Thursday, July 30, 2015

UTSA appoints research concierge to fast-track service for top researchers

Elizabeth Garcia

Elizabeth Garcia

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(Nov. 30, 2012) -- The UTSA Office of the Vice President for Research announces Elizabeth Garcia was selected as its inaugural research concierge. Garcia's new position was created as part of the UTSA research administration restructuring and is expected to enhance the level of service the central research office provides to researchers. The office facilitates the efforts of endowed research chairs and top funded principal investigators.

Garcia will serve as an on-call liaison, providing UTSA researchers with immediate and superior service to lessen their administrative burden. Her responsibilities will encompass all aspects of research administration from pre-award submission issues to post-award issues such as:

  • referring researchers to appropriate offices and staff,
  • providing pre- and post-award services to facilitate multidisciplinary proposals,
  • coordinating training for designated principal investigators or their laboratory staff as needed,
  • facilitating cost-sharing and other post-award issues,
  • supporting new and existing research centers,
  • locating back-up services when laboratory or essential grants and contracts staff are away and
  • assisting principal investigators in navigating research integrity issues.

Employed at UTSA for 17 years, Garcia will move from the Office of Sponsored Programs to become UTSA's research concierge. She joined UTSA in 1995 after receiving her bachelor's and master's degrees in biology from UTSA. She is an alumna of the UTSA Minority Biomedical Research Support (MBRS) program, and while a UTSA master's student, she interned with the Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases at Pfizer Central Research in Groton, Conn. and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke in Bethesda, Md.

Throughout her UTSA career, she has served as a research associate, a laboratory technician, a laboratory manager and a special projects coordinator in the Department of Biology. In April 2001, she moved to the research administration office and became an assistant director. She is an active member of the UTSA Alumni Association and the National Council of University Research Administrators.

While at UTSA, Garcia has made several improvements to UTSA's research process. She implemented the first online proposal development software (Cayuse424) and launched the first electronic routing system to efficiently acquire research signatures for grant and contract approval. She also has experience in developing and submitting large multi-million-dollar proposals.

Garcia's background as a scientist and a research administrator gives her the unique experience she needs to be successful as UTSA's research concierge. She says that what she likes most about research administration is being able to help others.

"I feel empathetic to researchers' needs because I was once in that role," she notes. "I've seen how research proposals are developed, and I understand the effort that goes into managing a successful research program.”

"Scholars with a high volume of research activity have critical needs that need to be addressed quickly," said Marianne Woods, UTSA senior associate vice president for research. "As we continue to climb toward Tier One, it is critical that we provide these scholars with the highest level of service so they can focus on their research instead of the research administration process."

The Office of the Vice President for Research is restructuring to become more productive and efficient with its resources. In addition to new staff positions such as the research concierge, the restructuring has resulted in the creation of six new Research Service Centers. The centers provide researchers with seamless sponsored-project administration including grant opportunity identification, proposal preparation and submission, grant award processing and management, and grant closeout procedures

 

 

Did You Know?

Sometimes you have to see the little picture

UTSA researchers are exploring matter at the atomic level with Helenita. It's one of the most powerful microscopes in the world, with the ability to operate near the theoretical limit of resolution. At 9 feet, 2 inches tall and weighing more than two tons, Helenita can dissect almost anything. With Helenita's resolution, researchers can study particles atom by atom to see how they behave.

That's critical in developing nanotechnology that will help diagnosis early-stage breast cancer or make helmets that are uber strong. Moreover, the detail that Helenita provides will allow nanotechnology researchers to create new therapies and treatments to fight a wide range of human diseases.

Did you know? Helenita can magnify a sample 20 million times its size, which would make a strand of human hair the size of San Antonio.

Read More »
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July 30, 5 - 7 p.m.

Networking and happy hour with AIA San Antonio's Women in Architecture

Join AIA San Antonio’s Women in Architecture group for their networking and happy hour event, where all design professionals are welcome.
Liberty Bar, 1111 S. Alamo St.

Aug. 1, 9 p.m.

"Inside Peace" documentary screening

This documentary, presented by the San Antonio Film Festival, documents the experience of re-entry after incarceration. The film features Michael Gilbert, associate professor in the department of criminal justice and director of the Office of Community and Restorative Justice program at UTSA.
Tobin Center for the Performing Arts, 100 Auditorium Circle

Aug. 4, 6 - 8 p.m.

Free Teacher Tuesday: Los Tejanos Workshop

Discover resources and strategies for teaching Tejano history and culture and get a special educator's tour of the new long-term exhibit, Los Tejanos.
Institute of Texan Cultures, 801 E. César E. Chávez Blvd.

Aug. 9, 12 - 5 p.m.

Vaquerocation 2015

This cowboy-themed programming, offered in conjunction with Our Kids Magazine's Kidcation Week, gives families the opportunity to visit with cowboy docents, enjoy readings and visit activity tables.
Institute of Texan Cultures, 801 E. Cesar E. Chavez Blvd.

Aug. 22, 6 p.m.

UTSA Alumni Gala

The UTSA Alumni Association hosts this annual gala honoring the Alumna of the Year, Alumnus of the Year and the Alumnus of the Year Lifetime Achievement award winners.
Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort & Spa, 9800 Hyatt Resort Dr.


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