Celebrating 25 Years of Service

Ruth Burns

Comparative Medicine/Veterinary Service Center

Start date: 4/1/86

Ruth Burns started her career at Stanford in 1987. During her tenure in the Department of Comparative Medicine/Veterinary Service Center, Ruth has been responsible for numerous administrative operations: from billing to procurement, to purchasing and human resources management. She has not only witnessed significant changes over the years, she has been one of the leaders in implementing the changes.

In her current role as an Administrative Manager in the Veterinary Service Center, she is on the front-line, interacting with so many who are involved in the SOM's research enterprise, from staff, to students, to faculty. No question is too small or too tough, Ruth can track down the answer! Customer service is an important part of her job. She works tirelessly in that role and can often be found digging into problems, working side-by-side with her staff, finding solutions. In short, she is an asset to the VSC. Thank you, Ruth, for 25 years of service!

Sherril Green (Supervisor)

Phyllis Bussey


Start date: 9/8/86

The Oncology Division oversees over 30 faculty and over 100 staff members and over 50 students and post-doctoral fellows. Phyllis is our business manager, our project manager, our career developer and our social planner.

She manages to play each of these roles and more, keeping us successful and keeping us happy all at the same time, and she does it with style. She makes the workplace a fun place to be. No task is too hard for her, no assignment too complicated, no stone left unturned and no person felt unloved. We all owe Phyllis an enormous debt of gratitude for all her years of dedication and all her contributions to our success.

Ronald Levy (Supervisor)

Deborah Czerwinski


Start date: 11/3/86

Cancer and the immune system is the focus of the Levy Laboratories. Debbie is the heart and soul of our research. She has brought flow cytometry to a high art, to the point where it is a crucial part of every project we do. More than that, Debbie knows everything that has ever been done in the lab, and every person, every reagent, every cell line and every patient that we have ever worked with. And she knows where to find them all. With Debbie's crucial contributions, we have made many important discoveries and will continue to do so for many years to come.

Ronald Levy (Supervisor)

Mayling Dixon

Pathology/Blood Center

Start date: 1/26/86

Mayling has been a key member of Stanford Blood Center's team for 25 years. Mayling is an expert Apheresis nurse; she provides excellent technical and donor safety care to our volunteer blood donors. Mayling also recognizes the selfless act performed by our blood donors, and goes above and beyond in terms of customer service for our donors. Because of her friendly smile and caring nature, Mayling is a favorite amongst our donors! 

Recently, Mayling spent one year in France with her husband; during her temporary departure from the blood center, many donors continuously asked about her return.

Donor and team members alike, we are ecstatic to have Mayling back to continue her tenure at the blood center!

Harprit Sandhu (Supervisor)

Madelleine Garcia


Start date: 5/18/86

Madelleine Garcia began her career at Stanford in 1986 as a Rehabilitation Aide in the Outpatient Rehabilitation Services Department. She worked in that department for 12 years until she was hired as the Scheduling and Database Coordinator at the Stanford Stroke Center in 1998. In 2000, she transitioned to the Research Coordinator role, which she has been in ever since. Madelleine's contributions to the Stroke Center have been enormous.

Her role as Database Coordinator has led to an invaluable collection of data on over 15,000 stroke patients. This database has been the starting point of many new research ideas and projects at the Stroke Center. Over the years, Madelleine has served as the lead coordinator on several stroke prevention and imaging trials. Her attention to detail and excellent organizational skills are unsurpassed, and she consistently receives rave reviews from study auditors. Her friendly and calm demeanor have helped her build trusting relationships with the study participants, leading to excellent patient follow-up and retention. Madelleine is an incredibly dedicated and dependable employee. She is willing to keep flexible hours in order to get the job done. She is a team player and is extremely well-liked and respected by her co-workers, study participants and study sponsors. 

We are very happy to recognize and celebrate her years of dedication to the Stroke Center. She is truly an asset to the program, a loyal friend and a great person to know!

Greg Albers, Stephanie Kemp (Supervisors)


Madelleine is a terrific colleague and a wonderful friend.

She excels at her job as a coordinator of secondary stroke prevention studies. She keeps meticulous records, which makes the work of any study monitor a breeze. More importantly, she is an advocate for the patients she follows. She knows all of her patients well, she is always available for them, and she even sends them yearly holiday cards. Because of the bond she forms, almost all enrolled study patients stay in the study, adhere to their study protocol, and make life-style modifications to lower their risk of stroke. 

The bond that patients form with Madelleine and the trust they have in her is seen every day in clinic and is exemplified by the following story. One of Madelleine's somewhat overweight patients proudly told her about his primary care physician. This doctor had given him a pedometer and told him to wear it and take at least 10,000 steps a day. "What, 10,000 steps?!" had been his response. "Yes, and if you don't comply, I will fire you from my clinic." the doctor had answered. The patient, scared that he would lose his PCP, each day strapped the pedometer to his dog's leg and played fetch with a tennis ball until he got the desired number of steps. His primary care physician was content and his dog got nice outings, but the patient did not lose any weight. In contrast, Madelleine patiently went over his diet and together he and Madelleine came up with a way to reduce his caloric intake. As a result, the patient gradually lost over 30 pounds throughout the follow-up period. Madeleine is not only a great colleague, she is also a wonderful friend. Always there to listen and help. Even willing to take your kids to McDonalds when you think you are too busy or believe it is too unhealthy.

All in all, it has been super to have Madelleine as a friend and colleague at the Stroke Center for the last 15 years. She has an incredibly positive influence on the workplace. Knowing that she will be there, is a reason to look forward to going to work. I hope that she will stay for at least another 15 years!

Maarten Lansberg, MD, PhD

Anne Gordon

Microbiology & Immunology

Start date: 5/19/86

Anne began her career on the farm as a Financial Management Analyst for a Government Cost and Rate Studies, and over the span of her 25-year career, she has worked in the Departments of Surgery, Functional Restoration, Orthopedic Surgery, and Drama/Division of Dance. In October 2008, Anne joined the Department of Microbiology and Immunology as the Director of Finance and Administration, and shortly thereafter also became the DFA for the Institute for Immunity, Transplantation and Infection and, most recently, the Immunology Program. As one can imagine, the span of Anne's responsibilities is vast and complex, and yet she juggles it all with incredible ease and grace. This is certainly no small feat given the complexities of overseeing the management of a department, an institute, and an interdisciplinary program.

As a relatively new Chair, I personally feel fortunate to be a beneficiary of Anne's financial acumen and leadership. She has taught me the complexities of our department's finances and has advised me on countless other departmental matters. Her innovative input has always been conveyed with poise and energy. Anne and I are steering the M&I Titanic, and Anne is always making sure that we are not hitting any icebergs.

While those of us that have had the good fortune to work with Anne know what an accomplished leader she is, what many people may not know is that Anne is an avid swimmer, and that she has even taken plunges into the chilly waters of our scenic bay.

On behalf of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, the Institute for Immunity, Transplantation and Infection, and the Immunology Program, we thank Anne for her dedicated service to our programs and congratulate her on 25 years of service. We are much indebted!

Peter Sarnow, Chair, Microbiology and Immunology(Supervisor)

Debra Hiraki

Pathology/Blood Center

Start date: 7/25/86

Life in the HLA lab: Debra's fourth residence at Stanford (the first three being birth, sickness and student) began as a Research Associate with Dr. Carl Grumet at the Stanford Blood Center in July 1986. Deb took over supervising the research arm of the lab in Jan. 1987 with the departure of Dolly Tyan. Along with a wonderful team of research assistants, undergraduate students and postdocs, she worked on soluble HLA-B7 with the goal of developing tolerance to the protein and on candidates for minor histocompatibility antigens, including CD31.

Deb went to 60% part-time for a few years in the early 2000s until March 2006, enjoying time with her family until she resumed working at 100% (still as Research Associate). She gradually began working on bringing up tests that would become clinical–including HLA typing by RSCA, HLA typing by SBT, BMT engraftment using STR analysis, and cell subsetting for use in the engraftment studies. She earned her Histocompatibility Specialist certification in 2004 and her California Histocompatibility specialist license in 2006. She gradually moved completely over to clinical side of the lab in the molecular arm, becoming a Sr. Clinical Lab Scientist in July 2007, It seems that work came full circle with the retirement of Dr. Grumet in 2006 and the return of Dr. Dolly Tyan, now co-director of the HLA laboratory along with Dr. Marcelo Fernandez-Vina.

Deb has been very gratified to have worked with such a wonderful team of dedicated people and to have had so many opportunities to be both challenged and given the opportunity to help make a difference for all those in transplantation.

Sheryl Pask (Supervisor)

Diana Laurent

Medicine/Immunology & Rheumatology

Start date: 6/16/86

Diana joined the Stanford Patient Education Research Center staff while still a graduate student. Over the years, she has moved from giving mainly administrative and research support to assisting in the direction of the center. She has been key in moving the research agenda of the center from small group intervention to conducting the same interventions on-line. This move has included the direction of a technical staff of programmers as well as being one of the key figures in designing the on-line programs.

She has also managed research projects involving literally thousands of participants and helped in the design of a national training network. She continues to conduct trainings both on-line and for small group Master Trainers and has acted as a mentor for many T-trainers (those who train at the highest level).

One other facet of her work deserves special mention, and that is in assisting in the development and maintenance of the Positive Self-Management Program for people with HIV and AIDs. Without her leadership, this program would have withered and died. Instead it is now being used widely not only in the United States but also in England, Africa and Latin America.

Kate Lorig RN DrPH (Supervisor)

Ellen Lewanda

Obstetrics & Gynecology

Start date: 10/16/86

Ellen has been with Stanford and the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology for 25 years. Within the department, she has managed everything from human resources to faculty affairs. In her current role, Ellen serves as the Facilities Manager and the Emergency Coordinator. The department has clinics and offices in many locations, and there is always someone or something being relocated. Ellen does a wonderful job planning and overseeing these projects. From moving an office to decommissioning a lab, Ellen has managed it all.

With her years at Stanford, Ellen knows who to contact to get things done and how to avoid stumbling blocks. Ellen works closely with lab managers and PI's to ensure we are in compliance and always ready for inspection. Her institutional memory is invaluable to the department!

Sheila Dolezal (Supervisor)

Pauline Luu


Start date: 9/1/86

Pauline Luu has been with the Stanford/VA Alzheimer's Research Center since September 1986. She was originally hired as an office assistant, and as a result of her exceptional performance and generous support to staff, she has received multiple promotions over the years. She was promoted to administrative associate, program manager, and is currently holding the admin/system analyst position. She takes her work seriously and invariably shows eagerness to provide assistance whenever help is needed. She is extremely dedicated to her position. Her assignments are promptly completed with thoughtfulness and accuracy. She continuously provides suggestions for improvements to both individual projects and operational processes. She is especially enthusiastic about learning new technologies and introducing them to our Center so that we can operate more effectively. Additionally, her organizational skills and attention to detail are superb. Furthermore, she willingly takes on additional responsibilities and voluntarily comes in on her days off to assist people whenever necessary. Pauline clearly exceeds the expectations and requirements of her position.

Pauline is a team player and among the most considerate of the staff. She is well-respected and esteemed by her colleagues and peers, and always goes out of her way to ensure that people are fully comfortable. With new staff members, Pauline is very patient; she continuously directs and aids their training to enable a smooth transition. Pauline enhances the sense of community at our clinic by coordinating special events. All in all, Pauline is very sincere and compassionate and works diligently to foster cooperation and unity among staff.

Jared Tinklenberg (Supervisor)

Abera Metaferia

Educational Programs and Services

Start date: 12/1/86

Abera has worked as the Student Financial Aid Counselor at the School of Medicine for the past 13 years. He is an exceptional individual with many personal and professional qualities.

A native of Ethiopia, Abera began his journey to the United States as a student at the University of Zagreb in Yugoslavia (now Croatia), receiving his BA degree in Foreign Trade. Unable to return to Ethiopia due to the political unrest there, he traveled to Italy, arriving at the Vatican where he sought political asylum. (While awaiting an exit visa to the United States, he had the opportunity to meet Pope John Paul.)

From the Vatican, he traveled to New York, soon thereafter arriving in the bay area in 1984. His first job was at Stanford as an accounting assistant at the Law School. He remained at the Law School several years, working his way into the Financial Aid Advisor role for Law Students. In April 1999, he came to the School of Medicine as the Financial Aid Advisor, a position which he has held for 13 years.

In this role, he takes time to sit with students, making them comfortable and showing a genuine concern for their well-being. Financing a medical education, especially with loans, can be very stressful for students, but Abera always provides thoughtful and sound financial advice to them. He is a faithful steward of both federal and institutional financial aid resources, determining eligibility and initial awards of over $12M of financial aid each year.

With his upbeat personality and warm and friendly demeanor, he has created many friends throughout the years. At Arrillaga Gym, running on campus, or relaxing at Peet's Coffeehouse at Town & Country Village, you will find him engaged in a friendly conversation with friends and strangers alike.

I consider him the "Good Will Ambassador" to our financial aid office, if not the Stanford Community. His commitment to excellence coupled with his integrity and thorough understanding of financial aid make him an invaluable asset to our student services organization.

His son Gideon wrote him a father's day poem which says it all:
A Bridge in My Life
A bridge in my life is my dad. My dad is not a man of action but of peace. He settles argument with calm soothing words and is very kind and funny around everyone he talks with. I see my dad as a role model. He is the kind of person that knows where he is needed and not. When he is around me I am very delighted to be in his presence. He has all the qualities that I want to have when I am an adult. He is very social and I would be more than pleased to be as successful and peaceful as he is.
--Gideon Metaferia--

He is the best colleague and employee I have ever had the pleasure to work with in my 26 years at Stanford.

Marti Trujillo (Supervisor)

Siv Modler


Start date: 8/14/86

Siv joined the Department of Pediatrics, Division of Neonatology working for Dr. David Stevenson as a Life Science Research Assistant in 1986. Siv's role and responsibilities grew substantially in financial management, supervision and training, and she was promoted into a Division Manager position in 2000. When asked to describe Siv's contribution to the Department, Dr. Stevenson responded: "Siv is a loyal and steadfast colleague. Her dependable and meticulous nature ensures compliance with the most demanding and complex contracts and awards. No task is too daunting for her indefatigable Viking spirit"

The Department of Pediatrics and the Neonatology Division are very lucky to have Siv as the Division Manager of our largest division. Under Siv's leadership, Neonatology is recognized as one of the best-run divisions in the medical school. Siv is especially recognized for her outstanding talents in research administration. Under Siv's direction, the Division's research portfolio has doubled in 7 years and is now $12 Million. She is an effective mentor and coach to her staff and is always visible and approachable by the faculty. There are many complex issues that Siv deals with on a daily basis and the Department can count on her outstanding judgment.

Mary Corcoran (Supervisor)

Christine Scholberg

Medicine/Stanford Prevention Research Center

Start date: 1/6/86

Chris came to Stanford in 1986, serving as an Accounting Assistant for the Stanford Center for Research in Disease Prevention (now known as the Stanford Prevention Research Center; SPRC). She assumed the position of Assistant Business Manager for the Department of Health Research and Policy and then Business Manager for the Division of Endocrinology, Gerontology, and Metabolism. Becoming the "reengineer" for the Controller's Office in 1993, Chris took on the responsibility of business-process reengineering for research administration and procurement. In 1995, she returned to her roots, and became the Business Manager for the Stanford Prevention Research Center while continuing to manage the Division of Endocrinology, Gerontology, and Metabolism. SPRC ultimately became a full-time job until 2009, when Chris was asked to split her administrative role between SPRC and the Stanford Center for Biomedical Informatics Research (BMIR).

Chris now manages two research-intensive divisions in the Department of Medicine, and is responsible for more than 100 full-time employees. Chris is known for her high level of energy and for her high level of personal engagement. She is responsible for every aspect of administering two very complex organizations. Her sense of humor, her dedication, and her professionalism are legendary.

Mark Musen (Division Chief)

Sheila Siegel, PA-C, MPAS

Medicine/Family & Community Medicine

Start date: 9/1/86

Sheila has been a part of the Primary Care Associate Program (PCAP) program since 1986. She has devoted many of these years not only to teaching physician assistant students, but also to representing the Stanford PCA program at a national level through service to the ARC-PA and PAEA. She has developed and managed clinical training for our students, including implementing up-to-date methods of tracking student progress in their clinical training. Sheila is also the Regional Coordinator for the Monterey/Salinas area, providing outreach and informational sessions for the program in order to identify potential applicants. She also helps develop new clinical training sites in Monterey/Salinas County.

Sheila works as a physician assistant in the Santa Cruz area. Her special interest is women's health and she is a respected clinician in her community.

Lucinda Hirahoka (Supervisor)

Patty Winningham


Start date: 8/16/86

Patty Winningham has been an outstanding Stanford employee for the past twenty-five years. She began her career at Stanford in 1986, working as an assistant in the Emergency Room at Stanford Hospital. In 1988, she transferred to Outpatient Rehabilitation Services, and then to the Clinical Laboratories in 1992. Since 1995 she worked as an administrator in the Department of Pathology.

During the past fifteen years, her outstanding performance and her continued commitment to learning new skills and ever-changing software applications has resulted in a well-deserved series of promotions. For many years, she served as the Administrative Assistant for a number of research-oriented faculty members. In this capacity, she was responsible for both the pre- and post-award administration of a large multi-million dollar NIH program project grant, as well as many other research and training grants. She was particularly helpful in getting the laboratories of new faculty members up and running in a timely fashion. In 2009, she was promoted to Postdoc and Graduate Student Manager for the entire Department of Pathology. This promotion was merited by her considerable expertise in the increasingly complex regulations and reporting requirements for these trainees. Patty's pleasant demeanor, her expert knowledge, and her genuine concern for the welfare of our students and postdocs have made her an invaluable resource to all.

In addition, she always keeps the best interests of Stanford University in mind, except during athletic events involving the University of Oregon, her alma mater. On those rare but important occasions, it's "Go Ducks!" for Patty.

Arlene Placencia (Supervisor)

Margaret Wootton


Start date: 5/1/86

Margaret Wootton is the Division of Oncology's Faculty Affairs Coordinator and is the consummate professional. She is known throughout the Department of Medicine as a "Long Form Genius," although I refer to her as a faculty whisperer. The Division's faculty appointment and promotion process record is nearly flawless and we owe that distinction to Margaret's dedication and skill. She is always warm, friendly, helpful, and just irreverent enough to be real. The Division and the School are extremely fortunate to have employees like Margaret. I feel lucky to count her as a valued staff member and friend.

Phyllis Bussey (Supervisor)