • arranging IAP subjects and events, including scheduling and booking rooms
  • helping students, faculty and instructors with IAP course related problems

Leah lives in Arlington, Massachusetts. Originally from Oregon, she enjoys hiking, biking, sewing cosplays, theatre, and writing poetry. Always happy to talk hair, fashion, and food: come tell her about your favorite places to shop and eat in Boston! 

On campus schedule: Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays

Kim Heatley,
Web & Database Administrator

Kim Heatley
(they, them, theirs)
Web & Database Administrator


Kim is the Physics Web & Database Administrator and is reponsible for:

Kim lives in Boston with their wife, Jill, cats (Trouble and Cricket {RIP Pickles}), and dog, Nugget, who often appears in the APO office (see photo below). They are a true crime nut and loves watching movies. Otherwise, they keep busy walking Nugget, playing flag football, and going on spontaneous road trips for ice cream or other yummy food.

On campus schedule: Fridays. WFH: Mondays through Thursdays

Pets of Academic Programs


Likes: Seeing ‘his’ students and food.

Dislikes: Working from home.


Likes: Balls and tug toys. String cheese and rotisserie chicken.

Dislikes: Being pet on the head. Being surprised or tricked. Walking in the rain.