Blog Viewer

Jump In, the Water is Just Fine! | by Gina Hedberg

By SRAI News posted 07-05-2023 04:06 PM


When I attended my first SRAI meeting, I was captivated by the energy and enthusiasm of the many members who made the meeting so engaging. I was sold on SRAI as a means to professionally further my career and to meet others like me in the developing profession called research administration. Fast forward to present day, and I can happily report that I still sense that same enthusiasm, collegial atmosphere, and inclusion at SRAI events I have attended on-site and virtual events during the past few years. Seasoned experts, emerging leaders, early-career professionals, and those moving into the profession of research administration from other career paths gathered and created a welcoming atmosphere of learning and camaraderie. The challenge going forward is how to ensure this will continue given the sweeping changes in the world during the past few years? Our Society leadership, beginning with the Board of Directors, will be the front-facing group who will lead this challenge. 

SRAI is similar to other businesses and organizations which desire to continue to flourish. In this respect, we must look forward and consider succession ideas for the future. How do we keep this organization thriving with the same vigor we see today? We need to include and we need to embrace. SRAI is fortunate to have many members who can contribute to its success. Let’s ensure we continue to bring the early career and emerging leaders along with honors like Future of the Field and provide virtual spaces to those honorees to create and grow a network. Let’s consider how we can reach other areas to make young people aware that research administration is a viable professional to consider when looking toward their future. Let’s make sure we welcome and include every member and not let an exclusive atmosphere prevail. Let’s assure we keep our seasoned members through honors and events like Distinguished Faculty and the Research Leadership Intensive. Let’s continue to commit to programming and events that reflect the needs and working environments of our members like virtual intensives, on-site meetings, and Coffee Talks. Let’s always remember that many hands make a task easier. The strength of every organization depends on its members and the talents and gifts each member is willing to share. Coming together, we enrich the Society and can continue to sustain it as a strong organization that will empower and serve its members. 

SRAI is like a big swimming pool. On a hot day, if you look around the pool, there are many swimmers in the water: the skilled swimmers easily gliding through the water, the learn-to-swim youngsters practicing their first solo strokes, the happy floaters who are enjoying the water, and the swimmers who are comfortable in the water yet wanting to master another stroke. There is a place for everyone in the pool - so join me in jumping in, the water is just fine!   

Authored by Gina Hedberg, Executive Director, Office of Sponsored Projects Administration
University of South Alabama


1 comment



07-08-2023 01:44 PM

"The strength of every organization depends on its members and the talents and gifts each member is willing to share."

^Absolutely! Gina, you are a truly humble leader and I am thrilled to see you run for this position.  I want to speak to this publicly here to let voters know I have seen firsthand the heart and soul you put into supporting and developing others, and how this has benefitted SRAI and the profession as a whole. It has been a true joy to serve alongside you at the helm of Membership Committee these last few years. You have certainly motivated me to 'keep swimming' along the way, with your gift of being that presence that naturally brings 'calm to the storm'.  I admire this quality and have appreciated it time and again in our work together. I have not a single doubt that you would be an excellent representative for SRAI's membership in this At-Large position!

Best of luck!