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Irwin Sizer Award for the Most Significant Improvement to MIT Education

The Irwin Sizer Award is presented to any member or group in the Institute community to honor significant innovations and improvements to MIT education. The award is named in honor of Irwin W. Sizer, Dean of the Graduate School from 1967-1975.

To nominate, visit the Graduate Student Council website. Please direct any questions to gsc-awards@mit.edu.

Past Winners

2017

  • Was not awarded

2016

  • Prof. Tom Leighton, Mathematics
  • Dean Michael Sipser, Mathematics

2015

  • Dr. Lee Perlman, MIT Concourse Learning Program

2014

  • Dr. Robert Tong-Ik Shin, Lincoln Laboratory

2013

  • Prof. J. Meejin Yoon, Department of Architecture
 

Irwin Whiting Sizer, a pioneer in molecular biology and champion of the recruitment of women and minority students, taught at MIT for over 60 years. He joined the MIT faculty in 1935 as an instructor in the Department of Biology and was named chair of the department in 1956, a position he held until 1967 when he was appointed dean of the graduate school. Sizer served as dean until 1976, when he returned to the Department of Biology as professor emeritus and instructor. He was instrumental in the development of many programs at MIT, including Whitaker College, the joint Ph.D. in oceanography at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology Program, and the introduction of interdisciplinary master’s degrees. Within the Department of Biology, he played a major role in the evolution of the biology curriculum from a classical program to a modern molecular biology program.

 

James N. Murphy Award

The James N. Murphy Award was established in 1967 in memory of James N. Murphy for his immeasurable contribution to community life at the Institute. It is given to a non-faculty employee whose spirit and loyalty exemplify this kind of inspired and dedicated service, especially with regard to students. Sustained contribution is a criterion for the award, but longevity, in itself, is not.

If you have any questions about the James N. Murphy Award please contact via email.

Submit a nomination

Past Winners

2017

  • Heather Barry, Nuclear Science and Engineering Department

2016

  • Ken Stone ’72, MIT Hobby Shop
  • Dr. Robert M. Randolph, Chaplain to the Institute

2015

  • Nancy Savioli, Department of Physics

2014

  • Donna Friedman, UAAP

2013

  • Michael Grenier, Residential Life & Dining
  • June Milligan, CopyTech

2012

  • Robert Ferrara '67, Senior Director, Office of the Dean for Student Life
 

During the 37 years he worked at MIT, James N. Murphy represented the highest standard of service and devotion to the Institute. As the first manager of Kresge Auditorium and the MIT Chapel, he helped develop the policies that make these historic buildings invaluable community facilities. Murphy also took on the added responsibility of managing the MIT Religious Counselors’ House and the Non-Resident Student Association House. In 1966, Mr. Murphy and three MIT students died tragically in an automobile accident while traveling to a national convention of the Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity, for which Murphy was the faculty advisor.

 

Gordon Y Billard Award

The Gordon Y. Billard award is named in honor of Mr. Billard, a member of the Class of 1924. This individual award is made annually to a member of the Faculty or non-Faculty employee, or one not affiliated with the Institute. The criteria is for an individual (not a team) who has given “special service of outstanding merit performed for the Institute.”

Those nominated must have had an impact beyond performing their normal job duties. These efforts would be broad in scope (affects many departments or units, or people), and has been sustained contributions for many years (some nominees have made contributions in excess of 15 years). Examples of this might include serving as chair of a cross-departmental task force whose findings or actions moved MIT’s mission forward (e.g. Kendall project or Task force on Undergraduate Education. Another example might be initiating and nurturing a new student program such as MISTI, DLab, Global Education and Global alliances.

This individual also could have been the driving force behind the creation of a revitalized graduate community or the Campaign for Students. Finally, the nominee should have created important, lasting and varied contributions to the MIT community. The recipient normally has had a significant portfolio of service to MIT.

If you have any questions about the Gordon Y Billard Award please contact via email.

Submit a nomination

Past Winners

2017

  • Gayle Gallagher, Institute Affairs
  • Ian Waitz, School of Engineering

2016

  • Alyce Johnson, Human Resources
  • Jagruti Patel ‘97, Chancellor's Office
  • Prof. John Ochsendorf, Department of Architecture/Civil and Environmental Engineering

2015

  • John P. Dunbar, Assistant to the Provost for Space Planning
  • Adèle Naudé Santos, Professor, Department of Architecture

2014

  • Claude Canizares
  • Dorothy Mark
  • Roger Mark

2013

  • Professor Suzanne Berger, Department of Political Science
  • Daniel E. Hastings, Dean for Undergraduate Education

2012

  • Professor J. Kim Vandiver, Dean for Undergraduate Research, Department of Mechanical Engineering
     
 

Gordon Y Billard, an expert in finance and investing, was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1900. He prepared at the University of Cincinnati for two years before coming to MIT, where he earned an S.B. in business administration in 1924. He subsequently pursued additional education in business, finance, and law at New York University. Mr. Billard was a partner at J.R. Williston & Company of New York and worked as a statistician, analyst, and financial consultant for many years. Shortly before his death in 1983, he established the Gordon Y Billard Fund in memory of his mother. The fund provides for the Gordon Y Billard Award and endows several professorships at the Alfred P. Sloan School of Management.

John S.W. Kellett '47 Award

The John S. W. Kellett ’47 Award recognizes any MIT individual or group for an exceptional and/or sustained commitment to creating a more welcoming environment at MIT, including but not limited to, improving the experience of lesbian, bisexual, gay, transgender (LBGT), and questioning individuals.

The award honors Mr. Kellett, whose spirited support has enabled significant improvements in the lives of members of MIT’s LBGT community.

If you have any questions about the John S.W. Kellett '47 Award please contact via email.

Submit a nomination

Past Winners

2017

  • Queer West

2016

  • Graduate Queer Women Group
    • Rebecca Heywood ’12 G
    • Audra Amasino G
    • Lakshmi Kannan G

2015

  • Margaret Lattanzi-Silveus ‘16

2014

  • Lincoln Laboratory Out Professional Employee Network (OPEN)

2013

  • Idan A. Blank G

2012

  • Cory Hernandez '14
 

John S. W. Kellett was born in Lawrence, Massachusetts, in 1927 and earned both an S.B. in chemical engineering (1947) and an S.M. in chemical engineering practice (1948) at MIT. He spent most of his career with Exxon focusing on refinery planning and project management. While he knew he was gay, he was closeted for most of his life. In 1972, when Exxon transferred him to Houston from overseas (the Stonewall Riots occurred during his absence and without his knowledge), he was determined to integrate the various aspects of his life and, later, to become an advocate for improving the experience of lesbian, bisexual, gay, and transgendered (LBGT) individuals. As his 50th reunion approached, he challenged MIT to examine its support of its LBGT community, resulting in the creation of the LBGT Issues Group, BGALA, and a broad spectrum of services. He continues to be a tireless advocate for these issues and an ongoing inspiration.

Laya Wiesner Community Award

Established in 1999, this award honors Mrs. Wiesner’s legacy at MIT. The award is presented to a member or friend of the MIT community for conspicuously effective service that reflects Mrs. Wiesner’s concerns for enhancing life at the Institute and in the world at large.

If you have any questions about the Laya Wiesner Community Award please contact via email.

Submit a nomination

Past Winners

2017

  • Julie Norman, Director, UAAP & Senior Associate Dean, DUE

2016

  • Paula Ruiz Castillo G

2015

  • Caleb Harper, Media Laboratory

2014

  • Borislava (Bori) Stoyanova

2013

  • Michele Pratusevich ‘13

2012

  • Kimberly Benard, Assistant Director, Global Education and Career Development Center
 

Laya Wainger Wiesner, wife of MIT’s President Jerome Wiesner, served as the Institute’s First Lady from 1971 to 1980. Mrs. Wiesner earned a B.S. in mathematics at the University of Michigan in 1940 and married in the same year. During the Wiesner presidency, Mrs. Wiesner was active in many Institute projects, including the MIT Women’s League, the MIT Advisory Committee on Women and Work, and the Advisory Board of MIT’s Child Development Center. She also worked to increase the number of women on the faculty. Beyond MIT, she helped found and support the Metropolitan Council on Education, was a leader of the Massachusetts League of Women Voters, and an active supporter of their efforts to aid the civil rights movement in the South.

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