After nearly 400 years, there aren’t many “firsts” left for Harvard, but last fall students and alumni got to experience one — courtesy of ESPN.

For the first time in its storied history, the annual Harvard-Yale football game, otherwise known as only “The Game,” was featured on ESPN’s College GameDay broadcast.

To make it happen, staff in Harvard’s Athletics Department not only had to organize the game that’s annually attended by some 40,000 students, staff, faculty, and alumni, they also had to make sure ESPN broadcasters had the support they needed for a broadcast that would be seen by millions. And they had just five days to get it done.

Their hard work and dedication was recognized last Thursday, as they — along with dozens of other Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) staff — were honored at the annual Dean’s Distinction Awards ceremony.

“Our faculty are able to do the work they do and our students have access to the exceptional educational programs we offer here at Harvard because of the individuals in this room and the incredible work they do,” said Edgerley Family Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Michael D. Smith. “To all of our honorees today, you are a fantastic portrait of the best of our staff. Our faculty and students are incredibly fortunate to have your ideas, your engagement, and your partnership. You make Harvard stronger. On behalf of the faculty, I extend my sincere thanks to you.”

Smith (left) greeted award recipient Angela Lifsey (right) and her colleague, Kim Zweig. Rose Lincoln/Harvard Staff Photographer

In all, 63 FAS employees from 36 departments — representing 2.5 percent of the FAS staff — were recognized at the sixth annual awards ceremony and reception, held in the faculty room of University Hall.

Among those recognized were teams who streamlined the system for requesting and approving classroom space, who helped promote and support diversity across all facets of FAS, and who maintained and even increased the number of concentrators in the humanities. Other employees were recognized for taking on additional duties as colleagues departed and for helping smooth transitions as spaces shifted.

Dean for Administration and Finance Leslie Kirwan also offered congratulations to the winners.

“In so many ways and in so many places, you help make the FAS what it is,” Kirwan told the recipients. “We are here today to celebrate your personal commitment, innovative thinking, and hard work.”

Among the athletics staff recognized last week was Imry Halevi, director of multimedia and production, who worked closely with staff from ESPN and NBC on a variety of issues leading up to kickoff.

“I think it’s great,” Halevi said of getting the award. “It’s nice to be recognized and to know that other people at the University realize what we do for this game and for all the other games. It’s a big undertaking.”

The 2015 Dean’s Distinction recipients are:
William Anderson, Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology
Christine Benoit, FAS Finance Office
Lauren Bimmler, Department of English
Nancy Branco, Department of Sociology
Ronnie Broadfoot, Ernst Mayr Library of the Museum of Comparative Zoology
Leanne Chaves, Department of African and African American Studies
Sarah Cohan, Department of Psychology
Susan Cook, Center for African Studies
Diane Cox, FAS Human Resources
Emelyn de la Peña, Harvard College Office of Student Life
Susan Gilbert, Department of Mathematics
Anne Gotfredson, FAS Development
Susan Halpert, Houghton Library
Mike Holmes, Department of Romance Languages and Literatures
Andrew Laplume, Office of Physical Resources and Planning
Mary Magnuson, Harvard College Admissions and Financial Aid
Andrew Magyar, Center for Nanoscale Systems
Mary McCarthy, Department of Physics
Megan McHugh, Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology
Mia Metivier, Harvard College Program in General Education
Emily Miller, Harvard College Administrative Board
Denise Moody, FAS Research Administration Services
Alice Moses, Department of Statistics
Gabrielle Naglieri, Division of Science
Denise Oberdan, Department of Visual and Environmental Studies
Karen Pearce, Office for Faculty Affairs
James Peregrino, Division of Continuing Education
Elizabeth Quigley, Institute for Quantitative Social Science
Lauren Raece, Office of Undergraduate Education
Tristan Rocher, Harvard Museums of Science and Culture
Patricia Rogers, Division of Science
Greg Roy, HUIT Administrative Technology Services
Fu Tham, Instructional Media Services
Sheila Thomas, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
Katherine Zuccala, Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology

RoomBook Project Team
Katherine Gates, FAS Office of the Dean for Administration and Finance
Michael Kinney, Registrar’s Office
Karen Ogden, Division of Continuing Education
Katie Phelan, FAS Finance Office
Richard Schubert, Office of Physical Resources and Planning
Bruce Tikofsky, HUIT Administrative Technology Services
Amy Vest, Harvard College Office of Student Life
Curtis Wilcox, Instructional Media Services

Diversity Committee
Ann Marie Acker, FAS Human Resources
Chris Ciotti, FAS Human Resources
Adriana Gallegos, FAS Human Resources
Andrea Kelton-Harris, FAS Human Resources
Angela Lifsey, FAS Human Resources
Bob Mitchell, FAS Office for Diversity Relations and Communications
Etaine Smith, FAS Human Resources

Harvard-Yale Game Day Team
Susan Byrne, Department of Athletics
Imry Halevi, Department of Athletics
Nicholas Majocha, Department of Athletics
Allison Miller, Department of Athletics
Duane Reeves, Department of Athletics
Timothy Troville, Department of Athletics
Andrew Vatistas, Department of Athletics
Timothy Williamson, Department of Athletics
Caitlyn Young, Department of Athletics

Freshman Dean’s Office Support Staff
Abby Cohen, Harvard College Freshman Dean’s Office
Julie Kligerman, Harvard College Freshman Dean’s Office
Mary Lincoln, Harvard College Freshman Dean’s Office
Torey Martin, Harvard College Freshman Dean’s Office