Christian Therkelsen Named to ESPN Academic All-America First Team

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.Christian Therkelsen became the first player in the history of the men's soccer program and fourth MIT athlete to earn ESPN Academic All-America First Team honors for three consecutive years. The senior forward joins Duane Stevens '98 (football), Uzoma Orji '06 (track and field), and Julia Zimmerman '09 (women's gymnastics) in this elite accomplishment.

Therkelsen received the 13th award for the men's soccer team and extended the Engineers' run of six consecutive years with at least one honoree. MIT's institutional tally now stands at 165, maintaining its position as the leader among Division III programs. Earlier this month, fellow classmate and captain Joey DeRosa was tabbed to the All-District Second Team.

Therkelsen is the second men's soccer player in Institute history to collect First-Team accolades four years in a row. He registered a team-high eight assists to go along with four goals for 16 points. Therkelsen closed his career placing second in points (99), third in goals (37), and fourth in assists (25). During his sophomore campaign, he set the Institute record for points in a season with 40.

Pursuing degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science in addition to Economics, Therkelsen is a three-time NEWMAC Academic All-Conference selection. A former research assistant at MIT's Intelligent Transportation Systems Lab, he created a traffic simulation model to analyze and predict traffic congestion that was used by the Beijing Transportation Research Center. Therkelsen also developed and debugged a model of road network in Lower Westchester County, N.Y., which was implemented by the New York State Department of Transportation to study morning traffic into New York City. He also completed internships with Deutsche Bank and Weiss Asset Management.

DeRosa anchored a defense that set the Institute record for fewest goals in a season (13) and led the NEWMAC in goals against average (0.82). He has played in 64 of MIT's 67 games with 54 starts and posted the first goal and assist of his career this season. A Chemical Engineering major, DeRosa is an MIT Science and Technology Initiative Ambassador and served as the President of Phi Sigma Kappa. As a research assistant at MIT's Earth Resources Laboratory, he profiled global and U.S. natural gas markets for the MIT energy resource report. DeRosa also projected natural gas availability and developed a preliminary report for the interdisciplinary MIT study on natural gas. During his summer internship at Reykjavik Energy in Iceland, he reviewed methods of treating hydrogen sulfide gas emission from geothermal plants in Iceland and authored a report discussing removal measures for geothermal power plant emissions.

Returning to Cambridge, DeRosa was a research assistant at the Biotechnology Process Engineering Center where he retrieved and analyzed bioreactor samples in an experiment to determine the mechanism by which a strain of bacteria removes sulfur compounds from crude oil. He then spent this past summer working for Iberdola, S.A., an international electricity utility in Madrid, Spain, where he developed short and long-term electric vehicle business strategies with the Corporate Innovation Team.