Congratulations to the 2011 Recipients

Spirit Award

Ross Colvin

Program Administrator Department of Neurosciences-IDP Exempt Employee

Ross Colvin

Ross Colvin, the 2012 exempt employee winner of the Spirit Award, has been the Administrator of the Neurosciences Interdisciplinary Program since 2006, after joining the program in 2004. The IDP has in excess of 70 graduate students at any given time, and Ross is responsible for the administration of this complex Program, and the care and feeding of the student population. Nominated by his students, Ross has been referred to as the gem for the neuroscience community.

Beyond his complex administrative duties, Ross spends numerous hours organizing activities for neuroscience graduate students – including seminars, retreats, interview weekends and happy hours. He helps graduate students apply for grants and helps the departments with all of the renewals and funding reimbursements, and tracks the finances for the program and each student. He responds to emails at anytime during the day or night. He follows up with all questions and if he can’t answer them finds someone who can. He also takes care of students needs from everything from grilling at their events, to cleaning up a personal home after a party, to locating and safekeeping their personal property.

Ross does all of this with a great amount of charm and modesty, and with a warm genuine smile. In a heartfelt email that Ross sent to all of the neurosciences community upon winning the award Ross said “My good fortune - whether in finding myself employed in work that I enjoy so much, or in working for John [Huguenard] and with Katie [Johnson], or in working with/for/within a community of incredibly intelligent, kind, funny and patient (and forgiving) people – is remarkable”.

Kerry Garcia

Administrative Assistant Department of Obstetrics/Gynecology Non-Exempt Employee

Kerry Garcia

Kerry is one of a kind – she always has a warm smile for faculty, staff and visitors. She gives the department a feel of comfort and acceptance. After a conversation with Kerry, you walk away with your spirits restored and your sense of value enhanced. She does not know the meaning of "that's not possible". If you pose a problem to Kerry that you have not been able to overcome, she ALWAYS knows just who to call, where to find them, and figures out a way to get your problem in front of them. She never quits on making sure that the issue is resolved to the utmost of her capacity.

Dr. Blumenthal said, "Kerry has an absolutely infectious belief in the value and importance of what we all do both individually and communally", and Dr. El-Sayed said, "Kerry is profoundly and personally dedicated to the mission of our department and it shows in everything she does".

It is very common to find Kerry assisting patients find their way through the hospital and she treats them all as if they were visitors in her home. Dr. Aaron Hsueh tells us "Kerry is devoted to a higher cause than just fulfilling duties in her job description". Dr. Jonathan Berek believes that Kerry is an indispensable employee and our department could not run as well without her".

Simply put, Kerry has become the voice and heart of the department and very deserving of this honor.

Inspiring Change Leadership Award

Felicia Gentile

Project Manager Department of Comparative Medicine-Veterinary Service Center

Felicia Gentile

Felicia was appointed as the Project Manager for a ground-breaking new program to electronically manage census and billing in Stanford's Veterinary Service Center. This program, aptly names AnimalTrax, is the first to be implemented on such a large cale at any institution and involves the newest technology and software design. The program, launched this summer, has revolutionized the way business is conducted in this large service center, eliminating most paper recording and providing Stanford faculty, researchers and administrators across the School of Medicine, Engineering and Biology the ability to manage directly their research accounts with greater accuracy.

This system has tremendous compliance implications, and thanks to Felicia's leadership and fundamental understanding of the regulatory and research management processes, AnimalTrax has helped automate what was previously a primarily manual process that was subject to human error.

Taking on a project this big, and with so many different players and spanning so many different departments was no easy task. Felicia involved all the stakeholders from start to finish, making sure that their needs and concerns were addressed.

Felicia supervises a team of eight people and has organized numerous Town Hall meetings during the roll-out process and regularly meets with administrators, departmental financial assistants, grants managers and research lab personnel to oversee the training of all who use AnimalTrax. This past fall, she was invited to present a poster presentation on this project at a national industry meeting in San Diego.

Sherril Green, Chair of Comparative Medicine-Veterinary Service Center is quoted as saying, "Felicia is an extraordinary leader and is truly the right and perhaps the only one who could make this campus-wide upgrade happen... after nearly 36 months of hard work on this roject, Felicia has ushered in a new era for the VSC and for Stanford researcher and there is no one more deserving of the "Inspiring Change Leadership Award"."