The Office of the Vice President for Research will honor three U-M staff members for outstanding research service. Donna Mulkey will receive the OVPR Exceptional Service Award, and Linda Chadwick and Catherine Seay-Ostrowski will each receive a Distinguished Research Administrator Award.
“With a budget of $1.27 billion, U-M’s research operation is one of the largest of any university worldwide,” says Stephen Forrest, vice president for research. “It would be impossible to successfully administer such a complicated and wide-ranging operation without the energy, skill, and hard work exemplified by these award winners.”
This year’s awards program and reception will be from 3:30-5 p.m. May 14 in the Vandenberg Room in the Michigan League. The awards presentation will begin at 4 p.m. with a reception to follow. The event is open to the public.
The Distinguished Research Administrator Award honors individuals from any unit at the university who have demonstrated distinguished service exemplifying the goals of professional research administration.
The Exceptional Service Award honors staff members from OVPR or any of the diverse units from across campus that report to OVPR. This award recognizes individuals involved in any area of work who have made outstanding contributions that go beyond the ordinary fulfillment of position duties.
Mulkey joined U-M in 1981. Since 1987, she has worked at the Center for Human Growth and Development, and currently serves as contract and grant specialist. She is responsible for pre- and post-award grant administration, as well as supervising the grants administration team.
She is highly skilled in monitoring budgets; navigating the complex guidance that comes with many grants; and sharing her knowledge with faculty and staff colleagues alike. Said one faculty member: “I trust her. She takes great care in her work, and does so much behind the scenes that it almost feels ‘easy’ to submit and manage a grant (from the investigator’s standpoint!),” one faculty member said.
Chadwick has been with the Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences in the College of Engineering since 2006, and currently serves as the business manager for the Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System project, a $150 million program funded by NASA.
As an example of her expertise in grant administration, Chadwick used her advanced skills in Microsoft Excel to create templates that can easily handle complex sponsor budget requirements for space mission projects. In fact, CoE will offer an Excel course for all research administrators based partly on Chadwick’s work.
Seay-Ostrowski has served as the business administrator lead/institute administrative manager at the U-M Transportation Research Institute since 2005, and has been at the university since 1990.
During her time at UMTRI, she has played a key role in reorganizing the institute from a division-based service model to a centralized shared-services model. Seay-Ostrowski also has played an important role in increasing the diversity of the UMTRI work force by, for example, working with human resources officials to identify ways to reach out to a more diverse group of potential job applicants.
The 2013 winners were selected by Forrest based on recommendations from an awards selection committee that includes: Laura Bowden, Biostatistics; Drew Buchanan, Dearborn Research and Sponsored Programs; Catherine Liebowitz, Institute for Social Research; Scott Stanfill, School of Social Work; Catherine Thibault, Institute for Social Research; and Peggy Westrick, LSA Research Office.
Dona Kennedy, school recorder-evaluator in the School of Social Work, on what she learned by keeping animals: “I learned about care and responsibility through my parents and being exposed to animals for the majority of my life.”
“Birthing Reproductive Justice: 150 Years of Images and Ideas,” Hatcher Graduate Library North Lobby display cases.