Vanderbilt University

Leigh Ann G.

Grants Manager

Became an RA: The 2010's

When I was hired as a grant coordinator in 2016, I had no research administration experience. Little did I know that I was pivoting into a new and exciting career. I learned about sponsors, indirect costs, and why research administration matters. In the interim, I’ve earned by CRA certification and moved on to new challenges in research administration. I love how every day brings a new challenge or new knowledge.

Nancy L.

Grants Manager

Became an RA: The 1990's

I was a single parent of three children and a non-traditional student. In my heart I am in artist, but back then they called us starving artists for a reason.

I finished getting my bachelor’s degree in business economics, in three years. I had kids to support so I was in a hurry. I was then hired by the college I attended as a student, as a Grants Manager. I started my career at the State University of NY at Oneonta. I worked in Contracts and Grants for 7 years, then moved into Student Accounts as a Program Manager. I worked there for 20 years and then we moved to Tennessee, and I started out in Student Accounts, then moved back into Grants Management at Vanderbilt University about 7 years ago.

I have been involved in higher education for the past 28 years, and 14 of those years have been as a Grants Manager. A whole lot of life has been lived between that 17-year-old girl who was told “when you graduate you leave home” with no idea where to go or what to do with my life, and did I add no money? I had no idea where my life would lead me, but here I am having lived a whole life and never dreamed that I would stay in research administration, but here I am living the dream.

Chris M.

Grant Manager

Became an RA: 2020 - Recent

My spouse and I moved to Knoxville, TN in late 2016. With an accounting background, I started a position as an Accounting Specialist II at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and eventually worked my way up to my current position as a Grant Manager at Vanderbilt University. Working in academia also allowed me to return to my own higher education; I completed my BIS online at The University of Tennessee, Martin while working full time!