Miami University's Hamilton campus. A building is seen through an arch with "Miami University" signage.

OARS’ newest staff member shares her experience

Amy Cooper and three other people stand behind a table that holds Regionals-branded tote bags among other items.
Amy Cooper (second from right) worked at Miami’s Regional campuses for 25 years before coming to OARS.

My new position in the OARS office feels a lot like coming home for me. I first arrived on the Oxford campus as an undergraduate in 1986. After earning a degree in professional/technical writing, I spent the next 25 years at Miami’s Regional Campuses.

I was with the Center for Chemistry Education on the Middletown Campus for many years. We worked with educators from preschool through college level to make chemistry fun for all students, with more than $15 million in grant funding received. The experience I gained in proposal development and managing large-scale funded projects (along with some difficult lessons learned) helps me advise faculty and staff on avoiding pitfalls in project planning.

More recently, I was the grant writer and then the director of proposal development for the Regionals. After 18 years of chemistry, all day and every day, it was an exciting adventure to support external funding efforts across all disciplines. I was privileged to work with a lot of dedicated faculty and staff members who put students first, including many non-traditional and first-generation students with a broad range of life experience and some unique challenges.

An accomplishment I’m very proud of was coordinating the Regionals’ successful application for a US Department of Education Upward Bound grant in partnership with Hamilton High School. Students at the high school will be helped to see college as a viable option and provided with step-by-step support to apply and enroll in college, at Miami or elsewhere.

Throughout the years, I worked closely with OARS staff, who ensured that proposals were in line with funders’ and Miami’s guidelines. At first, their work seemed very mysterious to me. Over time, I grew interested in research administration, particularly when Tricia Callahan or Anne Schauer caught an issue that might have doomed a proposal. They were generous in answering my questions about how they did their jobs.

As a new OARS team member, I’m thrilled to be starting on this latest Miami adventure, back where my Miami life started. I’m very interested in how faculty members on all campuses build a research agenda and garner funding to support that work. I want to help make the process as straightforward as possible. I look forward to working with you!

Written by Amy Hurley Cooper, Assistant Director, Proposal Development, Office for the Advancement of Research and Scholarship, Miami University.

Photos by Miami University.

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