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Chemistry administrator, law librarian win 1994 O'Neill Awards

STANFORD -- Droni Chiu, department administrator in the Chemistry Department, and J. Paul Lomio, assistant director for information services at the Stanford Law School's Crown Library, are co- recipients of the 1994 Marshall D. O'Neill Award, which recognizes staff support of Stanford's research enterprise.

The awards, which each carry a $2,000 prize, were presented Tuesday, Dec. 13, during ceremonies at the Stanford Faculty Club. The O'Neill Award is the only formal recognition by faculty of staff efforts to support research at Stanford.

This is the third time two people have won the award.

"We're pleased to see that the 1994 winners represent the breadth of research and scholarship across the university," said Charles Kruger, vice provost and dean of research and graduate policy.

Skills in personnel, building projects

Chiu, who has been at Stanford since 1978, has been department administrator in chemistry since June 1991. Previously, she was an administrator in the Department of Physics. She joined Stanford as conference coordinator in the Medical School's Division of Cardiology, and then spent three years as financial aid administrator in the Medical School's Office of Student Affairs and four years as administrative services manager in the department of Family, Community and Preventive Medicine.

Chiu, a resident of Cupertino, earned a bachelor's degree in social relations from Radcliffe and a master's degree from the Simmons School of Social Work in Boston.

In chemistry, Chiu is responsible for planning and operations for the largest science department in the School of Humanities and Sciences. Chemistry has 25 faculty members, a staff of 50, 230 graduate students and 80 postdoctoral scholars. Chiu helps manage an annual consolidated budget of $18 million.

She recently has been involved in helping the department get through an $18.5 million construction project, the renovation of Stauffer I and II buildings.

"Droni is an indispensable part of the research enterprise in chemistry," a faculty member wrote in nominating Chiu. "Since taking over as our departmental administrator, she has vitalized the department and streamlined our operations immeasurably."

Chiu's expertise in dealing with personnel matters was cited by several nominators.

Another professor praised her “management with respect to the renovation of the Stauffer laboratories while people attempted to work in them. The attention she placed on this project alone would have been more than a full time job."

Chiu said other Chemistry staff members took over many daily operational tasks when the Stauffer project required Chiu's full attention.

"Many deserve to share this award with me," she said. "I'm only one member of an extremely dedicated, hard-working team."

Librarian has 'patience, creativity'

Lomio has been assistant director for information services at the Robert Crown Law Library since September. Before that, he was public service librarian since 1985. He joined the library as a reference librarian in 1982 and was named associate public service librarian the following year.

Lomio, a resident of Palo Alto, also is a lecturer in library and information science at San Jose State University. Before coming to Stanford, he was reference and documents librarian at the Robert J. White Law Library at the Columbus School of Law, Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.

He has advanced degrees in law and in library science from Gonzaga University, the University of Washington and Catholic University, and has been both a law clerk and a practicing attorney.

A law professor who previously taught at Harvard wrote, in nominating Lomio, that he "far surpasses the level of service I was accustomed to. . . . He has made innumerable contributions to my own research in an unfailingly resourceful and imaginative way."

Another law professor wrote, "He is so thoroughly imbued with the service ethic of librarianship at its best that he sometimes disappears as a person; but the signs of his activity are unmistakable.

"Once he learns that a faculty member or student is interested in a topic, he becomes a one-man clipping service," the faculty member wrote. "It is a sign of his dedication to learning (rather than merely to institutional role) that he does this not only for faculty for also for students."

Lomio said he was surprised to learn he had won the award, and said the whole reference staff really deserves the recognition. "This award reflects the group that I work with rather than just myself. It's an excellent team."

All levels of staff are eligible for the annual award, and winners are selected by a committee of faculty researchers. This year's committee was chaired by Craig Heller, associate dean of research and professor of biological sciences.

The award was created in 1990 and named for its first recipient, Marshall D. O'Neill, upon his retirement as associate director of Hansen Laboratories.


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