Authored by Nathan L. Vanderford, Jennifer Taylor & Holy Zink
In each monthly issue of the Catalyst, the “Meet SRAI Leadership” column introduces you to the SRAI leadership, committee members and volunteers. This virtual platform serves as a good starting base for meeting the members of the SRAI community. This is a great opportunity to get to know each other and we at the Catalyst want to hear from you! Share your story! Contact us to be featured in a future column, or nominate a co-worker or colleague to share their story.
Per SRAI Bylaws, the committees of the Society organize and utilize the expertise of members to carry out the mission and purposes of the Society. Standing and special committees are responsible to the Board of Directors. Ad hoc committees and task forces are responsible to the President.
In this issue, we introduce you to Nathan L. Vanderford
, editor-in-chief, Jennifer Taylor
, Deputy Editor, and Holly Zink
, Associate Editor. of the Journal of Research Administration. The JRA is celebrating 50 years this year and is working on a special summer issue to introduce to everyone the very first issue of the JRA.
Nathan L. Vanderford, PhD, MBA
University of KentuckyWhy SRAI and what does volunteering mean for you?
I have been in RA for 10 years and a member of SRAI since 2010. SRAI is valuable to me because of the breadth and depth of the organization’s education and professional development content, international networking opportunities, and volunteer/leadership opportunities.
The opportunity to serve an organization and be involved in developing and mentoring others.
Something that people doesn’t know about you.
If I told you then it would no longer be a mystery.
What makes you smile?
Build trust. Earn respect. Be loyal.
_____________________________________Jennifer Taylor, PhD, MBA
Assistant Vice-Chancellor and Research Professor
University of ArkansasHow many years have you been in RA?
How many years have you been a member of SRAI and why?
I have been a member since 2010. SRAI provides a forum where I can learn from colleagues and, through JRA, as well as conferences, keep up with the state-of-the-art of research administration. The networking and informal interactions also provide critical learning opportunities and well as settings in which I have developed lasting friendships. Furthermore, the opportunity to give back to my colleagues in the research administration community as a peer, mentor. and a student is very important to me. Something that people doesn’t know about you.
I love Ogunquit, Maine
Is the glass half empty or half full?
I’m always optimistic so I suppose half full!What is your life philosophy?
Care about and respect others, be a good friend, and love your family.
________________________________________________Holly Zink, MSA
Faculty Onboarding & Orientation
Children’s Mercy Hospital
How long have you been in RA?
10 years and since 2005 a member of SRAI
Why did you choose SRAI?
The Society for Research Administrators International and the Journal of Research Administration provides an avenue for professional development that simply is not available elsewhere. I challenge myself to be a speaker at every regional conference. I find that being a speaker not only challenges my own development; but, I meet more colleagues, find new opportunities, explore more ideas and get more from the conference.
What does volunteering mean for you?
Volunteering with SRAI allows me to have a closer connection to my profession and my colleagues. It allows me to compare institutional processes and issues to find the best solutions for my own team. With regulations and processes changing so quickly, the profession of research administration continues to grow stronger with each year. Volunteering with SRAI and the Journal of Research Administration helps me to explore every new facet of our rapidly changing profession and challenges me to stay current and up to date!Can you tell us something that people doesn’t know about you?
I am also a scientific illustrator and help the faculty at my institution develop pictures to explain the concepts, novel experiments, and truths that they find in their scientific journey.
What makes you smile?
I am a huge fan of truly inspired quick and witty humor—the type represented in old Cary Grant movies, between John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara, or within the pages of Jane Austen. Spend an afternoon with Father Goose (1964) and laugh to “Married? Goody Two-Shoes and the Filthy Beast?!” or Pride and Prejudice (1940) with “Oh! My Poor Nerves!” – that is time well-spent for the whole family.
Life is about exploration and opportunity. Make a plan for your life end-goals (and make those end goals good and hard ones—this is your
life and those goals should be worthy of your
life lived). Then remember to remain flexible enough to adapt and change the methods you use to achieve those goals over the years.
Anything else that our readers should know about you?
I am the founder of www.iDoGrants.org
. I specialize in solving complex problems with simple answers. My educational background includes an anticipated PhD in Strategy and Innovation from Capella University in 2022. I have a MS in Research Administration from Central Michigan University and a BS in English from the University of Central Missouri.