Campus & Community

50 receive Dean’s Distinction awards

5 min read

Dean Smith lauds staff efforts in tackling FAS challenges

They’ve served the University with distinction. Now, Dean Michael D. Smith of Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) is recognizing their service.

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