Group picture of the Silent Heroes and the participants

Everyday heroes

There is more to cutting-edge research than pipettes and publications. It is often the inconspicuous everyday processes that influence success or failure. That's why employees who help shape the success of the Max Delbrück Center behind the scenes were once again honored at this year’s summer party.

"The decision was not easy for us this year. Once again, there were so many great nominees who deserved this award," said Christiane Nolte and Oliver Daumke from the Society of Friends of the Max Delbrück Center at the beginning of the award ceremony. And indeed, this time even five employees from different areas of the center were honored as "Silent Heroes". The prize comes with a small sum of money and is awarded by the Society of Friends of the Max Delbrück Center.

The hero in the background

The first prize went to the janitor Ahmad Husein. The laudators Petra Lieske and Martina Roesler from the scullery described exactly what defines this "quiet hero": Ahmad Husein is quick to respond, always has a solution, even for complicated problems, and always gives a smile to his colleagues. "He's a skilled and modest employee who doesn't put himself in the spotlight - we'd like to change that today!" The award winner and new father accepted his award just as modestly, but visibly delighted.

From left to right: Svenja Steinfelder, Maike Sander, Karoline Knop, Christiane Nolte, Feraye Kocaoglu, Ahmad Husein, Oliver Daumke, Sabrina G., Katja Fälber, Ingrid Ziegenhagen, Norma Nitschke, Sanja Hame and Heike Graßmann.

Karoline Knop from the communications department, who won one of the second prizes, was also touched. As a member of the online editorial team, she is largely responsible for the design of our website. "She is the backbone of our department," said Jutta Kramm, head of the communications department. "Through her reliable, patient manner, her talents for design and technology, and her great sense for photos, she makes our research groups shine. For that, we would like to express our sincere thanks today."

Dirk Buchholz from the Technical Facility Management also received an award. He takes care of renovations, relocations and maintenance of buildings. "The best thing about his way of working," says Katja Fälber from Oliver Daumke's research group, "is that Dirk always gets involved in all processes and often comes up with even better suggestions - even if they mean more work for him."

The fourth second prize went to cleaner Frank Woiner. “You quickly notice when this "quiet hero" isn't around, and he manages to put a smile on everyone's face, even early in the morning, thanks to his friendly and open manner,” said laudator Sabrina G.

Commitment beyond the center

"Feraye Kocaoglu is the social conscience of our institute and thus a great and important role model for all of us!" said Dominik Müller about the next award winner. The administrative assistant supports various research labs and is also involved in numerous social causes at the institute. Among other things, she initiated fundraising campaigns for victims of the war in Ukraine and earthquake victims in Turkey and Syria. Most recently, almost 1,500 euros were collected again thanks to her help. This will enable 48 children whose families would otherwise not be able to afford it, to attend an experimentation course in the Gläsernes Labor on Campus Buch. During the summer meeting in mid-July, when the awards were presented, Feraye Kocaoglu and her colleague Victoria Malchin were organizing another fundraising campaign. Right after the awards ceremony, the Silent Heroes were thus already back in action.

Text: Marie Burns