Sarah Rankin

Institute Title IX Coordinator
Office of the Chancellor
Award presented by
Chancellor Cynthia Barnhart

2017 MIT Excellence Awards + Collier Medal ceremony

Our next honoree for Serving the Client, is one such example of excellence in action. Her name is Sarah Rankin and I consider myself very fortunate to work alongside her every day. She is Director of MIT’s Title IX office and our Title IX Coordinator—and she brings her bottomless reservoir of integrity, intellect, compassion, and fairness to the position.

Sarah is a nationally recognized figure in the area of Title IX, which prohibits gender-based discrimination in education. Sarah has: challenged us to change attitudes, behaviors, and preconceptions about sexual harassment, misconduct, and other forms of gender-based discrimination or violence, worked collaboratively to develop data-driven policies, practices, and educational interventions to promote a safe, welcoming, and respectful campus climate, investigated and helped resolve cases that are more difficult than most of us can imagine, and built and maintained extremely positive relationships with students, faculty, and staff.

One nominator described Sarah’s contributions to MIT this way: “…what really sets Sarah apart is the care, sensitivity, and fairness she exhibits when dealing with individual members of our community who are affected by incidents of sexual misconduct, regardless of whether they are the accuser, the accused, a friend, a family member, or a witness. Without exception, these situations are intensely personal and emotional, with much at stake for all involved. As someone who, on a daily basis, must make difficult (and often unpopular) decisions that impact the lives of our students and others, Sarah listens and thinks before acting, and always strives to find a solution that is fair and equitable. Despite the high stress and high stakes, Sarah consistently displays a sense of calm and confidence.

Sarah, we’re honored to present you with your Excellence Award.