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May 21, 2014

Dear Members of the Tufts Community,

It is a great pleasure to announce the winners of the 2014 Tufts Distinction Awards. In this seventh year of the program, we will honor 11 individual recipients and 3 teams from across the university; you will find a complete list of the winners below. (This list, as well as the full list of this year’s nominees, may also be found on the Distinction Awards website.) Please join me in congratulating all of the Distinction Awards winners, whose contributions make Tufts an extraordinary place to work and learn.

I invite you to help us recognize this year’s winners at the awards ceremony on Wednesday, June 11, at 10:00am. The 2014 ceremony will be held in Cohen Auditorium, located at 40 Talbot Avenue on the Medford/Somerville campus. A light buffet luncheon will follow the ceremony.

The academic year just ended was one of intense activity and great accomplishment across all our campuses. The Distinction Awards provide a unique opportunity to recognize individuals and teams who exemplify the dedication, talent, and innovation needed to support the university’s operations and advance its important mission. This year’s winners have helped in myriad ways to sustain the excellence of our teaching and learning, research and scholarship, and service to society. I welcome the chance to recognize them at the awards ceremony on June 11.

As in past years, we will offer bus service from the Boston campus and van service from Grafton to Medford on the date of the ceremony. There will also be remote viewing locations set up on the Grafton and Boston campuses so those who are unable to travel but wish to watch the ceremony can watch a live webcast. Details about transportation and remote viewing locations, as well as a downloadable pdf of the invitation, may be found at:

This year, the Distinction Awards Selection Committee received 170 nominations for over 80 unique individuals and teams, comprising staff and faculty from across our three campuses. I am grateful to the Committee for their commitment to the program and for thoughtfully selecting winners from an extremely talented pool of candidates. We owe special thanks to all those who submitted or contributed to a nomination; the program could not thrive without you.

Over the last seven years, the university community has embraced the spirit of the Tufts Distinction Awards. I share that enthusiasm and hope to see you on June 11.

Best wishes,


The Extra Mile Award, for exceptional customer service
Joanne Minassian, staff, Tisch College
Mariana Stoyancheva, staff, The Fletcher School
Grafton Public Safety Team, staff, Public Safety, Operations Division (Patricia Bathgate, Thomas Burdulis Jr., Andrew Fyvie, Jason Kirby, Glenn McCune, Brett Morava)
Tufts University Core Facility Team, faculty and staff, School of Medicine (Michael Berne, Patricia Flaherty, Michael Grinnell, Irina Grinvald, Paula Phuong Nguyen, Tom Phimmasen, Kathleen Sullivan, Albert Tai, Anna Wong)

The Bridge Builder Award, for bringing out the best in others
Steph Gauchel, staff, Women’s Center, Schools of Arts and Sciences and Engineering
John Heine, staff, HNRCA
Jean Poteete, staff, Cummings School
Amy Ingrid Schlegel, staff, Tufts University Art Gallery, School of Arts and Sciences

The Change Agent Award, for creating new opportunities for innovation
Emily Edwards, staff, School of Engineering
Brian McKinney, staff, School of Medicine
TTS-Gordon Institute Partnership Team, staff, Tufts Technology Services and Tufts Gordon Institute, School of Engineering (Dawn Irish, Mary Adams Viola)

The Unsung Hero Award, for accomplishing the extraordinary every day
Susan Bhole, staff, University Relations Division
Kathleen Burgos, staff, HNRCA
Paul Wagoner, staff, School of Arts and Sciences