New class graduates from Departmental Administrator Working Group

Departmental Administrator Working Group graduates

Natalie Carpenter (front, l-r), Valisa McNeil, Michelle Martin, Laikyn Starkey and Kristen Thompson, and (back, l-r) Kelsey Stewart, Lester Mitchell, Lori Staggs, Latara Arterberry, Yolanda Tate and Stephen Williamson

Eleven Mississippi State staff members are graduates of the sixth-annual professional development program offered by the university’s Office of Sponsored Projects.

A unit of the Office of Research and Economic Development, OSP oversees externally-sponsored programs -- the grants, contracts and similar agreements that help fund research at the land-grant institution.

This year’s edition of the Departmental Administrator Working Group -- also known as DAWG -- involved a nine-month curriculum designed to develop participants’ sponsored-project administration skills and foster networking opportunities with campus peers.
The DAWG program helps departmental administrators grow professionally and create relationships with their peers across campus.

Honored at a recent campus reception, the 2018 graduates are Latara Arterberry, T.K. Martin Center for Technology and Disability; Natalie Carpenter, Bagley College of Engineering; Michelle Martin, Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems; Valisa McNeil, Delta Research and Extension Center; Lester Mitchell, Coastal Research and Extension Center; Lori Staggs, College of Education; Laikyn Starkey, Poultry Science; Kelsey Stewart, Institute for Genomics, Biocomputing and Biotechnology; Yolanda Tate, Montgomery Center for America’s Veterans; Kristen Thompson; Delta Research and Extension Center; and Stephen Williamson, Student Leadership and Community Engagement.

Applications for the 2019 class will be made available later this summer. Participants are chosen through a competitive nomination and selection process.

During classes meeting for two hours each month, DAWG members are taken through the grant administration process to gain a better understanding of both pre- and post-award functions. Topics include how the different offices work together to prepare budgets, administrate research proposals and conduct post-award management, among other key areas.

Class participants also gave brief presentations about themselves and their work.

“There are so many areas on this campus, and belonging to MSU, that no one knows about so it is always very interesting to learn about their departments and a little about themselves,” said OSP Senior Grants and Contracts Administrator LeLe Newell, who coordinates the DAWG program.

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