2018 Infinite Mile Award Recipients

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

President Reif, Julie Parker, Suha Bekdash, D'Artagna Thomas, Steve Bradt, Aaron Weinberger, Kirk Kolenbrander, and Greg Morgan at the 2018 Infinite Mile Awards Ceremony.


Team Award (Suha Bekdash & D'Artagna Thomas) for Public, Customer, or Client Relations
Steve Bradt for Problem Solving and Leadership
Aaron Weinberger for Collaboration/Teamwork
Julie Parker for Community Building


Team Award (Suha Bekdash & D'Artagna Thomas)

Suha Bekdash and D'Artagna Thomas are all smiles at the Infinite Mile Awards Ceremony.
D'Artagna Thomas and Suha Bekdash accept their Infinite Mile Award from Kirk Kolenbrander.

Team Award (Suha Bekdash, Copy Technology Centers, Financial Officer; D'Artagna Thomas, Office of the President, Senior Financial Assistant) for Public, Customer, or Client Relations

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You are accounting wizards, seeing and understanding numbers in a way mere mortals never could. You are speedy, resourceful and impossibly accurate. No wand required.

Your commitment to customer service is out of this world. You serve the Institute – and all of us – with patience, kindness and endless good cheer.

D’Artagna: You know MIT’s financial policies inside and out – and you make sure that we do, too.Filing an expense report without receipts? Not on D’Artagna’s watch. Thinking of paying tax on a purchasing card? Think again. You are detail oriented, and you demand the same from us. But in the nicest possible way.

Suha: You have mastered the art of dealing with deficits and black boxes. With your deep financial knowledge and sophisticated graphs, you navigate rough waters and always keep us afloat. You channel chaos into comfort, a beacon when we feel lost at sea.

Both of you are famous for your dedication to your colleagues, to the Institute and to doing things the right way. We are privileged to call you our peers.

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Steve Bradt

President Reif, Kirk Kolenbrander, and Steve Bradt holding his Infinite Mile Award.
Steve Bradt accepts his Infinite Mile Award and congratulates his team on a job well done.

Steve Bradt, Executive Director, News Office, for Problem Solving and Leadership

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Stop the presses. Steve Bradt has won an Infinite Mile Award!

You lead the News Office by example, always looking for new and creative ways to tell MIT’s story to the world.

You have excellent judgment, deep institutional knowledge and exceptional organizational skills. And you know the difference between perfect and pluperfect. (For the record, we think you’re pluperfect.)

Your counsel on MIT’s Emergency Operations Communications Group is invaluable. During moments of crisis or faced with the latest Nor’easter, you are ever calm, keeping the group focused on the task at hand.

You are kind and considerate, and you take the time to listen and to hear those around you. You bring people together in a way that builds trust and unity. And you do it with a smile.

In what might be an Infinite Mile first, one of your colleagues captured your magic in a haiku: “Always there for us, stressful lows or happy highs, Steve’s our office rock.”

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Aaron Weinberger

Aaron Weinberger enjoys the Infinite Mile Awards Ceremony with Karla Casey and Christine Daniloff.
President Reif, Aaron Weinberger, and Greg Morgan with Aaron's Infinite Mile Award.

Aaron Weinberger, Assistant Director for Institute Affairs, Office of the President, for Collaboration/Teamwork

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Your friendliness, humble style and every-darn-time excellence have won you a broad network of friends and allies who leap to pick up the phone when they see that it’s Aaron calling. With zero drama, sincere goodwill and rock-solid MIT values, you turn out staggering quantities of first-rate work, including cascades of graceful presidential prose.

Thoughtful, funny, kind, quietly brilliant and unnervingly productive, you are everyone’s favorite collaborator. Your unfailing follow-through, superb judgment and unrivalled knowledge of all things MIT make every team you serve on the best it can be.

In fact, from watching you we have come to see that in its highest form, collaboration is a form of leadership: the art of inspiring people to work together toward important goals. From the Executive Committee and Academic Council to the Presidential Advisory Committee and your everyday colleagues, every group you touch is stronger, more productive, more collegial and more focused on what really matters. You began as a team player. But, to our great good fortune, you are a team maker now.

Like a legendary diver, in everything you do you not only meet and master the first-class standard – two and half somersaults with a full twist, ending in a pike – you raise it for all time: performed backward from a handstand start, without losing your glasses or your sense of humor.

As one of your fans put it, “If there were a market for Aarons, I’d corner it.”

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Julie Parker

Bara Blender, Emer Garland, Julie Parker, Bette Johnson, and Jenny Fowler at the Infinite Mile Awards Ceremony.
Julie Parker walking up to accept her Infinite Mile Award.

Julie Parker, Furniture Exchange Representative, Office of the President, for Community Building

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As the manager of MIT’s Furniture Exchange, you make treasure hunting fun. And since all of the proceeds benefit the Women’s League Scholarship Fund, we can feel good about splurging on one more dresser or divan.

You demonstrate a special commitment to your work and an infectious enthusiasm for the FX’s mission.

You cultivate a friendly and inclusive environment at WW15. The “WW” might as well stand for “wicked welcoming.”

Your “Sew It’s Saturday” workshops and “upcycle” of donated furniture program are a great success. You are a creative thinker, always looking for ways to highlight the FX’s work and contribute to MIT’s broader community.

That so many people are willing to volunteer their time and energy to the FX is a testament to your leadership. Many have never volunteered before, some are anxious about their limited English skills and others are hesitant to venture beyond MIT’s main campus. At the FX, they find a home.

You accept furniture and household goods, and you exchange them for community. We wouldn’t exchange you for the world.

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