Congratulations to the 2012 Spirit Award Recipients

Walter Damm

Financial Analyst
Department of Surgery

Exempt Employee

Walter has been in the department for about 6 years and consistently takes on more and more responsibilities without any prompting to do so. He has become the “trainer” for all incoming division managers and financial staff, providing them with as much training as they need.

He is extremely generous with his time – he holds down the fort for weeks at a time, covering for many while they are on vacation – even though he has his own deadlines and responsibilities to meet. He is continually striving to improve his own performance by asking for critical feedback and taking advantage of classes to further his learning.

Walter has one of the best attitudes – always remaining positive, accepting any work that needs to be done. He is patient, encouraging and helpful beyond measure – he has a super work ethic - the type of person every department hopes for!!

One of the faculty has expressed his gratitude to Walter in these words, "ever since my arrival at Stanford, Walter has been nothing but exceptional – willing to help me get up to speed every step of the way. It’s difficult for one to find their way in such a large institution as Stanford, but Walter was always there helpful in guiding me through, not only the finance, but the Stanford systems as well. He has been my guiding light – his helpful nature, his professionalism and his willingness to make a difference every day!"

Jzesern Tan

Faculty Affairs Administrator/Lead Administrative Associate
Department of Molecular & Cellular Physiology

Non-Exempt Employee

Brian Kobilka, Chair of the Department of Molecular & Cellular Physiology, has given his wholehearted support to Jzesern’s nomination for the SPIRIT Award! Jzesern has worked closely with Dr. Kobilka on several departmental projects including their recent faculty recruitment and the reappointment of an assistant professor. Jzesern has also helped Dr. Kobilka with several of his grant applications, among them a recent complex collaboration involving two other U.S. universities and one in Germany. Jzesern coordinated the effort between Dr. Kobilka’s lab, the Research Management Group, and three other collaborators to bring the application together. Dr. Kobilka said he could not have made the deadline without Jzesern’s help!

Dr. Kobilka has been quoted as saying, "Jzesern is truly deserving of the SPIRIT Award. He is always looking for ways to help the department, its faculty, staff, students and fellows. His enthusiasm and collegiality invites MCP colleagues to seek his help with a variety of projects. We are never disappointed. Jzesern’s contributions provide the versatility and reliability the department needs in order to run smoothly on a very lean budget."

Jzesern has also received numerous praises from his colleagues in MCP – He assists with the purchase of all the lab equipment and supplies, working with vendors and taking the initiative to find the best conditions and negotiate the best prices for services. Ordering supplies for research labs is not an easy job - tracking orders, ensuring they arrive on time, dealing with returns and exchanges, and a million other issues that arise from time to time. Jzesern has shown himself as a very motivated, meticulously organized person whom you can rely on to manage all that smoothly and with amazing efficiency.

Apart from being a valuable asset for the department, Jzesern also possesses a great personality. No matter how busy he is, he will take time to listen and help with any request, small or big, with patience and a smile and will say "no worries, I'll take care of this". All of the MCP department members agree that he deserves recognition for outstanding service over the years!