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Research administration award winners chosen

Four university staff members will be honored for outstanding research service May 7.

Lori Bowden, Linda Forsyth and Barb Rice will receive the Distinguished Research Administrator Award and Dave Plawchan will receive the OVPR Exceptional Service Award.

"The university's research activity has never been more robust, and it requires solid professionals, such as this year's winners, to keep this going in an efficient and well thought-out manner," says Stephen Forrest, vice president for research.

This year's awards reception will take place in the Michigan League's Vandenberg Room from 3:30-5 p.m. May 7. The awards presentation is at 4 p.m.

The Distinguished Research Administrator Award honors individuals from any unit at the university who have demonstrated distinguished service exemplifying the goals of professional research administration.

The OVPR Exceptional Service Award honors staff members from OVPR or any of the units that report to OVPR. It recognizes individuals involved in any area of work who have made outstanding contributions beyond the ordinary fulfillment of their duties.

Information on the winners was taken from nomination materials submitted on their behalf. This year's winners are:

• Lori Bowden, administrator for the Department of Biostatistics in the School of Public Health, has been a U-M employee for 12 years. Bowden consistently has demonstrated a singular devotion to excellence in support of the research mission of the department and school. She provides visible leadership in training staff and in delegating authority, with just the right level of oversight.

Bowden actively has participated in the Research Administrators Instructional Network, the Sponsored Project Advisory Team, and the eResearch Proposal Management System Department Advisory Team. Her ongoing engagement by the university community is a testament to the value of her contributions and her ability to work with her peers.

• Linda Forsyth, the senior financial and sponsored-research specialist in the College of Engineering's (CoE) Office of Resource Planning and Management, joined the university in 1998. It is a testament to her ability and adaptability that she has become a recognized expert in research administration in a relatively short time.

She represents the CoE on a wide variety of research administration committees and task teams such as the eResearch Design Team and the Proposal Approval Form and Data Warehouse Team. Forsyth epitomizes the kind of leadership and competence that ensures effective stewardship of the university's research program.

• Barb Rice, the research process senior manager in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, is the laboratory administrator for the Solid State Electronics Laboratory (SSEL), the Center for Wireless Integrated Microsystems (WIMS), and the Lurie Nanofabrication Facility (LNF). Since coming to the university in 1993, Rice has grown in her capabilities, leading to her concurrent role as research administrator for SSEL, WIMS, and LNF. Her attention to detail and knowledge of the various federal and state requirements is highly valued in the complex organizational environment of the university.

Rice shares her talent by participating in the Sponsored Projects Advisory Team and the Research Administrators Instructional Network, as well as pilot teams for Industrial Sponsors and Budget Preparation. She leads a staff that mirrors her own dedication, commitment, and excellence.

• Dave Plawchan, a managing project representative in the Division of Research Development and Administration (DRDA), has been at the university for 44 years. Plawchan views research administration as a partnership and within the NSF area in DRDA, has set a high standard for customer service, providing mentorship and setting examples to the NSF area staff members.

Faculty from across the university rely on Plawchan's expertise and count on him to keep them informed on new NSF programs and any changes that might impact proposals and awards. He is well known by the NSF leadership and has developed a good reputation. Plawchan symbolizes what is really good about research administration: team effort towards a common goal.

Forrest selected the 2009 winners with the assistance of an awards selection committee: Kate Blakeman, Life Sciences Institute; Denise DuPrie, Advanced Computer Architecture Laboratory; Eve Gochis, Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging Laboratory; Patricia Fink, Institute for Social Research; Patricia Smith, Institute for Research on Women and Gender; Kathleen Welch, Center for Statistical Consultation and Research; and Peggy Westrick, LSA Research Office.

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