Sharon Bridburg and the Online Registration Team Receive MIT Excellence Awards


Each year, the MIT Excellence Awards recognize a small number of exceptional members of the community who have “made extraordinary efforts toward fulfilling the goals, values, and mission of the Institute.” In 2012, Sharon Bridburg was recognized for her long-time leadership in DUE Human Resources and  the Online Registration Team, comprised of staff from the Registrar's Office and IS&T, were recognized for their collaborative efforts in designing and delivering a successful Online Registration system.

DUE 2012 Excellence Award Winners

Below are excerpts from the nominations which give you a sense of the impact and contribution of the recipients to the DUE community and MIT as whole.

Sharon Bridburg: "Bringing Out the Best: everyday leadership throughout MIT"

Human Resources is both an art and a science, and a successful HR manager is able to master both. Such is the case with Sharon Bridburg, Director of HR in DUE. Sharon is well-versed in the science of human resources and has a thorough understanding of all areas from the Family Medical Leave Act, to compensation issues to other federal and Institute rules and regulations, yet she is not rigid and uses her knowledge and experience to help others in many ways. She worked for many years as a Human Resource Officer in MIT’s central HR Office learning about MIT and its culture. Sharon has spent the past fifteen years serving the HR needs of the ever changing offices reporting to DUE, developing a true understanding of the work we do and how we do it.

But it is mastering the art of human resources, that is, applying this knowledge and these rules in the human context that really matter. This is where Sharon truly excels for she is a true listener, creative, compassionate, thoughtful, and able to be both calming and respectful of the situations or circumstances that cause an individual to seek her out. She is able to grasp the big picture and the nuances, and get to the heart of a matter. She possesses a unique way of offering support and encouragement in times of stress, allowing an individual to come to a decision on their own after careful reflection, rather than feeling pressured or pushed. So often, her best work is hidden beneath the cloak of confidentiality. Those who have worked with her for many years can see her invisible fingerprints on many of the motivated and happy staff of DUE.

Sharon leads quietly and her success truly rests in the offices across DUE that she serves and in the faces of the DUE community. We all benefit greatly from her leadership, expertise, caring and endless efforts on our behalf.

Online Registration Team: "Innovative Solutions: collaborating for results"

From the Registrar's Office: Mary Callahan, Brian Canavan, Peter Hayes
From IS&T: Paul Cronin, Eamon Kearns, Felicia W. Leung, Jeffrey Pankin, Stephen Turner, Debra Annette Wiley, Seth M. Winerman

The issue of online registration has been percolating at MIT for many years (easily 10-15 years). The Institute has had the technical ability to bring registration online, however, there have always been political and cultural barriers standing in the way.  The Online Registration Project Team clearly and successfully addressed the cultural and political barriers in a way that has primed the system for success. The collaborative effort between the project team and its many stakeholders resulted in a customer experience truly focused on the needs of the students, faculty, and administrators.

In describing the team, Scott Alessandro, Associate Director of Sloan Educational Services, commented, “The impressiveness of the system is secondary in my mind, to the impressiveness of the team that put it together. The team was so professional...customer service was excellent…project management was excellent…and the process was excellent. And turnaround time was impressive. I was expecting delays. There were none. I was expecting major bugs…when it launched; again, there were none,” said Alessandro. “At Sloan, we teach management. We should write a case study on the Online Registration Team, and use it in the classroom.”

The Online Registration Project team can be considered a role model of how to work together to make complex cultural changes in a way that builds support across the Institute. As a result, MIT’s class registration has stepped into the 21st century!