Stanford Report Online

Stanford Report, April 1, 1998

Pagayonan, Carvalho, Malone win Amy Blue Awards


Deborah Carvalho from the Center for Economic Policy Research, M.A. Malone from the Medical Center News Bureau and Basilio Pagayonan from Housing and Dining Services have been awarded Amy J. Blue Awards.

The awards, which recognize staff members' dedication to accomplishment, commitment to people and enthusiasm, will be presented on April 23 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the Amy J. Blue Garden at 655-657 Serra St.

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Unlike previous years, when one Amy J. Blue Award plus several unfunded "Amys" were presented, this year three Amy J. Blue Awards, each carrying a $3,000 prize and a one-year "A" parking sticker, have been made.

The awards, now in their eighth year, were established by friends and colleagues of Amy J. Blue, who was associate vice president for administrative services and facilities when she died in 1988 of brain cancer. She was Stanford's highest-ranking female administrator at the time.

Academic Secretary Susan Schofield, who chairs the award committee, says changes in the award format, which included adding a website, this year attracted 350 nominations for 112 people, twice the number nominated in 1996.

"We were thrilled," she says about the popular response, although it made the selection more difficult for the award committee, which consists largely of previous winners. "To get to the final three was really tough," she says. "As always, we tried to find people who most clearly demonstrated those values [highlighted in the award description] and would make fabulous award winners."

Deborah Carvalho, operations manager for the Center for Economic Policy Research, an independent research center that receives little university funding, stresses the importance of teamwork for achieving success. "Without all our staff CEPR couldn't do what it does and I could not do what I have to do for CEPR," she says.

CEPR Director Lawrence Lau credits Carvalho for assembling the team of people who work at the center, which recently celebrated its 15th anniversary. Carvalho, who came to CEPR a few years after it opened, working as a secretary when there were only three staff members, today oversees a $3 million budget and 10 employees. Nicknamed Mother CEPR by her colleagues, Carvalho supervises facilities management, publicly and privately funded research, and conference and event planning. "When I started we did one conference a year; now there are six to 10 conferences," she says. "We do a lot with very little."

Arriving at Stanford with a high school diploma, Carvalho developed her skills on the job and today is working to complete a bachelor's degree in business. "I've always thought of myself as someone who just gets things done," she says. "I'll just figure out how to do it."

Carvalho also maintains continuity in a center that gets a new director every three years. "When they come to be director of CEPR, they're still doing other stuff," she says. "They need their staff."

Carvalho had no idea that she had been nominated for the Amy Blue Award. When a committee member tried to reach her several times during one day to pass on the news, Carvalho thought that somebody urgently needed to talk to her about CEPR business. "I thought, 'Oh, there's some problem I have to deal with,'" she says. Instead she received news of the award. "I feel very honored."

M.A. Malone is the person who delivers what broadcast people need and helps doctors and hospital staff shine. For eight years, she's performed broadcast media management for the Medical Center News Bureau, a job that entails hooking up medical experts with producers and reporters, nearly always on deadline and often about sensitive subjects. "I get to have a lot of fun that makes Stanford look good," she says with a big smile. And the end product ­ a medical story ­ also informs the public. "It's a win-win situation," she says. "I have the best job at the university."

Before Malone came to the News Bureau, she worked as the clinic supervisor in Cardiology, running the outpatient clinic. "We were the gaskets between the doctors and the patients," she says. "We did the grunt work. There's something incredible about helping someone through a medical system that's so daunting."

After working in Cardiology for eight years, Malone was asked to come to the News Bureau to work in broadcast management, something she knew nothing about. But she knew the hospital and figured out that if she helped reporters by doing their legwork ­ such as lining up experts and patients ­ they would come to Stanford. And they did. A senior producer from ABC News says that because of Malone, Stanford ranks among "the cream of the crop" when it comes to producing medical stories.

But Malone says that the News Bureau as a whole deserves credit. "I'm one of 10 people," she says. "It's the office, it's the team of people I work with that makes it all happen."

Like Carvalho, Basilio Pagayonan, the store keeper at Manzanita Dining Hall, was surprised when the award was announced. "I was totally shocked," he says, walking through the busy kitchen where 800 lunches and dinners are prepared daily.

Pagayonan, a native of the Philippines, started working at Stanford 13 years ago as a porter. He applied for the position of store keeper when Manzanita Dining Hall opened in 1991. Since then, he has been responsible for ordering and receiving deliveries of everything from meat to milk, making sure that the kitchen staff have what they need to prepare meals efficiently, and supporting his supervisor, Barbara Piers. "Stanford is the best for me," he says, with an enthusiastic smile. If I'm done with my work, I'll pitch in to help my co-workers." Studying Chinese cuisine and learning how to bake cookies are just some of this store keeper's beyond-the-job accomplishments.

Piers says that Pagayonan works outside his job description on a regular basis. "It's not uncommon to find Basilio filling in the dishroom, assisting a handicapped student to get lunch or staying after work to help a co-worker," she says.

For Pagayonan, that's just how he views life. "I'm the type of person who likes to look and learn," he says. "You don't want to be stuck. You want to explore all parts of yourself." SR