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USM Names Kennedy as Associate Vice President for Research

Wed, 03/27/2024 - 10:38am | By: Van Arnold

Associate Vice President of Research

Erica Kennedy, an educator and administrator with more than 22 years’ experience in research, has been named the new Associate Vice President for Research at The University of Southern Mississippi (USM). Kennedy is scheduled to begin work on April 1.

Kennedy comes to USM from John Carroll University, a private Jesuit school in University Heights, Ohio., where she has served as Director of Sponsored Programs for the past six years. In that role, she worked closely with leaders across the institution, both academic and administrative, to increase and diversify the funding portfolio through faculty and staff education.

As she undertakes the next chapter in her professional career, Kennedy approaches the USM opportunity with a mindset to develop, encourage, and support a deeply collaborative work culture.

“I am passionate about education and believe that research changes lives,” said Kennedy. “I am also a believer in the importance of the university as a place of learning and intellectual growth, not just for the students but for all who work to contribute to a body of knowledge and those who support them in that goal. Collaboration is crucial to the success of the research enterprise and the offices that support that goal.”

Kennedy, who grew up in various east-side suburbs of Cleveland, Ohio, has held a wide range of research-specific positions over the previous two decades. These include:

  • Research Administration Independent Consultant, University Heights, Ohio
  • Department Manager, Office of Sponsored Research and Programs, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, Ohio
  • Grants & Contracts Specialist Senior, College of Medicine Grants Management Office, OSUWMC, Columbus, Ohio
  • Grants & Contracts Associate, Comprehensive Cancer Center, OSUWMC, Columbus, Ohio
  • Group Manager, Business Administration, Woolpert Inc., Columbus, Ohio
  • Lead Administrative Assistant, The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus, Ohio
  • Department Assistant, Corporate and Foundation Relations, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio

In her new role at USM, Kennedy will oversee the Office of Research Administration, coordinating development and administration of externally funded research and sponsored program activities. She will oversee strategic initiatives for the Vice President for Research, while ensuring the use and awareness of best practices for research administration and implementing systems and training programs to support the research mission.

“Erica Kennedy brings a wealth of experience and a fresh perspective to the role of Associate Vice President of Research. Her strategic approach to training and development, coupled with her deep understanding of the evolving landscape of research administration, will empower our researchers and continue to build the University of Southern Mississippi research enterprise,” said Dr. Kelly Lucas, USM Vice President for Research.

Kennedy earned her Bachelor of Arts degree (2001) in modern and classical languages, French and English, at Kent State University in Kent Ohio. She earned a Masters in Business Administration in finance at Franklin University in Columbus Ohio. She is a Certified Research Administrator who is actively involved in national and international professional research administration and development societies.

As far as her immediate expectations at USM, Kennedy noted, “My focus will always be to serve the greater good at USM. I believe a very large part of that is to listen and learn from all of those involved in the research enterprise at USM.”

She added, “The person in this position has to engage and build trust with all ORA (Office of Research Administration) stakeholders – faculty, staff, students. I look forward to learning how ORA operates, meeting members of each team, and receiving a lot of input from all campus constituents as we explore goals that align with USM’s research mission, vision, and values.”