1995: Beth Kane

Beth Kane, director of research administration at the Stanford School of Medicine, has been named the recipient of the 1995 Amy J. Blue Award for staff excellence at Stanford University.

In addition to Kane, four other staff members have received “Amy” awards. The four “Amy” winners are John Gallagher, supervisor in the electrical shop; LaJauna Guillory of research administration in the School of Engineering; Laura Selznick, director of Undergraduate Research Opportunities; and Nancy Ware, Buying and Paying Reengineering Team (“Buy/Pay”) leader.

All five staffers will be honored Wednesday, May 24, at the Amy J. Blue Garden in the Serra complex. Provost Condoleezza Rice and Barbara Butterfield, vice president for faculty and staff services, will make the presentations.

Kane has been at Stanford since March 1989, after spending 18 years as the owner/administrator of, and teacher at, the Acacia Schools, a network of eight Montessori pre-school and elementary facilities in California. She became interested in working at Stanford after taking part in a research project at the Stanford Center for Research in Disease Prevention.

Kane was associate director of administration at the center, then promoted to director in 1993. Last summer, she moved into the research administration unit in the School of Medicine. In addition to her responsibilities there, since January 1995 she also has been co-manager of the Re-Engineering Research Administration pilot project at the school.

Kane said she has seen considerable change in six years at Stanford and expects to see more, particularly within the School of Medicine and the research community. While widespread change can be excruciatingly difficult at times, she said, it also is invigorating and exciting.

“The key to making change work is open and strong communication,” Kane said.

She recently formed a group called SMART, the School of Medicine Administrators Roundtable, a forum within the school for administrators to share problems and information.

In nominating Kane, a co-worker called her “energetic, positive and creative. She is always cheerful, supportive and upbeat. She never mentions her problems but is always concerned with how others are managing theirs.”

Another wrote that Kane “is highly committed to a ‘working together’ attitude. She not only shares information and ideas as director, but welcomes all other suggestions and ideas.”


The 1995 “Amy” winners are:

John Gallagher, who has 23 years of experience in the electrical industry, came to Stanford 18 months ago to supervise the Electrical/Lighting Shop in Facilities Operations. Previously, he was an executive vice president with Metropolitan Electric Co., and a project manager for Rosen Electric Co. and Charles B. Farrow Electric Co.

At Stanford, Gallagher supervises 16 employees in a two-unit department, one made up of electricians and the other of lighting specialists.

Gallagher, a colleague wrote, “is the hardest-working man we have ever seen. He is always very positive and energetic, and always supports his workers.”

“John is the type of person who works very hard for his workers, and helps them in every way,” another wrote.

LaJauna Guillory has been at Stanford for 10 years, starting as an office assistant in Electrical Engineering Research Administration and steadily moving up through the ranks. From 1991 to 1994 she managed the EERA Post-Award Accounting Office. Last year, her unit was merged and her position eliminated. She landed one of the seven exempt positions in the newly created unit of Engineering Research Administration.

Guillory is “highly respected by faculty,” one nominator wrote.

Noting that her previous unit had been eliminated, another wrote that Guillory “has responded to a stressful year with grace. She’s what we want at this university — people who learn, grow and don’t mind doing extra.”

“LaJauna is a very dynamic individual who takes on any new task assigned to her with positive energy,” another wrote. “I’ve known her to give up a weekend day to come in and help a fellow employee who has fallen behind.”

Laura Selznick has worked at Stanford since 1971, after earning a bachelor’s degree from Smith and a master’s from Stanford in Slavic languages and literatures. At first, she was with the office of the Dean of Undergraduate Studies, then with Undergraduate Special Programs. She has been with Undergraduate Research Opportunities since its inception, when it consisted of “nothing more than clipboards on the wall and 25 percent of my time.”

In 1986, the program moved into Sweet Hall and began awarding grants — 54 at first, now several hundred each year — to support innovative research by undergraduates. One student wrote, in nominating Selznick, that her “official job description doesn’t even begin to cover the work she does — as an adviser, an organizer, a ‘surrogate mom,’ an editor and a friend. She often tells people that she has the best job on campus, saying, ‘I get to hear people’s dreams and then help make them a reality. Where else do you get to do that?’ ”

Nancy Ware spent four years managing student employees at the Stanford Faculty Club before joining the staff of the Office of Planning and Management within the Provost’s Office in 1990. She supported former Senior Vice Provost Lowell Price and later, former Vice Provost for Facilities and Management Ray Bacchetti during a period of substantial change in the university’s administrative structure.

After most of the responsibilities that fell within what became Bacchetti’s vice presidential area were reassigned to other units, and the area disbanded, Ware was named the Buy/Pay team leader, working out of the Controller’s Office. In the position Ware again finds herself at the center of a major change in the way university business is conducted.

“Change is always tough, but it certainly keeps the job interesting,” she said.

A colleague called Ware “an excellent team leader — she’s like a conductor who orchestrates the Buy/Pay team by combining her professionalism and her friendly personality.” Another said she is “committed to improving the procurement process for all ‘customers’ at Stanford. She kept the Buy/Pay team members on course.”

The winner of the Amy J. Blue Award receives a marble award and a $1,000 prize, to support the costs of professional development activities of importance to the winner’s career. Winners of the “Amy” receive a crystal award and remain eligible for future Amy J. Blue Awards.

The award honors Amy J. Blue, who was associate vice president for administrative services and facilities when she died in May 1988 of brain cancer. At the time, Blue was the highest-ranking woman on the administrative staff.

The endowment supporting the annual award was established by a group of women who knew and worked with Blue, with contributions from her family, friends and colleagues.

Previous winners include Enelda Wade, department administrator in the News Service (1994); Mark Gibson, laboratory services coordinator in the Center for Materials Research (1993); the late Peter Tuttle, consultant in the Stanford Data Center (1992); and Carol Vonder Linden, assistant dean of research, who was assistant dean in the School of Earth Sciences when she received the first Amy J. Blue Award in 1991.

The 1995 selection committee included the previous winners as well as Susan Schofield of the Office of the Dean of Research, Margie Tellez of Transportation Programs and Bob Gregg, dean of the chapel.