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Meet SRAI Leadership: EPDC Committee

By SRAI News posted 09-11-2019 07:00 PM


Authored by Dara C. Little,
Assistant Vice President for Research and Sponsored Programs
Northern Illinois University
Mark Hochman, PhD
Research Management Resources

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 Dara Little and Mark Hochman, co-chairs of the Educational and Professional Development Committee. The SRAI EPDC is responsible for the implementation of quality programs to serve the needs of members, including program identification and development, budgeting and evaluation. The committee shall be responsible for the programming of both on-site meetings and online educational content. The chair of the committee shall be appointed by the president.

Dara Litte

How many years have you been in Research Administration and when did you become a member of SRAI?
20 years in RA and since 2003 a member of SRAI.

Why did you decide to become a member of SRAI?
My boss at the time encouraged my participation and I was immediately drawn in by the people and opportunities for professional development. SRAI has always been an inviting organization and the educational programming has helped me throughout my career. Research administration is such a “gray” profession where every day is different and the rules are always changing, but being part of SRAI has given me a strong network of colleagues that I can call on to talk through whatever new challenge I’m working through at my university.

What does volunteering mean for you?
Volunteering forces me to stay current on issues and changes impacting research administration and is an excellent way to learn from colleagues across the globe. It’s a way for me to give back to the field but to also continuously better myself.

Tell us something that people doesn’t know about you?
I’m an introvert who spends most of my time wishing I were home in my sweatpants and puttering around the house.

What makes you smile?
My family –husband Noah, children Madi (15) and Jack (10) and  Goldendoodle Sadie (3).

Is the glass half-full or half-empty?
Half full. Looking at the glass half empty breeds negativity and that becomes an exhausting and vicious mindset that will wear you down

What is your life philosophy?
Everything is Temporary, and It is What It Is. No stage in life lasts forever and sometimes you just have to roll with things.


How many years have you been in Research Administration and when did you become a member of SRAI?
30 years in RA and since 2011 a member of SRAI.

Why did you decide to become a member of SRAI?
SRAI had long seemed to me to be the most professional global research management society and I wanted to join to learn. I was also asked to co-chair the 2012 Orlando Annual meeting as the international co-chair and have made some enduring friendships as a result of this activity.

What does volunteering mean for you?
Volunteering means paying it forward. Someone said that to serve is the highest calling that one can have. It’s a great motivation to work as part of a team and achieve things that you really care about and can’t achieve on your own.

Tell us something that people doesn’t know about you?
My wife and I now live on a 5-acre property or hobby farm and in addition to the sheep, bees, dogs and other animals have seen a real live platypus in the creek at the bottom of our place – ask me to show you the photo!!

What makes you smile?
My grandchildren learning to speak. Also, the description that a recent visitor had of small children when he called them “agents of entropy!”

Is the glass half-empty or half-full?
Definitely half full – Winston Churchill once remarked that he was an optimist because there wasn’t much point being anything else!

What is your life philosophy?
I have a solid Christian faith so putting others first is central to my life philosophy.