The FAS Dean’s Distinction Award showcases the exceptional contributions of staff members from departments across Harvard FAS. Specifically, the Dean’s Distinction recognizes staff who promote inclusion, organize events, and implement innovative programs. This year, Fanuel Muindi, MCO’s Assistant Director of Graduate Programs, is among the recipients.
“Fanuel is the backbone of the wonderful MCO graduate program,” says MCB chair Venkatesh Murthy. “Whether he is reassuring graduate students that are panicking about qualifying exams, helping faculty navigate training grant submissions, or coming up with new ideas for career planning, Fanuel always brings his enthusiasm, experience, and intelligence to the table. We are thrilled — and lucky — to have him in our department.”
Several members of the MCB community came together to nominate Muindi for the Dean’s Distinction. “Fanuel is exceptionally deserving of the 2019 FAS Dean’s Distinction for keeping the Molecules, Cells, and Organisms (MCO) Graduate Program running like clockwork and for fostering a diverse and inclusive environment where graduate students can thrive and prepare to succeed in post-graduate science,” says MCB Executive Director Jessica Manning.
“Working with Fanuel is such a pleasure. He is thoughtful, meticulous and very organized, which makes even the most daunting tasks manageable,” adds MCB faculty and MCO program co-director Victoria D’Souza. “MCO is very fortunate to have him as a part of the community”
MCB faculty Craig Hunter, who co-chairs the graduate admissions and recruitment committee, highlights Muindi’s dedication to recruiting students from underrepresented groups. Muindi frequently visits undergraduate campuses and attends conferences in order to encourage promising talent to apply to Harvard, and he personally reviews every application to the MCO graduate program. “Fanuel Muindi is an indispensable component of the MCO graduate program,” Hunter says. “His tireless efforts have led to increasingly competitive and increasingly diverse cohorts of graduate students.”
In addition to his work in recruitment, admissions, and working with grad students one-on-one, Muindi organizes the “Nanochat” talk series, which covers a range of issues related to careers in science, and contributes to the MCB Career Development series.
“When Fanuel joined MCO, the program had reached an almost mature stage, but Fanuel was able to propel it to a new dimension,” says MCB faculty and MCO program co-director Catherine Dulac. “He started new initiatives to help students get a better understanding of academic and non-academic careers, such as the Nanochat series and a new course with the business school. Fanuel has also a great sense of community and his efforts have helped staff, students and faculty form a tighter and more inclusive community.”
Muindi, along with the other 2019 recipients of the Dean’s Distinction Award, was honored at a reception on March 7. Congratulations to Dr. Muindi!