Time of Change
I want to be Secretary of SRAI. Why? First, let me tell you about myself.
There are different paths a research administrator can take on their professional journey - central or departmental, post-award or pre-award, academia or industry, medical or campus. My 15-year career has taken me through these roles. I started as a research administrator at my alma mater the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. I then moved across the country to Maryland where I served in various roles at the University of Maryland, Baltimore and College Park. Next, my life and wife moved me to Miami, and I became a consultant with the Huron Consulting Group. Finally, the pandemic hit and, like so many people, I decided it was time for a change, and I accepted a new role at the University of Miami’s Medical School and Health System as the Director of Medical Finance to oversee its funds flow and support for research.
The SRAI community has been a constant for me since 2014. I have presented at both National and Section meetings on a range of topics including post-award administration, leadership, and pre-award. In 2017, I received a call to be on the Finance Committee and, eventually, to be chair of the Investment Committee. During my tenure as chair of the Investment Committee, with board approval, we took SRAI from a passively-managed investment account to an actively-managed investment account that has helped SRAI weather the pandemic. Also, during my time on the Finance Committee, with the SRAI staff we supported the transition to a new treasurer. Additionally, since 2020, I’ve served as member of the Diversity, Engagement and Inclusion (DEI) task force. My DEI involvement has included being a panelist on two Coffee Talks. The community and professional development and engagement at SRAI has been a tremendous value to me professionally and personally.
I want to be Secretary of SRAI because I want to support this organization that has given me so much. This is a time of change. The pandemic, remote work, and the demographic change in the workforce are all transforming research administration as a profession. I want to help SRAI address these changes so that it can continue to support our members. Our members need SRAI to continue to be relevant to their careers. I will be a constructive voice on the Board staying true to our strengths while preparing for the future.
Authored by Marcos Garza, Director of Medical Finance
Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami