Meet Our GITC Speakers


Guest Speaker

John M. Watson

MSI, Program Coordinator for USAID

John M. Watson is the Minority Serving Institution (MSI) Program Coordinator for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), located in the Office of Small and Disadvantage Business Utilization (OSDBU).   The mission of the MSI Coordinator is to promote inclusion of colleges and universities that are underrepresented in federal programs and activities.

John Watson joined USAID in November 2008 in the Office of the Chief Financial Officer; responsible for providing funds management oversight in the use of Letters of Credit. He later served as Senior Program Manager in the Office of Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance (DCHA)/Office of Civilian Response (OCR). He was responsible for planning, managing and overseeing all operational requirements related to the Civilian Response Corp Program, including management oversight for the Civilian Deployment Center.

He holds a B.S. in Accounting from Hampton Institute (University) and MBA from the University of Mary-Hardin Baylor; Certified as a Contracting Officer Technical Representative and Assistance Officer Technical Representative.

Prior to joining USAID, he served as a Commissioned Officer in the U.S. Army Ordnance Corp.

Explore NIH – Programs, Science and Compliance


Dr. Ashok Hegde

William Harvey Endowment Professor of Biomedical Sciences

Dr. Ashok Hegde is the William Harvey Professor of Biomedical Science at Georgia College and State University (GCSU). Prior to joining GCSU, Dr. Hegde was a professor at Wake Forest School of Medicine (Winston-Salem, NC) where he carried out research and taught medical and graduate students. Dr. Hegde has received numerous grants from the National Institutes of Health and from private organizations. He has extensive experience in reviewing grant applications for NIH and other agencies. He has published many research papers, review articles and book chapters.

Grant Writing 101 – Drafting a Competitive Submission


Robin S. Lewis, MPA, CRA,

Director of Grants, Georgia College

Ms. Lewis has worked in all aspects of grants since 1993. Before joining Georgia College she worked at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, University of Florida, and University of Tennessee Health Science Center.  Ms. Lewis has had the pleasure of working with a number of successful researchers and firmly believes that grantsmanship is an important tool for anyone to acquire and use.

Talking Compliance with Real Case Studies – International Travel and Export Controls


Jason Guilbeault, CRA

Director of Post Award Services, Augusta University

Jason Guilbeault is the Director of Post Award Services at Augusta University (formerly Georgia Regents University) where he oversees all aspects of the University’s post award operations, including grants management, sub-recipient monitoring, Single Audit, and NSF Survey completion. Mr. Guilbeault has nearly 10 years of experience in financial accounting, cost accounting, and grant/contract management and compliance at various organizations, including MAXIMUS and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He serves on the Society of Research Administrator’s Educational Programming Subcommittee and is a regular contributor to the SRA Catalyst Magazine, covering various compliance topics. Mr. Guilbeault received his B.S. in Accounting from SUNY Empire State College and is a Certified Research Administrator.

Navigating Grants.gov 424 and Fastlane


Linda Meier

Grants Manager, Savannah State University

Linda Meier has been in research administration for over 20 years serving as Senior Grant and Contract Officer at both Cornell University and the University of New Hampshire. A New England girl at heart, she relocated with her family to Savannah, Georgia in 2008 and currently serves as Grants Manager at Savannah State University. Linda’s expertise is in all areas of administration for externally funded grant programs from identifying funding sources, preparing proposal applications including budget development and proposal submission through project closeout. Linda has been a member of the National Council of Research Administrators for many years, serving as the Chair of a NCURA Regional Conference for the Northeast Chapter and on numerous NCURA committees.

S.M.A.R.T. Outcomes – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time Based


William M Kay

Grant Writing Expert

William M. Kay is a grantseeker with ten-years experience in corporate and foundation relations and academic funding in higher education. With a background in program development, planning, and assessment, William most recently managed a portfolio of thirty institutions of higher education, to develop strategies and advance grant-seeking through capacity building and proposal production. William has contributed to, supported, or written more than $100M in funded proposals and was instrumental in developing an early career faculty development program now used by a half-dozen colleges and universities nationwide.

In addition to grants related positions, William is an accomplished program evaluator, having worked under contract for the US Forest Service and preparing reports for the US Government Accountability Office, with a Master’s in Community and Regional Planning, from the University of Oregon.


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