photo of Killian Court Infinite Mile Awards
Office of the Provost
Office of the Vice President for Research
Office of the Dean for Graduate Education
Testimonials for the 2010 Infinite Mile Award Winners

Cheryl Buccieri, Division of Comparative Medicine
Cheryl has been with the department since 1990 and is described as a quiet, behind the scenes worker, who is instrumental in processing a very large volume of billing and animal census data on a monthly basis. Cheryl works selflessly to help others get tasks done along with completing her usual workload. Such efforts are typical of Cheryl’s approach to her job and her commitment to being part of a team. For nearly 20 years Cheryl has fulfilled her job obligations with a sense of dedication and seriousness.

Maureen Caulfield, Institute of Soldier Nanotechnologies
Maureen serves as the Financial Assistant in ISN and is available any time of the day to any staff member who asks her for anything while at the same time completing her own tasks. Maureen’s challenges do not inhibit her dedication and commitment to ISN and her recognition that “I know this is important to JJ (ISN director) so I want to make sure that I do everything I can to make it a success so it reflects well on him.” Maureen’s dedication to ISN is extraordinary.

Brian Chenery, Human Resources Department
Brian is the Human Resources Officer for the Office of the Dean for Graduate Education is deeply valued and can be counted on to help restore balance during times of uncertainty. As our HRO, Brian has made an incredible difference in how we have been able to get through many challenging HR changes this year. He is always there with superior customer service and quick responses. Brian is a dedicated colleague who is extremely collaborative and is a trusted advisor and mentor.

Terry Clewley, Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research
Terry has been described as an HR administrator extraordinaire for his deep knowledge of HR, his ever-present professionalism and composure, and his caring manner.  During the recent 5-year renewal of the core grant, and the NCI site visit, Terry played a critical role going above and beyond his job description.  He did an amazing job putting in many extra nights and weekends while keeping up with his regular work.  He is an incredible worker and a critical part of the Koch Headquarters team.

Steve Downey, Division of Comparative Medicine
Steve joined DCM in 2003 and by taking the initiative in assuming more duties, and learning about the Division’s activities he was promoted to Financial Coordinator.  He plays a pivotal role in overseeing much of the training for newly hired administrative assistants as well as providing computer assistance to the staff.  His willingness to take an interest in matters beyond his specific job, strengthens the group as a whole and ensures our success.

Daniel Enderton, MIT Energy Initiative
Because of Daniel’s commitment and dedication, MITEI is the recipient of energy research funds included in the federal stimulus package.  Dan rolls up his sleeves and does what needs to be done, never complaining that his job responsibilities have changed since his initial hire.  MITEI and MIT’s energy faculty owe him a debt of gratitude for helping ensure the success of MIT proposals and for attracting significant federal energy research funding.

Noranne Enzer, Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research
As manager of the Koch Institute’s Embryonic Stem Cell and Transgenic Facility, Noranne has consistently stepped up to new challenges, including many scientific endeavors, working long hours under the pressure of grant proposals, and assuming the facility directorship to cover two maternity leaves.  Noranne has a strong work ethic, but it’s her patience and easy manner that guides and encourages all who work with her.

Sarah Farrington, Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research
Sarah serves as the Core Facilities Coordinator for the Swanson Biotechnology Center that includes 12 facilities.  She has transformed the operations of the facility through tremendous hard work and dedication, and her efforts have benefited hundreds of students, fellows and staff.  Sarah has also been a key player in the development phases for the move into the new building.  She has been to an untold number of meetings with the architects and labs to make sure all the needs are being considered.  She works with the highest level of integrity and competence, and always with a smile.

Robert Granetz, Plasma Science and Fusion Center
Bob is a Principal Research Scientist and group leader on the Alcator C-Mod Project. He has spent countless hours working with graduate students, scientists, and engineers to make sure that the many diagnostics systems required are installed and working properly. This requires many hours of work inside the confined vacuum vessel spaces on weekends and evenings. And Bob has always accepted these challenges without hesitation, and maintains his enthusiastic and contagious optimism along with a serious can-do attitude. Bob’s optimistic and enthusiastic approach, and his great efforts in solving the many complex problems found in our area of research are key to the success of the project.

Patricia Greer, Office of Sponsored Programs
Pat serves as the Deputy Director of OSP and as one of her nominees writes, “Pat has become something of an institution here at the Institute.”  Pat is very patient, considerate and willingly suggests creative strategies to resolve issues collaboratively. She communicates clearly, effectively and diplomatically, and by example, demonstrates “best practices” in her interactions with colleagues in OSP and throughout MIT. Pat has consistently contributed experience, intelligence, and patient attentiveness to foster people and processes that are making MIT better today and stronger tomorrow.

Dana Bresee Keeth, Office of the Provost
The Clinical Research Center had lost its funding and needed to be guided to closure.  Dana stepped in as the temporary Administrative Officer and performed spectacularly showing a high-level of professionalism that inspired others and raised the morale in a very challenging situation. Dana exhibited a true sense of serving the “greater good” as she was highly sensitive to the needs and feelings of individuals who were losing jobs or having job roles redesigned. The dignity, compassion, and unselfishness that Dana brought to her job were all the more remarkable because her position had to be temporary – but her efforts and thoughtfulness about people has had an enduring impact.

Gordon Kohse, Nuclear Reactor Laboratory
As Principal Research Scientist, Gordon is the key individual responsible for translating the proposals submitted from a wide array of external and MIT users into experimental systems ready for insertion into the Nuclear Reactor core. Very few individuals in the United States have such experience in successfully designing and executing these specialized nuclear experiments each with different geometry, material, and irradiation conditions. Without Gordon’s creativity and dedication, it would not be possible to do this work at MIT. Gordon’s strengths include teaching for Nuclear Science and Engineering Department, working on projects at Bates Laboratory, and is an inspiration and mentor to young scientists and engineers both undergraduate and graduate.

Brian LaBombard, Plasma Science and Fusion Center
Brian serves as Principal Research Scientist and has worked tirelessly and made extraordinary contributions to ensure the success of the high-visible milestone for this country’s three major fusion-research projects, and the MIT’s Alcator C-Mod project is one of these. The milestone was developed by the funding agency the Department of Energy, and is extremely important to fulfill. Brian has been an un-paralleled contributor to the success of what happens at the C-Mod experiment – both basic hardware and engineering and also supporting the research of others. He challenges scientists and students to live up to his high scientific and moral standards, by setting a good example. Brian regularly provides innovative suggestions and advice to others, thus substantially enhancing the scientific quality of their work. It would be next to impossible to find someone who has not benefited immensely from his contributions.

Marlene Mack, Technology Licensing Office
Marlene is the Office Manager for the TLO and is completely dedicated to make the TLO the best it can be. Marlene is trusted by her colleagues and handles very difficult personnel issues discreetly. Her judgment and advice to members of the management team are highly valued. Marlene takes on the responsibility of getting things fixed and responding to emergencies in a highly intelligent manner including coming in on a weekend to deal with a major flood in the TLO offices. She was found wearing rubber sandals and up to her ankles in water to try and save the files! Marlene has hired, trained and motivated a very high performing team, with high morale.

Richard Murray, Plasma Science and Fusion Center
Rick is the Radio Frequency Instrumentation Engineer and has primary responsibility for the proper operation, maintenance and upgrade to instrumentation and control systems for four 2 Megawatt 80 Megahertz Ion Cyclotron Resonant Heating systems used on Alcator C-Mod to heat the plasma. Rick also is heavily involved in building, maintaining, upgrading and operating a Two-Color Interferometry system used for electron density measurements on Alcator C-Mod plasmas. Rick is particularly good at communicating complex technical ideas and information to others, including the many graduate students he has worked with, and spends many hours thoroughly documenting the systems and equipment he designs and builds. He is a team player with a persistent positive attitude and outlook.

Cynthia Quense, Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research
Cindy is the Assistant Director for Administration and she creates and promotes an atmosphere of warmth, congeniality, and positive emphasis that is infectious. During a recent NIH core grant renewal, Cindy seemed to thrive in the challenges of coordinating this massive undertaking - remaining upbeat, encouraging, committed to the tasks at hand, and respectful and considerate of everyone she worked with. She viewed the project as a team effort. When faced with inevitable roadblocks or dead-ends, Cindy confidently reevaluated, and planned the best move forward. Cindy is hard working, genuine and full of integrity.

Judy Raymond, Human Resources Department
Five times a year the Assistant Deans and DLC administrators struggle with the Annual Salary Review software that is currently used for the Institute’s salary reviews. The system is slow, cumbersome, and crashes during peak periods such as after business hours when administrators have time to input salary increase data. In spite of the system’s weaknesses, there is one aspect of the ASR that is superb and that is the support provided to users by Judy. Judy can answer any question, find a solution to any problem, and goes far beyond her required support role to help the DLC Administrators and Assistant Deans meet the tight deadlines for salary reviews all the while that she herself is under enormous pressure during these deadlines. Judy is unique in that she understands academic appointments the way departments and Dean’s Offices do – this means she understands her customer’s questions and serves as a bridge between DLC and central administration. Judy has the deepest respect of her colleagues and their gratitude for her commitment to MIT and for a career of outstanding service delivered with kindness and patience.

Amy Sargent, Office of the Chancellor
Amy serves as the Administrative Assistant in the Chancellor’s Office. Navigating in the Chancellor’s Office requires self-motivation, self-sufficiency, and an ability to work under distractions, shortened deadlines and meeting those deadlines with accuracy. Amy performs outstandingly, with diplomacy, while remaining focused on results – she is a professional.  Amy has a talent for creativity and vision, which has significantly helped the office with efficiency and effectiveness. Amy is an unassuming leader, a picture of pragmatism and when presented with a problem, she leaps into action. Amy reflects a strong work ethic and dedication to MIT. She sets a personal standard of excellence, ventures beyond boundaries, is seamless in character, and grand in heart.

Christina Triantafyllou, McGovern Institute for Brain Research
Christina serves as the Assistant Director for the Martinos Brain Imaging Center at McGovern. Christina was hired as the medical physicist to direct both the technical operations and the day-to-day administration of the Center. She is responsible for the spectacular track record at the MIT Scanner. As one user puts it, “I don’t know of another imaging center anywhere in the world, with anywhere near such a record….” From another user, “Conducting research at the MIT scanner is a joy…” Among her many achievements is the creation of an environment that makes brain imaging friendly to children and families. Christina also directed a complex negotiation with Siemens, involving many people at MIT and Siemens that resulted in MIT receiving, for free, hardware and software that would have cost MIT hundreds of thousands of dollars to purchase. Christina has been unstinting in her efforts to make the Center a valuable and productive research environment for the MIT community.

 

     

MIT: Massachusetts Institute of Technology