[blue ribbon]

Andrea James Wins March's Blue Ribbon

Andrea James doesn't mind being "taken for granted." In fact, that's the job she was hired to do.

James, grants and contracts specialist for UTC, advises professors on how they can spend their grant money. "I help with the financial management of their grant and I help the professors stay within their grants' budgets and guidelines. Basically, I walk them through it, from beginning to end," said James. " It's very rewarding when you can help someone over a glitch, so they can spend their time working on their grant project, not on its financial management."

Dr. Gene Ezell, professor of exercise science, health and leisure studies, nominated James for this month's Blue Ribbon Award. "She helped me understand what I was supposed to do, right down to box 9-A," laughed Ezell.

James has helped Ezell with the administration of many research grants, simultaneously. Over the years, Ezell has been awarded over twenty-five grants, totaling nearly $3.5 million dollars. This year alone, Ezell said, he was awarded three different grants, where "three different government agencies are involved, with three different fiscal years, and three different policies for expenditures." James says Dr. Ezell's situation is one of the more complicated ones she handles. "Most of the time, it's one person, or one agency, with one grant. Dr. Ezell has got a lot going on right now."

Ezell appreciates James for more than her financial expertise, however. "She has been willing to bring all her paperwork across campus to my office in order to accommodate my time restrictions between classes," he said. She says that meeting in the professor's office is "not common practice," but James admits that she had no problem accommodating Ezell's hectic schedule. "I wanted him to know that, if he couldn't come to us, we would come to him," said James.

As for feeling taken for granted, she says happily, "Absolutely. I wouldn't have it any other way."

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Last updated: March 31, 1998.
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