Four staff members awarded for research service, support


Four staff members are being awarded for their role in supporting and strengthening the University of Michigan’s research enterprise.

David Mulder will receive the Office of Research Exceptional Service Award, Teresa Herrick and Jane Sierra will receive the Research Administrator Recognition Award, and Michael Hess will receive the Research Technical Staff Recognition Award.

They are expected to be honored during a reception this fall.

“The University of Michigan is the nation’s largest public research university, but it would be impossible for our campus community to generate this vast amount of research without the support and expertise of our talented research staff,” said Rebecca Cunningham, vice president for research.

“The ongoing health of our research enterprise will rely on people like David, Teresa, Jane and Michael, who all play a vital role in keeping the research enterprise running smoothly.”

Exceptional Service Award

Headshot of David Mulder
David Mulder

The Exceptional Service Award recognizes staff members in Office of Research units for their important contributions to the university’s research enterprise.

Mulder, international security and compliance program manager in the Office of Research and Sponsored Projects, joined the university in 1999 and has supported U-M faculty in various capacities over the past two decades.

While leading the university’s Navigate professional development program, Mulder helped plan, create and implement research administration training for more than 1,200 individuals across campus.

In his new role, Mulder works to ensure full compliance with federal regulations and guidelines as they relate to international engagement.

Research Administrator Recognition Award

The Research Administrator Recognition Award recognizes research administrators in any unit across campus, and honors exemplary service to the research community over a number of years.

Herrick has supported U-M faculty for 18 years, the past 11 focused on research administration.

As the research process senior manager at the School for Environment and Sustainability, Herrick plays a critical role in strengthening the school’s research operations, which involves managing two large center grants for the Cooperative Institute for Great Lakes Research and a collaborative science program for the National Estuarine Research Reserves.

Herrick represents the small schools and colleges in the Research Administration Advisory Council Executive Committee and the Research Administration Schools Committee, as well as being a member of the Research Administration Advisory Council Committee at Large and the Process Subcommittee.

She submitted 67 proposals on behalf of SEAS faculty during fiscal year 2019, which led to many innovative research projects that focus on protecting Earth’s resources and achieving a sustainable society.

For 19 years, Sierra has supported U-M faculty in research administration roles within the Medical School Dean’s Office.

As the associate director for pre-award research administration in the Medical School, Sierra has direct oversight of the school’s grant proposal reviews for all sponsors and grant submissions to the National Institutes of Health — the largest external sponsor of U-M research.

She also leads the administrative accountability for nearly 50 percent of the proposals on campus, and direct submission of more than 1,000 per year to sponsors.

Research Technical Staff Recognition Award

Headshot of Michael Hess
Michael Hess

The Research Technical Staff Recognition Award recognizes staff members who have, independently or along with faculty, advanced the research mission of their unit in a way that extends beyond the ordinary fulfillment of a position’s duties.

Hess has supported U-M faculty for more than 15 years. As a solution architect lead and adjunct lecturer at the School of Information and an app programmer/analyst lead for the Medical School, Hess leads teams that provide technical expertise to six research projects in Michigan Medicine and the School of information.

He supports technical systems for the School of Information, teaches four classes, and builds and maintains secure hosting for about 400 university websites across a variety of units.

Hess is a member of the Drupal Security Working group, and he also builds and maintains 20 different research projects across campus. In addition, Hess serves as an escalation point for technical issues web platforms that serves the research and educational goals of Michigan Medicine.

The awards were selected by Cunningham, based on recommendations from an award selection committee consisting of past award winners: Rick Brandon, Tom Bray, Judy Carrillo, Linda Chadwick, Lori Deromedi, Melissa Karby, Terri Maxwell, Nicholas Prieur and Chuck Woolley.


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