2010 Staff Service Award Recipients

OVPR Staff Service Awards Home

Awards Reception — May 10, 2010
Vandenberg Room, Michigan League
3:30 – 5 PM, Remarks at 4 PM

Distinguished Research Administrator Award

OVPR Exceptional Service Award

  • No recipients

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 OVPR Exceptional Service Award honors staff members from OVPR or any of the units that report to OVPR. This award recognizes individuals involved in any area of work who have made outstanding contributions that go beyond the ordinary fulfillment of the position’s duties. Each winner receives an honorarium and an award plaque.

The 2010 winners were selected by Vice President Forrest with the assistance of an awards selection committee: David Plawchan, Division of Research Development and Administration; Barb Rice, College of Engineering; Lori Bowden, School of Public Health; Linda Forsyth, College of Engineering; and Peggy Westrick, LSA Research Office.

Photographs by UM Photo Services

Distinguished Research Administrator Award Recipient

Drew Buchanan Drew Buchanan is the Director of Research and Sponsored Programs at the University of Michigan–Dearborn (UM-D). He joined the UM-D in 1990 when external funding averaged $1M year. By 2008, it had grown to more than $8M. Buchanan possesses a thorough understanding of central research administration processes and has the ability to identify and assess the unique needs of the Dearborn campus’ four schools and colleges. Under his leadership, the UM-D now has $0.5M available to support faculty research initiation grants, undergraduate research fellowships, and other activities promoting the research environment. Buchanan has represented UM-D on a number of University-wide groups and initiatives, including Research Track policies and practices for Dearborn, Conflict of Interest and commitment Policy for Dearborn, IRB Council, and the Research Associate Deans group. He is also a founding member and has served as President of the Michigan Society of Research Administrators, now the Michigan Chapter of the Society of Research Administrators. Buchanan’s leadership on campus and connections with key offices like DRDA, OVPR, Contracts Administration, and Procurement have been invaluable to UM-D’s success with research and sponsored programs throughout his 20 years of service.

…He is devoted to supporting faculty in research and attaining grants, and he often goes out of his way to help faculty…[and] clearly understands UM-D’s distinct mission…Buchanan continues to invigorate the Dearborn campus with his “can-do” spirit of proposal composition for internal and external funds.

Distinguished Research Administrator Award Recipient

Catherine Liebowitz Catherine Liebowitz, Research Process Senior Manager, Survey Research Center (SRC), Institute for Social Research, joined ISR more than 20 years ago, taking on increased responsibilities and additional roles in support of the goals and mission of ISR. Liebowitz is the administrative leader of ISR’s Health and Retirement Study (HRS) and its related projects, with an annual program total of over $20M. She serves as a strategic partner to the HRS director in budget planning and personnel management and as the human resources manager for the full range of issues from hiring and promotion to training and disciplinary actions. She has built longstanding relationships of trust with the administrative staff in ISR and SRC. Liebowitz excels most in the complex area of human subject protection. She has been ahead of the curve throughout her tenure in ISR, proactively working with the IRB on upcoming issues, guiding HRS’s development of consent procedures and working with researchers on best practices in data access, guaranteeing the security of data and the confidentiality of respondents, while promoting the use of the data as a national and international resource. Liebowitz is a graduate of the Research Administrators Instructional Network (RAIN), a participant in the Center for the Education of Women Advanced Leadership Seminar, an active member of the Society of Research Administrators, and the SRC’s Wellness Champion. She encourages others to seek balance and to care for themselves and others. In every aspect of her work life and work responsibilities, she has sought and exemplified the best ideas the University has to offer.

…She combines integrity of the highest order with a creative approach to finding solutions for new challenges. Cathy is a firm believer in personal development…not just in her own pursuit of training opportunities to grow her skills, but also in her successful mentoring of others.

Distinguished Research Administrator Award Recipient

Patricia Preston Patricia Preston, Business Manager in the Department of Sociology, LSA, joined the department in 1985 as administrative assistant for the Detroit Area Study. A few years later, she became administrator of the Center for Research on Social Organization (CRSO), the qualitative research arm of the Department of Sociology. While at CRSO, Pat began acquiring the knowledge and skills in research administration that has served the department and university so well for the last two decades. In 2000 she became the department’s Business Manager, where she handles both research matters and other needs of the department. The faculty prize her for the substantive contributions she makes to research proposal preparation, such as her efforts to explore new types of grant-writing as part of her commitment to helping faculty and students find new ways to fund their research. She shows a real knack for coordinating the financial and organizational details of funded projects. Likewise, the graduate students are impressed by the support and mentoring she provides to them. Additionally, Pat makes contributions to the broader College and University. She is active in the LSA Research Administrator Group, a contributor to the development of the Research Administrators Instructional Network (RAIN), and involved in the VOICES of the Staff program.

…Pat’s work is distinguished by her cheerful, positive attitude, by her engagement of the content of proposals she handles, by her willingness to stretch beyond her experience and learn new things, and by her dedication and attention to detail.

For more information contact Jane Ritter in the Office of the Vice President for Research, 763-1290, or ritterj@umich.edu