Chris Peterson

Presented by Alison Alden, Vice President for Human Resources (former): "I don’t think the word status quo is even in his dictionary,” one of Chris Peterson’s nominators wrote. Which is only fitting given that he is the 2014 recipient of the MIT Excellence Award for Innovative Solutions. This award goes to individuals who break down boundaries and forges collaborations to improve the way MIT works. They enthusiastically embrace change and take a proactive approach to finding smart sustainable solutions to the most difficult challenges. His colleagues agree that that pretty much defines Chris Peterson, who is a senior admissions counselor in MIT Admissions. Chris collaborated with undergrads, a camera crew, and a diverse cast of characters across the community to create a one-of-a-kind admissions video. He drove the process with a compelling vision, acted as art director, solved thorny problems as they arose, and collaborated with the filmmakers on everything from coordinating volunteers to editing the final cut. Chris even negotiated with a music licensing company to buy limited rights to a song from Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, recruited a singer from one of MIT’s a cappella groups, then convinced the MIT Symphony Orchestra to learn and perform the music for the video. Although many schools pay Madison Avenue marketing agencies top dollar to develop their videos, they pale in comparison to Chris’s inventive, authentic video for MIT, which has been a tremendous hit with prospective students—as well as with seasoned members of the community."