By Michael Samuels 09F
“I really am a ‘To know is not enough’ kind of girl, and that’s what all of you are to me,” Interim President Marlene Gerber Fried told the recipients of the eighth annual Ingenuity Awards and their nominators in the Red Barn on April 14. The annual dinner and award ceremony recognizes students for creative and effective efforts to benefit the Hampshire community.
“This is my favorite night of the year,” said Pam Tinto, assistant dean of students for campus leadership and activities. The reason, she explained, is that “‘leadership’ and ‘community’ mean so many different things here,” so many noteworthy endeavors and achievements can go unnoticed. The Ingenuity Awards were started eight years ago to recognize these actions in all of their forms.
Recipients included an EMT who designed an app for Hampshire’s emergency medical services, the designer of the new interactive campus map, group meditation leaders, a Yurt radio producer, reproductive rights activists, and housing interns and work-study students who went above and beyond.
This year, the CLA staff had a challenging time narrowing the number of recipients down to 50, based on the nomination letters received. Some of these letters, written by faculty, staff, and other students, were more than a page long, and some recipients had multiple nominations.
Tinto read short excerpts from these letters for each recipient – “just a sliver at best,” she said. Each recipient also received a certificate and a copy of A Field Guide to Getting Lost by Rebecca Solnit, recommended by and bought from Food For Thought Books, a collective bookstore co-run by Hampshire alum Matthew King 97F.
Many recipients, Tinto noted, were surprised by the award. They didn’t think of themselves as going “above and beyond” anything, so much as doing what they do.