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Testimonials for the 2004 Infinite Mile Award Winners

Janice Ahern, Administrative Assistant II, MIT Sea Grant College Program: "Janice is an extremely hard worker who always goes the extra mile to see that things are done and that they are done in a professional manner. Even with an increased work load, Janice continues to get the job done [working long hours when necessary]. Our entire staff and visitors to the department are extremely impressed with her professionalism in all aspects of her performance here at Sea Grant and the fact that she goes outside of her job description in order to get the job done."


William Beck, Research Engineer, Plasma Science and Fusion Center: "Bill Beck has dedicated his entire 25 year career at MIT to developing the complex systems needed to do research in plasma physics. Bill has worked tirelessly without concern for the day of the week or the number of hours spent at work. He has spent many weeks away from home in foreign countries working with vendors to produce the components needed for the latest magnet design. His presence at MIT has greatly benefited both the projects he has worked on, and the people he has worked with."


Bruce Brown, Administrative Officer, Division of Comparative Medicine: "A key component of our success in the complex environment of biomedical research at MIT. With a firm hand on the continually shifting responsibilities of our constantly growing staff (now approaching 150). much of what Bruce does on a daily basis remains behind the scenes. We depend on his vast technical know-how.his quiet persistence.his broad knowledge of the history of the division past and present to maintain our esprit de corps, and especially, his unfailing good humor and kind manner to assist us.


Tony Chavarria, Division of Comparative Medicine, Transgenic Colony Coordinator: "He has a well-established reputation as a hard worker with very high standards. The veterinary staff as well as the MIT researchers respect him for his work ethic, his quality results, and his compassion. We all benefit greatly from his leadership and professionalism. There is continual feedback from investigators regarding Tony's thoughtfulness, attention to detail, and intuitive grasp of biomedical research and long-term goals of the institution. Tony is a wonderful role model who leads by example and is a pleasure to work with."


Craig Counterman, Web Tools and Operations Head, Academic Media Production Services: "As the chief architect of Stellar, Craig has led an interdepartmental team of diverse talents and successfully produced an enterprise software application, in the face of significant challenges. The response to Stellar has been overwhelming: usage has more than quadrupled over the past two years. Craig, through his technical brilliance, understanding of the MIT user experience and commitment to deliverables, engenders a very high level of confidence in management."


Richard J. Crowley, Research Engineer, Haystack Observatory: "The key attribute that Richard brings to his work, beyond his competence and expert knowledge, is a cooperative and enthusiastic attitude that is exemplary. He insures that all personnel are fully supported, and he does it with special pleasantness and friendliness. Richard continuously volunteers to undertake additional tasks beyond the requirements of his position. In the past three years, he ranks highest in the number of unsolicited comments of praise that I have received about one of our employees from other staff, visitors and students.


Daniel Dardani, Yolanda Fan, Marija Jankovich, Don Kaiser, Aaron Schwartz, Kerry Swift, Shawna Vogel, Technology Licensing Associates Team, Technology Licensing Office: "This year, the TLAs were asked to take on significantly more responsibility and work than is usually asked from them, because of unusual circumstances in the TLO. They rose to the requirements magnificently. Though they all had to work very hard during this time, they did so with skill, grace and a marvelous sense of humor. This is an outstanding group, using the best of their intelligence and energy to help keep the TLO on the tracks. They have shown themselves more than willing to 'go the extra mile."


Harold Davis, Administrative Assistant II, Office of the Provost: "There are some people who add quality to everything they do and he is one of them. In spite of the volume of work he handles on a regular basis, he is always aware of the big picture. He takes responsibility for things without being asked, always knows when to check with others to confirm information or just to keep communication flowing smoothly. And he does it all in a very quiet, polite, and professional manner. He is appreciated for his intelligence, competence, patience, and kindness."


Kimberley De Long, Manager of Systems/Senior Programmer, Center for Educational Computing Initiatives: "She manages the Center's large and idiosyncratic mix of computers, subnets, servers and databases with extraordinary effectiveness, unflagging effort, and amazing good humor while concurrently contributing significantly to several of the Center's major research projects. She handles graduate students with humor, sympathy, and firmness when required. She has time and again managed to resolve difficult situations with staff colleagues to preserve friendships and get the job done."


Lisa Desforge, Administrative Officer, Francis Bitter Magnet Laboratory: "Lisa makes a special effort to support each and every individual in the FBML and has learned the individual aspects of each researcher's program and needs. On difficult issues she is persistent and creative. She has solved space, equipment, and safety problems, allowing the staff to proceed smoothly with their research goals. She is constantly going out of her way to do things that are not part of her job description and that make the FBML a better place to teach and do research. In the end these are also things that are a cumulative benefit to MIT."


Shirley Donaldson, Administrative Assistant II, Technology Licensing Office: "Shirley is one of those employees you can count on to volunteer for any task. Whenever there is a job to be done, she is there to do it. Shirley has also taken a very broad interest in our office. She has sought and received permission to attend in-depth, in-house classes on licensing agreements. Shirley is an employee who has made a commitment to MIT to do her very best in her position and it shows in every task she does."


Christine Hewes, Coordinator for Veterinary Technical Services, Division of Comparative Medicine: "Both her technical repertoire and problem-solving skills are outstanding. She sincerely enjoys sharing her knowledge and experience with others, and she has initiated several training programs for the campus. Kris also has a pioneering spirit. She thrives while working with emerging technologies using her ample talents and perseverance to advance model development and biomedical research. We love her genuine concern for others and her warm smile. And we are inspired by her generous spirit and energy."


Carol Hughes, Senior Administrative Assistant, Office of the Provost: "There are many people at MIT who are the 'behind the scene' individuals who make things work smoothly and seemingly effortlessly, but I don't know of anyone who fits that description more accurately than Carol. She does a tremendous job in managing, among other things, the Provost's calendar-a daunting task. She has a rare knack of quietly and efficiently getting things done." " She is able to read minds, calm nerves and plan gatherings large and small. It is clearly these behind the scenes activities that are the secret to MIT's smooth operations and successful engagements with others."


Jessica Landry, Administrative Assistant II, Center for Materials Science and Engineering: "Her meticulous work coupled with an uncanny ability to anticipate what needs to be done long before it is due, have made her an invaluable member of the staff." " She brings a high level of personal integrity to the Center and consistently leads by example, especially during high stress times. This has had a positive effect on some of the staff members, and has led to better overall teamwork within the Center. Jessica is one of the first people on staff to 'think out of the box' and put creative ideas on the table to benefit the Center."


Gayle wolf Lutchen, Assistant Director for Administration, McGovern Institute for Brain Research: "Gayle represents the pinnacle of the critical features of an exceptional employee. She has shown exceptional dedication to the task of being the Administrative Officer/Assistant Director of the McGovern Institute. She has also shown strong initiative and creativity in her work. She has worked intensely and efficiently. There is no problem too large or small for her detailed attention. Gayle is a person of unusual energy and good judgment. I depend upon Gayle's advice in my role as Director of the Institute."


Roberta McCarthy, VMS Resource Manager, Venture Mentoring Service: "Her leadership, dedication, and tireless service have been instrumental in growing the MIT Venture Mentoring Service from a handful of fledgling startups and volunteers to a vibrant program serving hundreds of students, faculty and alumni. She leads the effort in finding new tools and methods as constant growth requires continuous change in procedures and process. Roberta is an important participant and contributor in representing VMS across the Institute and the business community."


John F. O'Brien, Administrative Officer, Laboratory for Energy & the Environment: "There is no one he does not know and no situation he does not know how to handle. He does this with tact, efficiency, concern and skill. He serves as a role model to others. He has worked strongly as the CEI and Energy Lab have been formed into the new LFEE. It was a seamless transition because of John's expertise in identifying and addressing issues effectively and professionally. His easy rapport and considerable knowledge of what we do and how we do it have made it possible for the LFEE to carry out its significant mission for MIT."


Gale S. Petrich, Principal Research Scientist, Research Laboratory of Electronics: "Gale considers it his job to help the Institute. A perfect example of 'going the extra Infinite Miles' is the pure devotion and thousands of extra hours of effort that Gale has exerted to building up the infrastructure and laboratories at MIT." "Gale's passion for scientific pursuit, commitment to helping others overcome obstacles they encounter while conducting research and an invariably positive attitude are contagious to many and set a high standard of excellence for all." "MIT derives a world-class status from the excellent scientists who envision and shape the future of technology. Gale is one of these visionary scientists. He not only dreams, but also works hard to present his visions to students and professors.


Samuel Z. Pierson, Project Technician Electronic, Plasma Science & Fusion Center: "Sam combines an attention to detail with exceptional creativity. Much of the work around Alcator is 'one of a kind'. Sam constantly amazes us with his solutions to problems that take into account the goal of the work while at the same time minimizing the time spent and amount of disruption to surrounding components. He has worked on RF systems, in vessel components, and general maintenance and upgrades to the machine, while still contributing greatly to machine operations. We can trust Sam to get virtually any task done in a short time and to high standards."


Carol Roberts, Administrative Assistant II, Center for Materials Research in Archaeology & Ethnology/Department of Materials Science and Engineering: "Carol Roberts is deeply committed to her work and to the community of faculty and students with whom she interacts.Everyone has come to rely on Carol to accomplish the coordination and communication required by the multiple programs the Center initiates and carries forward. This could be an administrative nightmare, but Ms. Roberts handles it smoothly, with grace and good humor. She is a loyal, supportive, and talented individual who sets high standards for herself and who aims to help others achieve their own personal standards. In many ways, Carol Roberts sets the tone for CMRAE."


Pamela Slot, Purchasing Coordinator, Division of Comparative Medicine: "Pamela Slot is one of the cornerstones in the foundation that supports our ever expanding and diverse department. Because of her vast experience in all things DCM, approachable personality, and calming influence, she defuses complaints and solves problems quickly without conflict. Pam is a model for all at MIT; we are a better place because of her."


Blanche E. Staton, Associate Dean for Graduate Students, Graduate Students Office: "The fundamental character of the Graduate Student Office has been further enhanced by her presence and the graduate student body has benefited immeasurably from her sustained and selfless contributions." "She demonstrates initiative and leadership through her outstanding efforts that, in my opinion, portray her exceptional ability to connect with and mentor students from diverse backgrounds as well as her ability to establish educational mechanisms that enable students to succeed in their academic programs at MIT. Through her tireless compassion, creativity, advocacy, and accessibility, she has made a substantial difference in the lives of scores of students, faculty, and staff at MIT."


Donna Wells, Financial Officer, McGovern Institute for Brain Research: "Donna always goes above and beyond her job description and is always willing to pitch in and help someone else." "Donna takes on tasks and projects eagerly, always wanting to learn more. She is a problem-solver who does not give up in her effort to improve a process, solve a problem or lend a hand. She was instrumental in ensuring successful annual retreats, along with our annual symposiums and the meeting at Kresge hosting the Dalai Lama. Donna has a commitment to the McGovern Institute and MIT which is extraordinary."


Arlene Wint, Administrative Assistant II, Research Laboratory of Electronics: "Arlene plays a significant role in our group of 25-30 individuals in providing a personal cohesive force as well as seeing that the many day-to-day needs are met." "Somehow, she has managed to carry this huge load, doing much more than could ever have been expected, with unsurpassable reliability, grace, gentle good humor and good will. Her administrative work reflects a high degree of intelligence and dedication to the job that goes far beyond the ordinary." "She is sensitive to the different personalities of individuals in the research group, she is sympathetic to the needs of students as they progress through sometimes stressful phases of their education, and she is a central person in organizing events that celebrate graduations, successful completion of academic requirements, and other landmarks."


Alex Zhukovsky, Research Engineer, Plasma Science and Fusion Center: "When others would have given up and tried some less elegant or highly compromised solution to a problem, Alex pushed on, making progress, sometimes in small steps and sometimes in breakthrough leaps. His colleagues are amazed and inspired by his focus and achievements." "Alex brought to the project an ability to both produce creative solutions to very difficult problems and an unusual ability to focus on the details of the design. As a result of his dedication to this task the floating coil design represents an important advance in engineering." "More than anyone else in our group, Alex has defined the standard of technical excellence that is both admired and emulated."