Up to the SRAI Future | by Gayle Mowbray Walters
2019 was an eventful SRAI year for me. I had the privilege of being co-chair for the very successful SRAI Annual meeting in San Francisco where the LevelUP program was announced. I was proud to be part of its development.
None of us expected that 2020 would bring a pandemic and the need to remake our business models practically overnight. Once again, we proved that research administrators are innovative and productive under any circumstances. For many organizations, the changes we made then are being incorporated as standard practice.
Like many of us, I became a Research Administrator “by accident.” For me, it turned out to be a happy one. Early on I became a member of SRAI. Through the years, I became more involved, thanks to the encouragement and confidence of SRAI members I met at meetings. It has been an upward trajectory in SRAI ever since; volunteering and sometimes being “voluntold” when someone was needed to step up. Beginning with chairing the silent auction for the Northeast Section to being on the Membership Committee to holding elected office, first as Treasurer and then as President Elect and President, I learned to step outside of my introverted personality to be part of something that makes a difference. Subsequently, I was elected to the SRAI Board as Member-at-Large. These experiences have enabled me to learn and grow professionally. An added value was making many good friends.
SRAI is an organization that I have found to be inclusive and adaptable. I am running for President Elect to continue working with SRAI on initiatives that contribute to the profession; including, but not limited to, developing strategies to increase membership, working with members’ organizations to recognize the unique skill sets we have and what SRAI can offer them to expand training for their employees, and expanding recognition of Research Administration as a profession.
Though now retired, to paraphrase the memorable saying from Spamalot, I’m not done yet.
Authored by Gayle Mowbray Walters
Johns Hopkins University