Susanna Barry

Senior Program Manager
Community Wellness at MIT Medical
Sustaining MIT
Award presented by
Provost Marty Schmidt

The category of Sustaining MIT honors those who support the well-being and safety of the MIT community, and are proactive in helping us practice resilience. Our first awardee certainly meets those criteria. Her name is Susanna Barry—her friends call her Zan—and she is a senior program manager from MIT Medical.

Zan has been an essential resource at MIT for years. She specializes in sleep and stress management, offering free consultations to the MIT community. Her now legendary voice provides a dose of serenity to those calling into 253-CALM, seeking a short meditation right before bed…or before an important meeting or exam.

During the pandemic, and true to form, Zan has stepped up in a big way. She offers two wind-down sessions almost every day of the week. Her yoga and mindfulness session on Thanksgiving Day attracted 70 members of the MIT community in need of stress release.

As one of her colleagues wrote, "Because of Zan, we now recognize how vital mindfulness is for handling stress." Even after we settle back into our new normal, whatever that might be, we will continue to call upon you, Zan, to ground us and sustain us, equipping us with tools for building our resilience. Congratulations on your award!