SARASOTA, Fla. (May 3, 2017) – USF Sarasota-Manatee has established a new campuswide Office of Research and appointed a full-time research administrator, Sandy Justice. She started on April 24.
In her new position, Justice will appeal to public and private organizations to support a variety of campus needs, primarily assisting faculty on research funding requests but also facilitating large requests for technology, laboratory equipment and long-term infrastructure plans. Previously, research had been coordinated by faculty at the college-level.
“I am so excited to be at the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee. My first week was marked by warm welcomes from faculty and staff,” Justice said. “It’s clear that there’s a contagious enthusiasm for research here.”
In addition to reaching out to external sources to support specific campus initiatives, Justice will develop long-range grant proposals, work with faculty to tailor their funding requests and collaborate with groups of professors on large, project-based grant applications. She intends also to develop a grant-associated database and offer grant workshops to faculty.
“We are thrilled to welcome Sandy Justice to USF Sarasota-Manatee,” said Dr. Karen Holbrook, USF System vice president and senior advisor to the president. “She is a talented and experienced research administrator who brings a high level of energy and enthusiasm to USFSM.”
Justice has held similar administrative research positions elsewhere, including at USF’s Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR), USF’s College of Arts and Sciences and the Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta.
Justice began her USF career as a staff member at CUTR when the center was in its infancy and comprised of a group of trailers adjacent to the College of Engineering. Armed with enthusiastic leadership and a shared vision, CUTR rapidly evolved into an award-winning research center and state-of-the-art facility.
“It would be a mistake to underestimate the possibilities of USF Sarasota-Manatee due to its now-small size,” Justice said. “It is my hope that through my years of experience working with world-class faculty, I’ll be able to facilitate collaborations across campuses.”
Justice also held key positions at USF’s College of Arts and Sciences, including working with Dr. Sandra Schneider, who established the college’s first Office of Research. Subsequently, Justice provided workshops to faculty and managed internal grant awards along with other programs, including the college’s premier research event, Oktoberfest.
Later, she was recruited by the Emory School of Medicine to serve as Research Administrator Pre-award III at the school’s new Research Administration Services Unit. During that time, she facilitated proposals to support research in AIDS, Zika and other diseases.
Dr. Terry Osborn, interim regional chancellor at USFSM, welcomed Justice back to the USF family and noted that while USFSM is a relatively young campus, its faculty conducts meaningful research in a variety of disciplines.
USFSM is home to The Florida Center for Partnerships for Arts-Integrated Teaching (PAInT) as well as the M3 Center for Hospitality Technology and Innovation. Further, USFSM students and scholars collaborate frequently with researchers at Mote Marine Laboratory and USFSM operates its biology program at the Sarasota facility.
In addition, USFSM alums earn salaries that are among the most competitive of any college graduates across Florida. This will only improve as the campus engages more intently in research.
“We believe Ms. Justice’s experience will help our faculty take their work to the next level and help grow our reputation as an institution that conducts top-notch research,” Dr. Osborn said.
Justice says she sees USFSM’s research environment being aided by the campus’ vision for students to become global citizens through internships, workforce development and inquiry-based learning.
“There is a palpable potential to develop new projects and build on existing synergies,” she said. “Thriving areas of research and scholarship include studies on aging, a field that touches on personal health, economic impacts and community engagement. The work by Dr. Kathy Black at USF Sarasota-Manatee is so important that it’s poised to become a blueprint in developing age-friendly communities across the nation.
“I am also impressed with the faculty in criminology who are conducting truly path-breaking research focused on understanding the ethics of terrorism and women terrorists, as well as projects in prisons, engaging in reform,” she said. “There is so much going on here, and that will only expand and excel in the future.”