Lorena Tovar

Grant Program Associate
Priscilla King Gray Public Service Center, Division of Student Life
Award presented by 
Vice Chancellor Ian Waitz

The final Excellence award for Outstanding Contributor goes to Lorena Tovar, a valued member of the support staff of the Priscilla King Gray Public Service Center, or PKG Center. Lorena works across the Center to ensure that the office and all its programs run smoothly. She also coordinates the LEAP grant program and collaborates with the IDEAS Global Challenge.

In the words of one of her colleagues, here’s what sets Lorena apart:
“Many students and stakeholders walk through the door of the PKG Center. They meet Lorena first. Though she is busy with our myriad initiatives, she has the uncanny ability to make each person feel heard and supported. She orients students to the field of public service and is a kind listener when students are overwhelmed with life at MIT. For others grappling with destruction caused by natural disasters in their home communities, she is a calming presence, sharing guidance and resources.”

Another of her coworkers shared this:
“Lorena’s student-centered empathy is striking. She recognized that student leaders were often expected to front expenses for the program they were working on, then submit receipts for reimbursement later. She argued that the practice was inequitable, preventing students who were unable to advance their own money from stepping into leadership roles. As a result of Lorena’s advocacy, the PKG Center has been able to pilot the use of controlled-value credit cards for trained student leaders.”

Lorena, congratulations on your Excellence Award!