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Testimonials for the 2008 Infinite Mile Award Winners

Nicole Beattie, Amy Camargo, Supriya Gupta, Jamie Moor, The Broad Institute Illumina Team:  This dedicated all-star team of scientists has gone “above and beyond” in their volunteer efforts to teach, mentor, and participate in programs at MIT and outside.  The Illumina Team rallies together so that each member can actively volunteer and give back to the community. Team members support each other and give enormous amounts of extra time so that the group can still meet its job-related production goals.  Through their volunteer activities, The Illumina Team has touched the lives of many at MIT and beyond.


Catherine Bourgeois, Administrative Assistant II, Research Laboratory of Electronics: Cathy embodies the three principles of dedication, caring, and hard work celebrated by these awards.  She has taken on myriad responsibilities related to the new Center for Integrated Photonic Systems.  She works on weekends, sick days, and vacation days because she knows and cares for the graduate students in the groups that she supports.  Everything that she does demonstrates that she believes in the MIT mission and will go the extra mile to support the students and the faculty with her energy and time.


Karen Cassidy, Purchasing Assistant, Haystack Observatory: Karen dilingently and efficiently works in the background as the sole purchasing and accounts payable assistant for 90 employees and over 25 research programs.  When time is critical, she works with local vendors to locate components and personally drives to pick them up!  Her attention to detail is commendable as is her sustained superior performance. Karen deserves explicit recognition of all the good and exemplary things that she represents that too many of us take for granted.


Joshua Freedman, Assistant Director for Finance and Administration, Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies:  In addition to this regular responsibilities at ISN, Josh volunteered and dedicated many long hours to programming a webpage interface projection program for three major units at MIT.  He has led weekly development/user group meetings and has also met with many central offices.  He has taken the initiative to decipher the technical and logistical complexities of the development process.  This will be a great benefit to the research administration community at MIT.  Josh has continued to do a first-rate job at ISN while doing this in his “spare time”.


Corey Gallo, Area Supervisor, Animal Resources, Division of Comparative Medicine:  Of the animal health and husbandry activities of the Division, those associated with the Center for Neurosciences's facility are the most complex and demanding. Corey is the supervisor of this facility.  Qualities that commend Corey are his organizational skills, husbandry expertise, reliability, responsiveness, accommodation, and affability.  When things fall apart, Corey throws himself into the breach, leading his staff by example. He manages to maintain excellent and supportive relationships with his staff, while still maintaining their respect. “The morale of the facility staff is greater than I have seen it in 20 years at the Institute”.


Colleen Leslie, Assistant Director, Office of Sponsored Programs:  Colleen has worked tirelessly to organize and implement a pilot program for processing proposal deadlines for NIH.  In addition to coordinating and scheduling several different teams, she spent many late after-hours listening to and working out individual member concerns.  Colleen did so in a way that conveyed how much she is personally invested in and truly cares about the process, the outcome, and the individuals themselves.  In addition she always makes time to help new employees by providing the "Big Picture". She does this while maintaining a heavy work load.  Colleen has demonstrated leadership by taking on various new projects for the greater good of the office.  She is always searching for a better and more efficient way to streamline work and increase productivity.  Her dedication to projects is contagious.  She is the example to be followed. 


Mark London, Systems Programmer/Analyst, Plasma Science and Fusion Center:  Mark always works behind the scenes quietly and with no fanfare and never brings attention to himself.  He works tirelessly to find a solution to any problem whether or not it is part of his official duties.  He will stay late and arrive early to insure that no stone is left unturned.  This time is in addition to the countless hours he spends working on PSFC tasks from home.  Mark is always there with his customary good humor, outstanding work ethic, and sound advice.


Gail Monahan, Senior Administrative Assistant, Office of the Provost:  Gail is an outstanding contributor to our office and to MIT overall.  She is creative and innovative in her management of the office and unfailingly professional and personable in her interactions with others throughout the Institute and outside MIT. Gail is also an ambassador for MIT, given the wide scope of our interactions with other universities, industrial sponsors, federal agencies, congressional offices, and foreign governments.  She is also very sensitive and helpful to students, postdocs and young faculty. She takes pleasure in pleasing others, which sets an outstanding example for the young researchers who benefit from her thoughtfulness. Working with Gail is a delight and she should be recognized for the special care she takes with everything she does in her job.  Her dedication is certainly a benefit to everyone who interacts with the Office of the Vice President for Research.


Gary Van Zante, Curator of Architecture and Design, MIT Museum:  For the past two years Gary has served as Manager of the MIT Museum's Ground Floor Expansion Project.  He has managed all aspects of this project, internally with Facilities, with faculty in several schools; and externally with architects, constructors, engineers, exhibit designers and others.  He has been praised for his work in all areas.  In addition Gary conceived the idea of an exhibit featuring the City Car.  He worked closely with Professor Bill Mitchell's Smart Cities research group to plan the exhibit "The MIT Media Lab City Car". This exhibit is highly innovative and extremely successful.  He has done all of this in addition to his responsibilities as Curator of Architecture and Design for the Museum. The pace of his other work has not slackened.  Gary has made truly outstanding contributions to the life and work of the MIT Museum and MIT.


Katherine Ware, Senior Fiscal Officer, Plasma Science and Fusion Center:  Katherine is an organized thinker with a keen mind for forecasting and for fiscal analysis.  She has the capacity to work rapidly in the face of time pressures without adversely affecting the quality of her work.  These traits became evident during the recent difficulties faced by the Center. We were fortunate to be able to rely on Katherine to help us through the critical times by providing analyses and scenarios to deal with the crisis. In addition to working long days, weekends, and evening, she provided solid leadership to a demoralized Fiscal Office.  Because of Katherine's expertise in fiscal matters she is frequently called upon to participate in working groups, pilot projects, and initiatives such as RAII.  Katherine consistently makes superior contributions to the smooth operation of PSFC.


Frank Warmsley, Operations Coordinator, Nuclear Reactor Laboratory:  As manager of training, Frank supervises and trains all MIT student reactor operator candidates and new reactor full-time staff members to prepare them for the licensing exam.  His uncompromising dedication forges the entry point to the NRL for individuals of a wide variety of backgrounds who must work together in a team for the safe and reliable operation of the MIT Nuclear Reactor.  As a Reactor Shift Supervisor Frank maintains a high standard of professionalism in the operations of the reactor.  He also provides guided tours to many students from local schools. The teachers often specifically ask for Frank because he inspires many young students to pursue education in science and engineering.  Some of MIT freshman trainees in recent years attended one of his lectures and tours here.  Frank contributes significantly to the need for highly qualified personnel for operation of the research reactor and to the education mission of NRL, the MIT community, and beyond.