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2012 Research Staff Recognition Awards

OVPR Exceptional Service Award

Jackie Hoats Shields
Regulatory Compliance Specialist Senior
Office of the Vice President for Research
Jackie Hoats Shields joined U-M in 1988 and broadened her skills since joining the OVPR team in 1992. Her experience has enabled her to administer two compliance committees with precise efficiency and overall improvement of administrative structure. Her interactions with colleagues across campus are professional and supportive and her knowledge of compliance and regulation is invaluable, nominators say. She was cited for exemplifying outstanding service and her skills are highly valued in OVPR and utilized in numerous ways.



Distinguished Research Administrator Award

Cathy Thibault
Assistant Director for Administration, Survey Research Center,
Institute for Social Research (ISR)

Cathy Thibault joined U-M Flint in 1992 and came to the Ann Arbor campus in 2001 as ISR Director of Business Operations. Her experience in accounting, payroll, proposals and contracts prepared her for current responsibilities to oversee financial, administrative, human resource, pre and post-award research, and facility activities of a $70 million interdisciplinary social science research enterprise comprised of over 130 faculty, 300 staff and upwards of 1000 contingent field interviewers. She has always been in support of research administration throughout her career, and this breadth of experience has allowed for a greater impact across the University.

Distinguished Research Administrator Award

Sharon Vaassen
Research Administrator
Orthopaedic Surgery

Sharon Vaassen has been with U-M for 26 years since 1986 when she began as an Administrative Assistant in the School of Nursing and in 1989 joined Orthopaedic Surgery as the first Department Research Administrator. Currently, she oversees a core staff of 12 and provides research support for the department consisting of over 30 clinical and basic science faculty. Her contributions to the department range from budget development, grant coordination, and project management to a variety of other responsibilities. She has been cited for her outstanding organizational and interpersonal skills and played a pivotal role in support of multidisciplinary activities to help Biomedical Engineering flourish and engage the scientific community to include various faculty within 27 departments and 6 schools at U-M.

The 2012 winners were selected by Vice President Forrest based on recommendations from an awards selection committee that includes: Laura Bowden, Biostatistics; Drew Buchanan, Dearborn Research and Sponsored Programs; Catherine Liebowitz, Institute for Social Research; Scott Stanfill, School of Social Work; and Peggy Westrick, LS&A Research Office.