Coast & Environment Grants and Contracts Manager Earns LSU Staff Stripes Award
November 03, 2021
Congratulations to Melanie Spinks who received a Staff Stripes Award from LSU Staff Senate this October! Spinks is a grants and contracts manager for the LSU College of the Coast & Environment, or CC&E, and the second CC&E employee to earn one this year, preceded by CC&E Assistant Dean Leah Courville. She was nominated by John White, CC&E’s associate dean of research, and Matt Hiatt, assistant professor in the Department of Oceanography & Coastal Sciences.
This quarterly award is given to up to three staff members for their exceptional work and dedication to LSU and was first implemented by Staff Senate in 2021.
As the grants and contracts manager, Spinks assists the faculty in researching proposal requirements and correctly formatting and submitting their proposals. This can be a challenge since different agencies and non-governmental entities all have different formats and requirements which can change from year to year.
“Having a person as competent, meticulous, and dedicated as Melanie to help navigate the complicated and ever-changing landscape of grants has been a great boon to my first few years as a faculty member,” Hiatt said. “She's confident and has a great attention to detail that I believe contributes greatly to the overall strong proposal success rates in the college.”
Furthermore, during the start of the pandemic, in spring and summer of 2020, many of CC&E’s faculty were unable to perform their usual field and lab research due to the work-from-home requirements of the university. Instead, they focused on writing grant proposals, which placed an immediate and extraordinary increase in Spinks’ workload. That hard work paid off. In fiscal year 2020-2021, the college received $8,322,662—a 54 percent increase in grant monies compared to the previous year.
With Melanie’s extraordinary efforts, our college has brought in $1.22 of extramural funding for every $1.00 of state money, a great investment for the state of Louisiana and LSU.
“With Melanie’s extraordinary efforts, our college has brought in $1.22 of extramural funding for every $1.00 of state money, a great investment for the state of Louisiana and LSU,” White said. “We would be lost without her.”