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21 individuals, teams receive MIT Excellence Awards

The Family Resource Center won an MIT Excellence Award for "Fostering an Inclusive Workplace." Kathy L. Simons (left) and A. Rae Simpson (right) celebrate with Vice President for Human Resources Laura Avakian.
The Family Resource Center won an MIT Excellence Award for "Fostering an Inclusive Workplace." Kathy L. Simons (left) and A. Rae Simpson (right) celebrate with Vice President for Human Resources Laura Avakian.
Photo / Donna Coveney

Fourteen individuals and seven teams from across the Institute and Lincoln Laboratory were awarded MIT Excellence Awards in a festive ceremony in Wong Auditorium on Oct. 3.

Recognizing people in a variety of positions, the new annual award (part of MIT's Rewards and Recognition program) acknowledges innovation, leadership, collaboration, dedication, outreach, inclusiveness, service and results. The program is designed to recognize individuals and teams for their exceptional contributions to their office, their department or school, or to the Institute as a whole.

The awards help MIT foster an environment of shared success and commitment, recognize that each individual can make a difference, highlight behaviors and activities that have benefited MIT and showcase employees as role models.

"We are pleased that faculty and staff both participated in the nomination process, which resulted in over 120 nominations. Employees nominated managers and vice versa; colleagues nominated one another in and outside of their own departments," said Vice Presdident for Human Resources Laura Avakian in opening remarks.

The Rewards and Reconition program is "a way to keep the level of excellence high not only in education and research but also in all administrative and service roles, said President Charles M. Vest. "It helps individuals see how valued they are for both their individual and collaborative work in helping us fulfill our mission. We can see that all our jobs touch that mission in some form, which helps MIT be the place it is."

Provost Bob Brown and Executive Vice President John Curry helped hand out awards as they were announced.

MIT Excellence Awards were given in six categories: "Building Bridges," for actively and collaboratively approaching problems as opportunities for learning and growth through constructive dialogue; "Fostering an Inclusive Workplace," for creating a positive, supportive and inclusive place for employees and faculty to work; "Leading Change," for exemplary leadership, mentoring and role modeling; "Making a Difference in Our Communities," for incorporating the ideals and interests of MIT and our neighbors into our daily work; "Serving the Client," for improving the value and efficiency of services provided; and "Working Smarter/Getting Results," for identifying, creating and implementing innovative solutions to improve the way work is done.

In the "Building Bridges" category, recipients were Paula Anzer, special assistant in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning; Patricia Greer, associate director of the Office of Sponsored Programs; Doreen Morris, assistant provost for administration; and the Comparative Media Studies Program administrative, support and development team: R.J. Bain, Alex Chisholm, Jan Ellertsen, Chris Pomiecko, Douglas Purdy and Brad Seawell.

In the "Fostering an Inclusive Workplace" category, recipients were Karen Fraser, secretary of Group 98 at Millstone/Lincoln Laboratory; Barbara Roberts, manager of Disabilities Services; and the Family Resource Center team of Kathy Simons, child care resource and referral programs administrator, and Rae Simpson, parenting programs administrator.

In the "Leading Change" category, recipients were Marilee Jones, director of the Office of Admissions; and the MIT Video Productions Team: David Constine, Joanne Flood, Lawrence Gallagher, Robert Hawley, Mike Leoncini, Elaine Mello, Craig Milanesi, David Scannell, Jeff Silva and Thomas White.

In the "Making a Difference in Our Communities" category, recipients were Patricia DeCuir, group secretary in the Tactical Defense Systems Group at Lincoln Lab; and Paul Thomas, also known as "Mr. Magnet," a technical supervisor at the Plasma Science and Fusion Center who conducts outreach programs to schools.

In the "Serving the Client" category, recipients were Mary Cabral, administrative assistant in music and theater arts; Daniel Calawa, who is responsible for the X-ray Materials Characterization Laboratory at Lincoln Lab; Gayle Gallagher, director of Conference Services, Events and the Information Center; and Theresa Regan, director of Office Computing. Team winners were the Computing Practices Resource Team of Brian Campbell, John De Almeida and Kyle Pope; and the Undergraduate Mathematics Office Team of Debbie Bower, Stephanie Gallarelli, Joanne Jonsson and Anna Ward.

������In the "Working Smarter/Getting Results" category, recipients were Marie Tranquillino, senior secretary in the Army ROTC office; Wayne Turner, associate director of Financial Systems Services; the Lincoln Library team of Melanie Arakawa, Susan Y. Bourbeau, Marian Bremer, Deanna Briggs, Lee Cornelison, Susan DeFranzo, Patricia Dugas, Janet Fortunato, Tamar Granovsky, Suellen Green, Carolyn Greenberg, Robert Hall, Monica Legro, Anne MacVicar, Hugh McCurtain, Ginger McGuire, Robert Menk, Kimberly Miminos, Lorraine Nazzaro, Denise Parr, Beth Phillips, Sandra Savlen, Arlene Scioli, Robert Seidel, Ruthanne Sheinkopf and Hema Viswanatha; and the MBA Admissions Team of Rod Garcia, Angel Navedo, Barry Reckley and Julie Strong.

"This is something we can look forward to annually; it is a practice that will become an integral part of our culture," Vest said. "I encourage all of you to keep nominating; continue to recognize those who do a great job to build MIT as a leader not only in education and research, but in all of our activities."

In addition to the MIT Excellence awards, more than 200 Infinite Mile awards (another component of the Rewards and Recognition Program) were presented earlier this year in more than 20 local areas around the Institute. Those awards were published in a supplement to the Sept. 26 issue of MIT Tech Talk.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on October 24, 2001.

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