SoE Staff Members

Tom Magnanti and BeverlyTom Magnanti and Jon Griffith

Honored for their Dedication

By Monica Nakamine
May 9, 2002

Jon Griffith, LFM-SDM’s director of partner relations and administration; Beverly Kozol-Tattlebaum, administrative assistant for the Engineering Systems Division (ESD) office, and Daniel Whitney, senior research scientist at the Center for Technology, Policy, and Industrial Development (CTPID), represented the three ESD staff members who were honored on April 11, 2002 with the 2nd Annual Infinite Mile Award. The award is overseen by the School of Engineering and given to outstanding employees from various departments.

Tom Magnanti, Dean of the School of Engineering, presented a token of the school and the university’s gratitude with the award — a personalized MIT paperweight — and a gift certificate to each of the 15 recipients. "MIT is an exciting place to work, often a very challenging place to work, but we are also a vibrant and caring community," said Magnanti in his opening remarks. "With our 15 award-winners, we celebrate some remarkable accomplishments by outstanding individuals…"

Griffith received the bronze Infinite Mile Award for Excellence, which honors those whose work is of the highest caliber, dedication, and enthusiasm. At the ceremony, Assistant Dean Sheila Kanode introduced Griffith by quoting a letter from one of his nominators:

"Jonathan Griffith’s initiative and ambition are inspirational…He routinely expands his position responsibilities by assessing where LFM-SDM’s programmatic needs are not being met. He then works swiftly to fill any voids by taking the lead to capture and synthesize the issues and then using excellent written and oral communication skills, [engaging] a team of faculty, students, and staff effectively to address each need."

"I feel incredibly honored to have received this award," said Griffith. "To stand up with the other SoE recipients was a high point of my working life. About LFM-SDM? What can I say? I have never worked harder than I’ve worked here…, but I’ve never worked in a place where things happen, where we actually make progress every day, and where our efforts really make a difference. That’s an incredible opportunity, which I’d choose any time."

Kozol-Tattlebaum was given the gold Infinite Mile Award for Excellence for consistently supporting the ESD office and its functions at a highly professional level with a "can-do" attitude and an effective problem-solving ability. This was accomplished with continuous interaction with students, faculty, and other staff members, always with a smile and with the kind of attention and care that makes them feel special.

"I was overjoyed to be presented with the School of Engineering’s gold Infinite Mile Award, which I will always treasure," said Kozol-Tattlebaum. "I was most fortunate that MIT gave me the opportunity to not only have a life of quality, but more importantly, a quality of life. Working at MIT has been a lifetime pursuit of trying to achieve what MIT truly represents – the very best in people."

For more than 30 years, Daniel Whitney has been affiliated with MIT: as student, professor, scientist, and advisor. He is currently involved in several different projects, including ones within LFM; the CTPID; the Ford/MIT Research Alliance; and the Lean Aerospace Initiative, among others. His award, the silver Infinite Mile Award for Institutional Bridging, celebrates his achievements in spearheading successful collaborations with students, faculty, and staff; companies and organizations; and different departments within MIT.

Referring to Whitney, Dean Magnanti said, "Most important is Dan’s willingness to share his expertise with others. He is extraordinarily generous with his knowledge and his time, across all boundaries. He genuinely cares about the Institute as a whole and the success of our teaching and research mission."

"I was very happy when I heard that I was a recipient of this award," said Whitney. "I think that institutional bridging is important and I am pleased that it has a place in the award process."

Other award recipients include: Debra Blanchard, Britton M. Bradley, Richard R. Fenner, E. Peggy Garlick, Debroah Hodges-Pabon, Michael Lewy, Vivian Mizuno, Eileen Ng Ghavidel, Marilyn Pierce, Kimberly Bond Schaefer, Margaret Udden, and Lydia Wereminski.