Who Is Your SRAI Leadership: Meet the Southern Section and Chapter Leadership

by SRA International on Thursday, July 26, 2018

In each monthly issue of the Catalyst, the “Who is your SRA Leadership?” column introduces you to the SRAI leadership, committee members and volunteers. This virtual platform serves as a good starting base to meeting the members of the SRAI community. This is a great opportunity to get to know each other and 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 will feature 5 of your colleagues: Gina Hedberg, Karen Bone, Amy Roberts, Carey Reinicke and Jennifer Easley.


Gina Hedberg, Southern Section President

What is your title and organization?
Executive Director, Office of Sponsored Projects Administration, University of South Alabama

Why SRAI?
SRAI was a simple choice early because my friend (and now my VPR) Lynne Chronister has such a rich SRAI history. When I attended my first SRAI meeting, I presumed it would be a series of learning sessions and maybe a social activity. What a misunderstanding! SRAI proved to be a place where I did have opportunities to learn from other members but it also provided a quick network of new friends and colleagues, the encouragement of seasoned members to “get involved!” and the support of patient SRAI leaders and staff who made newcomers feel welcome. 

What does volunteering for SRAI mean to you?
It is the effort of colleagues coming together to create, learn, and share with their peers. After being involved at the Chapter, Section and International levels, I understand now what an effort it takes to produce SRAI activities. So many members offer their time, skills, and expertise to develop and present these events. It is so satisfying to see many individuals from different part of the world, occupying differing roles in research administration, coming together to create something amazing that will benefit so many.

What is your favorite SRAI memory?
One of the most important benefits of SRAI is the bonds I have made. An early SRAI volunteer venture was establishing the Alabama Chapter with my friends Gloria Green and Fariba Deravi. What a fabulous sequence of SRAI events followed that innocent idea to get a Chapter going in our state.

What is one thing people don't know about you?
I have four rescue dogs: a mama dog and three littermates.  Abby, our mama dog, “adopted” my family on Thanksgiving almost eight years ago. She wandered up our driveway, obviously malnourished and lonely. My children persuaded me to keep her so we had her vetted the following week and she became part of the family along with Lucy, our chocolate Lab. A few weeks later we found out Abby wasn’t alone, she was pregnant. (Don’t judge my vet. Abby had other conditions that masked her early stage of pregnancy.) Five puppies arrived in early January, making our canine count rise to seven! Two puppies became members of friends’ families but three puppies stayed with us – their large sizes made many folks a little nervous. Abby, Moose, Felix and Domino have made life a combination of canine chaos and fun but always full of love.

What makes you smile?
Family and friends, Auburn football (War Eagle!), DQ Blizzards, the words “the storm has taken a shift to the west (or east)" and the NFL-sized man I see walking his small dog in the park every morning on my way to campus – I intend one day to stop and introduce myself.

Is the glass half empty or half full?
After working hours, it is likely half-empty because I am enjoying myself.

What's your life philosophy? 
"Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe."
~ Saint Augustine


Karen Bone, Southern Section Secretary

What is your title and organization?
Grant Coordinator, Florida Atlantic University – Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute

How many years have you worked in Research Administration?
4 years.

When did you join SRAI?
2015.

Why SRAI?
At the time I started at Texas Tech University, my coworkers were split between memberships of NCURA and SRAI so as to have the knowledge and training from both organizations and that way everyone was not out of the office at the same time for conferences. Since the person I replaced had been a member of SRAI, it made sense for me to choose SRAI and I have been very happy with that decision.

What does volunteering for SRAI mean for you?
Volunteering for me means getting to understand the wider context of research administration and contribute to the growth of our field. I also have the opportunity to meet awesome people from all over who I might not have encountered otherwise.

What is one thing people don't know about you?
When I quit drinking sodas in graduate school, I taught myself to like my coffee black that way I could get my caffeine fix but I was not replacing it with something else that was equally sugary. I still typically drink it that way either iced or hot.

What makes you smile? 
Spending several hours browsing through a used or new bookstore, exploring a new place, skating, talking to friends, meeting new people… many more things too but I suppose I can only list so much. Ah, yes, and SRAI. :)

Is the glass half empty or half full?
Like the field of research administration…it depends. Actually, I am typically a realist optimist so the glass is possibly half empty but it could be half or completely full eventually or if we just try a few things first.

What's your life philosophy?
When I was a graduate student, I took a psychology and the law class and we talked about how knowledge creeps in the sense that something new in psychology might take several years or more to be accepted by the law community. That phrase has continued to stick with me because I think it embodies so well the idea that change happens just not always as fast as we might like and sometimes extra effort and/or patience is needed.


Amy Roberts, Southern Section Treasurer

What is your title and organization?
Associate Controller, Special Funds Accounting, Appalachian State University

How many years have you worked in Research Administration?
17 years in Research Admin, overall 35 years in Education Accounting & Finance.

When did you join SRAI?
Around 2001.

Why SRAI?
I feel SRAI is more closely connected with every individual member through the Chapters and Sections. There are so many paths for professional growth and leadership development available. SRAI has always been a very welcoming and supportive organization to me.  

What does volunteering for SRAI mean for you?
Volunteering is another terrific opportunity for professional growth in SRAI. You “give," but at the same time, you “get” way more. It stretches your comfort zone gently, by providing avenues to step by step increase your knowledge, network with others, join teams of other more seasoned presenters, build your confidence.

What is one thing people don't know about you?
I started Taekwondo classes this summer. It’s really fun!  (all except the push-ups, that is :) )

What makes you smile?
Goofy comedies, babies, helping others.

Is the glass half empty or half full?
Half full. I live with an attitude of gratitude!

What's your life philosophy?
“Don’t worry; Be happy.”


Carey Reinicke, Virginia Chapter President

What is your title and organization?
Director, Office of Post Award Administration, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University or Virginia

How many years have you worked in Research Administration?
6 years.

When did you join SRAI?
2015.

Why SRAI?
SRAI has always had a positive reputation as a fantastic professional community that helps members to network with other Research Admins and learning more about the field. 

What does volunteering for SRAI mean for you?
An opportunity to give back to an organization that has helped me to learn more about research administration. SRA International’s programs, conferences and events have had a direct impact on my ability to grow professionally and I want to help keep those opportunities available for fellow research admins. 

What is one thing most people don't know about you?
I have fraternal twins :) 

What makes you smile?
The highly creative craft/art projects my children make for me, funny jokes my husband makes, catching folks being kind to others in small ways.

Is the glass half empty or half full?
Half full. No matter the situation, there is always room for creativity and hope. 

What's your life philosophy?
Approach each day with a positive outlook. 


And we present one of our great volunteers - and President Elect! - from the Southern Section:

Jennifer Easley, Southern Section President Elect

To read about Jennifer Easley, please see the Member Spotlight here