Gertrude (Trudy) Morris, a house manager in the Department of Housing's student life division for 15 years, has been selected as the 2004 winner of the YMCA Black Achiever Award at MIT.
Morris will join 67 other Black Achievers at the awards ceremony on Jan. 29 at the Copley Place Marriott. Her peers chose Morris to serve as their vice president.
The Black Achievers program recognizes African-Americans in the Boston area and regions served by 75 other YMCAs around the country. Recipients are nominated for their professional accomplishments and their volunteer community service with young people. As part of the program, they agree to spend at least 40 hours with youths in the Black Achievers Community Service Program.
Morris, a graduate of Fisher Junior College, has been a member of the MIT Activities Committee and the Special Presidential Committee for the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. celebration. She received a recognition award in 1999 from MIT's African-American student organizations--the Black Graduate Student Association, the Black Student Union, the Black Women's Alliance, Chocolate City, Color Creations and the National Society of Black Engineers. She also received a distinguished service award as a co-convener and a member of the Working Group for Support Staff Issues in 1996 and was a member of the Artists Behind the Desk task force in 1997.
Morris has been a volunteer for the Dimock Community Health Center and the American Cancer Society. She is a justice of the peace and a notary public. She has managed Edgerton House, an apartment complex that houses 200 single graduate students, since 1994.
"She is a problem solver and has a strong relationship with her house government as well as the other residents of Edgerton House," said Karen Nilsson, director of the Department of Housing, in her nominating letter. "Her work in this area has strengthened the quality of life and learning for graduate students at MIT, ensuring good customer service and a place that students truly call home."
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on January 14, 2004.