Eighteen Mississippi State staff members are graduates of an annual professional development program offered by the university's Office of Sponsored Programs Administration.
A unit of the research and economic development office, SPA oversees external-sponsored programs--the grants, contracts and similar agreements that help fund research at the land-grant institution.
This year's edition of the Departmental Administrator Working Group--also known as DAWG--involved a nine-month curriculum designed to develop participants' sponsored-project administration skills and foster networking opportunities with campus peers, according to SPA director Jennifer Easley.
"We started DAWG to provide a training resource that helps departmental administrators grow professionally and create additional connections, not only between departments, but across campus," she said.
Honored at a Thursday [June 5] campus reception, the 2014 graduates included Criss Bell, Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems; Christy Bischoff and Hannah Burnett, Sponsored Programs Administration; Mary Dikes, Coast Research and Extension Center; Nicole Ivancic, computer science and engineering department; Davern Jones, Center for Safety and Health; Paula Jones, sociology department; and Karin Lee, International Institute.
Others were Jo McKenzie, Raspet Flight Research Laboratory; Roslyn Miller, Research and Curriculum Unit; Shlynn Morris, Graduate School; Toni Roberson, College of Veterinary Medicine's basic science department; Teresa Stewart, electrical and computer engineering department; Janie Taylor, Truck Crops Branch Experiment Station; Tan Tsai, International Institute; Heather Wainwright, plant and soil sciences department; Casey Watts, School of Human Sciences; and Lorie White, College of Education dean's office.
Applications for the 2015 class will be made available during the summer, Easley said, explaining that participants are chosen through a competitive nomination and selection process.
During classes meeting for two hours each month, DAWG members are taken through the grant administration process to gain a better understanding of both pre- and post-award functions. Topics include how the different offices work together to prepare budgets, administrate research proposals and conduct post-award management, among other key areas.
Easley said this year's graduates also gave 10-minute presentations about themselves and their departments, which "was fun because it gave everyone in the room a chance to see just how many areas Mississippi State University is involved with, not only locally, but also statewide, nationwide and internationally."
For more about the Sponsored Programs Administration, visit www.spa.msstate.edu.
Complete details about MSU are found at www.msstate.edu.