Actions of MIT’s 15th president have ‘grown to inspire generations,’ Reif says.
Pamela Wood Ambush, a lecturer in music, and Wayne L. Turner, a budget officer in the Office of Financial Planning and Management, have been named as MIT's YMCA Black Achievers for this year.
The Black Achievers Program annually recognizes more than 100 people from the Boston area for professional accomplishments and commitment to community service. As part of the program, they are asked to volunteer 40 hours of time over the course of a year for community service projects or projects involving young people.
Ms. Ambush, who is in her eighth year at MIT, said she hasn't officially decided on her community service project yet but that it would involve young people and music. She already has a considerable track record of community work; her list of activities includes service as the director and minister of music at the Temple of Wisdom in Newton, as a member of the advisory committee to the Office of Community Services at the New England Conservatory, as a member of the Diversity Committee of the Handel and Haydn Society's Youth Committee, and as a consultant and clinician for the Boston Music Education Collaborative (a group including the NEC, the Boston Symphony Orchestra and WGBH that works to bring music to students of the Boston public schools).
Ms. Ambush "is no stranger to community service. I would say is the structuring principle of her life as an individual and an artist," Alan Brody, director of music and theater arts, wrote in a letter nominating her as a Black Achiever. "Pam is a superb example, for all of us, of the engaged artist."
Mr. Turner, who has been at MIT for almost eight years, started in the Office of Facilities Management and later moved to the Comptroller's Accounting Office. He has worked extensively with a Brockton YMCA community outreach project to provide recreational and educational activities for youths.
"To put it succinctly, Wayne is a star. All of us in Financial Operations wholeheartedly support [his] nomination" for Black Achiever recognition, Vice President for Financial Operations James Culliton wrote in support of his nomination. "In addition to his regular responsibilities, Wayne, at his own initiative, has taken on a responsibility for assistance to all offices of Financial Operations in finding ways to increase minority representation and actively helps all department heads in their search for candidates for open positions. He has been successful in a number of instances."
Mr. Turner, a resident of Hopkinton, said he wasn't sure what his community project would be, although he added it would probably take the form of computer training for young people.
A version of this article appeared in the March 2, 1994 issue of MIT Tech Talk (Volume 38, Number 24).