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2015 Research Staff Recognition Awards

Ceremony & Reception
Monday, May 4, 2015
3:30 – 5 p.m.
Michigan League, 2nd Floor, Vandenberg Room

Two U-M staff members will be honored by the U-M Office of Research (UMOR) for outstanding research service. Sharyn Sivyer will receive the Exceptional Service Award and Cathy Handyside will receive the Distinguished Research Administrator Award.

"It would be impossible to maintain U-M’s status as one of the top research universities in the world without the expertise of dedicated people like Cathy Handyside and Sharyn Sivyer," says S. Jack Hu, Vice President for Research. "U-M continues to enjoy one of the largest research budgets among American universities because of the hard work and knowledge of these award winners and hundreds of other research administrators across campus."

The Distinguished Research Administrator Award honors individuals from any unit at the University who have demonstrated over a number of years distinguished service exemplifying the goals of professional research administration. Each winner receives an honorarium and an award plaque.

The Exceptional Service Award honors staff members in U-M Office of Research units for important contributions to the University’s research mission through exceptional performance and by going beyond the ordinary fulfillment of position duties.


Cathy Handyside
Project Manager
Information and Technology Services (ITS)

In her nomination material, Handyside was credited with being instrumental in the creation and deployment of the University eResearch Proposal Management system, the Conflict of Interest information system, and the IRB eResearch module.

"She is truly a model of the self-directed, compassionate and mission-oriented professional," said one colleague.

Handyside has been at U-M since 2000, starting at Michigan Administrative Information Services as a performance support analyst and consultant, senior business systems analyst, and senior IT project manager. She has been an IT program manager at ITS since October 2010.



Sharyn Sivyer
Managing Project Representative

Office of Research and Sponsored Projects (ORSP)

In her nomination letters, Sivyer was praised for her work in designing and deploying the Unfunded Agreements system in the eResearch Proposal Management system; service as a mentor and coach to Office of Research and Sponsored Projects staff and the university research administration community at large; and work in helping in the formation of the Michigan Mobility Transformation Center, a public-private partnership for studying automated and connected vehicles.

Colleagues described Sivyer as "socially and emotionally intelligent," "kind, gentle and respectful," and "wonderful to work with."

Sivyer has been at ORSP (formerly known as Division of Research Development and Administration) since 1982, when she was an office assistant. She has since served as assistant project representative, project representative, senior project representative, and, since 2012, managing project representative.


The 2015 winners were selected by Vice President Hu based on recommendations from an award selection committee consisting of past award winners: Cathy Thibault (chair), assistant director for administration, Survey Research Center, Institute for Social Research; Teri Grieb, senior director of research Medical School, Office of Research, and managing director of the Michigan Institute for Clinical and Health Research; Catherine Seay-Ostrowski, institute administrative manager, U-M Transportation Research Institute Administration; Sharon Vaassen, research manager, Orthopaedic Surgery; and Linda Chadwick, Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System administrative manager, Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences, College of Engineering.