Research Support

The Cato College of Education provides a variety of resources to support faculty, staff, and students in the pursuit of scholarly research, including a team that assists the College research community in the pursuit and management of extramural funding. Team members provide education, consultation, communications and other services in support of the research enterprise of the College. Faculty and staff can reach out to team members via email to ask questions or schedule a time to meet, but are encouraged to Submit a Service Request for support that may require time and effort to address. Submitting a ticket ensures that the request is tracked and completed in a timely fashion.

Research Support Faculty & Staff

LaVerne Ellerbe
Director, Center for Research Excellence
Center for Research Excellence (CRE)

Dr. Laverne Ellerbe is the Director for the Center for Research Excellence (CRE). In this role, she helps faculty and staff locate funding opportunities using a number of databases and search engines. Dr. Ellerbe is also available to discuss grant proposal ideas with faculty and staff, and to help edit proposals. She can also provide support in identifying partners for collaborative projects. Dr. Ellerbe is the University liaison with Hanover Research. If you are hoping to have a grant proposal reviewed by Hanover for feedback, please contact Scott Kissau. Scott will connect you with Dr. Ellerbe to see if there is any availability in the Hanover queue to review your proposal.

Katherine Alexander
Proposal Development Specialist
Center for Research Excellence

Katherine Alexander is the Proposal Development Specialist in the Center for Research Excellence. Once a proposal has been written, Katherine can help faculty and staff navigate the submission guidelines, make sure they have answered all of the questions, and that they have met all sponsor requirements (i.e., word limits and formatting). Katherine also offers copyediting and critical reviews to ensure that grant proposals are well organized, clear, and most importantly, meet everything that the sponsor is looking for, so that your proposal can get funded.

Sydney Dash
Human Resources Specialist
Dean’s Office

Sydney Dash is the Human Resources Specialist for the Cato College of Education. She completes personnel actions and works closely with Jennifer Jones. Sydney supports the hiring of full- and part-time personnel (non-students) charged to grants.

Stafford Farmer
Associate Director for Proposal Development
Office of Research Services

Stafford Farmer is the Associate Director for Proposal Development in the Office of Research Services. His team assists with external funding applications. Stafford works closely with Kristen Morse to provide consultation services. They can meet with faculty and staff to review proposals they plan to submit, assist with the navigation of submission systems (i.e., Niner Research), help with the budget, and navigate some of the submission timelines to ensure that proposals are submitted on time. Stafford’s team also houses the University’s Authorized Organizational Representatives, the people who complete the final review and sign off on the submission. The team also ensures data integrity and helps to manage the pre-award related modules in Niner Research.

Sarah Johnson
Grant Post-Award Specialist
Office of Research Services

Sarah Johnson is the Award Management Specialist (post-award specialist) for the College. Sarah handles financial performance reports, approvals, any questions faculty and staff may have about funding, changes, requirements, and summer salary. Sarah works closely with Jennifer Jones to handle the management of awards once received. 

Jennifer Jones
Grant Post-Award Business Services Coordinator
Dean’s Office

Jennifer Jones is the Post-Award Business Services Coordinator in the Cato College of Education. Jennifer helps with the initiation of various post-award actions. For example, she helps with processing release time and summer salary charged to grants. Jennifer also helps with budget reconciliations. She initiates budget revisions and key personnel changes, and is the point of contact to help initiate assumptions of risk (AORs) and no cost extensions (NCEs). For grants with cost-share requirements, Jennifer can help faculty and staff get their cost share certified.

Scott Kissau
Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Education & Professor
Dean’s Office

Scott Kissau is the Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Education in the Cato College of Education. Dr. Kisssau promotes and supports research and the pursuit of external funding among students, faculty, and staff in the Cato College of Education. In this role, he offers grant development workshops, opportunities for proposal development mentoring and SEED funding, and meets weekly with the College’s grant support team to review requests for support (tickets) and ensure these requests are being addressed in a timely manner. Dr. Kissau serves as the College’s liaison to the Division of Research.

Kristen Morse
Grant Proposal Development Specialist
Office of Research Services
Office of Research Services

Kristen Morse is the Proposal Development Officer for the Cato College of Education. Kristen works closely with Stafford Farmer to facilitate pre-award support on behalf of the College. 

Peter Szanton
Office of Research Services

Peter Szanton is the Director of the Office of Research Services. ORS has 3 main teams. One is the proposal development team led by Stafford Farmer, and also includes Kristen Morse. Another is the post-award team that Monica Warner leads and that includes Sarah Johnson. The third team is the contracting team (Grants and Contracts) that negotiates contracts and agreements and also accept awards when they come in. Faculty and staff with questions related to contracting, including subawards, should contact Peter.

Monica Warner
Associate Director for Award Management
Office of Research Services

Monica Warner is the Associate Director for Award Management. In this role, she leads the post-award management team in the Office of Research Services. Her role is to assist with issue resolution and to support Sarah Johnson in completion of post-award tasks that involve faculty and staff in the Cato College of Education.