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2005 Research Staff Recognition Awards

Distinguished Research Administrator Award

Kelly Cormier is an Administrative Associate II in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. She joined the University in 1981 as a Secretary in the School of Public Healts Occupational Health Program. With more than 20 years of service, Cormier has worked her way up the research administration career ladder, assuming increased financial duties, and finally progressing to her current position in the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, a large and complex research laboratory in the College of Engineering. Cormier is responsible for oversight of all issues related to laboratory administration, including pre-and post-research award activities, management of personnel and management of the ATL building, which provides space to 18 faculty, 16 staff and researchers, and 60 graduate and undergraduate students. Cormier demonstrates a clear understanding of all of the rules and regulations that the AI Lab's mix of sponsors entail. As a supervisor, she has been sensitive to individual needs and situations, has provided excellent mentorship, and yet has never let her high standards slip.
Kelly has consistently and continually gone well beyond the call of duty, not only taking on whatever tasks are thrown her way, but also taking the initiative on all kinds of matters to make sure that the lab runs smoothly.

Dennis Martin is Business Manager for the Biomedical Research Core Facilities (BRCF) in the Medical School, which includes the Transgenic Core as well as several other research services cores. Although housed in the Medical School, the Cores serve investigators throughout the University and also provide high-end technical services to investigators throughout the State of Michigan and elsewhere. Martin began working at the University in 1977 as Co-Director of the Biochemistry Core Facility. He moved to the BRCF in 1989, first as Administrative Manager and then assumed his current position in 2003. He is an effective manager who is proficient in managing the ongoing change that keeps the BRCF pushing its frontiers. As an administrator, he is able to bring the science and business perspectives together into one picture. He effectively bridges the gap between administration and the research community, thus resolving and preventing problems that make life difficult at academic core facilities.
Denny is an experienced manager who allows the core directors to explore and enable their vision of cutting-edge, state of the art facility while ensuring that appropriate fiscal controls are exercised. As a result of his unwavering support and steadfast dedication, the core facilities have blossomed to become one of the premier sets of facilities in the nation.

James Thomson, Assistant Director of the UM Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI), has served the University of Michigan for more than 39 years. In 1966 he was first hired as a Senior Systems Analyst in the Data Systems Center. After serving the University in multiple roles between 1971 and 1985, he joined UMTRI as Assistant DirectorÑa time of turmoil in its history with three acting directors over a space of four years. Since then he has served with four different directors, quickly adapting to the challenges presented and playing a significant role in fostering long-term relationships with UMTRI's research sponsors. His personal efforts and qualities have contributed significantly to the stability and growth of UMTRI over the past two decades. His talent for playing the dual roles of task leader and culture bearer, amplified by his skill at resolving misunderstandings and conflict, combine to make him a key member of UMTRI. His efforts promote smooth operation, making it a good place to work, and contributing directly to its research success. After a long and productive career, Thomson looks forward to retiring this coming summer.
As the Chevrolet truck ads put it-Jim Thomson most definitely has been 'Like a Rock!' in his twenty years of service to UMTRI. She is critical to ensuring compliance on all proposals that leave the Medical School.

OVPR Exceptional Service Award

Cynthia Avery is an Administrative Associate I in the Office of Research (OVPR). She joined the University in 1989 as a research secretary in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, performing complex administrative tasks for the Optical Sciences Laboratory. Avery joined OVPR in 1996 and has played a key leadership role in managing the resources of the University that pass through OVPR in a responsible and efficient manner. Her ability to foster a collaborative and productive work environment, extending beyond OVPR, is evidenced through her ability to coordinate the implementation of special initiatives and special awards administered by OVPR in partnership with other units. She serves as a mentor, teaching others how to structure the logistics of a competitive award process and to ensure accurate and complete record keeping and reporting. In addition to managing all aspects of the OVPR Faculty Grants and Awards Program (involving total sums in excess of $1-2M/year), she plays a lead role in managing the financial accounts for the office and in budget preparation, projection and data analysis
Ms. Avery takes great pride in her work and is continuously thinking of ways to improve how OVPR does its business.

Julie Feldkamp is a Managing Senior Project Representative in the Division of Research, Development and Administration (DRDA). In 1979 she was first hired as a secretary in DRDA rising to her current position in 2001. Through the years, Feldkamp has been integrally involved in many of DRDA's campus training programs and is considered to be an integral part of the dynamic that comprises DRDA, facilitating faculty interaction with a vast array of charitable organizations and non-profit agencies that present many challenges unique to her portfolio. Feldkamp is generous with her time and knowledge of the institution's long-term goals and frequently reaches out to assist colleagues across campus as they strive to ensure that the institutional requirements associated with managing grants from foundations does not interfere with their unique partnerships.
With calming influence and certain grace in her daily interactions, Julie's integrity and quiet strength carry us forward.  Her unflagging support and easy rapport sets a high standard of excellence, a benchmark for all. In ten years of working with Julie, she has yet to be stumped by a question or short of sound advice!