June 5, 2017

Meet Andrea Ham, B.S., ORSP Senior Grants Administrator

Andrea HamHow long have you worked at UAMS?
I have worked at UAMS for 10 years.

How long have you been in your current position?
Three years

What is your favorite part of the job?
Working in the ORSP has given me the opportunity to build wonderful relationships with my team, PIs, and the entire research network at UAMS. Suzanne Alstadt is the director of ORSP. Inna Hemphill & Shondalyn Blake are ORSP grants administrators. We are a tight knit group and really depend on each other both personally and professionally.

Are there any challenges?
Of course, there are challenges. Nearly everything I do is deadline driven. Sometimes I literally want to crawl under my desk and hide – but that really doesn’t fix anything! I have to know where to find answers and make decisions quickly, so having great relationships with my team (the other research administration offices and the PIs that I work with) really helps in a time crunch. The volume of work that comes through our office is also quite challenging. Effective time management is imperative. It’s easy to get behind when I don’t manage my time wisely.

How do you interact with the institution as a whole?
I currently work with 13 departments across UAMS, but also help with other departments as needed. My assigned portfolio includes 100 Principal Investigators from departments ranging from Pediatrics to Neurosurgery to Basic Sciences. I see a wide variety of research on a daily basis.

How do you/your group handle problematic issues?
I’ve learned over the years that it’s not always what you say, but how you say it. Approach is very important. Also, we don’t always have the answer immediately, but with just a little time, we can find an answer for you. We work with lots of funding agencies, so keeping up with the current rules and regulations can be hard, but we do work together and attempt to stay well informed so that we can continue to be a trusted resource to the UAMS research community.

Can you describe that?
Sometimes a quick phone call or a brief face-to-face meeting can be quite effective. We can get lost in e-mails, so sometimes it’s better to sit down for a few minutes and talk through options and potential solutions. My PI’s know that I have an open door policy and that I’m always here to help.

How many applications/proposals do you work on annually?
ORSP provides support for the whole campus. There were 521 submitted proposals in FY16. Most of what we do is proposal submission and pre-award, but we are involved in some post-award issues as well.

Ham family at ball fieldHow about after hours? What do you do for fun?
My husband Jason and I have two wonderful boys….Jaxon is 13 and Jase is 11. They are both athletes, so most of my time outside of work is spent with them. Jaxon plays baseball and runs track at Bryant Middle School. Jase also is plays baseball and is on the Hill Farm Elementary archery team. Jase recently competed in the NASP national archery tournament in Louisville, KY. He is currently ranked 88th in the nation in elementary boy archers. We also travel all over the state nearly every weekend for baseball tournaments.

Ham boys at the lakeWhat personal skill or hobby don’t most people know about you?
When we’re not traveling for sports, we spend a lot of time at the lake. We have tons of friends and family that we spend time with there. The boys prefer to boat and fish….I prefer to read! The lake is truly my only down time, so I prefer to spend my lake time doing as little as possible.