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Two ULAM Staff Members Receive OVPR Awards for Exemplary Service, Support of Research Community

The Unit for Laboratory Animal Medicine (ULAM) is pleased to announce that two of its team members recently received awards from the Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR) for their exemplary service and support of the university’s research enterprise.

Launched in 2001 and expanded in 2022 to more broadly acknowledge the breadth of research staff roles – from research data work and facilities management to research administration and leadership – the OVPR Research Staff Awards Program “recognizes staff members for their distinguished service to the U-M research community, celebrates exemplary leadership that positively impacts colleagues, and advances the mission of U-M.”

Award recipients must demonstrate both personal and professional growth; a commitment to implementing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) principles; engagement with committee work or service within the university or broader community; and advance the U-M research mission through their exemplary performance.

Kaitlin Brinson, Executive Assistant, Unit for Laboratory Animal Medicine
Research Staff Support Recognition Award

Kadi Brinson, ULAM Executive Assistant, receives OVPR Award from Bradford Orr, Associate VP, Natural Sciences and Engineering

Kaitlin (Kadi) joined the ULAM Business Office in 2019 and provides critical administrative support services to both internal ULAM team members as well as the larger U-M animal care and use community.

Among the many achievements highlighted by Kadi’s supervisors and colleagues are:

  • Her membership and engagement with ULAM’s DEI Team, including service as co-lead of the DEI Communication Working Group
  • Acting as the administrative lead for the Fifth Annual Science of Enrichment Symposium, a multi-day virtual event with over 1,000 registrants and 10 Zoom webinar sessions
  • Outstanding support of multiple ULAM faculty members and service areas, including file management and organization of clinical records, assistance with drug ordering for the department’s internal pharmacy, and processing of various financial transactions for labs
  • Willingness to take on additional responsibilities while consistently maintaining a positive attitude and professional demeanor

“In our small administrative team, [Kadi] is the glue that holds us together,” noted Valerie Hill, Chief Department Administrator, Director of Campus Animal Care, ULAM. “I know she will be a long-term member of our U-M community and will continue to always find ways to support her internal and external customers.”

Chris Fry, Research Lab Specialist Intermediate, Unit for Laboratory Animal Medicine
Research Associate/Assistant/Technician Recognition Award

Chris Fry, Research Lab Specialist Intermediate, ULAM, receives OVPR Award from Bradford Orr, Associate VP, Natural Sciences and Engineering

A dedicated member of the U-M research community for 16 years, Chris currently manages the ULAM Faculty Lab where he supports both in vitro and in vivo studies for a dozen faculty veterinarians and nine veterinary residents.

Among the many achievements highlighted by Chris’ supervisors and colleagues are:

  • His role in providing mentorship and guidance for 15 current and past ULAM veterinary residents, including the development and implementation of numerous multi-color flow cytometry protocols
  • Actively expanding his technical skills in a variety of areas such as working with new species, advanced anesthesia techniques, nociceptive testing, and microbiome analysis, to better support and assist ULAM faculty members
  • Diligence in managing a complex lab environment with a diverse array of studies and funding mechanisms that require meticulous organization, knowledge of complex study design and animal models, and expertise in regulatory compliance spanning the areas of environmental health and safety, controlled substances, biosafety hazards, and animal welfare
  • Willingness to enhance his managerial skills through continuing education in leadership, diversity initiatives, effective communication, and maintenance of dynamic compliance requirements

“Chris is an integral part of the ULAM mission and has provided support for work that has garnered national recognition for improving animal welfare,” said Jean Nemzek, Clinical Professor and Associate Director of Research Services, ULAM. “His efforts allow faculty and residents to produce quality studies that benefit research animals and increase the efficiency of the entire animal use program.”

Congratulations, Kadi and Chris, on this well-deserved recognition! Your exceptional service and support are invaluable to our Animal Care & Use Program and to the many successes of our U-M research community.

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