Kaufman and Chow receive School of Engineering Awards

Friday, April 30, 2010 (All day)

Two members of the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Headquarters support and administrative staff were presented awards at the MIT School of Engineering Infinite Mile Awards ceremony held Wednesday, April 28 in the Grier Rooms. Agnes Chow, EECS Administrative Officer and Donna Kaufman, Senior Assistant to Department Head Eric Grimson were two of 14 award recipients recognized from across the Institute for the excellence, commitment and enthusiasm they bring to their work.

Donna Kaufman joined MIT's EECS Department in February, 2002 serving as assistant to then Department Head John Guttag. She was co-recipient of the Richard J. Caloggero Award for dedication and excellent service to the Department in May, 2005.

Donna Kaufman was cited at the Infinite Award presentation on April 28 with the following comments:


"As the interface between the department heads office and the faculty Donna is responsive, efficient, proactive and creative. She also serves as the coordinator of communications between the department head and EECSs deep alumni pools handling requests, coordinating stewardship material and generally serving as a contact point for alumni.


The department head attributes to Donna EECSs well-deserved reputation for always meeting deadlines, delivering material in appropriate form, responding to last minute requests promptly, and generally providing efficient and effective service. As you will hear later, Donna is one of several pillars upon whom the departments reputation in this regard rests. We are unquestionably fortunate that this, our largest department, is so well supported.

Donna is a perfectionist, and it shows in everything she does from promotion case preparation, to handling travel arrangements, scheduling complex meetings, organizing major social events for this very large department, and serving as course secretary for classes with as many as 350+ students at a time."


Agnes Chow is one of two MIT staff within the School of Engineering to receive the Ellen J. Mandigo Award for outstanding service. This award was established in 2009 and made possible by a bequest from Ellen Mandigo, a member of the MIT community from 1942 until her retirement in 1991. The award is given to staff in recognition of intelligence, skill, hard work and dedication to MIT over an extended period of time.

Serving MIT since 1984, Agnes Chow was fiscal officer in the Laboratory for Computer Science (LCS) from 1984-1987. She became Assistant Director of the Center for Technology, Policy and Industrial Development (CTPID) in 1987 and Assistant Director of the Artificial Intelligence Lab, (CSAIL) from 1998-2004. In 2005, Agnes was recognized for "Going Above and Beyond" with the MIT Excellence Award. She joined the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science as Administrative Officer in 2004.

The citations made to honor Agnes Chow in winning the Mandigo Award, include the following:


"Is there anyone in this room who does not know Agnes or know of her? Agnes is, quite simply, a gem. She is described by one letter writer as 'extraordinary' and by another as an 'indispensible part of the EECS engine'.


Her capacity for hard work is unsurpassed. One faculty member writes, "though I was just one of about a hundred PIs in CSAIL, and am just one of more than a hundred faculty in EECS, Agnes has managed to give me ample individual attention. I can only imagine the extraordinary amount of time and care she puts in to make all of the faculty in her charge feel this way." Another faculty member reports receiving emails from Agnes while she was on vacation, as she was cruising down the Nile River.

We are told that her husband has frequently threatened to take away her computer on vacations thus far, without success. Another faculty member writes, "your problem instantly becomes Agnes problem and she will deal with it with all shes got" and Agness resources are impressive. While she is absolutely amazing at details, she also has a deep understanding of the department. She is a trusted and essential advisor to many senior members of the EECS faculty. Besides her encyclopedic knowledge of MIT policies and procedures, she is a true source of wisdom about finances, personnel, leadership, vision and governance."


Congratulations Agnes and Donna!

MIT News Office May 3, 2010 article "School of Engineering honors staff at 10th Infinite Mile Awards ceremony"