Skip Navigation
OU Public Affairs WebsiteThe University of OklahomaPublic Affairs

Mary Cotter-Lalli Receives the 2014 Regents' Award for Superior Staff at OU Health Sciences Center

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

lsb/4-30-14

Contact: OU Public Affairs, (405) 325-1701

OKLAHOMA CITY – Mary Cotter-Lalli, Director of Sponsored Programs for the Office of Research Administration, has been selected as the recipient of the 2014 Regents’ Award for Superior Staff recipients at the OU Health Sciences Center.

The OU Board of Regents established the award in 1988 to recognize outstanding contributions made by OU staff members whose job performance, service activities and dedication have enhanced the mission of the university.

Cotter-Lalli has been a dedicated OU employee for more than 20 years, with 16 of those years spent on the OU Health Sciences Center campus. In 2007, she joined the Office of Research Administration as Director of Sponsored Programs. Her role in this position entails learning and understanding constantly changing federal, state, university, and sponsor rules and regulations. She was nominated by colleague Adrienne Blalack, who said, “She is one of the most intelligent and knowledgeable people I know, and her knowledge base is far-reaching.”

Cotter-Lalli has held many positions during her service with OU, including purchasing, Continuing Medical Education and the Institutional Review Board. Having worked on the departmental level, in Payroll, post-award grants accounting, and now pre-award grants, there is virtually no topic that her experience doesn’t touch. After joining the Office of Research Administration, she continued to assist the offices where she worked previously. Blalack said, “It would be a challenge to find a department on campus that hasn’t turned to Mary at some point for guidance, and so many turn to her on a regular basis.”

Her broad expertise was called upon in 2009 to serve as Pre-Award Implementation Team Lead for the Peoplesoft Grants software implementation project. This project, which spanned 18 months, required moving many years of proposal and award data from an Access database into the Peoplesoft Grants module. It also involved coordinating processes between the pre- and post-award grants offices. Blalack said, “Mary still maintained her responsibilities in the Office of Research Administration, bouncing between the two roles day-to-day and sometimes hour-by-hour.”

A colleague at the time stated, “I truly believe the successful implementation of this module in the Office of Research Administration was due to Mary’s leadership on this project.” The IT lead on the Peoplesoft Grants implementation project added: “This is probably one of Mary’s most important and prized achievements from an IT perspective. Implementing a software application which uses new tools, new functional language, new functionality, working with other modules within the new system, completely new data entry and reporting system while having to keep up with the old system is a daunting task for anyone, let alone for a

non-technical person but to manage a group of people to do the same tasks – functional, technical, and reporting needs – takes a special person and that’s what Mary is, an outstanding, patient, understanding, and dedicated individual.”

Cotter-Lalli was also called upon by the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Arts to guide them through their file-auditing process. Not only is she a valuable asset to the OU community but also her character and personality are infectious. Blalack also added that she is genuine and generous. A fellow manager said, “Data and results can be generated on many of the things mentioned above; her success is easily measurable. However, it’s the immeasurable that is truly remarkable.”

Cotter-Lalli is described by many as the most valuable member of the Office of Research Administration. Her knowledge of the grants process, databases, and relationships with other University offices is impeccable. She is known as the “go-to” person within the office, from the receptionist to the Vice President. Equally as important as the breadth and depth of her knowledge is her willingness to openly share it with others. Her generosity is matched only by her integrity and commitment to the good work of the university.

 2013  |  2012  |  2011

April 2014

Mary Cotter-Lalli Receives the 2014 Regents' Award for Superior Staff at OU Health Sciences Center

University of Oklahoma Students Achieve Perfect Grade-Point Average

OU Drama Achieves National Honors

University of Oklahoma Student Business Team Achieves Top Honors in International Competition

OU Commencement to Feature CEO and Co-Founder of Teach For All, Photo Highlights of Graduating Class and Music

Alan Velie Named 2014 Otis Sullivant Award Winner

OU Pilot Program Advances Research in Arts and Humanities

OU to Establish Premier Center for Judaic and Israel Studies with Grant from Schusterman Family Foundation

Three OU Students Receive Boren Awards for International Study

Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History to be Awarded National Medal for Museum Service in White House Ceremony

Brad Burnett Receives the 2014 Regents' Award for Superior Staff

OU Designated Big 12 Conference Champion In EPA's College and University Green Power Challenge

OU Norman Campus Faculty Senate Adopts Resolution Against Guns on Campus

OU Licensing Department Achieves National Honors

2014 Staff Senate Awards Ceremony to be Held April 22

Five Outstanding Individuals to Receive Honorary Degrees at OU Commencement May 9

OU's Alexis Taitel Named Recipient of Truman Scholarship

2014 OU Staff Week to Include Daily Activities and Annual Awards Ceremony

OU History of Science Department Receives Sloan Foundation Grant to Build an Innovative Tool for Collaborative Research

OU Junior Rashid Campbell Wins Top Honors at National Debate Tournament

Norman Campus Provost Announces Intent to Resume Classroom Teaching; OU President David Boren to Recommend Kyle Harper as Interim Provost

OU President's Day of Learning Welcomes Back Alumni and Friends for its Second Year

University of Oklahoma Student Business Team Achieves Top Honor in National Competition

CEO and Co-Founder of Teach For All to Deliver OU Commencement Address

Liz Bergey Named Fulbright Alumni Ambassador

Akash Patel to Receive OU's Carl Albert Award

For requests for past releases, please contact OU Public Affairs at (405) 325-1701 or publicaffairs@ou.edu.