Alumnus Spotlight: Tarik Hasic

Class of 2022 Graduate Attends MIT


Tarik in front of the Great Dome on the MIT campus

Muntara Singh, Chief Editor, Writer

Tarik was the valedictorian of the Class of 2022

A freshman at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Morgan alumnus Tarik Hasic is not one to give up. In fact, it’s in his blood. His family escaped ethnic cleansing, a result of a war in Bosnia, during the 1990s. From Bosnia to Germany to America, his parents worked hard so he could one day have educational opportunities in a peaceful nation. Tarik was born on American soil, and he grew up learning in the Clinton Public School District. His journey to MIT was one of hard work and dedication. 

Tarik enjoyed his time as a Husky at Morgan, and his favorite memory is when his friend Dan brought his saxophone to school. The two of them walked around the school, barging into classes with Dan climbing tables to play music for unexpecting onlookers. Other fond memories include having free reign of the engineering room, laughing every day with Spanish teacher Laura Luther, and playing tennis with friends. He described the utmost respect students hold for Señora, as well as the combination of authority and joviality unique to her classroom. 

Tarik learned with every opportunity he was granted at Morgan. He challenged himself with difficult classes and developed his time management skills with the arduous workload. He strengthened an appreciation for relationships while working multiple jobs and playing sports. He took advantage of an Engineering Independent Study, in which he constructed whatever he wanted, including a calculator, an RFID scanner, and an ultrasonic sensor that measured distance. Prior to his senior year, he was planning to pursue a mathematics major. This experience, along with AP Computer Science Principles taught by technology education teacher Jessica Mularski, fostered a passion for computer science. 

Kresge Auditorium

If he could go back, Tarik would also do a Computer Science Independent Study and take an online Harvard course called CS 50. He would also take better notes in Personal Finance with business education teacher Ryan Richitelli. “We made some cool calculators in that class,” Tarik remarked. He wished he’d known that college wouldn’t be as hard as everyone made it out to be. He is no longer involved in as many activities and extracurriculars, and he finds his current selection of courses to be fun. Tarik heard horror stories about physics at MIT, and while it isn’t his favorite subject, the collaborative environment at his school means students are always helping each other out. “It’s challenging in a nice way,” he said. “But it’s not so much that it’s unbearable.” 

MIT was Tarik’s dream school for many years. “It’s every engineer’s dream to study there!” he exclaimed. “I knew that I would be surrounded by opportunities conducive to my growth as a scholar.” Upon acceptance, he was overcome with emotion. He has taken advantage of his resources, including a research project in the Computer Science & Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) through the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP). He is partnering with his roommate to print 3D objects that look as if they’re made of different materials such as wood or metal. Tarik enjoys the application of mechanical engineering in addition to computer science. “The best part is, I get paid for my research,” Tarik said. “It’s just the cherry on top.” 

Tarik with Professor John Guttag after an Intro to Data class

At the end of his first semester, Tarik asked his favorite professor, John Guttag, to take a picture with him. Tarik’s experiences with the computer science lecturer are just one example of the environment he describes as “conducive” to his learning. He admires his peers for their work ethic and passion, feeling inspired as a result to continue to work hard. He wasn’t expecting to collaborate so much in college, but he has made a circle of friends from peers in classes convening during office hours. “It’s like a ring of help,” he said.

A scholar driven by determination and a moving backstory, Tarik is a firm believer that students should pursue their passions regardless of the paycheck. “You’ll always find a way to make money,” he advised. “Reach for the college you want.” His last word of advice? Stay in touch with high school friends. “They’ll always be your best friends.”