The spring semester brings many opportunities for staff recognition at Harvard. Dean’s Awards, Harvard Heroes, Green Carpet Awards, and more. It’s a time of recognizing those in the community who go above and beyond, inspire colleagues, infuse the University with sustainability, and make Harvard a better place to work. For the Harvard Graduate School of Design, Paul Scannell was one of those people. This February Paul passed away, but his impact on the GSD community will be felt for years. 

As manager of room/resource scheduling at the GSD, nearly everyone knew Paul—from faculty to students. Paul was known for being personable, creative, adaptable, and a committed member of the community.

A champion of sustainability, Paul lead the commencement activity team, known as the A team, in hosting a zero-waste commencement. No small task! But with Paul at the helm, success was inevitable. He engaged thirty others (custodial stuff, catering staff, GSD staff and students) in making composting fun for the community and successfully meeting their zero-waste goals. Nothing exemplified Paul’s impact at the GSD more than his commitment to “teamwork”. Paul was able to balance the complicated tasks of his job and effectively communicating with multiple departments. Everyone knew they could rely on him. He would go above and beyond what was expected to make sure “Team Building Services” was well managed and always had customer service as a top priority no matter the situation.

It’s no surprise to hear many say “Paul made the GSD a better place just by being himself.” As we celebrate others this month, we remember Paul among the Heroes at Harvard.