2022 ORA Dragon Awards

On April 25, 2022, the Office of Research Administration (ORA) held the third ORA Dragon Service Awards. This is part of an ongoing commitment to recognize and celebrate the contributions and achievements of ORA’s staff and members of the Faculty/Research community who demonstrate outstanding partnership with ORA. The winners of this year’s awards were nominated by their peers and faculty partners of ORA and are highlighted below.

Servant Leadership Dragon Award Recipients

The Servant Leader Dragon Award recognizes an ORA staff member at the management level for their exceptional leadership.

Julie Martin, Assistant Director, Institutional Review Board

Words from Peers: “She cares deeply about our staff, immediately lobbying for SOP revisions to reduce complexity or unnecessary work, when staff raise concerns. She is a tremendous asset to both our department and Emory at large. Her in-depth functional knowledge has helped Emory to navigate this new and uncharted regulatory pathway. She is quick to jump in and solve problems and never misses an opportunity to help.”

Becky Rogers, Director, Research Administration Services- Basic Sciences

Words from Peers: She fosters partnership and remove barriers to the success for ORA across campus. She has handled additional demands on her time with courtesy and professionalism, and Emory is very, very fortunate to have her. She models integrity, grace and generosity and is a true inspiration!”

Staff Excellence Dragon Award Recipients

The Staff Dragon Award recognizes staff members for their outstanding work in multiple performance areas. 

John Taylor, Senior Sponsor Research Financial Analyst, Research Grants and Contracts

Words from Peers: Whenever there is a call to volunteer, he always steps up. He is uber easy to work with, proactive, organized, and just a nice guy. He serves as a shining example of what a research administrator should strive to be and epitomizes the many elements of One ORA.  He is the best colleague!”

Nicole Guerrero, Award Analyst II, Research Grants and Contracts

Words from Peers: “She has been an essential part of the team for over 8 years and consistently models positive behavior and a professional attitude. She is always pleasant assisting staff with difficult issues, even though she can tell it is nothing that she can do to resolve in order to address RAS concerns.”

Kathy Arnold, Post Award III, Research Administration Services – Basic Sciences

Words from Peers: “She shares ideas for process improvements and identifies areas where bottlenecks occur and creates an open, friendly and positive environment that encourages collaboration and learning.

 She goes above and beyond in helping new team members feel welcome and provide them with guidance to navigate during their onboarding period and beyond.”

Foundational Excellence Dragon Award Recipient

The Foundational Excellence Dragon Award recognizes employees who go above and beyond to ensure office efficiency.

Melanie Lawrence, Assistant Vice President for Research & Chief Business Officer, Senior Vice President for Research 

Words from Peers: “She is a strong leader who has incredible wisdom about how to make people feel heard and cared for.

She is very effective at addressing resource needs and always has alternative, creative suggestions for challenging issues.

She is one of the most outstanding colleagues I’ve ever worked with, and I really can’t overstate how lucky we are to have her.”

Research Excellence and Collaboration Dragon Award Recipients

The Research Excellence and Collaboration Dragon Award recognizes members of our Research Community for their exemplar partnership with ORA.

Dr. Sheree Lynn Boulet, Assistant Professor, Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics

Words from Peers: “She is a research faculty who is ‘super’ easy to work with. Her project management approach is meticulous, and her documents are always formatted in accordance with sponsors’ and university guidelines. 

 She is grateful, graceful, pleasant, and respectful to the RAS and the OSP team. It is such a pleasure to work with her.   She should teach a research project management course to all the University’s investigators.”

Dr. Steven Sloan, Assistant Professor, Department of Human Genetics

Words from Peers: “Despite Dr. Sloan’s status as a rising star in basic research, he displays a refreshing humility, deferring to the Human Genetics and RAS administrative teams for our expertise in managing his grants. Dr. Sloan brings commentary to our meetings that facilitates the long-term planning of the research and promptly provides clarification when we ask questions. Always professional and courteous, he is willing to allow us to fulfill our roles as administrators while he focuses on his research. It is a pleasure to support him!”

Excellence in Faculty Service Award Recipient

The Excellence in Service for Faculty Award recognizes the effort, partnership and collaboration that is required between the Research Administration Units and the Research Community to further our Strategic Framework of One Emory: Engaged for Impact.  In this award category, the nominators were our faculty members working in collaboration with RAS.

Van Dyer Adams, Pre-Award Administrator III, Research Administration Services – Hospital and Specialty Services

Words from Peers: “She goes above and beyond in all matters to deliver outstanding customer service, and always with a smile. 

She is efficient, helpful and supportive all throughout the process and is an excellent communicator.

Anything anyone needs, she is there, always pleasant, and supportive. If she doesn’t know the answer, she will do the foot work and find the answer for you. 

I can’t imagine submitting grants without her. 

We are so grateful for her efforts, enthusiasm, and attention to detail.”

Teaming and Collaboration for Research Excellence Dragon Award Recipient

The Teaming and Collaboration for Research Excellence Dragon Award recognizes a team for coming together to move the research enterprise to greater excellence through quality improvement and/or any of the elements of ONE-ORA.

ORA Social Justice Working Group

This is a new category focusing on team dynamics and efficiency.  This year’s recipient came together to engage ORA in activities related to social justice, diversity, and inclusion.  Their contributions included dissemination of resources, training and information gathering to foster conversations and promote a culture of inclusion and awareness, among ORA.

Whatever it Takes Award Recipient

The Whatever It Takes Award recognizes a staff member or leader who embodies leadership, innovation, character, performance, customer service and collaboration.  Someone who consistently goes above and beyond to deliver timely, effective, and friendly service.

Kanika Moss, Associate Director of Sponsored Programs, Office of Sponsored Programs 

Words from Peers: “She continually strives to achieve excellence in all tasks and goals and she achieves.  ORA colleagues and customers, internally and across Campus routinely praise her praise her for her knowledge, professionalism, and outstanding customer service.”

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