Staff Recognition

SEAS has developed staff recognition programs as part of an ongoing effort to celebrate and cultivate talent at all levels.

Harvard Heroes

The Harvard Heroes program celebrates the accomplishments of Harvard staff whose work supports the mission of Harvard at the highest levels of contribution, impact and excellence.

Our Heroes:

2012 - Carlos Guerrero

2013 - Sandra Klemm and Kate Zirpolo Flynn

2014 - Eliza Grinnell and Oscar Sola

2015 - Nater Jorde and Eric Tatten

2016 - Marybeth Wilcox and Kathy Lovell

2017 - Lashanda Banks

2018 - Susan Forrest

2019 - Brandon Tilghman

2020 - Winner announcement postponed due to COVID-19

Venkatesh "Venky" Narayanamurti Award for Mentoring and Community Building at SEAS

The Venkatesh "Venky" Narayanamurti Award for Mentoring and Community Building at SEAS, made possible through a generous gift by former SEAS Dean Venky Narayanamurti, is intended to encourage and recognize SEAS staff members who have made a significant contribution to mentoring (including the mentoring of direct reports, colleagues, or students) or to community building at SEAS. All SEAS staff members (except members of the award review committee), including full- and part-time staff on the bi-weekly payroll with primary appointments as staff members; research and teaching appointees such as lecturers and postdocs are ineligible).


2012 - Julie Holbrook and Arlene Stevens

2013 - Anas Chalah, Meg Hastings, and Jill Larson

2014 - Nater Jorde and Marybeth Wilcox

2015 - Pavlos Prottopappas and Daniel Weinstock

2016 - Keith Karasek, Christopher Lombardo, and Patrick Ulrich

2017 - Norton Allen, Sarah Iams, and Margo Levine

2018 - Maddie Hickman, Elaine Kristant, and Kimia Mavon

2019 - Dina Adams, John Girash, Alexis Stokes

2020 - Winner announcement postponed due to COVID-19

Abacus Award

The Abacus Award was created to recognize one faculty member each year who works to achieve positive results by establishing respectful partnerships with staff.


2015 - Harry Lewis

2016 - Todd Zickler

2017 - David Parkes

2018 - Stephen Chong and Rob Wood

2019 - 

Dean’s Excellence Award

The Dean’s Excellence Award was intended to honor those SEAS staff whose contributions have been instrumental to the success of the school. All staff at SEAS up to salary grade 60, including full- and part-time staff on the bi-weekly payroll with primary appointments as staff members were eligible (research and teaching appointees such as lecturers and postdocs were ineligible). This award has been replaced with the Dean's Distinction program.


2012 - Don Claflin, Moriah Freeman, Josh Goss, and Pam Choi Redfern

2013 - Carol Harlow, Glenn Holloway, Jim MacArthur, and Nora McDonald

2014 - Julianna Braun, Krissy Day, Corinne Espinoza, and Margo Levine

2015 - Miguel Guerrero, Sarah Lefebvre, Caroline Perry, and Julie Holbrook

Dean's Distinction

The Dean's Distinction annual program recognizes a small number of FAS and SEAS staff members for their outstanding citizenship and exceptional contributions in support of the FAS' teaching and research mission.


2016 - ABET Team (David Hwang, Patrick Ulrich, Anna Dunavin) and Claudia Stearns, Michaela Kapp, and Derek Barton

2017 - Leah Burrows, Pamela Choi Redfern, and Hera Daldalian

2018 - Lisa Frazier-Zezze, Rebecca Loose, Adam Zewe

Thank You Card Campaign

To foster the spirit of thankfulness, HR and the Dean's Office arranges for thank you notes to be available to all staff and faculty around the time of the Thanksgiving holiday to use to express their thanks to others in the SEAS community. HR provides staff and faculty with cards and envelopes, all you have to do is ask.

Harvard Service Milestone Recognition Program

The Harvard Service Milestone Recognition Program is a University-wide approach to the recognition of service milestones – or 5-year "work anniversaries." The program was designed to express appreciation for the dedication and service of our talented faculty and staff. Full details are available in the Program Guidelines. Faculty and staff celebrating anniversaries will receive a special message of thanks and congratulations, as well as a choice of gifts, during their anniversary month. Harvard will recognize the 5-year service anniversaries, from 5 to 60 years, of administrative/professional, support, and service and trade staff.  

Spot Rewards

Spot Rewards are intended to recognize staff for meaningful or special contributions above and beyond their standard job responsibilities. All SEAS staff members are eligible to receive a Spot Reward.

  • Spot Rewards can be given at any time during the year at the discretion of the manager.
  • All Spot Rewards are set at $250.
  • A staff member may receive more than one Spot Reward each year.
Merit Bonus Awards

Merit Bonus Awards have been a component of the annual increase process for exempt staff for several years. Managers may nominate exempt staff members who have demonstrated excellence in their performance throughout the year to receive this award during the annual performance appraisal cycle.