Gloria Bass, MA, has been a part of the Duke Health family for 41 years, including 26 years at Duke Cancer Institute
Duke University Chancellor for Health Affairs Eugene Washington, MD, MPH, MSc, presented Gloria Johnson Bass, MA, Duke Cancer Institute, with the 2022 Susan B. Clark Administrative Leadership Award at a luncheon event last month honoring a record 26 nominees for this year's award.
The annual award, which was established in 2007 by Duke University and Duke University Health System (DUHS), recognizes "a Duke Health administrative professional who exemplifies the qualities of dedication to the institution, service to others, personal strength of character, and acting as a role model to others." The winner receives a cash award of $1,000.
"I want to express our gratitude to each and every one of you for what you do every day," said Washington to the roomful of nominees assembled for the luncheon on April 26. "You all are the wind beneath our wings. We excel because of what you do day in and day out."
After recognizing each of the nominees by name, Chancellor Washington introduced Bass, currently senior grants and contracts manager for Basic Science Research at the DCI.
"I am really honored to be able to recognize our recipient of this year's Susan B Clarke administrative leadership award, Ms. Gloria Johnson Bass," he said. "Ms. Bass has been a part of our Duke Health family for 41 years, and has grown her career here at Duke taking on roles with increasing responsibility."
Bass joined Duke in 1981 as a staff assistant in the Department of Anesthesiology. When she left, in 1996, she was in a managerial role. Bass was the first African American manager in that department.
In 1996, she continued her Duke career at the Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center (now the Duke Cancer Institute) as the office manager. In 2002, she transitioned into DCI's Research Administration division.
Chancellor Washington read aloud some "powerful excerpts" from letters of support written by Bass' nominators, including this one from Karen Kharasch, senior director, Research Strategy & Operations:
“For over 40 years, Gloria has been steadfast in her endeavors to support the core values of the Duke University School of Medicine and the mission statement of the Duke Cancer Institute, by leading with caring, accountability, excellence, respect, and integrity. Her innate ability to guide and shepherd junior and senior faculty through the complex and dynamic regulatory and submission processes is a technical feat. Although what truly amazes me on a near-daily basis is Gloria’s gift of teaching both faculty and staff. This characteristic is not teachable. It is part of who Gloria is as a leader."
And this one from former manager, Leigh Burgess, PhD:
"Gloria is always someone you can count on to assist you when you need it and always performing at the highest levels of ethics and quality!"
Chancellor Washington followed with this one from Barbara Rimer, DrPH, MPH, (now Dean and Alumni Distinguished Professor, UNC-Chapel Hill Gillings School of Public Health) who worked with Bass for several years when Rimer was director of the Cancer Prevention, Detection, and Control Research Program at Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center:
"When I hired Gloria, I was impressed by her strength of character, integrity, and the way she treated people. She had a special knack with people who were seen as 'difficult.' She managed to determine how best to work with them and to help them be their best selves."
Washington paused in the middle of reading Rimer's letter of support, joking, in reference to managing "difficult" people: "We could use someone like you in our office, we really could."