May is Duke Appreciation month, a celebration of 38,000 staff and faculty members who keep Duke University and Health System thriving. As part of the celebration, Duke honors nearly 4,000 employees who are marking career milestones of 10,15, 20 and more years of service.
Ronda Pulliam, radiologic technologist, Bone and Chest Imaging, at Duke Cancer Center, and Karla Lambson, clinical educator at Duke Cancer Center, are two of seven employees marking career milestones that were featured in a recent Working@Duke article authored by Jonathan Black and Stephen Schramm. Pulliam is being honored for 30 years of service at Duke and Lambson is being honored for 10 years of service at Duke. Here are their stories:
Radiologic Technologist, Bone and Chest Imaging
Duke Cancer Center
30 Years at Duke
It was 1988 and Ronda Pulliam was working at Duke and attended a tailgate party before the Duke-UVA football game at Wallace Wade Stadium.
There, a Duke technologist by the name of Tim Pulliam grabbed her attention. She thought he was cute and made her laugh. Tim got Ronda’s phone number and the two began chatting over the phone. They had trouble finding a time to go on a date, but four to five months later, they went to Applebee’s, and Ronda ordered a cheeseburger.
“Tim thought it was funny I ordered a burger,” Ronda said. “I remember him saying ‘usually when I go on a date, the girl orders a salad and barely eats it.’”
In 1990, the two married at Duke University Chapel. They’ve since had two kids, Michael and Zachary. Both Ronda and Tim still work at Duke and even carpool most days from their home in Roxboro.
And she remains grateful that Duke brought them together on that day in 1988.
“He still makes me laugh,” Ronda said. “But don’t tell him that.”
Duke Cancer Center
10 Years at Duke
The little things add up for Karla Lambson.
The clinic birthday parties, baby showers and colleagues supporting each other during family losses and illness. These acts of kindness during her work at Duke make Lambson feel like her coworkers are family.
“We see patients on some of the worst days of their lives,” Lambson said. “We often have to have conversations about quality of life and hospice care. Doing simple things for each other can really improve a day.”
When Lambson’s grandmother passed away in 2014 , coworkers immediately told her to leave work and begin the drive to Orlando, Florida. They covered her shifts.
“That’s our team’s culture,” Lambson said. “Anytime one of us has something going on, a family emergency or illness or surgery, we all step up to help.”