Lynn Dixon, praised as ‘exceptionally responsive,’ wins 2016 Amy J. Blue Award

Dixon, the faculty data systems specialist in Faculty Affairs, is one of this year's winners of the Amy J. Blue Award, which honors staff members who are exceptionally dedicated, supportive of colleagues and passionate about their work.

While Lynn Dixon’s primary responsibility is making sure key appointment data about Stanford faculty are accurate and up-to-date, she has also become the “go-to person” for people across campus with random questions no one else can answer.

Dixon, who has worked at the university for 21 years, can delve into a vast personal store of knowledge about Stanford when she is fielding inquiries.

Lynn Dixon

Lynn Dixon, faculty data systems specialist in Faculty Affairs, is one of this year’s three winners of the Amy J. Blue Award for outstanding staff members. (Image credit: L.A. Cicero)

“I don’t know how people get my name, but I’m happy to help,” she said. “I’ve worked here long enough that if I don’t know the answer to a question outside my position, I know who to call. Also, I know which one of my many wonderful colleagues to go to for help if I don’t know. They make me look good.”

As the faculty data systems specialist in Faculty Affairs, where she has worked since 2002, Dixon manages faculty data in PeopleSoft and Stanford Who for Stanford’s seven schools, the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and the Office of the Dean of Research.

She also produces custom reports from the data. In addition, she creates custom email lists: people to be honored at the annual Faculty Awards Dinner; faculty whose emeriti status entitles them to “A” parking passes; guests to invite to Commencement Weekend; faculty to invite to special events; and more.

Dixon is one of this year’s winners of the Amy J. Blue Award, which honors staff members who are exceptionally dedicated, supportive of colleagues and passionate about their work.

The other two winners are Jörg Grawert, lead maintenance multicraft trade technician in Student Housing, which is part of Residential & Dining Enterprises; and Nancy Lonhart, associate director, Center for Health Policy at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, and division manager, Primary Care & Outcomes Research in the Department of Medicine at Stanford School of Medicine.

President John Hennessy will present each recipient with an Amy J. Blue Award on Tuesday, May 17, in the Gunn Atrium of Bing Concert Hall, which is located at 327 Lasuen Street, at Museum Way. The ceremony, which is open to families, friends and colleagues of the recipients, is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Refreshments will be served.

Viewed across campus as a problem solver

Colleagues praised Dixon’s responsiveness, competence and effectiveness.

“Lynn is exceptionally responsive and takes pride in protecting the integrity of university data,” said Megan Pierson, senior associate provost for faculty affairs.

“Her comprehensive knowledge of PeopleSoft, payroll and benefits enables her to resolve complex data issues. She is viewed across the campus as a problem-solver. Lynn is also collaborative and proactively thinks of ways to support her colleagues. She is simply a wonderful team member.”

Valerie Meeks, a project manager in Faculty Affairs, described Dixon as “exceptionally effective.”

“Lynn regularly manages large amounts of data with competence and conscientiousness, and is always willing to take on a new project when the need arises,” Meeks said. “She is the ‘go-to person’ for random questions no one else can answer, and gets calls from all over the university asking for her help.”

Meeks said it is very clear every day that Dixon cares about her work, the university and her colleagues.

“Lynn knows the birthdays, pets and favorite TV shows of everyone on our team,” Meeks said. “She is also a BeWell advocate and, thanks to Lynn, every person on our team has adopted some healthier habits. Lastly, it is fun to walk across campus with Lynn, because she knows so many people that I frequently meet someone new. Lynn makes Stanford a great place to work.”

Stanford journey began at the hospital

Dixon, who grew up in Connecticut, joined the Stanford community in 1989 when she began working in the payroll department at Stanford Hospital & Clinics – now known as Stanford Health.

After five years, Dixon and her husband, John – along with daughters Becca, then 6 months old, and Melissa, then 2   – decided to return to Connecticut for jobs at ESPN, whose headquarters are located in Bristol, where Dixon grew up.

Nearly two years later, after an unusually harsh Connecticut winter, they returned to the Bay Area and Dixon resumed her payroll job at the hospital.

In 1998, Dixon accepted a position in the central business office of Residential & Dining Enterprises. Soon after, she transferred to Stanford’s payroll office, then located on Serra Street. Her office window looked out over the original Amy J. Blue Garden, with its flowering plants and koi ponds. Stanford later moved the garden to make way for the new Knight Management Center complex, which opened in 2011.

Today, the new Amy J. Blue Garden, which is located near Memorial Church, is just a short walk from Dixon’s office on the Main Quad.

Dixon’s daughters are grown: Becca, 23, is earning a bachelor’s degree in fine arts at San Jose State University and Melissa, 25, will begin the master’s program in library and information science at San Jose State in the fall.

“They’re both amazing,” she said.

In the fall, Dixon spends weekends at craft fairs, where she sells wine charm sets – each set has eight rings decorated with beads and charms – that guests use to identify their wine glasses at parties. Dixon, who makes the wine charm sets in her home in Sunnyvale, has created sets with more than 100 themes – cats, dogs, birds and bugs, sewing and fishing, and the television shows “Doctor Who,” “The Walking Dead” and “Game of Thrones.”

When a colleague retired, Dixon put her design skills to work on a wine charm set with a Stanford theme as a parting gift.

“The Stanford wine charm set included a diploma, a red letter S, a graduation cap, a laptop, ‘the tree,’ a palm tree, a barn and an axe,” she said. “I had fun finding the eight charms to make the set.”