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A Change at the Helm

August 27, 2013

This summer saw a major transition in the administrative leadership of the English department, with the retirement of Dagmar Logie after many years of exceptional service as the department’s Administrative Manager. Dagmar began her career at Stanford as an undergraduate in 1959, and returned in 1969 as a secretary in the Department of Italian. Apart from a brief stint as administrator to the Department of Asian Languages, Dagmar has served the English department since 1979, becoming Department Manager in 1993. She is known across the university for her institutional knowledge, her administrative resourcefulness and good sense, and her strength of character (to say nothing of her sense of humor).

In 1993 Dagmar won the Arnice Streit Award, the highest honor for staff in the Humanities and Sciences – a sign of how widely she is recognized as a leader among her peers. On her retirement, President Hennessy granted Dagmar staff Emerita status for her remarkable personal and professional commitment to the department and the university. Dagmar plans to spend her retirement enjoying the company of her family, traveling the world, and finally getting her garden into shape. She may even attend some of her husband Dennis’s softball games.

Dagmar’s successor is Laura Ma. Laura joins the English department from the Bill Lane Center for the American West, where she has been the Financial and Administrative Manager since 2010. Laura has been at Stanford for almost 15 years, starting in the Positive Coaching Alliance in the Athletics Department and later moving to more responsible positions in the Graduate School of Business and the School of Education.

Laura grew up in Hong Kong where she learned English as a native language alongside Chinese. She earned her B.A. in Economics at the University of Alberta, Canada, and had a successful career in advertising in Hong Kong prior to coming to California in 1997. A common theme of Laura's experience has been a focus on youth, collaboration, strategic growth, and public engagement. Not surprisingly, in her spare time Laura is an active volunteer in the Parent-Teacher-Student Association of her daughter Emilie’s high school, and on the Palo Alto PTA Council. In her spare spare time she is an avid lover of literature, film, food, and travel.

“English has a reputation as a progressive department, and the subject itself is so essential to all walks of life,” said Ma on learning of her new position. “I am excited to be part of English, and to have the opportunity to work with the amazing faculty and administrative team to broaden our reach on campus and beyond.” Laura's background in interdisciplinary initiatives and her leadership of diverse teams is sure to serve us well as the English department looks to the future.