Distinguished Achievement Award 2009

Torie Strole, Distinguished Achievement

Our second recipient is Torie Strole, who was nominated for her outstanding work on grants and contracts. Her nominator wrote that "this award is long overdue." For the past year, Strole has been really put to the test. Her only office partner was first out on maternity leave and then took another job on campus, leaving Strole with the work of two people. Strole reviews the monetary and completion aspects of all proposals, manages subcontracts, and handles all of the contract accounting, working with the University of Illinois Office of Sponsored research.

As a example, her nominator wrote of his recent experiences with her during his U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) proposal on carbon sequestration that successfully brought in $6 million to the ISGS: "I personally would not have been able to successfully navigate all of the contract requirements without her help. My grant involved working with the ISGS, Western Michigan University, the Indiana Geological Survey, the Kentucky Geological Survey, the University of Illinois Department of Geology, Schlumberger, and Brigham Young University. She was the point person [who] made certain these different groups were all giving us the proper forms and numbers and that these numbers all matched with our internal numbers. She found numerous discrepancies in the different organization submittals and their other paperwork. Most important, she read all of the DOE requirements from their RFP and found that I had missed a critical item that would have negated the proposal."

The PI also commented that, after the award announcement, "the ISGS is now going though the post award requests from DOE. She was a tremendous help in working through a multiple layered Excel workbook. All of the different spreadsheets were linked together. There were nine different spreadsheets that had to all internally match with each other. She was able to take my original numbers and make everything fit."

This type of praise has been heard by many investigators over the years. Strole is a pleasure to work with and does not get upset by the numerous interruptions from staff members who are working on proposals or managing project funds—even with her added workload.

Strole's plaque reads, "Distinguished Achievement Award: Torie Strole, in recognition of your outstanding work in submission and management of contracts and grants for the benefit of the people of Illinois." In addition to her plaque, Torie received a monetary award to be used for work-related purposes.