DATE:  May 26, 2004
CONTACT: Dr. Harvey Knull, Dean of Graduate Studies and Vice President of Scholarly Activity, (361) 825-2177; Steve Paschal, Public Affairs, (361) 825-2336

Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi Employee Renee Gonzales passes Certified Research Administrator Exam
Renee Gonzales, an employee in Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi’s office of Graduate Studies and Research, recently passed the Certified Research Administrator (CRA) exam.

Gonzales, a 2000 graduate of A&M-Corpus Christi, is the second CRA in the office which helps professors prepare and obtain research grants. In her new position as Contracts and Grants Administrator, she will facilitate proposal submissions and work with the post-award office in preparing budgets for awarded proposals.

In 2002, Senior Grants and Contracts Administrator Laura Rosales became the University’s first CRA, one of only just 436 administrators in the United States to earn the designation. In the past three years, annual grants awarded to the University for teaching, research and service have more than doubled from $5 million to $12.5 million. According to Rosales, the University’s increased emphasis on faculty and student research created a need for a second CRA within the office.

“Our workload has really increased and with the knowledge and credibility she brings, Renee can help professors make sure that they are in compliance with regulations and contracts,” Rosales said. “It’s important that the faculty and staff have someone to help with the dos and don’ts of grant proposals.”

Gonzales graduated from A&M-Corpus Christi in 2000 with a degree in finance. She worked at the University as an accounting clerk while still a student. Following graduation, she worked for 18 months as business coordinator for the campus bookstore before joining the office of Graduate Studies and Research. She was recently promoted to Contracts and Grants Administrator. She is also a member of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee which oversees grants that use animals in research.

“I am most pleased to have Renee become a "Certified Research Administrator,” said Dr. Harvey Knull, dean of Graduate Studies and vice president of Scholarly Activity at A&M-Corpus Christi.  “The certification program is very important to our University for several reasons, the most important of which is to have people like Renee who are fully aware of federal and other regulations.  This expertise positions the University to administer various projects accurately and efficiently.”