By Linda Huss
The National Eye Institute reluctantly said good-bye to Joan Lee after 34 years of dedicated service.
Lee joined NEI in 1970 as secretary to Dr. Carl Kupfer, former NEI director, who at that time was also NEI clinical director. In addition, she worked as clinic coordinator for several NEI intramural studies and co-authored papers on a cataract study. In 1981, she was appointed EEO officer, a position she held until her recent retirement. Among her many duties, she arranged for mentoring and job placement of students throughout NIH who were participating in minority internship programs. Lee says her most gratifying experiences were working with the clinic patients and mentoring student interns.
She grew up in Spencerville, Md., and graduated from Sherwood High School, where she was a sports enthusiast, playing basketball, hockey and volleyball. After graduation in 1959, she attended Morgan State University. Following college, she spent most of her waking hours raising three sons.
In 1967, Lee applied for a unit clerk position in the Clinical Center nursing department. For her this was no ordinary job. When her mother passed away in 1965, after being diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia, Lee wanted to learn as much as she could about the disease. Ironically, she was hired by the unit that managed leukemia patients. She enjoyed the daily operations of the patient care unit and gained valuable knowledge about her mother's disease.
"NIH has been a wonderful resource to me and my family," Lee says. "Having the opportunity to work in the leukemia clinic was a very rewarding experience in my career."
Over the years, she served on many NIH-wide committees and received numerous honors and awards for her dedication to patients and student interns, and for her work as EEO officer. At a retirement party, surrounded by friends and family, she was honored in speeches by several NEI colleagues who have worked with her. NEI Deputy Director Jack McLaughlin pointed out what a difficult job an EEO position can be, and credited Lee for her hard work and dedication. "Joan is the most honest person I've ever met," he said. "Her ability to deal with troublesome issues in a frank, honest, helpful way is the secret to her success."
Lee plans to spend time with her family, including six grandchildren. She is still a sports enthusiast and enjoys traveling. She also plans to continue her community outreach and mentoring.
After 40 years of federal service, the last 35 with the National Cancer Institute, John J. Barone retired on Dec. 31 from his position as administrative officer in the Office of the Director. Throughout his career, he received the highest accolades for his professionalism, efficiency and organization. But perhaps even more important were the many lives he touched and the number of friendships he forged with his fellow workers at all levels of NIH.
Barone was born in Glasco, N.Y., a small village several miles from the artist colony of Woodstock in the Catskill Mountains. His family roots were based in various businesses, the music industry and the military, but unlike anyone in his family, he sought a career in science. He graduated from Syracuse University in 1964, majoring in microbiology and chemistry. As a talented musician, he performed solo and as a member of several rock-and-roll, jazz and folk bands in the Syracuse and Catskill Mountain areas during that time. He last performed the sound track of a video documentary several years ago that was seen on national TV and repeats every now and again on several cable channels. He says that was his last attempt at professional music-making since the vagaries of carpal tunnel syndrome and arthritis affected him acutely.
He served as the intramural administrative officer of the division until the reorganization of the entire institute in 1996, whereupon he served as administrative resource center (ARC) manager for Bldg. 41 and was concurrently acting manager, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics. In 1998, he came full-time to the NCI-Frederick ARC where he held the positions of deputy manager and manager.
Mostly unknown by the current staff of technical support personnel at NIH is a contribution of Barone's to which they all owe their status today. Up until 1974, it was extremely rare that a technical support staff member got beyond the GS-9 level. At that time, all the scientific directors had to agree on anyone proposed to go beyond that grade. Barone spent 2 years wrangling with the Office of Personnel Management and got the old entrenched process turned around. Later, as a newly elected member of what was then the equal employment opportunity advisory group, he was responsible for NCI implementing mandatory EEO training for all supervisors. This resulted in a lessening of the number of discrimination complaints and a more amicable work environment.
Barone has always been fond of telling his staff and those embarking on careers in administration that, "We don't get many compliments in this business, however, you know when you have done your job. Keeping scientists working at the bench or in the clinic without them worrying over some administrative matter is the key to a successful administrator."
Barone intends to continue his long-established antiques business and private consulting work for investors, collectors and museums. He will spend more time writing articles for magazines and looks forward to extending his outdoor activities plus increasing his role in the legislative affairs of Frederick County. Asked for a final thought, he bids a fond farewell to all and profusely thanks the NCI and NIH community for 35 years of enriching experiences.
Burdette "Bud" Erickson, who was a program director with NCI's Epidemiology and Genetics Research Program (EGRP), Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, retired last fall after 32 years of service at NCI.
In recent years, he was program director for biometry research grants supported through EGRP's Analytic Epidemiology Research Branch, and project officer for the geographic information system for breast cancer studies on Long Island.
He first joined NCI in 1972 to work as a research technician in the Dermatology Branch, and then from 1974-1976, in the Clinical Pharmacology Branch. From 1976-1981, he was a technical information specialist in the Division of Extramural Affairs. In 1981, Erickson moved to the Division of Cancer Epidemiology where he was a program analyst, and later the program director responsible for grants funded through the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer Research programs. In a reorganization in 1997, he and other extramural epidemiologic staff moved to the Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences.
By Linda Huss
Carolyn Bealle recently retired from the National Eye Institute after 28 years of federal service, including 23 years with NEI.
She was born and raised in Hagerstown and came to this area to attend the University of Maryland. She received a degree in elementary education and taught 6th grade for 3 years before going on sabbatical and raising her three children. In 1977, she began her first federal job as a secretary with ADAMHA's Office of Program Planning and Evaluation. A year later, Bealle became a secretary in the Office of the Director of Grants and Contracts (DGC), PHS, where she remembers using an IBM magnetic card typewriter and taking shorthand. In 1979, she was reassigned to DGC's Data Management Branch as a grants management specialist.
At Bealle's retirement celebration, NEI Deputy Director Jack McLaughlin said, "Carolyn began and finished each new project with great enthusiasm she lit up the office each day with her smile."
Although Bealle will return to NEI for part-time contract work, she will pursue her interests in real estate and securities investing. She and her son are working on renovations to her homes in Silver Spring and Ocean Pines. Bealle also looks forward to some gardening and spending time with her four grandchildren.
Up to Top