Nico Lang

Human Resources Administrator
Office of the Vice President for Finance
Collier Medal
Award presented by
President Rafael Reif


We begin with the Collier Medal. This annual award, especially dear to the MIT community, is named in honor of Sean Collier, the MIT Police officer who was killed while protecting our community in the days following the Boston Marathon bombing. The Collier Medal is bestowed upon a person who embodies Sean’s open-hearted kindness and dedication to serving our community.

The 2020 recipient is: Nico Lang.

Nico has been a Human Resources Administrator in the Office of the Vice President for Finance for seven years. As you would expect, she recruits, hires and onboards new staff.

But she also shares her knowledge and kindness with every candidate, not only those who get hired to work at MIT. With personal attention and care, she coaches applicants—and grateful colleagues—in building professional skills that will serve them for the rest of their careers.

Partnering with the City of Cambridge Workforce Development Office, Nico also works to place local residents in internships in her office. Because many have never worked in an office before, Nico checks in often to provide support. According to one former intern, now an MIT staff member, “Nico has so much energy, and she puts that toward helping people, regardless of their situation.”

As co-lead for the Disabilities Employee Resource Group, Nico used her gift for collaboration and connection to help MIT engineers develop solutions to disability challenges. By making MIT more welcoming and accessible—she enriches the MIT experience for all of us.

As one colleague says: “Nico is always the one to step up and ask, “What else can I do?”

In short, Nico embodies the gift for creating community that is at the heart of Sean Collier’s model of citizenship. Like Sean, she is a master of the art of appreciating other people.

On behalf of all of us at MIT, thank you, Nico, for all you do.

And congratulations on receiving the 2020 Collier Medal!