Research Foundation for the State University of New York
Departmental Research AdministratorBecame an RA: The 2010's
My undergraduate degree was a BA in Psychology. I had always wanted to become a licensed therapist or counselor of some sort, but was given the opportunity to become a research assistant in a Psychology Lab at my institution during my first semester of sophomore year (this was quite unusual as many folks were not allowed in a lab until they had at least taken stats or were in their first semester of junior year). There, I developed a passion for research. During my senior year, I took the infamous Theories of Counseling Course. It was quite a shock to learn, as a result of my first assignment, that Counseling and Therapy was not a realistic goal for me. In fact, I found out quickly that the level of empathy I have for others would be to my detriment. Feeling lost and confused, I became sort of a project manager for part II of a classmate’s research project, and with that was able to attend conferences to present our research, and I won a couple of research awards along the way. My new goal was to become a licensed psychologist (researcher), but I was not ready for graduate school. I applied for over 100 research related positions across the UNC System schools, and that’s when my new life course began. I was fortunate to land a position as an Executive Assistant for an Associate Dean for Research and Innovation in a College at my alma mater. Through this position, I developed skills in grant competitions, writing RFPs, scoring proposals, and a whole host of skills which translated well to research administration. After a couple of years, I wanted a more challenging career and my Supervisor encouraged me to apply as a Proposal Development Specialist in the Sponsored Programs Office at our institution. I was chosen for the position, and immediately knew this is what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. Pre-award is a place for me to combine my love of research and empathy for others in a positive way where I can be a lighthouse for faculty who are navigating the turbulent waters of applying for grants. I am so thankful for the experiences I had along the way and all of the people who supported my journey. I am currently in my last semester of the M.S. in Research Administration at Johns Hopkins University and I am thrilled to be part of such a wonderful community of colleagues in a growing field.