Recognition and School-Wide Events

Recognition & School-Wide/HLC Social Events image

At the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, our employees are our richest resource. Whether you are working in an academic department, one of the centers, or in administration, you are integral to SPH’s success. Individually, your passion, professionalism, and commitment to our mission are vital to SPH’s standing as a world-class research and teaching institution. As teammates and colleagues, your collaboration, commitments and connections with others are what makes SPH a rewarding workplace and a welcoming community.

We value community building and have created a number of events that reflect this commitment.

Rewards & Recognition Programs | School-Wide Social Events | Community Building Events

HLC Social Events

Rewards & Recognition Programs

Employee rewards and recognition can be generated by peers, managers, or by other SPH leaders. Our program encompasses the following:

ACE Awards | Harvard Heroes | Lunch on Us | Sarah K. Wood Award | We C.A.R.E. Cards | Best Practices for Employee Recognition Idea

ACE image

ACE Award–Acknowledging Commitment and Excellence Award recognizes staff who go “that extra mile” in a number of ways.  Twice every academic year, a staff member, a manager, or a team of 3-5 will be awarded a gift certificate through the ACE award recognition program.  The overview and eligibility guidelines of the award are here.

Summer 2021 ACE Award winner

Nitsan Garfinkel
Lab Manager
Department of Molecular Metabolism

Click here for a summary as to Nitsan has been selected as the winner of the ACE Award.

The staff recognition committee would also like to recognize a nominee who they feel is deserving of an honorable mention.  The nominee is Ali Armstrong, Assistant Director of Finance – Center for Health Decision SciencesClick here for a summary why Ali is deserving of an honorable mention.

Anyone can nominate an SPH staff employee through the online Recognition Award Nomination Form.  The next ACE Award will kickoff in October 2021.  Be on the lookout for the email announcement to nominate someone who you feel is deserving of an ACE Award!

View a list of previous winners here.


Harvard Heroes image

Harvard Heroes is an annual award bestowed on individuals, nominated by their peers and/or managers, who have made outstanding contributions to SPH. Awardees are honored at a special ceremony attended by their families, friends, colleagues, and University leaders. For more information about Harvard Heroes, see Harvie.


Lunch on Us image

Lunch on Us is a way for senior leaders and managers to reward employees who lend a helping hand to those around them, who go above and beyond and who make SPH an even better place to work. If a manager or senior leader catches you doing something great, you may be handed a voucher good for $7.50 towards lunch at Sebastian’s Cafe (Kresge).  For more information on the Lunch on Us recognition program, go here.


Sarah K. Wood Award image

The Sarah K. Wood Award for Outstanding Staff Performance recognizes a staff member who demonstrates the qualities of dedication, competence, positive attitude, initiative, and ability to mentor, encourage, and inspire others, in addition to a demonstrated commitment to the School and its mission.  The overview and guidelines are here.

The nomination process for 2021 Sarah K. Wood Award opened on March 23 and closed on April 2.  Nominations were reviewed in a blind process by the staff Recognition Committee in early May.

The recipient of the 2021 Sarah K. Wood Award goes to:

Eric DiGiovanni
Assistant Director of Graduate Studies

photo of the 2021 Sarah K. Wood award winner

View a list of previous winners here.


WE C.A.R.E. image

We C.A.R.E. Cards– Congratulate. Appreciate. Recognize. Empower. These cards are available to anyone that wishes to post or hand out a card to show appreciation to another employee. Cards can be found at the following locations: Kresge lobby (main entrance), FXB, Smith Street, and Landmark.


Best Practices image

Best Practices for Employee Recognition Ideas
Recognition can also be personalized within your department to acknowledge various contributions by individuals or teams. Visit the links provided here for a list of ideas. It is important to exercise fiscal responsibility and that awards be proportional to the achievement being recognized. Consult your HR Partner who can help you navigate these issues, and perhaps help to customize a program for your area.

Have an idea regarding recognition? We are looking for your feedback! Email us or drop by today!


School-Wide Social Events

To make the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health an even better place to work, we hope to come together as a community to celebrate throughout a variety of social events.

Scoopfest | Celebration with the Stars | Fall Social


The Scoopfest is a summertime appreciation event when the Harvard Chan School senior leaders and directors have the pleasure of serving ice cream to staff, faculty and students!  At this fun-filled event, you also have the pleasure of enjoying popular summer tunes and fun summer games.


Celebration with the Stars Image

The Celebration with the Stars (CWTS) is an annual recognition event that honors staff, faculty and academic appointees who’ve reached a service milestone based on their benefits-eligible years of service at Harvard.

A virtual event took place on Thursday, March 25 2021.  It honored staff, faculty and academic appointees who reached a service milestone in calendar year 2020 (January 1, 2020 – December 1, 2020).  A list of the honorees who were recognized can be found here.

A University Recognition Program kicked off in 2016 bringing a University-wide consistent approach to the recognition of service milestones across Harvard. Click here for more information about the program.

Should you have any questions regarding the Celebration with the Stars event or the University Recognition Program, please direct them to


Fall Social image

The Fall Social is an event that brings the Harvard Chan School community together for some afternoon refreshments served by our senior leaders and directors during the fall season.


Community Building Events

“Happy Place Collage”

Happy Place Collage image

In February 2021, Harvard Chan School staff were asked to submit a photo to share their hobbies, with loved ones, a particular space, or memories that puts them in a happy place and makes them smile.  The photos received were then put together and created into a beautiful “happy place” collage!

View the happy place collage here.


HLC Social Events

The Harvard Longwood Campus (HLC) Social events give the HLC staff, faculty and  students an opportunity to come together as a community.

Click on the following link for more information on the HLC community activities listed below:

On My Own Time is a showcase of what the Harvard Longwood Campus community participants do on their time outside of work.  The event includes a reception to kick off the event and live performances.

Longwood Summer Music Series brings together the entire Harvard Longwood Campus to enjoy a series of concerts on the HMS Quad and in the Kresge Courtyard during the months of July – September. The concerts, featuring musicians from Berklee College of Music, take place on Wednesdays from 12:30 – 1:30 p.m. Click here for more information.

Season of Giving and Give Thanks Event is a month-long program celebrating the good work and the good will of those within our community by offering an opportunity to send messages of appreciation to colleagues who have enriched your work experience by good deeds and small kindnesses.  Throughout the Season of Giving (November, December and January), we also kick off the following: food drive, toy drive, dress for success drive and other community initiatives.