(presented by Israel Ruiz, Executive Vice President + Treasurer)
I am so pleased to be able to present the award to the final recipient in this category. Scott Rolph is the Manager of Organizational Effectiveness and Communications in the Office of the Vice President for Finance. I had the pleasure of working closely with Scott when I was the VPF, and so I can personally attest to all of the wonderful things others say about him. Scott’s role calls for someone who excels at communications, teambuilding, inclusiveness. Someone who can resolve conflicts. But Scott is so much more. A couple of his colleagues described him as “the glue, the foundation, the oxygen of VPF.”
What makes him so deserving of this award is that, time and again, he goes well beyond the requirements of his job in fostering an inclusive environment. And not just in his day-to-day actions at VPF, but across MIT.
As a member of MIT’s Council for Staff Diversity and Inclusion (CSDI), Scott helps guide the council’s vision and strategy. He has guided the communications efforts for multiple MIT Diversity Summits. This entailed many volunteer hours on his part because he designed posters, coordinated publicity, drafted communications for senior leaders, created slides for summit presenters, and served as a volunteer at the event itself. All in addition to his full-time role at VPF.
The Excellence Awards committee received many wonderful anecdotes about Scott—about his warmth and encouragement and about his selfless dedication to advancing diversity and inclusion at the Institute. Here’s a prime example:
“I was waiting in Scott’s office for a meeting a month or so ago, and I found myself perusing the books on his shelf. Now, I keep books around like Excel for Dummies, but on Scott’s shelf, I was surprised to see a book entitled A Human Being Died That Night. He recommended it to me, saying that this account of the work of the Human Rights Violations Committee in post-Apartheid South Africa is an excellent example of conflict mediation. Without skipping a beat, he linked it to my role in engaging community members on change management efforts. When I took the book home, I found that he’d studied it. He’d highlighted sections and his highlights revealed a compassionate mind – the mind of someone who cares deeply about how people are affected by their environment, the mind of someone who has great hope for what people can achieve.”
Without further ado, congratulations - Scott Rolph!