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Melissa Nobles announces recipients of the 2017 SHASS Infinite Mile Awards

Awards presented to five exceptional staff members of the MIT community.
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2017 SHASS Infinite Mile Award recipients pose with Dean Melissa Nobles. Left to right: Daniel Irvine, Albert Wang, Luis "Cuco" Daglio, Melissa Nobles, Ana Ludwig, and Barbara Keller.
2017 SHASS Infinite Mile Award recipients pose with Dean Melissa Nobles. Left to right: Daniel Irvine, Albert Wang, Luis "Cuco" Daglio, Melissa Nobles, Ana Ludwig, and Barbara Keller.
Photo: Jim Vaiknora

Melissa Nobles, the Kenan Sahin Dean of the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (SHASS), has announced five winners of the SHASS Infinite Mile Awards for 2017. The awards, presented each year at a festive luncheon, salute members of the SHASS staff who have made exceptional contributions to their academic units, the school, and the Institute.

Barbara Keller, administrative assistant in the Department of Anthropology, won this year's Inclusion Award. “Logistically speaking, it would be difficult for me to offer such rich programming to my students without Barbara Keller's help,” one of her nominators wrote. “However, the enthusiasm that she brings to working together also creates an incentive of its own. For instance, when I brought a master Japanese calligrapher to speak to one of my classes, Barbara walked across campus just to meet the instructor (with whom she had been emailing for weeks to orchestrate the visit) and to gather information about how she might try calligraphy herself. It is truly an honor to work with someone whose enthusiasm is so conspicuous and contagious!” On receiving the award, Keller said, “My five-year anniversary at MIT is this week, May 12. I have been in Anthropology all five years, for a good reason: I love it here!”

Luis "Cuco" Daglio, multimedia specialist in Music and Theater Arts, won an Unsung Hero Award. “Cuco joined Music and Theater arts two years ago as the very first multimedia specialist. It already feels like he has been here a decade and makes one wonder how in the world we 'did it all' without him before,” one nominator wrote. “It is unimaginable. ... Cuco expertly records concerts and provides sound reinforcement as well for jazz concerts in Killian and Kresge Auditorium. He also created and now maintains a recording archive database for MTA. His technical support spills over to areas that are not his responsibility, for example, lighting and video editing.” On receiving the award, Daglio said, “I love working with live performing arts, I love having technical challenges to solve … but most — I love seeing the performers that I work for at ease on stage doing what they do best and trusting me with the rest!”

Ana Ludwig, human resources and financial assistant in the Office of the Dean, won an Unsung Hero Award. “Anyone who knows the inner workings of the SHASS Dean's office will think immediately of Ana Ludwig,” one of her nominators wrote. “Senior Human Resources Representative, Ana Ludwig greets every newcomer and offers help and welcome to all new staff. She also works tirelessly behind the scenes to keep everything running, and does impeccably detailed financial work for the School. We cannot say enough about her enthusiastic, accurate, and attentive work.” Receiving the award, Ludwig said, “Being recognized by my colleagues in SHASS and MIT was such an honor. Finding out that the committee named me as recipient has put a pep in my step!”

Albert Wang and Daniel Irvine, systems administrator lead and systems administrator (respectively) in the Office of the Dean, won the Unsung Hero Team Award. “Dan and Albert are a phenomenal resource to our program, and to our school," one nominator wrote. "They are deeply knowledgeable and have so many insightful ideas about how to improve productivity, optimize technology, and avert disaster. Perhaps more importantly, they are eager and willing to share their knowledge with a sense of good humor. They are also indispensable for their knowledge of security and privacy issues since our faculty often times do research in the field. What may be okay to take to one country in terms of what's on your laptop or tablet, would not be advisable in another country. Before any of our faculty travel, we advise them to talk to Albert or Dan. What I personally value the most with both Albert and Dan is that no question seems too basic for them and they graciously explain answers to me so that I completely understand them.” On receiving the award, Wang said, “What’s the best part? Helping people, problem solving, and teaching everyone how computer technology works and how to better protect yourself from the bad guys in cyberspace.” Irvine added, “I love working with the staff, professors, and researchers. It leads to a diverse set of needs that always present me with a new and challenging problem to resolve.”

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