On Tuesday (June 8), Smith honored 50 FAS staff with the first Dean’s Distinction award, created to celebrate the FAS’s highest-achieving employees.
At an afternoon ceremony in the Faculty Room of University Hall, Smith expressed gratitude for the many contributions made by all nominees, and especially by award recipients, during a particularly demanding period in the School’s history.
“Over the past two years, the FAS has faced more than its fair share of challenges,” said Smith, the John H. Finley Jr. Professor of Engineering and Applied Sciences. “Especially in those early days of 2008, the way ahead was truly an open question, and solutions to the problems in front of us were far from obvious. But fairly immediately, I started to hear encouraging stories, stories of how staff members’ innovative ideas and collaborative spirit had created unexpected wins.
“Since then, it has become clear that our staff have made important contributions across every unit and at every level,” he told the gathering of awardees, their guests, and supervisors. “You have forged new partnerships, created better ways of doing things, and changed the way we think about what we do. At a time when financial resources have been in short supply, ideas and energy have not.
“I created the Dean’s Distinction as a means to honor this important work, to recognize the considerable talent of FAS staff members, and to shine a light on these exceptional contributions to the FAS mission,” Smith said. “Harvard’s faculty and students could not reach the heights they aim for without your hard work.”
Leslie Kirwan, dean for administration and finance, noted the importance of recognizing collaboration, hard work, and commitment from staff and managers.
“As someone who has helped other complex organizations navigate trying times, I know firsthand the amazing results that individuals and work teams can accomplish through personal commitment, innovative thinking, and just plain hard work when the chips are down,” said Kirwan ’79, M.P.P. ’84, “and when they do, how important it is to take the time to recognize and thank them for those contributions.”
Following Kirwan’s remarks, Smith called each honoree to the front of the room to the applause of colleagues.
Recipients of the Dean’s Distinction received a personalized keepsake with an image of the wall-mounted banjo regulator clock that hangs in the dean’s office. The clock was presented to Harvard in 1829 by Simon Willard, who was the Keeper of the Clocks for half a century, overseeing the periodic maintenance of all College timepieces.
“Now, every day, when I wind Mr. Willard’s clock, I am reminded not only of his lifetime of service to Harvard, but of the hard work and dedication of FAS staff members. You are critical to the pursuit of the School’s mission of excellence in teaching and research,” Smith concluded.
The awardees were selected from more than 100 individuals nominated by faculty and staff in more than 20 FAS divisions and units. Nominees spanned the full spectrum of service time, from one to 43 years, and more than a third of those nominated were members of the Harvard Union of Clerical and Technical Workers (HUCTW).
The recipients of the 2010 Dean’s Distinction award are:
Fred Burchsted, Harvard College Library
Anne Marie Calareso, Harvard College Program in General Education
Laura Chivers, Psychology
Kathleen Cloutier, African and African American Studies
Jerome Connors, Chemistry and Chemical Biology
William Cooper, Freshman Dean’s Office
Rose Cortese, East Asian Languages and Civilizations
James Costello, Molecular and Cellular Biology
Kelli Costello, Office of Undergraduate Education
Jessica Cundiff, Museum of Comparative Zoology
Robert Daley, FAS Finance Office
Elizabeth Doyle, Humanities Faculty Services
Michelle Durocher, Harvard College Library
Gustavo Espada, East Asian Languages and Civilizations
Ellen Fox, GSAS Student Services
Jeanne Gaunt, Harvard College Library
Zachary Gingo, Physical Resources and Planning
Wendy Guan, Center for Geographic Analysis
Patricia Harrington, Harvard College Administration and Finance
Ernst Sebastian Hierl, Harvard College Library
Robert LaPointe, GSAS Admissions
Lisa Laskin, Harvard Summer School
Alan Long, Research Administration Services
Margaret Lynch, Human and Evolutionary Biology
Gerald MacDonald, FAS Instructional Media Services
Susan Marine, Harvard College Office of Student Life
Joseph Martinez, Museum of Comparative Zoology
Karen Woodward Massey, Research Administration Services
Anna McDonald, English
Josh McIntosh, Harvard College Office of Student Life
Denise Medeiros, Physical Resources and Planning
Christianna Morgan, Women, Gender and Sexuality
Stephanie Nasson, FAS Finance Office
Olesia Pacholok, Office of Admissions
Sandra Parada, Physical Resources and Planning
Davis Pasquariello, FAS Instructional Media Services
Barry Reed, FAS Instructional Media Services
Ann Richards, Economics
Dale Rinkel, Statistics
Joan Smeltzer, Psychology
Helena Sousa, Physical Resources and Planning
Julie Stephenson, Office of the Registrar
Richard C. Stokes, Rowland Institute
Lindsay Strogatz, Harvard-Yenching Institute
Geoffrey Tierney, Organismic and Evolutionary Biology
Matthew Tobin, FAS Finance Office
Gwen Urdang-Brown, English
Tanya Washburn, FAS Adaptive Technology Lab
Vaughn Waters, FAS Information Technology
Robert Eric Young, Office for Faculty Affairs