The samples below—each successful nominations from 2019—can serve as guides when you write your own. Together they represent a range of style and tone, and illustrate that successful nominations come in many shapes and sizes.
These sample nominations were published with permission of both the nominator(s) and nominee(s).
Need more help? Check out tips for writing successful nominations.
Ready to go? Nominate a colleague for an Infinite Mile award.
Questions? Contact the R+R Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Category: Bringing Out the Best
I don’t know how Cherry does it, but somehow I always feel better about myself after I’ve spent time with her. Cherry brings her full self to work every day AND she also seriously cares about doing a great job and providing great service to her colleagues and to the community. She’s a great listener and a fair, thoughtful team member. Cherry always seems to strike just the right balance between investing in effective relationships with her colleagues and keeping her focus on work priorities. On a personal note: Cherry has been part of our MIT Libraries community during a period of huge political turmoil in the world. Her perspective and her generosity in sharing it have been hugely, hugely helpful to me in own struggles to make sense of it all. She is always fair, always open, and always cares about doing the right thing. She lifts us all up.
Category: Unsung Hero
Renee Hellenbrecht is a gem. It’s been an absolute privilege working with her. Renee has helped me navigate MIT’s complex systems more than anyone else. I know I can go to her with questions, even questions far outside the range of her job, and she’ll kindly answer them or point me in the right direction if she doesn’t know the answer herself. Renee taught me how to use Webex, and helped me troubleshoot so many issues, that other people saw and started to call on her as a resource. She is always ready to jump in and offer her knowledge and assistance, even though her own workload is huge. She is unfailingly kind and generous, and it is evident in how many people feel comfortable asking for her input on problem solving.
I have seen Renee quietly exercise care in so many ways. For example, any time the Director’s Office Admins take on an event, Renee often handles the food, which can be an onerous task. Renee goes beyond requesting and honoring dietary restrictions. She works with the caterers to create specific meals for people so everyone can participate in community events. You’ll also see her setting up and breaking down nearly any big event we do. She’s always the first one to raise her hand to help.
She truly embodies MIT Libraries’ values. Renee also volunteers regularly for MIT Reads, and for the English Language Learners partner program. When I was looking for volunteers to help me pack food supplies for students in need over the summer, Renee was the first person I thought of, because I knew not only would she be eager to help, she’d also streamline the process so we could get food supplies to our students more efficiently. (She volunteers at the Women’s Lunch Place on her own time, and we benefited from her experience there). When the message went out about Infinite Mile awards, Renee and I were on Slack immediately, thinking about all the wonderful people we could nominate. She is thoughtful in this way as well, always promoting and supporting her colleagues whenever possible. I would love for her to know how valued she is. I am grateful for this opportunity to share with you my respect and admiration of Renee. It’s a cliché, but she genuinely makes me want to be a better colleague.
Category: Results, Outcome, and Productivity (Group-submitted nomination)
The NE36 Move Team, consisting of Kelly Hopkins, Grace Mlady, and Beverly Turner, took on a project, the scale and complexity of which had never before been attempted in the MIT Libraries. Moving 70 staff (representing nearly 40% of the total library staff) from several library locations to a new location on the edge of campus – one which had no previous connection with the Libraries – was unprecedented. The three of them took on a monumental and in many ways thankless job (One colleague described it as one she “wouldn’t want to touch with a 10-foot pole!”). They did all this while continuing to perform their regular day-to-day work, and while two members of the team were themselves preparing to relocate their workspaces as part of the project.
To say that the logistics were complex would be a major understatement. The project required effective coordination and communication with a wide variety of groups and individuals, both internal and external to MIT, including: the architect; the construction contractor; the moving contractor; MIT Facilities; MIT Mail Services; MIT Parking; CRSP (Committee for Renovation and Space Planning); external furnishing and AV vendors; and NE36 staff leadership and representatives. In addition, individual staff needs and preferences had to be considered. While undertaking these daunting logistical challenges, this fearless trio also dealt with cultural and change management issues, such as overcoming resistance from some staff members, and setting reasonable and attainable expectations among all staff (including the expectations of Libraries’ administration).
There was no rulebook for them to follow as they strove to maintain standards of fairness and equity, both among the staff being moved, and between them and those staff still located in library spaces. Interpersonal and power dynamics had to be negotiated with care. In the words of one colleague: “The task of managing expectations and assuring fairness and equity across the large group of staff who were directly affected was staggering.”
Did everything go smoothly and perfectly? Of course not. This was a huge and frankly stressful task with which they were charged. But did the Move Team do a remarkable job of managing an extremely complex – both logistically and interpersonally – move? Yes, they did. And they did so with grace and aplomb. Another colleague wrote that she was “so impressed by their accomplishments…They worked diligently to try to meet everyone’s needs and deadlines, and they always did it with kind words and smiles.” They coordinated with multiple groups on and off campus, fielded countless questions, and tried to mitigate all sorts of anxieties. A staff member noted that “everything they did clearly included attention to our ethic of care, even when managing difficult situations that would easily strain anyone’s patience.” They handled many issues behind the scenes, and have continued to do so since the actual move took place in the summer of 2018. Another staff member commented that their experience “will be exceptionally information as we approach the Hayden Renovation Project over the next few years.” For their awe-inspiring work, we nominate the NE36 Move Team in the category of Results, Outcome, and Productivity.