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Reflecting the best of MIT

MIT Excellence Awards committee updates ‘green’ award, is currently taking nominations.

The MIT Excellence Awards have a long tradition of recognizing the dedication, talents and accomplishments of the Institute’s staff. The awards also stand for the principles and priorities that MIT values most, according to the awards committee. So the committee continually strives to reflect a changing world and the Institute’s evolving goals in every category.

The most recent example of the award committee’s commitment to ensuring relevance and proper recognition across the Institute is its new Sustaining MIT Award — an updated version of the original and more narrowly focused Greening MIT Award.

“When the original Greening MIT Award was created, the overall view of sustainability was much narrower and focused on activities like recycling and energy conservation,” explains Joan Marshall, communications manager for human resources and a member of the award committee. “We wanted to reflect the evolution of sustainability at the Institute and broaden the award in order to recognize all work done in this arena.”

Going beyond green

Where the Greening MIT Award emphasized protecting the planet and enhancing MIT’s position as a leader in environmentally sustainable practices, the Sustaining MIT Award acknowledges a more expansive view of sustainability-related activities.

According to the award committee, the new award recognizes those who: “Act as a guardian of MIT’s resources by implementing more efficient or cost effective practices that improve MIT’s ecological, financial, or community health and wellbeing.”

“We wanted to acknowledge the work being done by staff who have decreased water usage at MIT and of those people who make sure flu shots are available to everyone who wants one. Because all of that work serves to sustain MIT,” Marshall says.

“This is not the first time our team has gone back to change an award to make it broader and more reflective of Institute priorities,” she continues. “As MIT progresses in its thinking, the awards strive to reflect that.”

The 2014 nomination period is now open

Nominations for the Sustaining MIT Award and the five other Excellence Award categories — advancing inclusion, innovative solutions, bringing out the best, serving the client, and unsung hero — are now open.

The Excellence Awards recognize exceptional accomplishments by support, service, sponsored research, administrative and other academic staff (they’re not intended to recognize teaching and research). Individuals receive $2,000; each team shares up to $10,000.

The Excellence Award committee encourages everyone to nominate deserving colleagues. “Nominating people is important because we want to celebrate service. These awards are an invaluable opportunity to thank people for the work they’re doing,” Marshall says.

Nominations for this year’s awards are due Oct. 21 for campus staff and Oct. 16 for Lincoln Laboratory employees.

The 2014 MIT Excellence Awards ceremony will take place on Feb. 25, 2014 at 3 p.m. at the Kresge Auditorium. For more information about the awards, or to submit a nomination, visit the 2014 Excellence Awards website.

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