The School of Medicine has announced the winners of the annual Anne G. Crowe Spirit Award and Inspiring Change Leadership Award.
Spirit Award winners are selected for their outstanding dedication, initiative, motivation, positive attitude and customer service. This year’s recipients are Misty Mazzara, an educational program manager in the Department of Health Research Policy, and Michela Pilo, an administrative associate in the Department of Dermatology.
The Inspiring Change Leadership Award, which goes to staff members who have implemented processes that improve the school, was given to both Kim Osborn, administrative director of clinical education in School of Medicine Student Affairs, and Shannon Monahan, a research analyst in the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs.
Each winner receives $3,000.
With gusto and pizzazz, Misty Mazzara manages the four graduate-level educational programs in the Department of Health Research and Policy. In this role, she juggles the tasks associated with admissions, orientation and graduation for the master of science and PhD degree programs in epidemiology and clinical research and in health policy. She also assists these graduate students in tracking course requirements, applying for scholarships and finding paid research positions.
“Misty is incredibly helpful in guiding students through the graduate program application process and tracking the myriad details necessary for completing the degrees,” said Martha Kessler, executive director of finance and administration in health research and policy and several other units at the medical school.
Mazzara started at Stanford in the Department of Medicine in 2012, after spending a decade traveling the world with her daughter and husband, a Navy pilot. She said this experience contributed to her resilience and resourcefulness.
After her husband left the military to enroll in Stanford Law School’s JD-MBA program, she jumped at the chance to launch a career in higher education.
“I figured I’m down the street from the best university in the world, and I’d love the opportunity to work there,” she said.
In June 2016, she joined the health research and policy team and began streamlining the administrative processes and launching the new PhD program in epidemiology and clinical research. As she has settled into her role as educational program manager, she has also been taking advantage of the many educational opportunities available to Stanford employees, including management training classes and kickboxing.
“Misty’s dedicated service, initiative, thoughtfulness and positive attitude are truly appreciated by everyone, and she has consistently demonstrated all the qualities this Spirit Award intends to recognize and honor,” said Rita Popat, PhD, clinical associate professor of health research and policy.
The most amazing office administrators combine all the best qualities of air traffic controllers, Walmart greeters, computer troubleshooters and clairvoyants. They keep the office humming and happy.
Michela Pilo, the senior administrative associate in the Department of Dermatology, is just such an administrator, and because of this, her department nominated her for a spirit award.
“She goes above and beyond every day to ensure the success of the department, anticipating problems and intervening before they become issues,” said Justin Ko, MD, MBA, clinical associate professor of dermatology.
Sumaira Aasi, MD, clinical professor of dermatology, said, “Michela is tenacious and does not give up until she has explored every option and found a solution. She doesn’t see the boundaries of her job description, but rather looks for opportunities that allow those around her to work more efficiently. The department is fortunate to have someone whose spirit and work ethic inspires others.”
One of the things Pilo likes about her job is that every day is different. On a daily basis she manages complex executive calendars and the schedules of her 40-plus dermatology faculty and researchers. She makes sure supplies never run out. She solves technical problems with the computer-based systems. She keeps the office neat.
She also likes her co-workers. “There are very smart, humble people here, and it’s hard not to love working with them,” she said.
Before Pilo moved to Stanford four years ago, she worked for 12 years as a jack-of-all-trades at a nonprofit arts foundation. The thing she appreciates about her current position is its healthy work-life balance, which has allowed her to spend more time with her husband and two teenagers, as well as indulge in her passion for Italian cooking.
“Michela is an exemplary department representative, focused on service both inside and outside of Stanford,” said Tyler Hollmig, MD, clinical associate professor of dermatology. “She is so efficient — seemingly does the work of a multitude. And she does it with a smile on her face and a generous spirit.”
Kim Osborn was instrumental in the launch of an innovative new course that provides first-year medical students with early patient experience, and this is one of the many reasons she was awarded an Inspiring Change Leadership Award. The course, called “Walk With Me: A Patient-Centered Exploration of Health and the Health Care System,” pairs medical students with patients and their families to jointly explore health-related topics through a series of workshops. Students and patient partners also meet monthly outside of the classroom in clinical and nonclinical settings.