Pat Sperry to Receive Employee of the Month Award on Sept. 30

Posted: September 28, 2010 at 1:03 am, Last Updated: September 28, 2010 at 11:27 am

By Aisha Jamil

Pat Sperry, training manager in the Office of Sponsored Programs. Photo by Aisha Jamil

Pat Sperry, training manager in the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP), has been named October 2010 Employee of the Month.

Sperry has been with the OSP for nearly two years. According to her peers, she “has done an excellent job of working with faculty and staff to ensure they have the tools and information necessary for them to perform their jobs effectively.” Sperry manages training for faculty researchers and staff members involved in the administrative aspects of research grants, although she also has help from other staff members in providing training.

“Pat is one of the best trainers I have met,” says Ute Shaw, senior budget analyst for the dean’s office in the College of Science. “Pat has been attentive and flexible to my needs and has always provided a response in a timely fashion.”

By all accounts, Sperry, who also has served as a department administrator for the Department of Psychology for several years, definitely has the technical expertise and understands her work. She was instrumental in developing an internal training program at OSP, which supported staff members who were interested in pursuing a Certified Research Administrator (CRA) designation.

To get the CRA designation, staff members must have experience and pass an intensive examination covering all aspects of research administration. Pat and some others in the office were studying for the CRA.

“One way I encouraged staff members to get their CRA designation was by inviting guest speakers to come and talk about different topics, which could be anything from human subjects to lab safety,” Sperry says. The talks were open to everyone, not only those studying for the CRA.

In addition to assisting faculty and staff members, Sperry has also been known to offer valuable suggestions and go out of her way to take care of a problem, all the while maintaining a great attitude.

“I can’t think of anyone who I work with who deserves this award more than Pat,” says Peter Barcher, associate dean for research in the College of Education and Human Development.

Mike Laskofski, director of the OSP, agrees. “Pat is a great listener and one of the most patient individuals I have ever met. She remains positive in even the most stressful or frustrating of situations. As all good teachers do, she gives her full attention to the person she is working with until the problem is solved.”

“I am very surprised and honored to be receiving this award. It was really a nice thing that a group of people thought to nominate me for this,” Sperry said. “I enjoy my work. I get to meet with a lot of new administrators and faculty members. Every day is different for me.”

President Alan Merten will formally present Sperry with her award by in his office, 103 Mason Hall, at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 30. All of Sperry’s family, friends and co-workers are invited to attend.

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