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Recap| Michigan Chapter 2019 Meeting: 25 Years of MI-SRA: Bridging the Past and Celebrating the Future of Research Administration

By SRAI News posted 07-09-2019 10:29 AM


Ruth Halsey

Authored by Ruth Halsey
Immediate Past President, Michigan Chapter; Post-Award
Financial Manager, Division of Cardiology, Internal Medicine
University of Michigan

On June 10 & 11, the Michigan Chapter held its 2019 Annual Meeting at the historic and beautiful Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, with the theme, “25 Years of MI-SRA: Bridging the Past and Celebrating the Future of Research Administration.” 100 research administrators from around the State of Michigan, as well as Minnesota, Ohio, and Pennsylvania came together for professional development and to celebrate 25 years of SRAI Michigan Chapter providing grassroots, local, affordable, and quality research administration training and networking to professionalize our field. 

Day one of our conference started with a keynote address from Evan Roberts, Executive Director of SRAI, focusing on the need for leadership at all levels due to changes in our economy, generational shifts, flattening of organizational hierarchy, and growing focus on teamwork, then tied this to changes in the field of research administration. His inspiring and thought-provoking address was followed by a full day of concurrent sessions in five tracks, including research administration fundamentals, general research administration, professional development, compliance, and leadership. Our day ended with a celebration event on the world’s longest porch, where we toasted to another 25 years of the Michigan Chapter!

Day two of our conference started with a plenary address by Guy Meadows, the Director of the Great Lakes Research Center and Robbins Professor of Sustainable Marine Engineering at Michigan Technological University. Dr. Meadows’ address focused on a recent research project for the State of Michigan analyzing risks presented to the Great Lakes from a controversial 20-inch oil pipeline running 4.5 miles in the Straits of Mackinac. This was a multi-disciplinary project spanning multiple states and institutions and analyzing a wide range of issues from public health, ecological, and natural resource impacts, to the anticipated costs for restoration. Dr. Meadows’ timely and relevant presentation was followed by more excellent concurrent sessions from our dedicated speakers.

During our 2019 Business Meeting we introduced our 2019-2020 Chapter Officers:

  • Immediate Past President: Ruth Halsey, Post-Award/Financial Manager, Cardiology, Internal Medicine, University of Michigan
  • President: Melissa Karby, Director of Research Administration, School of Dentistry, University of Michigan
  • President Elect: David Mulder, Training Manager, Office of Research and Sponsored Projects, University of Michigan
  • Secretary: Patricia Turnbull, Assistant Director for Research Administration, Dearborn Research and Sponsored Programs, University of Michigan-Dearborn
  • Treasurer: Nicholas Prieur, Research Process Sr. Manager, Youth and Social Issues Survey Research Center, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan

Special thanks to all of our Past Presidents, founding members, past officers of the Michigan Chapter, past planning committee members, and leadership of SRAI who made this 25th anniversary possible. Without your hard work, vision, and leadership this anniversary would not have been possible. 

Special thanks to Ellen Quinn, Virginia Cunigan, Debbie Appler and all the staff with SRAI, for their enduring patience, organizational skills, and partnership!

Special thanks to our 2019 Planning Committee Members who helped to organize this fantastic conference; your dedication, enthusiasm, and energy are greatly appreciated!

Special thanks to our 2019 Conference Sponsors that helped to make this year’s conference possible, including Streamlyne. We are grateful for the support of our organization.

Special thanks to our 2019 Session Presenters for their time, energy, and enthusiasm! We are grateful for your willingness to share your experience, wisdom, and knowledge and inspire the next generation of research administrators with your passion for our field.

Finally, thank you to our past, current, and future members of SRAI and the Michigan Chapter. Without you, our organization would not exist. We believe that local, affordable, and quality professional development is foundational to our career growth and success as research administrators.

We are starting preparations now for our 2020 conference planning!  If you would like to join the 2020 planning committee, email us at