Employee of the Month – Lan Duncan

November 2018, Immunology and Rheumatology

Lan Duncan, grants manager for immunology and rheumatology, is “the solid rock of the division.”

As clinical division manager Julie Park explains, “Lan has dedicated herself to providing excellent customer service to everyone she interacts with, she's ensured that the complex research portfolios of each of our faculty are well managed and in compliance with sponsor and university regulations, she has trained multiple staff who have joined our division, and she’s built strong relationships with many team members.  Our faculty and staff love her and can't imagine our division without her.”  Lan has been with the division for 11 years.

A tireless worker

Lan’s job is complicated, incorporating many different tasks including (but not limited to) financial oversight of a number of large complex research grants and international contracts, managing and forecasting accounts, including on-going tracking of actual and projected expenditures, and developing complex financial analyses, reconciliations, and budget and forecasting scenarios.  As she puts it, “My work day is usually pretty busy, but I always try to get things done by the end of the day. Because if not, I can hardly fall asleep at night, knowing that  one thing has not been done or done well that day.”

Kate Lorig, PhD, professor emerita of immunology and rheumatology, says, “Never has she said she is too busy or used other excuses.  I know of no one at Stanford with a better work ethic.”

Mark Genovese, MD, James W. Raitt MD professor of immunology and rheumatology, adds, “On a granular level she has made all the difference in providing both pre/post award financial input and personally managing the clinical trials resources.  Without her we would not be anywhere near as successful.  She has been an indispensable part of the team.”

A positive outlook

Other colleagues cite Lan’s positivity as a huge plus for the division.  “Budget meetings with her are absolutely pain-free,” Jorg Goronzy, MD, professor of immunology and rheumatology says.  Johanna Alm, fellowship program coordinator, adds, “She is always happy at work and thinks about her co-workers. She brings her colleagues flowers and fruit from her garden and she always has a minute or two for anybody who wants to chat with her.  She is a great role model for others.”

Kathy Evans, an accountant for the division, calls Lan “extremely generous with her time and support,” and adds, “She is extremely busy supporting her faculty, and yet she always has time to answer my questions and suggest ways of working through complicated situations. I aspire to become as competent and efficient as she is at her job.”

Before her time at Stanford, Lan worked the Department of Health in the City and County of San Francisco as Contract Manager/Health Program Coordinator.  She loves her current team as much as they love her—when asked what she likes most about her job she answers with a list: “team support, team women, team work, team effort, team achievements, team projects and team fun.”  When she discovered she was receiving the Employee of the Month award she felt “speechless, emotional, grateful, and surprised.”

In her free time, Lan stays active with hobbies including tennis, yoga, the Argentine tango, walking, and politics.