Poster session puts spotlight on MIT’s administrative initiatives

12/23/2014

“Collaborating for MIT’s Future,” a poster session held this fall, was derived from a simple idea: To give members of the Institute’s administrative community an opportunity to share recent projects, find inspiration in the work of their colleagues, and make connections—easily and efficiently.

A successful showing

During the two-hour event, held in the Media Lab’s Skyline Room, guests had the opportunity to peruse more than 40 posters highlighting administrative projects and initiatives, such as the East Campus/Kendall Gateway, MIT.nano, Drupal Cloud, and the Accelerated Capital Renewal Program. The open format allowed attendees to stroll through the exhibit space and speak with poster presenters about their topics one-on-one. 

It was wonderful for me to walk around the room to see that we truly are collaborating for MIT’s future, and that we are working together to transform experiences for the MIT community.

Attendees learned, for example, how IS&T provides tools that simulate color blindness and measure color contrast to improve accessibility on websites and in presentations. They were able to speak with MIT’s Travel team about a new mobile app that allows travelers to view their itineraries and get driving directions. They learned how Facilities, EH&S, and the Office of Sustainability teamed up during Earth Week to create a pilot Styrofoam recycling program for MIT labs.

“It was great fun to have an opportunity to connect with peers,” said Alyce Johnson, Manager of Staff Diversity & Inclusion in Human Resources. “Those of us in the administrative areas don’t always have an opportunity to connect with each other about the different projects and work we are doing.”

A shared vision

In the end, the event exceeded expectations of organizers, presenters, and attendees. Its success illustrates the importance of continuing the dialogue across departmental boundaries and making connections between people and projects.

“This event was not only very informative, it was a way to meet people in person. Events like this allow you to see all the great things MIT is doing,” said Anne Marie LeBlanc, Associate Director of Fiscal Operations at Sloan School of Management. “I hope to see more of these in the future.” 

In an email to participants following the event, EVPT Israel Ruiz noted: “It was wonderful for me to walk around the room to see that we truly are collaborating for MIT’s future, and that we are working together to transform experiences for the MIT community. This shows that we have picked up on that spirit of innovation that characterizes MIT and brought it to our administrative domain. I am excited to see all of the things we are doing together to modernize our systems and personalize our services, and I am struck by the number of posters that demonstrate what is possible when we work together. For me this was MIT at its best.”