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Testimonials for the 2009 Infinite Mile Award Winners

William Barrett, Assistant Director, Office of Sponsored Programs:  A consummate leader and mentor who extends himself above and beyond the job requirements to ensure that his team performs up to par and that newcomers are quickly able to realize their potential.  Bill truly cares about the quality of service OSP provides to the MIT community and works hard to ensure that it is captured correctly in the minds of those who work with him and also in the training materials being created.  For his personal investment of time and effort, his good nature, and a great sense of humor we recommend Bill for an Infinite Mile Award.


Maria O. Costa, Department of Facilities:  Maria is an example of excellence that requires notice.  She possesses all of the qualities that an MIT employee should have.  She is thorough, dedicated, helpful, and always quick with a smile.  In addition she genuinely cares about her customers and takes a personal interest in them.  Maria consistently and continually goes "above and beyond".  She is very thoughtful and hard working.  She has made an important impact and connection, and deserves our thanks, our warmth, and our Infinite Mile Award.


Thomas Duff, Special Projects, Office of Sponsored Program:  Tom generously shares his wisdom, knowledge, and his time with everyone.  He contributes to training by mentoring the junior staff on research administration topics.  He is a real presence in OSP.  He is focused on moving OSP forward, and works behind the scenes to help bring about changes that need to be made.  On the research policy subcommittee of RAII his role was one of the most critical.  He epitomizes the triumph of humility and has quietly made a major difference to OSP and MIT.


Jean Dzengeleski, Special Projects Director, Office of the Provost:  Her title provides a mere hint of the range of contributions that Jean's ongoing efforts have made to the quality of administrative operations at MIT.  She combines technical expertise with an exceptional ability to translate it into practical solutions that address everyday administrative concerns in the areas of finance and human resources records and systems.  Whether working alone or on a team she does it with her typical steady, low-key approach, behind the scenes encouraging cooperation between groups.  Her enthusiasm for accomplishing goals is infectious.  In addition to her "day job" she spends countless hours learning about new systems and business processes, meeting with programmers and others to address the needs of DLC administrators.  We enthusiastically nominate Jean for an Infinite Mile Award because of her enormous contributions over the years to the quality of administrative life at MIT.


Thomas Hrycaj, Administrative Officer, Plasma Science and Fusion Center:  a professional engineer with outstanding management capabilities, good interpersonal communication qualities and integrity, he operates the PSFC Headquarters and support personnel with great skills, fairness and minimum staffing. Under his service the morale and community spirit has been strengthened enormously.  In addition to his PSFC commitments he has served on several prominent, and time consuming, Institute committees while continuing to serve the center in an exceptional manner. Tom chaired the Administrative Advisory Council II and represented it on two institute-wide committees. Tom always goes the extra mile to achieve the best one can possibly do.  


Richard Lations, Project Technician, and Philip Michael, Research Engineer, Plasma Science and Fusion Center:  For the many and sustained contributions to the design, development, fabrication, installation, operation, and maintenance of the complex and highly integrated plasma physics experimental device, the Levitated Dipole Experiment.  The great success with this experiment as well as the national and international recognition of the importance of this experiment is in large part due to their work.  Their contributions have been extraordinary and deserve an Infinite Mile Award.


Felicia Lombardozzi, Administrative Assistant II, Committee on the Use of Humans as Experimental Subjects:  She is great at building relationships with faculty assistants so that she can help them understand the process.  Felicia goes the extra mile as a mentor for researchers new to the human subjects approval process and helping students meet a deadline or reminding investigators when a project is expiring.  She is always coming up with new ideas to make work flow easier for investigators.  Felicia is always willing to help guide new personnel at MIT through the process of working with the COUHES in an effective manner.  It is an honor to work with Felicia and she is highly deserving of this award.


Albert T. McGurl, Facilities Coordinator, Research Laboratory of Electronics:  His depth of knowledge of RLE's facilities operations is truly exceptional.  In addition to an already demanding workload for the day-to-day facilities operations of the laboratory, Al was a key contributor to three major laboratory renovations.  Whatever is asked of him, big or small, Al is quick to respond and does an impressive job with a great attitude towards his job and the RLE staff.  It is inspiring to supervise an individual who does not require that a standard of achievement be set because his personal standards are so high.  Al's contributions to the quality of the research effort are felt in every laboratory at RLE, and we feel strongly that he is deserving of an Infinite Mile Award.


Diana Moffo, Administrative Assistant II, Office of the Provost:  She is professional, helpful, gracious, responsive, pleasant, and has a warm sense of humor. Diana has turned the reception area for the President and Provost offices into a smooth running operation. She makes cross-office communication a breeze and has contributed to the improved communications with the Corporation Office.  Diane is one of the most competent and efficient administrative assistants with whom we have worked. She should be honored with an Infinite Mile Award for the great contribution in work and spirit that she makes to our offices.


Aran Parillo, Information Systems Administrator, Department of Biological Engineering:  In addition to his regular job responsibilities in Biological Engineering, Aran voluntarily provides support for the Center for Environmental Health Sciences. And his generous support has been invaluable. He has provided audio/visual support for bimonthly seminars, in addition to computer maintenance and support.  Aran also volunteered to help with the search for a computer specialist for our center, including doing telephone interviews with about 30 candidates and in-person interviews.  Aran has gone the extra mile and deserves to be recognized with an award.


Thomas Quinn, Facilities Manager, Whitaker College of Health Sciences & Technology:  Tom's service to the Francis Bitter Magnet Laboratory when it was critically needed was simply outstanding.  He is always eager to help in every possible way irrespective of the time of day.  Tom is totally informed, knows exactly what is needed, and finishes his work perfectly - and always with a smile! He handled a very sensitive laboratory clearing, involving cherished scientific equipment and papers, with great aplomb. It is really due to his presence and very personal efforts that the job was completed.  Tom is an outstanding asset to MIT.


Lydia Snover, Director of Institutional Research, Office of the Provost:  She provides a textbook example of leadership.  Lydia has taught her staff how important it is to be a cheerleader for Institutional Research and everyone in the office has been "volunteered" to support a variety of internal and external projects.  She has also imparted her passion for institutional research to the student interns that she has mentored. Lydia has been a leader in helping the Association of American Universities Data Exchange find and pursue its full potential.  Lydia can turn a group into a high-performing team because she brings out the best in people.


Rui Vieira, Head Mechanical Engineer, Plasma Science and Fusion Center:  Rui has done outstanding work in coordinating the effort to analyze and study the Alcator alternator rotor in order to return the unit to service.  This is in addition to his already impressive effort in the recent inspection and in vessel modifications that have been done in Alcator C-Mod. He approaches his work with an attention to detail and a respect for safety that is unrivaled.  Rui continued to work on many projects needed for physics research in addition to working on the alternator.  He is willing to work long hours under difficult conditions, while tolerating enormous pressure with grace. We are extremely indebted to him for his efforts.


Bobi Young, Administrative Assistant II, Division of Comparative Medicine:  Her consistency and ability to carry on with good humor is laudable in a job that carries its own tedium, repetition, and pressure. She is cheerful and professional and is considered a mentor to the other assistants. As the department has expanded, the workload, space and staff have increased.   Bobi not only continues to support the needs of those she serves, but takes the initiative to do the jobs that nobody wants to do. She deserves an award for the extra steps taken, her extra efforts, and her cheerful and professional willingness to do them.