FAS recognizes outstanding staff members

first_imgSCRB project team recipients of the Dean’s DistinctionStephen Anderson, Office of Physical Resources and PlanningJames Costello, Department of Molecular and Cellular BiologySharalee Field, Division of SciencePetrina Garbarini, Office of Physical Resources and PlanningJohn Hollister, Office of Physical Resources and PlanningKathryn Link, Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative BiologyVincent Pafumi, Office of Physical Resources and PlanningJay Phillips, Office of Physical Resources and Planning To fully appreciate the work that went into the relocation of Harvard’s Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology (SCRB), you only need to look as far as the numbers.All told, the nearly three-year project resulted in the renovation of nearly 170,000 square feet of space and the relocation of 29 faculty research groups — including 565 faculty, students, and staff — and a menagerie made up of 50 frogs, 77 butterflies, 3,300 zebrafish tanks, and some 6,000 mouse cages.In acknowledgement of the effort that brought the project to completion on time and under budget, the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) team that led the project was recognized on March 1 with the first Dean’s Distinction award given to a team.“The primary benefit is the location of the SCRB program in the heart of the FAS science community, but in addition to overseeing the design and construction, the team included the SCRB administration and coordinated with faculty to ensure the appropriateness and efficiency of the new facility,” said Michael Lichten, associate dean for Physical Resources and Planning, in nominating the team. “Their relocation and planning made it possible for research groups to continue working with minimal disruption to their work.”The team members were among the 44 FAS employees honored at the third annual Dean’s Distinction awards ceremony and reception held last week in the Faculty Room of University Hall. FAS Dean Michael D. Smith thanked the recipients for their service and credited their work for allowing FAS to thrive.“I want to personally thank each and every one of our 44 recipients,” Smith said. “Whether you streamline or create new systems, connect with students, serve as the public face of a program, invent ways to preserve crucial funds, expand services, or identify solutions, you are what make it possible for Harvard to carry out its mission. You are the people who keep the Harvard ecosystem, from museums to houses to people to programs, healthy.“Eight of our recipients today are also, for the first time, coming to us as a team,” Smith added. “With this new category, we recognize the importance of successful collaborations, which are so often the driver of progress across this institution.”In addition to offering congratulations to the award winners, Dean for Administration and Finance Leslie Kirwan offered thanks to the many colleagues, supervisors, and customers who nominated staff members, saying such positive support is critical in the workplace.“There is tremendous evidence that positive recognition is one of the most important elements of a healthy and engaged workforce, and leadership that gets that link should also be celebrated,” she said. “I’m here to say thank you, first and foremost, to the Dean’s Distinction recipients themselves, but also to the colleagues, co-workers, or customers who nominated all those whose names were put forward.”Currier House Master Richard W. Wrangham, the Ruth Moore Professor of Biological Anthropology, was among those who nominated Currier House administrator Patricia Gnazzo Pepper for providing a steadying hand during a year marked by dramatic personnel changes.“In 2011, Currier House transitioned from interim House masters to its regularly appointed House masters, while also transitioning among three separate resident deans,” Wrangham said. “All this personnel movement in key positions could have created real turmoil in the House, but Patricia served as the bedrock, providing consistent counseling and guidance to students, tutors, and staff.“Her deep knowledge of College policies and Currier traditions, along with her extensive network of colleagues and her wisdom and humor all proved to be essential resources to the House during this time of tremendous change,” Wrangham continued. “It’s a wonder the carpet outside her office didn’t wear out, given the constant traffic into her office with students and staff looking for answers to questions that spanned the full spectrum of academic, residential, social, extracurricular, and work life, or just looking for reassurance, a familiar face, and a welcoming smile.”Although she admitted the recognition is nice, Pepper said what was most important to her about it was the knowledge that those she works with took time from their day to offer their congratulations.“The fact that the two constituents I work with the most took the time out of their crazy days to do this means more to me than actually getting anything,” Pepper said. “But ultimately, the students are the focus, and my job gives me an opportunity to see these young people grow up and become amazing older people.”In total, the 44 Dean’s Distinction honorees were chosen from 123 nominations, submitted from 57 FAS departments and units. Nominees ranged from those with one to 41 years of service at Harvard; more than 30 percent are members of the Harvard Union of Clerical and Technical workers (HUCTW). The Dean’s Distinction recipientsArthur Barrett, Harvard University Information TechnologyAlice Belser, Department of the History of ScienceMerrick Lex Berman, Center for Geographical AnalysisCatherine Bowen, Committee on the Study of ReligionMiguel Casillas, Office of Physical Resources and PlanningTez “Bank” Chantaruchirakorn, Harvard College Program in General EducationSheila Coveney, Harvard College Freshman Dean’s OfficeCarol Davis, Department of PhysicsIrvin Dumay, Department of Organismic and Evolutionary BiologyPaul Dzus, Center for European StudiesSarah Elwell, Division of ScienceGenevieve Fisher, Peabody MuseumGary Geissler, Department of AthleticsGretchen Gingo, Department of SociologyCarol Gonzaga, Department of Chemistry and Chemical BiologyThomas Hammond, Language Resource CenterRenate Hellmiss, Department of Molecular and Cellular BiologyWalter Hryshko, Department of Romance Languages and LiteraturesNada Hussein, Harvard College LibraryMarek Kornilowicz, Harvard College LibraryMarlon Kuzmick, Derek Bok Center for Teaching and LearningHeather Lantz, Division of Arts and HumanitiesLorraine Maffeo, Department of Earth and Planetary SciencesCharlotte Mallio, Research Administration ServicesIrene Minder, Department of MathematicsAndrea-Marie Moore, Harvard College ObservatoryJeff Neal, Harvard Public Affairs and CommunicationsAnthony Pacillo, Harvard Yard OperationsPatricia Gnazzo Pepper, Currier HouseAlison Pirie, Museum of Comparative ZoologyChristopher Plumb, Harvard College Financial Aid OfficeSusan Rose, Office of Finance, FASMark Seibring, Office of Human Resources, FASRosanne Sheridan, Harvard College LibrarySuzanne Spreadbury, Division of Continuing EducationBari Walsh, Graduate School of Arts and Scienceslast_img read more

Equipment set on fire at Mountain Valley Pipeline site + NC dodges 140 tons of toxic compound

first_imgEquipment set on fire at Mountain Valley Pipeline site investigated as arsonA piece of earth moving equipment has been set on fire at Mountain Valley Pipeline construction site in Virginia, causing $500,000 in damage. Authorities received a call on Saturday night reporting a car fire but when they arrived they found a Caterpillar PL87 pipe layer located in the pipeline construction right-of-way ablaze. The fire damaged no other equipment. Fire marshals have decided that the fire was set intentionally and are investigating it as arson. The proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline is a 303-mile pipeline that will run from northwestern West Virginia to southern Virginia. Malec Brothers withdraw permit to use methyl bromide in Columbus County, NCAn Australian company that had planned to emit up to 140 tons of toxic compound in their log fumigation business has withdrawn their air permit to emit methyl bromide, says the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). The plan encountered strong public opposition and state officials scrambled to petition the Environmental Management Commission for a new rule to add methyl bromide to the state’s list of air toxins. Methyl bromide has been banned internationally for most uses because of its toxicity and ozone-depleting properties, but log fumigation is an exception. China will accept only exported logs that have been fumigated, but Malec Brothers has decided to debark the logs instead. The fumigation would have taken place less than a mile from a school.last_img read more

TED Talk speaker Ron Finley visits Annenberg

first_imgRon Finley, co-founder of the nonprofit L.A. Green Grounds, visited the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism Monday night to speak to students about his rise in nonprofit organizations and how his movement could change living in South Central Los Angeles.Food talks · Ron Finley is a founder of L.A. Green Grounds, which aims to advance urban gardening in South Central Los Angeles. – Austin Vogel | Daily TrojanIn 2010, Finley looked around his neighborhood, which was filled with liquor stores, fast food and vacant lots. He described it as a “food desert” on TED Talks.“South Central Los Angeles, home of the drive-thru and the drive-by,” Finley said on the TED Talk. “Funny thing is, the          drive-thrus are killing more people than the drive-bys. For instance, the obesity rate in my neighborhood is five times higher than, say, Beverly Hills.’”One of Finley’s missions in his nonprofit is to help break the obesity cycle for future generations.“ [The children’s] palate has been raised by those types of food,” Finley said. “You are what you eat, it has been proven. If you get these foods in your body in an early age, that is what you are going to eat.”Finley explained how the improvement of nutrition in South Central could change the future with his nonprofit on TED Talks.“If kids grow kale, kids eat kale,” Finley said in the talk. “If they grow tomatoes, they eat tomatoes. But when none of this is presented to them, if they’re not shown how food affects the mind and the body, they blindly eat whatever the hell you put in front of their mouth.”He continued to explain how that even in a part of town that lacks fresh produce, it is not impossible to eat healthy.Adjunct professor Gary Wexler, who first noticed the urban gardener on TED Talks, hosted Finley in his class. Wexler previously met with Finley at the Goldhirsh Foundation and is now helping Finley expand his nonprofit organization.Impressed by his mission and determination, Wexler invited Finley to speak to his nonprofit marketing class to empower them to work with nonprofits.“Ron Finley is taking a risk,” Wexler said. “He is putting himself out there in a way that social entrepreneurs are putting themselves out there. He is a wave of the future. He’s different because he is willing to take a risk.”Finley acknowledged several challenges in creating an urban garden. He explains that it is not easy to have everyone understand and support his mission. In addition to getting people involved, he understands that not everyone has time to cook.His revolution goes further, however, than just establishing an urban garden.“It is about allowing people [to have] healthy food in neighborhoods — in food deserts,” Finley said. “It’s about getting kids who have been involved in gangs and giving them something to do and change things that they do and the way that they live.”During the Q&A session, a student asked Finley where the inspiration for his nonprofit came from.“You have looked at someone who has never been high, drunk off coffee and never smoked,” Finley said. “I never wanted to be drunk. I never needed to be an altered state. If I was with somebody last night, I can remember what I did. I know that I was different.”Finley revealed to the class that he started the garden to get kids out of jail. He believes that schools are similar to a prison system and children need to be taught how to think instead of what to think.“And I want to change that. As a matter of fact, I am changing it,” Finley said.last_img read more