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2017 Research Staff Recognition Awards

Research Staff Awards
Ceremony and Reception

  • Wednesday, May 17, 2017
  • 3:30 to 5 p.m.
  • Michigan League, Second Floor, Vandenberg Room

The Office of Research will recognize six University of Michigan staff members for their outstanding research service.

Bennet Fauber, Jessica Getman and Missy Tuck will receive the Research Technical Staff Recognition Award. Carrie Disney and Nicholas Prieur will receive the Research Administrator Recognition Award. And Kathryn Dewitt will receive the U-M Office of Research (UMOR) Exceptional Service Award.

“Without the expertise of our dedicated staff members across campus, it would be difficult to maintain our status as one of the world’s largest and most diverse research universities,” said S. Jack Hu, vice president for research.

An award reception is scheduled for 3:30-5 p.m. May 17 in the Vandenberg Room on the second floor of the Michigan League. The award ceremony and remarks from Hu will begin at 4 p.m. The event is open to the public.

The Research Technical Staff Recognition Award recognizes staff members who have, independently or along with faculty, advanced the research mission of her or his unit in a way that extends beyond the ordinary fulfillment of a position’s duties.

Bennet Fauber
Senior applications programmer/analyst for Advanced Research Computing-Technology Services

Fauber provides computing support and training for researchers collecting and analyzing data on the function and structure of the human brain. This work helps researchers better understand the functioning of healthy brains and identify targets for treatment in brain disorders. “Bennet has clearly gone well beyond his position’s duties to help make Michigan among the Leaders and Best in understanding our most complex and important computer—the brain,” said one colleague.


Jessica Getman
Managing editor of the Gershwin Initiative for the School of Music, Theatre & Dance

Getman has coordinated the project’s early and extraordinary success, its policies and research guidelines, and burnishes its overall research excellence. Getman possesses the organizational acumen to keep the entire enterprise on task and on time, and she also has established procedures that will shape the series into the future. “I never cease to be impressed by the energy, insights and productivity of Jessica Getman, and I have to think that she helps define what excellence means for U-M’s research staff,” said one colleague.


Missy Tuck
Clinical research project manager for Internal Medicine, Hematology/Oncology

Tuck has synthesized a variety of skillsets into a universal project management role that is the foundation of success for her unit’s research efforts in cancer prevention. Over her career, Tuck has contributed to 13 original research manuscripts, 12 abstracts and presentations, and a book chapter. More broadly, she has established a new model for complex project management for translational research. “Missy has evolved into an institutional and national leader in the field of complex project management,” said one colleague.


The Research Administrator Recognition Award recognizes research administrators in any unit, and honors exemplary service to the research community over a number of years.

Carrie Disney
Research process coordinator for the School of Social Work

Disney manages a large number of research projects from a broad range of funders, including foundations, and national and state entities. Her breadth of knowledge about funding mechanisms has long been an invaluable resource for the School of Social Work. “Her assistance has been first-rate in every single case and if it was not for Carrie’s technical and substantive input, I would not have attained the level of external funding that I currently enjoy,” said one colleague.


Nicholas Prieur
Research process manager for the Institute for Social Research

Prieur has played a key role in seeking grants for the institute, both in direct support of research faculty and programs. Between 2011 and 2016, Prieur has served as the administrator of record for 116 awards, worth more than $54 million in funding. “Nick is the person you go to in a crisis—he is the person who will be able to solve your problem immediately and will go to great lengths to find a resolution when one is not obvious,” said one colleague.


The Exceptional Service Award recognizes staff members in UMOR units for important contributions to the university’s research mission through exceptional performance and by going beyond the ordinary fulfillment of position duties.

Kathryn A. DeWitt
Managing project representative for the Office of Research and Sponsored Projects

DeWitt has served as a research administrator for 28 years at U-M. Over her tenure, DeWitt has garnered a stellar reputation based on her responsiveness, her expertise regarding federal sponsors, her experience in developing large and complex proposals, and her absolute commitment to quality customer service. “She will think nothing of staying late into the evening (which happens far too often) to make sure a proposal gets submitted in advance of a sponsor’s deadline, all with a cheerful smile. Her commitment is extraordinary and commendable,” said one colleague.


The awards were selected by Hu, based on recommendations from an award selection committee consisting of past award winners: Teri Grieb (committee chair), senior director of research Medical School, Office of Research, and managing director of the Michigan Institute for Clinical and Health Research; Cathy Thibault, assistant director for administration, Survey Research Center, Institute for Social Research; Catherine Seay-Ostrowski, department administrator, Biomedical Engineering; Cathy Handyside, Product Manager, Information and Technology Services; Sharon Vaassen, research manager, Orthopaedic Surgery; Kerri-Anne Sullivan Cross, senior research process manager, Institute for Social Research; and Patricia Turnbull, research process manager, Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, Dearborn.