Fourteen individuals and seven teams were honored at the second annual MIT Excellence Awards ceremony held in Wong Auditorium on Oct. 16.
Part of MIT's Rewards and Recognition program, the Excellence Awards acknowledge individuals and teams for exceptional contributions to their offices, departments and schools, and to the Institute as a whole. They were introduced in January 2001 and aim to promote innovation, leadership, collaboration, service and results.
This year's award recipients were selected from more than 130 nominations and represented every job category at the Institute: support, administrative, service, faculty/other academic and sponsored research staff. Employees nominated their managers, managers nominated employees, and colleagues nominated one another in and outside their own departments. Teams varied in size from two to 32 members, and several teams represented multiple departments. Individuals and teams were honored from Haystack Observatory and Lincoln Laboratory as well as the main campus.
Provost Bob Brown, Executive Vice President John Curry and Chancellor Phil Clay helped distribute awards. David Briggs, director of Lincoln Laboratory, handed out awards to Lincoln Lab recipients. Individual winners received $2,000 and a plaque; teams received plaques and shared a $10,000 award ($2,000 maximum per individual).
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.
In-depth descriptions of the recipients' achievements and their photographs can be found here.
Two teams received awards in the "Building Bridges" category: the ADVANCE Strategic Team (ADDStrat) of Shelley Brown, Mark Jacobs, Bonny Kellermann, Rose McGrath, Joseph Recchio and Helen Rose from the Alumni Association, Resource Development and the Treasurer's Office; and the Lincoln Lab web development team of Joshua Bernard, Richard Bushey, Claire Durocher, Karen Haron, Beth Phillips, Jeffrey Pondick and Bruce Santamaria.
In the "Fostering an Inclusive Workplace" category, Senior Lecturer Wyn Kelley of the literature section received an award. Danielle Guichard-Ashbrook, Dana Bresee Keeth and Penny Rosser of the International Scholars Office and International Students Office Team also received awards, as did the Haystack Benefits Committee team of Peter Bolis, Thomas Buretta, Cheryl Gould, Douglas Harrison, Heidi Johnson and Bruce Whittier.
In the "Leading Change" category, recipients were Peggy Enders, associate dean for undergraduate education and associate program director for undergraduate education at the Cambridge-MIT Institute; Kathleen Monoxelos, administrative secretary for Group 71 at Lincoln Lab; Julie Norris, director of the Office of Sponsored Programs; and Elizabeth Reed, director of the Office of Career Services and Pre-Professional Advising.
Award recipients in the category of "Making a Difference in Our Communities" were Kate Baty, coordinator of the Hosts to International Students Program in the International Students Office; the Experimental Study Group team of David Custer, Professor Emeritus Robert Hulsizer Jr. and Craig Watkins in the School of Science; and the 32-person, cross-functional CERES Team: Sybil Adams, James Balfour, Gerald Banner, Myroslaw Bezpalko, Matthew Blythe, Lisa Brown-Manguso, Richard Bushey, Carlos Chavez, Mary Dunn, Jenifer Evans, Deborah Freedman, Mark Guman, Pablo Hopman, Robert Huber, Julie Ann Johnson, Jefferson Kommers, Therese Lloyd, John Nolan, Eric Pearce, Barbara Raymond, Patricia Richards, Wayne Robertson, Eugene Rork, Thomas Ruekgauer, Margaret Savedra, Ronald Sayer, Jayant Sharma, Frank Shelly, J. Scott Stuart, Douglas Torres, Peter Trujillo and Herbert Viggh.
In the "Serving the Client" category, recipients were Charles Doherty, facility manager in the Advanced Imaging Technology Group at Lincoln Lab; Ana Guimaraes, dormitory housekeeper for MacGregor House; Gladys Overshown, administrative assistant in Audio Visual Services; Jeff Shao, finance manager for the Leaders for Manufacturing and the System Design and Management Programs; William Smith III, senior fiscal officer and assistant director for finance and sponsor relations in the Research Lab of Electronics; and John Valleli, assistant to the administrative officer in the Department of Architecture.
Award recipients in the "Working Smarter/Getting Results" category included Kathleen Carusone of Group 43 at Lincoln Lab; Renee Caso, academic administrator in the Department of Architecture; and Information Services' Web Survey Service Project Team members Jagruti Patel and Jeffrey Schiller.
President Vest encouraged all employees to continue making nominations in future years. The Rewards and Recognition program "is a reminder that we're committed to doing the best job we possibly can for the benefit of our students and our communities at large," he said.
The Infinite Mile Awards, administered by individual areas within MIT, are an additional way to recognize co-workers' exceptional contributions. "The Infinite Mile Awards are taking on a life of their own in each area, customized around departments' particular culture, values and goals," said Laura Avakian, vice president of Human Resources. Over the past year, more than 550 Infinite Mile awards have been presented in more than 20 local areas around the Institute and at Lincoln Lab. Names of recipients were published in a supplement to the Sept. 25 issue of MIT Tech Talk.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on October 30, 2002.