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University Finance and Administration

Chea Smith Named New Traveling Faculty Member of NCURA

Congratulations to Chea Smith, Director of Cost Analysis and Reporting, who was recently appointed as a traveling faculty member of the National Council of University Research Administrators (NCURA)! The National Council of University Research Administrators The “nonprofit professional society [is] dedicated to advancing the profession of research administration through education and professional development programs, the sharing of knowledge and experiences, and the fostering of a diverse, collegial, and respected global community.” NCURA has more than 7,500 members from more than 1,100 colleges, universities, teaching hospitals, and research institutes in 40 countries.

Smith received her faculty member status after 10 years with the organization. It all started with a Sponsored Projects Administration II traveling workshop in 2011. “I began attending regional and national conferences. Through networking and gaining experience, I began receiving invitations to co-present with other members and consulting firms at the conferences,” she said. Soon after, she began submitting her own session proposals and presenting alone. These actions  landed her leadership positions on multiple NCURA committees.

Smith’s assignment for the Financial Research Administration workshop will be from 2022-2024.  “I am honored to have been selected by their Professional Development Committee after the application and interview process. Additionally, I feel like after presenting at several conferences, it is a good next step to take education to those that aren’t normally allowed to travel,” she said.

She believes NCURA’s greatest facet is its professional education. “I’m happy to give back much of the knowledge that was shared with me and allowed me to progress in my career.”

What would she say to someone interested in teaching or getting involved at a professional organization? “Just do it! NCURA, among other professional organizations, offer many volunteer opportunities to present at conferences, contribute to committees, and network.” NCURA is also committed to diversity and inclusion when selecting speakers for educational sessions, and they are always seeking new presenters.