What’s your official job at LIDS, and what does it entail?
I’m the Staff Administrator. The main areas of responsibility involve human resources endeavors, support staff, payroll for students, appointments, and contact areas. I have also resumed responsibilities for facilities-related maintenance and repair.
What do you like about working here?
Everything. I love working with the students, which has always been my favorite thing. Although many may think administration is tedious, I don’t. There are so many different challenges on any given day… You are constantly thinking of how to manage or resolve something for someone. Many people have heard me say it keeps my edges sharp!
How long have been at LIDS? At MIT?
I’ve been at LIDS since 1998, but I started at MIT in February of 1962, in Mechanical Engineering. I was here for five years, left and came back again in 1969. I stayed 10 more years at the time, and returned years later to join LIDS.
Where did you grow up?
How did you end up in the Boston area?
That’s a secret story!
If you had to sum up how the lab – and the Institute – have changed over the years, what would you say?
Administratively speaking, the advent of the computer has made things more expeditious. When I was in Political Science, a project called Admins was working on information technology and artificial intelligence. I remember using a modem to connect to the huge computer on campus; the basis for conveying and formatting information was the Fortran language. When I told my friends I could communicate through my typewriter to the professor in England or Japan it seemed unbelievable at the time. Just look at us now! If I had only known… The Institute was just as dedicated to research then as it is now. The students were wonderful in their interest and dedication, and the faculty as diverse in their personalities. As for LIDS, in the past eight years that I’ve been here, I find the pace has quickened. Moving to Stata certainly has been a value added to the Laboratory in terms of presentation.
What has been your most memorable time at LIDS?
The move to Stata, because I never had been involved in such a large project, with a myriad of things to think about beyond the “normal” work day. There was an unbelievable amount of details, committee meetings and negotiations involved, and all the different points of view on aspects of contracting, layout and supplying services and support. I came away respecting what it takes to get an enormous task done.
What do you like to do when you’re not working?
I will always love sailing and skiing, though my bones don’t cooperate as much as they used to. I definitely love traveling, the ocean, calligraphy, photography, reading and walking. Each in their way provides reflective and meditative moments. All of these are shared with the core of my life, which is based in my family, friends and my love of animals – cats in particular. Why? They are curious, have their own mind, and always land on their feet! You’ve traveled extensively. What have been some highlights from those trips?
I’ve made several trips to Europe. I covered Austria, East and West Germany on one, and France and the Netherlands on another, where I lived off a sloop in Northern Langweer, surviving along with the ducks on Suiker Brood. Italy was lovely, especially Florence. Rome bustled and the scent of Venice left an impression. Switzerland was just beautiful from the Volkswagen I was driving (stick shift) with narrow roads and the unbelievable drops off the side. Traveling to Berlin through East Germany was a throwback in time.
I’ve also traveled to the West Coast, especially the Monterey Coast, San Francisco to Los Angeles, and Aspen. San Diego was wonderful. I’ve been south to New Orleans and the Café du Monde: the jazz/blues was wonderful, as was the food long before Emeril. I loved Iceland’s moonscape, puffins, relaxed lifestyle and turquoise hot springs and glaciers. Of course Hawaii, especially the island of Hawaii and the volcano, was thrilling. Oahu was fine but I would like to go back and take another look, if it weren’t for the Cancun/Caribbean waters that have been calling me for the last several years.
Where would you like to go next?
Brazil, Chile, Singapore, Kyoto, Alaska, Capetown, Patagonia, and Vancouver for starters...