Serving the Client

  • Shirley Thompson
    Coordinator, Registration Service
    Registrar’s Office, Dean for Undergraduate Education
    Coordinator, Registration Service

    To many departments at MIT, there is a name that is synonymous with the registrar’s office. Within the office is someone who treats each visitor as if he or she were the only person with a problem that day, and of course, nothing is further from the truth. As coordinator in Registration Services, she is half of a staff of only two people for a very large volume of high-stakes work. She processes registration, add/drop forms, cross-registration, and grades for all students—graduate and undergraduate. In the sea of paper that is Registration Week, she keeps other busy administrators afloat because no matter how busy she may be, no one ever gets her voicemail. People are reassured by her voice, which experience has taught offers both knowledge and wisdom: she is able to interpret policy even for situations that seem to have no precedent.

    She is efficient, resourceful, and cheerful, even under duress. As a person who knows about anything academic, her name is listed on “cheat sheets” around campus, and as one nominator said, ‘The Institute is a better place because of her.’ Shirley Thompson, congratulations for your award in Serving the Client.

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