The Office of Research Programs (ORP)
Led by the VP of Research, the Office of Research Programs (ORP) seeks to stimulate, facilitate and highlight research at ESF, and strives to make research opportunities at the College as broad and achievable as possible. We are the central resource for the initiation, funding and management of all ESF research activity.
ORP Staff Directory
Vice President for Research
- William J. Nicholson, Director of Sponsored Programs
- Susan E. Benoit, Assistant Director of Sponsored Programs
- Lisa Schwabenbauer, Sponsored Programs Associate, Interim Deputy Operations Manager
- Kate Edwards, Sponsored Programs Associate
- Cheryl A. Liptak, Administrative Staff Assistant II
- Anne R. Knapp, Senior Clerical Specialist
Maureen O'Neill Fellows, Ph.D.; Interim Vice President for Research; Interim Research Foundation Campus Operations Manager; Vice President, Government and External Relations
ORP Staff Responsibilities
As Interim Vice President for Research, Maureen O'Neill Fellows provides leadership, coordination and support for College-wide research programs through the initiation, development and implementation of research management, administrative and financial/budgetary strategies. Research-oriented Center, Institutes, Councils and Consortia report to the Interim Vice President, who works closely with the Provost in support of these entities. The Interim Vice President works synergistically with the ESF administration and with counterparts at Upstate Medical University, Syracuse University, the business community and other college partners to develop research opportunities and new initiatives.
William J. Nicholson is the Director of Sponsored Programs, who coordinates and directs the activities of the technical staff of the Office of Research Programs. He assists the Vice Provost of Research with all phases of the administration of grants and contracts from sponsors external to the College. This includes general oversight responsibility for pre-award and post-award activities, including liaison with project directors, sponsoring agencies and organizations, and the Research Foundation of State University of New York. This position is central to the development of Memoranda of Understanding as well as finalization of contracts and grants.
Susan E. Benoit is a Assistant Director of Sponsored Programs. Her responsibilities include include coordinating proposal submissions for a subset of the faculty that includes Conservation Biology, Fisheries and Wildlife-Focused Faculty of Environmental and Forest Biology; as well as the Natural Heritage Program; preparing expenditure and budget reports and assisting with post-award activity..
Lisa Schwabenbauer is a Sponsored Programs Associate, Interim Deputy Operations Manager. Her responsibilities include coordinating proposal submissions for a subset of the faculty that includes the Department of Forest and Natural Resources Management, the Adirondack Ecological Center; Administrative accounts including ESF College Foundation and the McIntire-Stennis program; Administrative accounts including Graduate Studies, ESF College Foundation and the McIntire-Stennis program; preparing expenditure and budget reports and assisting with post-award activity.
Kate Edwards is a Sponsored Programs Associate. Her responsibilities include coordinating proposal submissions for a subset of the faculty that includes the Departments of Chemistry; Environmental Studies; Environmental Resources Engineering; Landscape Architecture; Paper and Bioprocess Engineering; Plant-Focused Faculty of Environmental and Forest Biology; as well as the Administrative Accounts including Graduate Studies, Student Affairs, Sustainability, and Office of Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity; preparing expenditure and budget reports and assisting with post-award activity.
Cheryl A. Liptak is a Administrative Staff/Assistant II. Cheryl assists with post-award tasks of reviewing and monitoring the close-outs of awards, and notifying the PI’s of award balances and reports due. She is also responsible for monitoring the contracts and grants campus approval review process; sub-recipient monitoring; tuition encumbering and charging; and works with the Outreach Office on multiple sponsor award set-up and closeouts. She monitors technology transfer submissions; submits and processes cash transmittals submitted to the Research Office; and assists with faculty PIAI training. She also plays an important role in special events including the Mentoring Conference, NY State Fair and campus visits of major research figures.
Anne R. Knapp is a Senior Clerical Specialist. Anne assists with many functions of the proposal process. This includes preparation and processing of a variety of required proposal forms including transmittal materials for faculty/project directors. Anne also provides assistance with post-award tasks, updating and revising data between ORP and Research Foundation database systems, tracking personnel and purchase order requisitions, forwarding monthly account statements, and assisting with sub-recipient monitoring and the effort reporting process.
Office of Research Programs
200 Bray Hall
1 Forestry Drive
Syracuse, NY 13210