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URICA’s Patrick Recognized For ‘Bridge Building,’ Mentorship

Brittany and JayBrittany Patrick’s resume doesn’t list experience as an architect or engineer, but the senior research administrator’s ability to design innovative solutions and build lasting relationships was recognized March 8, as she was named spring’s OR STAR.

“Brittany works hard to build bridges between faculty expectations and the critical work being completed by various offices at Northwestern, an important aspect to the role we play,” said Jay Walsh, vice president for research, at the service recognition event in Chicago. “Brittany’s expertise helps her shepherd solutions, identify and raise awareness of proposal complexities to better align numerous offices, and serves to empower others with knowledge that strengthens the whole.”

Patrick has worked in research administration for nearly a decade. Prior to joining the University Research Institute and Centers Administration (URICA) team, she worked in the Feinberg School of Medicine’s Basic Science Administration unit, where she supported a variety of complex and large-scale research projects from proposal through close-out.

“The rewarding parts of my work change on a daily basis,” said Patrick, who holds a masters of public health. “Some days it involves interacting with faculty and helping them successfully submit their grants; and other days I feel the most satisfaction after seeing that a large or complex grant I worked with a faculty member on was funded.

One thing that hasn’t change, Patrick said, is the superb team she works alongside.

“The chance to join the URICA team in the fall of 2017 proved an exciting opportunity to further expand my knowledge of the research administration world,” Patrick said.” I could not have asked for a better fit and have enjoyed where my career has taken me to this point. Working in Northwestern Research and on the URICA team has far exceeded any and all expectations.”

Northwestern’s 50-plus University Research Institutes and Centers cultivate talent, collaboration, and innovation at the intersections of traditional disciplines. URICA staff help to facilitate the planning and deployment of strategic resources to these cross-disciplinary knowledge hubs.

Reading from her official nomination, Walsh said that Patrick is frequently recognized by faculty with comments like, “nothing but praise for her competence and grace under pressure,” and “dealt with last-minute issues beautifully.”

“Brittany is a writer, administrator, mentor, mediator, and manager of a workload that can be complex,” said Joseph Boes, senior URICA director. “Brittany’s intuition in working with customers and faculty has numerous times unearthed possible concerns before they could become issues. Her expertise has been invaluable as we create our next iteration of proposal tracking and training materials.”

OR STAR was designed to recognize Northwestern Research employees who demonstrate leadership and support Research goals to achieve excellence at all levels. Nominees reflect the University’s values and promote a workplace culture that embraces collegiality, communication, compliance, customer focus, efficiency, and planning. The OR STAR Award includes a $300 cash prize.

By Roger Anderson