ATLANTA — The National Council of University Research Administrators (NCURA), Region III, has awarded its annual Distinguished Service Award to Kay Gilstrap, director of research support services for the University Research Centers at Georgia State University.
The NCURA award is presented to an individual who has more than 10 years of volunteer experience with Region III and has made outstanding contributions to the field of research administration.
Colleagues at NCURA praised Gilstrap for her commitment and contributions.
“This year’s recipient has held nearly every role imaginable with our regional organization and fulfilled them with great passion … In NCURA’s Region III, Kay was elected by the membership to serve as chair, treasurer and as our regionally elected board member,” said David Smelser of the University of Tennessee, who has served with Gilstrap on national and regional NCURA activities. “To put that in some context, that is eight years of day-to-day service making sure our region is operating effectively and is in good financial position to put on our regional meetings.”
Gilstrap also serves as a member of the Traveling Workshop Faculty, and has served on the NCURA Financial Management Committee, co-chaired the 60th Annual Meeting and is a graduate of NCURA’s Executive Leadership Program.
Gilstrap said she believes her activity with the national group has made her a better leader and administrator.
"It is such an honor and incredibly humbling to be recognized in this way,” Gilstrap said. “Getting involved in NCURA is one of the best things I have ever done, and being able to give back to the organization where I have learned so much about our profession and developed incredible friendships with people from across the globe is just a joy.”
Gilstrap has worked with Georgia State for more than a decade, and currently leads a team that supports pre-award, post award and human resources responsibilities for the University Research Centers. She is also one of the leaders behind the launch of a new research administration internship program, known as ACRA, to create a career path for research administrators and identify strategies to attract talented workers.
Vice President for Research and Economic Development Tim Denning said Gilstrap constantly distinguishes herself through her strong commitment to colleagues and the research enterprise at Georgia State.
“Kay is such an asset to our university and particularly the research enterprise. Her vast experience in research administration combined with a deep commitment to excellence has made her a recognized leader across campus and beyond,” Denning said. “She was instrumental in leading the new ACRA internship program to build a pipeline of talented research administrators. I am so pleased that Kay is being recognized with this prestigious award from NCURA. It is so well-deserved.”
Gilstrap said she is excited to continue her work with the ACRA research program team, to learn what will attract and retain millennials and Gen Z to the research administration profession, and to continue her work with NCURA.
“We are excited by what we have learned so far, and I’m looking forward to continuing that work,” Gilstrap said.
In addition to her work with NCURA, Gilstrap is a founding member of the Research Administration Departmental (RAD) Group and holds posts on various committees serving the research enterprise at Georgia State. She is also a lead instructor for the GSU Panther TRACKS program.