Presenter: President L. Rafel Reif
Our first recipient, Angela Odoari Mickunas, from the Department of Mechanical Engineering, has dedicated her professional life to creating an inclusive workplace. She serves as Assistant Director for Finance and Administration for the Center for Clean Water and Clean Energy, which is funded by the King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals in Saudi Arabia. The Center is a complex international collaboration, with more than 200 individuals on the US and Saudi sides. According to her nominators, Angela has become a true cultural interpreter. She has worked to become an expert on all things Saudi, learning Arabic while exploring the histories and traditions of Muslim holidays.
Angela has built a relationship with the Saudi consulate and, for the last four years, has handled all travel-related issues for the MIT participants. Her dedication to cultural understanding and sensitivity is at the foundation of the very successful Women’s Technology Program she established with Effat University and Dar Al [FY-kir] Fikr High School in Jeddah. In 2011, six female students from Dar Al [FY-kir] Fikr came to MIT for the two-week outreach program. Angela provided the girls with round-the-clock, on-call supervision. She also offered a personal introduction to US culture, taking them out after work and on weekends.
Angela Odoari Mickunas is a mentor, a diplomat and an inspiration to students and colleagues from around the world. I am honored to present her with the MIT Excellence Award for Advancing Inclusion and Global Perspectives.