2009 Infinite Mile Award Recipients

Our congratulations and thanks to the recipients of our ninth Infinite Mile Awards.

Michael Faber for Problem Solving and Leadership
Jennifer Hirsch for Collaboration/Teamwork
D’Artagna Matthews for Public, Customer, or Client Relations
Corey Smentek for Public, Customer, or Client Relations


Michael Faber

Michael Faber accepts congratulations from Kirk Kolenbrander and President Hockfield.
Michael Faber with Kate Panter (c) and Leslie Price (r).

Michael Faber, Advisor, Office of the President, for Problem Solving and Leadership

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Your thoughtful, team-oriented mentality enables you to work collaboratively with others, encouraging participation and openness while sharing ideas, responsibilities, skills and resources. You exhibit and inspire a “can-do” attitude in the face of emerging challenges. Your work on the Idea Bank—from conception through development—has made the resource a huge success. Your leadership, persistence and high standards were invaluable in shaping and launching the site. Your consistent ability to cut to the heart of a problem, to articulate constructive next steps and to collaborate with others has allowed you to guide many complex, important MIT projects to success.


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Jennifer Hirsch

Kirk Kolenbrander congratulates award recipient Jennifer Hirsch.
Jennifer Hirsch (center) is joined by her News Office colleagues Anne Trafton (l) and Rebecca Macri (r).

Jennifer Hirsch, Communications Assistant, for Collaboration/Teamwork

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You offer savvy support to a very busy staff and have assumed higher-level public relations responsibilities, including pitching stories and organizing events. You have worked tirelessly to secure major coverage of MIT research in the national media. In the face of shifting responsibilities, you gladly and willingly took ownership of the clips process, designing several iterations of clips packages and fielding inquiries from various subscribers. In addition to handling your own busy workload, you develop solutions to challenging problems that affect the day-to-day operations of the News Office, and always with the conscientiousness and diligence your colleagues so admire.


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D’Artagna Matthews

Ann McNamara looks on as Kirk Kolenbrander presents an award to D'Artagna Matthews.
President Hockfield congratulates Leah Matthews, mother of award recipient D'Artagna Matthews.

D’Artagna Matthews, Financial Assistant II, for Public, Customer, or Client Relations

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No matter how many times you may be asked the same questions, you patiently guide colleagues through often daunting financial processes. You promote a collegial, supportive and positive work environment that allows you to make connections with people and groups across the Institute. When you are asked a question that you cannot immediately answer, you respond with natural curiosity and a desire to improve service by expanding your knowledge and skills. You resolved a long-standing billing problem with a vendor. Your willingness to take initiative and to improve service and customer satisfaction is extraordinary, and a credit to MIT.


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Corey Smentek

Corey Smentek shares a laugh with Kirk Kolenbrander, Ellen Patton, and Corey's mother, Betsy.
President Hockfield contratulates Corey Smentek as Corey's brother, Andrew, and mother, Betsy, look on.

Corey Smentek, Facilitator, Trustee Relations, for Public, Customer, or Client Relations

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Your hard work, monumental effort and enthusiasm combine to make the Visiting Committee process smooth and seamless. You are a pro at managing the flow of procedures and people involved in the Visiting Committee meetings. You keep the departments on track, on schedule and on time. You demonstrate excellent client relations, serving as both an invaluable resource and a collaborator on Visiting Committee preparations. You anticipate needs and answer questions, producing results that reflect the nuances of complex situations. You engage effectively with a large number of people of varying personalities and backgrounds, with enviable calm, diplomacy and grace.


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