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Kudos Korner | 2020 SRAI Award Recipients

By SRAI News posted 09-10-2020 10:46 AM


Kudos Korner | 2020 SRAI Award Recipients

SRA International is a professional networking community of learners. One way to gain knowledge and expertise is to share our stories of successful achievements with our peers and colleagues. Often research managers/administrators are cast in the role of promoting, supporting and applauding others. While this may be gratifying in many respects, it is also healthy to have pride in one’s own accomplishments. Kudos Korner offers SRA International members a wonderful and respectful venue for sharing and “bragging.” Have Something to Share in Kudos Korner? Submit your article here.

2020 SRAI Award Winners

The SRAI Awards recognize long-term exemplary contributions to the research administration profession and the Society. This year we are happy to introduce you to some of our incredible colleagues and celebrate their successes on Wednesday, October 21 during the iSRA 2020 Virtual Annual Meeting.

The Herbert B. Chermside Award for Distinguished Contribution to Research Administration

This recognition is awarded for showcasing distinguished contributions in the development of research administration as a profession.

David Phipps, PhD, Assistant VP Research Strategy & Impact

York University, Canada

I am passionate about research administration. Sounds weird, right? It sounds weird that something as seemingly uninteresting on the outside can be subject to the same opportunities for innovation as the research and the researchers we support. Innovation in research administration has required me to connect to colleagues across Canada and around the world and I’m always learning from their amazing experiences and getting equally amazing opportunities in return. That’s why I am so pleased and humbled at receiving the Herbert B. Chermside Award for Distinguished Contribution to Research Administration from SRAI. Many of the research administrators I have connected with around the world would be worthy of this award. Thank you to those who nominated me, to the review panel who recommended me, and to SRAI who approved the recommendation. I hope to inspire others the way others have inspired me.”

Hartford-Nicholsen Award

Established to recognize SRAI members whose services demonstrate leadership in the Society, and who have made a major, distinguishable contribution which has been of benefit to the entire Society. Until 1973, this award was entitled the Distinguished Service Award and is still rooted in the critical importance of SRA International as a group of volunteers. Individuals who are nominated for this award have contributed their professional expertise to the Society in an important and fundamental way.

This year's recipients are Dominic Esposito, Lynda Olin, and Nathan L. Vanderford. 

Dominic Esposito, Director of Sponsored Programs Administration

Farmingdale State College, USA

SRAI Member since 2011

I am extremely humbled to win the Hartford-Nicholsen Award. I owe a great deal of gratitude to my family for supporting me in my journey as a research administrator. I share this honor with my invaluable SRAI colleagues who have been by my side and helped me grow in the profession.”


Lynda Olin, MA/MS, Pre-Award Administrator

Washington State University Vancouver, USA

SRAI Member since 2011

"I am deeply humbled to be one of the recipients of the 2020 Hartford-Nicholson award. Looking over the list of past recipients as well as the two great colleagues who are also joining the ranks this year, I am blown away that I would be considered for this honor. I have been in research administration for over 20 years, and this is the first time I have received an award that required being nominated by a colleague. A very well-respected colleague, I might add, and one that I have always admired for her dedication to the profession. I have always been grateful for the recognition of my service, but this one is HUGE for me – like the double whipped cream icing on the cake.

Thank you to all my SRAI colleagues across the globe who have encouraged and supported me during the 10 years I have been a member of SRAI, but especially those who believed in me and were willing to go out on a limb to encourage me, or in one case, actually pushed me off the cliff, to get involved. By nature, I am a helper and want to do anything I can to make things better and/or easier for others, so with your encouragement, I dove in and helped everywhere I could and never regretted it for a single second. It has been quite the journey for me; from helping re-start the Pacific Northwest Chapter in Seattle, then becoming Chapter President, to holding every officer position in the Western Section, culminating in the unusual opportunity as Section President to plan back-to-back section meetings in Boston and San Diego with THE BEST meeting planning partners in Northeast and Southern Sections. It has been a wonderful experience to work with the awesome SRAI headquarters staff, the SRAI Board of Directors, the Membership Committee, and helping with the preliminary development of some of the LevelUp credentials. I have met some wonderful colleagues who have become personal friends and, in some cases, confidantes - I have your back and I know you have mine. This organization has helped me grow personally as well as professionally and my career would not have been nearly as rewarding for me or beneficial to my researchers without every single person, I have met through SRAI. There are too many individuals to name, but I appreciate every one of you.

It’s been quite a roller-coaster ride. Highs and lows, sudden sharp turns, slow uphill climbs, downhill run at breakneck speed, and abrupt stops. Through it all, you’ve been there with me. I am deeply humbled and honored to know that you are not just colleagues, but friends.

Thanks for the great ride and keep on keeping on.”


Nathan L. Vanderford, PhD, MBA, Assistant Professor

University of Kentucky, USA

SRAI Member since 2010

“Winning the Hartford-Nicholson Award is a great honor. I am thrilled to be recognized for contributing to the development and promotion of best practices and knowledge transfer in the field of research administration on an international level.”

Excellence Award (Mid-Career Level)

This award was established in 1977, in honor of the Society's 10th anniversary.

Quinton Johnson, Juris Doctor, Director, Export Compliance and Research Privacy

Virginia Commonwealth University, USA

SRAI Member since 2017

“I was very pleased and honored to receive this award. SRAI has been an important part of my training and development as a research administrator. The organization has provided me with valuable learning, networking, and professional development opportunities. I view this award as a validation of the fine work Virginia Commonwealth University is doing not only by increasing its research awards and expenditures, but also by supporting administrators like myself in the expansion of needed administrative programs and professional development activities. Additionally, my colleagues in VCU’s Research Office have taught me much over my 7 years at VCU. Specifically, my supervisor, Sue Robb, has always supported me and given me opportunities to succeed. I quite literally would not have received this award if not for my wonderful coworkers’ support. I look forward to spending more time engaging with SRAI in the future by both learning and contributing in any way I can.”

Distinguished Faculty

SRA International Distinguished Faculty (DF) members enhance the professional development of research administrators around the world by creating and presenting high quality education and training content that adds to the body of knowledge in the field of research administration. They serve as “thought leaders” to help the Society develop educational programming that is responsive to the significant events, complex issues and new trends impacting the field.

This year's DF newly elected members are Gayle Walters, Gloria Greene, and Jason Guilbeault.

Gayle Mowbray Walters, MS, Director

Johns Hopkins University, USA

SRAI Member since 1988

“I like to think that my active engagement with SRAI has been a credit to the organization as well as a benefit to me.  I have gained more than I have given. Over the years I have represented the Northeast Section as Treasurer, President-elect, and President. More recently I served as a Board Member-at-Large, a member of the task force that generated the LevelUp program and co-chaired the 2019 Annual Meeting. What has mattered the most to me has been the opportunity to mentor and watch people grow.  I am humbled and honored to be designated Distinguished Faculty. Education is important and I have learned as much by presenting as I have by being a member of the audience. Having the recognition by this delegation is gratifying.”

Gloria Greene, CRA, BS, MA, Director, Office of Sponsored Programs

The University of Alabama in Huntsville, USA

SRAI Member since 2005

“I am an active member of SRAI. I have presented at many of SRAI conferences, at the Chapter, Section, and National Level. I am the recipient of the 2019 SRAI Excellence Award-Advanced Professional; and the 2017 SRAI Hartford-Nicholsen Award. I am honored that my colleagues recognize my contribution to SRAI, and my willingness to go the extra mile is in line with the overall mission of the Society as a member and volunteer. Finally, Thank you SRAI members for the honor.”

Jason Guilbeault, BS in Accounting, Director, Post Award Services

Augusta University, USA

SRAI Member since 2013

“It is truly an honor to become a Distinguished Faculty Member at SRAI and be recognized for both expertise and service within the field of Research Administration. It has been a pleasure to be able to educate other Research Administrators through presentations at conferences and webinars, as well as through publications in the SRAI Catalyst. Thank you all for your support.”

Rod Rose Award, Journal of Research Administration

The Rod Rose award was established in 1973. The award is presented annually to the author of the article judged by the Editorial Review Board as the most outstanding contribution to that year's volume of the SRA International Journal of Research Administration.

Success Factors for University Research Development Offices and Activities, Volume L, Number 2, Journal of Research Administration | Authors: Roxana Ross, EdD, Jennifer Reeves, PhD, Karin Scarpinato, PhD, Maureen Pelham, MS, MHA

Roxana Ross, EdD, MBA, GPC, Executive Director

Nova Southeastern University, USA

SRAI Member since 2010

"I am very appreciative of this recognition and wish to extend my thanks to the Journal Editorial Board. It is especially meaningful to me because I am a devoted reader of the Journal of Research Administration. This organization serves a critical function in expanding the body of knowledge of research administration and advancing the profession and its allied disciplines including research development. The journey towards the creation of the research study and article was long and transformative. I could not have completed this without the support and involvement of my co-authors, who each added a critical perspective in the scientific and creative process. All of us share a desire to contribute to the body of knowledge in the rapidly growing field of research development in universities. Together, I hope we were able to support the progress in that field."

Most Valuable Editor, Journal of Research Administration

In 2017, the JRA added one more award recognition Most Valuable Editor (MVE) award. The award recognizes Editorial Board members of the JRA.

Holly Zink, MSA, Medical Research Writer

University of Kansas Medical Center, USA

SRAI Member since 2013

“I am grateful for receiving the Journal’s Most Valuable Editor Award (MVE) for 2020. Since I became a member of this Editorial Board, I have driven my motivation from the mission statement, “To be the premier scholarly resource for excellence in research management, administration and development of the profession.” Over the years, the Journal has unfolded various initiatives to meet its mission. It is an honor to be included in this organization. I thank Editor Nathan L. Vanderford, Deputy Editor Jennifer Taylor, and the entire JRA editorial board for finding me worthy to receive this esteemed award. I cannot forget the support that has been offered to me by my colleagues. While this award is addressed to me, their efforts in making this possible should not go unrecognized. I also recognize the accomplishments of my fellow editorial board members, and all the past JRA leadership, who have not been awarded but have contributed immensely to the growth of the Journal of Research Administration over the last fifty years. I look forward to the next year. Thank you for this tremendous honor, and I wish you an exciting new year.”

Best Concurrent Session Award

A Brief History of Human Research Protections and Ethics – from Nuremburg to St. Kitts, presented at the 2019 SRAI Annual Meeting in San Francisco

James Riddle, MCSE, CIP, CPIA, CRQM, Vice President, Institutional Services & Strategic Consulting

Advarra, USA

SRAI Member since 2018

“Very humbled to be recognized.  I am appreciative of the SRAI leadership for supporting the breakout session topic; and, thank you to the participants who found value in the presentation.”

Best Webinar of the Year

First Step to Proposal Success: Understanding the Agency Review Process

Marjorie Piechowski, PhD, Emerita Director of Research Support

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, USA

SRAI Member since 1983

“There's an old saying that in any profession first you learn, then you do, and then you teach. In my career as a research administrator I followed that progression, since I knew nothing about research administration when I left my position as an Assistant Professor of English to join the grants office at Marquette University.  For the first several years I learned the complexities of research administration from those who came before me and then I did those tasks for many more years. After a while I realized that I had learned enough to teach others, so I began that phase of my career. This award is recognition of that arc of the profession that we all experience. I am pleased and honored to receive this award for doing something that I know and love.”          

Best Poster of the Year & People's Choice Award

'Research Administration Form Use Survey – Make Forms C.L.E.A.N | Authors: Jessica Rowell, Alexa Van Dalsem, Nicole Jenkins, representing: University of Colorado Boulder

Jessica Rowell, Manager, Proposal Development

University of Colorado Boulder, USA

“I am very excited to have been able to share the findings and conclusions from our form use survey. I am hopeful this insight into the complexities of form development and form completion will motivate the research administration community to analyze the effectiveness of forms currently in use and think creatively on how they can be improved.”

Alexa Van Dalsem, MA, Assistant Director, Office of Contracts and Grants

University of Colorado Boulder, USA

“Winning the SRAI award was a wonderful recognition of the time and teamwork that Jessica Rowell, Nicole Jenkins and I put into our poster and work to provide practical information on improving forms. We had so much fun working on this project and topped the fun off with both the Committee Selection and People's Choice for Best Poster!”

Authored by Debra Schaller-Demers, Senior Director, Research Outreach and Compliance

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

SRAI President Elect





09-24-2020 12:03 AM


09-11-2020 04:57 PM

Congratulations to all of the award winners!!!