ASPA Member Highlight – Karen E. Mosier, Research Coordinator/Navigator (Department of Surgery/College of Medicine)

Written by Yolanda Palmer-Clarke

Karen E. Mosier started working at the University of Saskatchewan in August 2005. Currently she is the Research Coordinator/ Navigator in the Department of Surgery. This proud alumna boasts a BA in Psychology and a MSc in Pharmacy both of which she Karen 1achieved at the University of Saskatchewan. She fell in love with the warm and nurturing environment of the university, which inspired her to take a job on campus after completing her studies.

In her current position, Karen is responsible for mentoring faculty and residents on research processes and procedures and promoting a dynamic research culture within the department. Her duties include reviewing grant applications, sourcing funding opportunities for faculty, writing the annual department research report, collecting research metrics, maintaining the department research intranet, organizing faculty & resident research days and resident information session lunches, facilitating networking lunches, coordinating faculty and resident research awards, organizing monthly research committee meetings and overseeing the research budget.

For Karen, one of the best things about her job is that she has the opportunity to help others. Thus, she makes it her personal goal to “help others the way people have helped [her]”. She is happiest when she knows she has helped someone, even in the smallest way. The beauty of the campus captivates her and affords her the opportunity to meet people from all over the world. She speaks fondly of the atmosphere and the diversity of the university – people from every nationality and background come to the University of Saskatchewan to follow their dreams and pursue their aspirations.

Motivated by the belief that we need “to live each day to the fullest,” Karen strives to do her best each day because “one will never get another day just like it”. She relishes the opportunity to review her day and be happy as she reflects on her daily accomplishments. Karen believes that her educational background has positioned her to excel in her current position. She credits her graduate experiences, and in particular, conducting a research project and writing a thesis, for helping her in gaining familiarity with the research processes on campus and the connections she made, that to this day are active and beneficial. She constantly relies on these skills and knowledge and her network of people to answer research-related questions from faculty and residents.

Karen 3In 2018, Karen was awarded the Canadian Association of Research Administrators (CARA) 2018 Dan Chase Distinguished Service Award – Priority Initiatives. This award recognizes CARA members who have demonstrated exceptional leadership commitment and whose services have been of significant benefit in advancing one or more of CARA’s priority initiatives in a given year. The award was presented at the CARA national conference in Ottawa in May of 2018. In 2019, Karen was awarded the Community Builder Award for the Canadian Association of Research Administrators (CARA).

Karen has been an ASPA observer on the Non-Academic Pension and Benefits Committee (NAPBC) since March 2016.  She recently joined the Communications Committee in April of 2018 and is actively involved in writing ASPA member highlights. As an ASPA member, Karen appreciates the many benefits that are available to all ASPA members such as the drug, dental and eye care plans and that services like massage therapy, chiropractic care, acupuncture, naturopathic medicine, and reflexology are also covered in our plan.

Karen thinks ASPA has positively impacted her career. She values the Professional Development funds that are available to all ASPA members on a yearly basis which enables her to continue her professional development by attending the annual CARA conferences. The plenary learning sessions at these conferences help her keep abreast of the developments in her field and keep her informed about new funding opportunities and changes to the tri-council application processes. In addition, the practical advice and resources shared from other research administrators saves her valuable time and effort in her daily tasks.    Karen 2

Karen advises ASPA members not to just do “the minimum work required” but always strive for more “to be a better person and “do your job the best that you can”. She urges all ASPA members to use their APDA funds and pursue professional opportunities to improve their skill set and be more effective in their jobs that might even result in a job promotion down the road.

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