At this year’s annual Connect virtual conference, we investigated the continuing evolution of research administration as researchers around the world adapt to the changes and challenges presented by the pandemic’s lasting impact. We also took this opportunity to recognize and honor the invaluable contributions of our customers and the industry as a whole at the Connect Awards presentation. 

The awards are open to all employees at Cayuse customer organizations, and recipients are selected by the Connect Awards Committee in four categories: The Sheri Pulis Award, the Community Champion Award, the Modernization Award, and the Productivity Award.


2022 Sheri Pulis Award for Outstanding Service in Research Administration

In honor of Sheri Pulis, a cherished Cengage customer who passed away in 2019, the Sheri Pulis Award recognizes individuals who have an incredible impact and drive progress in the area of research administration, both within their own organizations and the broader research community. Those who receive the award demonstrate service to the research community, make significant contributions within their own institution’s research program, are collaborative, dedicated, and love to drive results within their institution. 

The 2022 Sheri Pulis Award winner is Domenica Pappas, Associate Vice Provost of Research at the Illinois Institute of Technology.

Within her own institution, Domenica has been recognized for her incredible efforts, including in 2017 when she was awarded the Rave Award, honoring supervisors of student employees who go above and beyond in support of the institution’s mission, goals, and values. Outside of her work at the Illinois Institute of Technology, Domenica is a longtime member of the Society of Research Administrators, serving as both the SRA Midwest section president for two years and an at-large board member for the past four years. In 2010, Domenica was recognized by the SRA with the Hartford-Nicholsen Award, and in 2021 she received the Distinguished Faculty designation from SRA international. Throughout her career in research administration, Domenica has promoted incredible efficiencies within her own organization, fearlessly led by example, and forged lasting relationships throughout the research community.


2022 Community Champion Award

The Community Champion Award is presented to individuals who have demonstrated leadership and commitment to supporting the research community by sharing their insights, advice, and expertise with their peers.

The 2022 Community Champion Award winner is Michael Leary, Assistant Vice President of Research and Compliance at Lindenwood University.

When Michael joined Lindenwood University the institution was expanding into greater than minimal risk work in emerging fields. Michael saw the need to replace their existing IRB application with a flexible solution to meet the growth that they were experiencing. He landed on Cayuse Human Ethics and became the expert in developing the IRB smart form templates and a great resource for others looking to create their own templates. He’s shared his success story of finding the right solution for his growing research program and the benefits gained, including but not limited to helping his team gain transparency into processes and maximizing efficiency. We are grateful that he has always been available to connect with peers, answer questions, and share his field knowledge and expertise.

Honorable Mentions:

Bruce W. Kennedy, IACUC Administrator at the University of California Santa Cruz

Audrey Wineglass Foster, Director of Sponsored Programs at Gallaudet University


2022 Modernization Award

The Modernization Award recognizes individuals and organizations that are engaged in updating and modernizing their systems across the research lifecycle. 

The 2022 Modernization Award winner is the Oregon State University Office of Research.

A long time customer since 2011, the Office of Research at Oregon State started with Cayuse Proposals and Sponsored Projects. Through the years as their research portfolio grew, the office of research continued to listen to the research community and tackle the issues most important to them. Their strategic modernization approach to keep pace with their growth led to a search for integrated systems, and Oregon State expanded their SAAS suite to include the Cayuse Human Ethics and Outside Interests solutions. They have been very mindful not to take on too much at one time in order to deliver the best for their community, as building support from their community was key to the office of research. They involved key stakeholders from around the institution early on by including IT and influential researchers in all of their discussions, which helped them succeed in building consensus and support for their efforts. Through the hard work and dedication of the team, led by Zach Gill, the total funding of $471.5 million for the fiscal year 2022 was the highest in OSU history by nearly $22 million, eclipsing the previous record of $449.4 million in research set in 2020.

Honorable Mentions:

Zayed University Office of Research

Sam Houston State University Office of Research and Sponsored Programs


2022 Productivity Award

The Productivity Award recognizes individuals or organizations who have engaged in reducing burden for their research staff.

The 2022 Productivity Award Winner is Anne Schauer, Director of Research and Sponsored Programs from Miami University in Oxford Ohio.

There are few people who embody the heart and soul of their university like Anne. In her 18 years at Miami University, Anne has been instrumental in getting proposals out the door with a tiny team of three, sometimes just one. Her office was a hub of research administration before the pandemic, where she would discuss budgets with PIs, submit proposals, negotiate awards, prepare sub-awards, and plan training. Anne has also provided valuable feedback to Cayuse Product Management as a member of our customer advisory board for sponsored projects to help improve productivity and collaboration at her institution. With the goal of constantly improving processes and making the department more efficient, Anne expanded the Cayuse solution offerings to their research staff members, adding Fund Manager, Outside Interests, and Inventions in 2021. As a member of SRAI since 1996, Anne has been a part of the speaker’s bureau for six and a half years. She’s been acknowledged as distinguished faculty and was honored with the Hartford-Nicholsen Award in 2019.

Honorable Mentions:

University of Derby

Danielle Arellano-Reiger, Research Administration Analyst at Rady Children’s Hospital