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Lee Retires After 34 Years at NEI

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.

Joan Lee cuts cake on 34 years of dedicated service.

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.

Barone Retires After 40 Years with Government

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.

John J. Barone
He accepted his first position in the government in 1964 as a supervisory microbiologist with the Army at Ft. Detrick, where he worked about 6 years on vaccine and cellular immunology research, concurrently doing his postgraduate studies at the University of Maryland. Following this, he moved to the Surgery Branch, NCI, where he did tumor immunology and immunotherapy research with Drs. Donald Morton, Samuel Wells, William Catalona and Peter Scardino. He also pursued and received a master of science degree in management and transitioned, also in 1975, to the Administrative Office, Division of Cancer Biology and Diagnosis to assist then newly appointed director Dr. Alan Rabson. In 1983, he was responsible for coordinating reorganization of the intramural research program and received the NIH Award of Merit (the first of 3) for his efforts.

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.

Erickson Retires After 32 Years at NCI

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.

Burdette "Bud" Erickson
Erickson is known more widely for his work on NIH- and NCI-wide information technology issues related to management of research grants. He was a founding member of the NCI institute information systems advisory group and served as its co-chair from 2000 to 2002 and chair during 2002-2003. IISAG sets priorities and makes recommendations on NCI's information technology needs.

He was a member of the NIH electronic research administration (eRA) project team from 2001 to 2003, and represented NCI extramural scientific staff on development of the system. The eRA team is responsible for development of NIH's infrastructure to enable paperless transfer of extramural research grant applications and administrative data, and includes the Federal Commons and IMPAC II. During his term, Erickson was co-chair of the program officials users group, ePUG, which is responsible for the program directors' module. In 2002, he received special recognition from NIH's Office of Extramural Research for his contributions to the overall design, development, deployment and continual evolution and improvement of the eRA system. In 2004, he also received an NIH Merit group award for his ePUG work.
Some of his other accomplishments include receipt of an NIH Merit group award in 2001 for completion of an online manual for NCI staff on best practices in grant review, funding and administration. He taught courses through NIH's Center for Information Technology, including IMPAC II QuickView. Erickson also was known for programming the report on section spending, which was used to detail Delpro spending, and for his work on the online Yellow Pages, an automated small purchase catalogue.

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.

Bealle Ends Long NEI Career

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.

Carolyn Bealle
In 1981, she was hired as a computer programmer/trainee by NEI's Dr. David Scheim, who was to be her supervisor for the next 15 years in the program analysis section. Following his retirement in 1996, Bealle began working with Terry Williams, NEI's current chief information officer, in what is now called the Information Technology Management Branch (ITMB).

Bealle says she will always be grateful for the privilege of working for 23 years at NEI with so many supportive and caring people. She is proud to have been a part of the ever-changing world of information technology, and she especially valued being a part of ITMB's innovative team. "My fondest moments at the NEI have been with my coworkers, especially the users of the NEI's grants database systems and IMPAC II. The work has been interesting, challenging and constantly moving in new directions," Bealle said.
She was NEI's first institute systems security officer (ISSO) and served as alternate ISSO until her retirement. She enjoyed working with NIH's Year 2000 working group and various extramural grants data-related committees. During her tenure, she received both the NEI and NIH Director's awards and many other special achievement awards.

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.

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