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NCI's Tolson Retires After 33 Years of Service

Sylvia Tolson couldn't wait to get out in her garden any day she wanted, and in April, after 33 years as a federal government employee, she retired from NCI and got her wish.

Tolson retired from her position as the only grants technical assistant (GTA) in NCI's Analytic Epidemiology Research Branch (AERB), where she has performed administrative tasks associated with the management of a research portfolio of more than 400 grants and managed all the travel and timekeeping for six staff.

Sylvia Tolson
"I'll miss Sylvia's wisdom, work ethic and caring, considerate demeanor," said Sandra Melnick, chief of AERB, which is part of NCI's Epidemiology and Genetics Research Program (EGRP). "Sylvia has a wonderful perspective on work, and no matter how much needs to be done or how rushed activities are, she has a calming influence that helps all involved get through situations."

A native Washingtonian, Tolson began her career in 1970 as a clerk typist with the Department of Commerce, and the following year transferred to the Department of Interior. From 1971 to 1978, she worked at the General Services Administration, assisting with the maintenance of government buildings. In 1978, she joined the National Science Foundation as a program assistant working on science research grants. In 1990, she came to NIH where she worked first as a GTA with the National Center for Nursing Research and then with NCI's Division of Extramural Activities, where she worked as a GTA and then a computer assistant until joining EGRP in 1999.

"Sylvia is the first person many EGRP staff see when they enter the office," said Ed Trapido, EGRP associate director, and "it won't be the same without her cheerful greeting."

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