Meet SRAI Leadership: Welcome to the New Board of Directors' Members
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. 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.
In this issue, we introduce you to Debra Schaller-Demers, Dominic Esposito, Andrea Deaton, and Kevin Titus, the newest President Elect, treasurer and At Large Board members that joined the SRAI Board of Directors this past October in San Francisco.
Debra Schaller-Demers, MSOM, Senior Director, Research Outreach and Compliance | Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Adjunct Lecturer | CUNY, School of Professional Studies
SRAI President Elect
Debra Schaller-Demers (Debbie) has been a research management professional since 2002.
As Senior Director of Research Outreach and Compliance, she directs and controls an effective quality assurance (QA) program, to promote prevention, detection, and resolution of grants and contracts management noncompliance with federal/state law and other sponsor requirements. This QA initiative includes training/education, monitoring, auditing, investigations, and corrective action, as appropriate, to ensure/certify compliance with federal/state and external sponsor regulations and institutional mandates.
In addition, she administratively directs the Tri- Institutional Embryonic Stem Cell Research Oversight Committee, the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC), and the Export Controls and Controlled Substances in Animal and Laboratory Research programs. She assists the Research Integrity Officer with investigating allegations of research misconduct.
She also directs educational programs in the responsible conduct of research for Tri-Institutional trainees, faculty, and staff that meet the requirements of federal sponsors and institutional policies; and programs to educate and train investigators and staff with respect to new or revised Institutional policies, procedures, and other initiatives.
Debbie also works as an adjunct lecturer for the City University of New York’s School of Professional Studies online graduate program in Research Administration and Compliance. Starting in January 2019, she is teaching Introduction to Research Compliance, Ethics, and Integrity.
Debbie is a Past-president of SRAI's Northeast Section, the 2011 recipient of the SRAI Excellence Award - Intermediate Level and the SRAI Hartford-Nicholsen Award, former Editor and current contributor for the SRAI Catalyst, and former Co-chair of the Education and Professional Development Committee (EPDC). She is a frequent facilitator, content creator, and/or track leader in Research Ethics/Compliance or Professional Development at international, section, chapter, and training programs and was inducted as SRAI Distinguished Faculty in 2012. She was elected to the SRAI Board of Directors in October 2012 for a three-year term and served as one of the 2012 SRAI Annual Meeting Co-Chairs. She was a founding member and now also serves on the Communications Committee for the Association of Research Integrity Officers (ARIO). She has presented nationally and globally at related organizations such as ARMA (UK), WCRI (Rio, Amsterdam, Hong Kong), INORMS (Melbourne and Edinburgh), PRIM&R, ARIO, CAREB (Montreal), and as a webinar presenter for CARA (CA).
Debbie has authored research integrity articles for SRA International's Journal of Research Administration, the SRA International Symposium (Best Paper Winner in 2005, 2007, 2010) and Research Global Magazine. She has written a book chapter entitled: “Building a Responsible Conduct of Research Program to Sustain an Institutional Culture of Research Integrity and Compliance,” for a research compliance textbook that was published in 2015. She has a background in graphic and fine art, conflict resolution, public education advocacy, and holds a Master of Science Degree in Organization and Management.
SRA International Service:
- SRA International President Elect 2019-2020
- SRA International Micro-Credentialing Project, Curriculum Chair for Research Integrity, 2019 - Present
- SRA International EPDC Programming Track Co-Chair, Leadership/Professional Development, 2018- Present
- SRA International EPDC Programming Track Chair, Research Ethics and Compliance 2017-2018; 2018-Present
- SRA International EPDC Programming Track Committee Member, Health/Clinical Trials 2017- 2018
- ORI/SRAI Conference Grant Award: Supporting responsible research organizations: A framework for engaged research managers and administrators 2016
- SRA International Distinguished Faculty Emeritus 2018-Present
- SRA International Distinguished Faculty 2012-2018
- SRA International EPDC Co-Chair 2014-2016
- SRA International At Large Board Member 2012-2015
- SRA International Past-President of the Northeast Section
- SRA International Former Catalyst Editor and Current Contributing Columnist
- SRA International Symposium Reviewer 2017-Present
Dominic Esposito, MS, CRA
Director of Sponsored Programs Administration | Farmingdale State College
Dominic Esposito, MS, CRA, has been in the field of research administration since 1997 and currently serves as the Director of Sponsored Programs Administration at Farmingdale State College. Dominic received a Master of Science in Computer Science from Lehman College, CUNY and met the requirements to become a Certified Research Administrator in 2009. Prior to his arrival at the Farmingdale State, he served as the Director of Corporate, Foundation and Government Relations at The College of New Rochelle, Director of Sponsored Programs and Research (SPAR) at Baruch College of the City University of New York (CUNY), Inaugural Director of Grants Administration at Manhattan College, Director of Operations and Research at the CUNY Institute for Demographic Research, Project Associate on a U.S. Department of Education GEAR UP grant and Electronic Research Administration Specialist and Associate Director at Lehman College.
He regularly attends and presents at SRAI regional and national meetings and is always seeking to enhance the research administration profession by sharing information with his peers and inviting them to participate in professional development activities. Dominic regularly explores collaborative efforts with his SRAI colleagues strongly believes that SRAI is the industry standard in delivering top-quality educational material to a national network of research administration professionals.
Andrea Deaton, CRA, Associate Vice President for Research, University of Oklahoma
SRAI At Large Board Member
Andrea Deaton has been in Research Administration for 17 years and joined SRAI in 2010. Andrea says that "SRAI felt welcoming to me from my first annual meeting. The inclusive nature of SRAI and the rich, robust programming keeps me coming back for more."
We asked Andrea What does volunteering for SRAI mean for you? For Andrea volunteering for SRAI is a way to give back to the society that has been her mainstay during her research administration career. She has made lifelong friendships in SRAI. Research administration is more than a profession, it is a lifelong passion. SRAI allows Andrea and all Research Administrators to connect with others that share that same passion.
One thing that people don't know about Andrea is her fear of birds. And the one thing that makes her smile is kind acts when we least expect them.
Andrea's life philosophy is Everything we need to know we should have learned in kindergarten. Treat others with respect and kindness always and respect and kindness will be returned to you!
Kevin Titus, MBA, Business Director, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital,
SRAI At Large Board Member
Kevin Titus has been in Research Administration for 10 years. He joined SRAI in 2009. Kevin's job is partially focused on research, so it helps him keep up to date with RA as a member of SRAI.
We asked Kevin What does volunteering for SRAI mean for you? He learned a long time ago that everyone starts as a sponge; absorbing information. At some point we need to transition to a fountain and share what we’ve absorbed.
One thing that people don't know about Kevin is that he broke into jail as a teenager (which we hope to explore further with Kevin in another issue of the Catalyst). The one thing that makes Kevin smile is his kids and helping others.
Kevin believes that the glass is definitely half full, with more root beer being poured in. And his life philosophy is Life is good!