Mary Riedel is the Assistant Director of the Research Service Center for the Colleges of Sciences and Engineering.
Please tell us about yourself.
I was born in Nashville, TN, but moved with my family to Abilene, TX in 1991. I went to Abilene Christian University and met my husband while in college. In 2005, we moved to San Antonio so that I could attend UTSA for my master’s degree. I got a part-time office assistant job while in school and have worked at UTSA ever since. I worked in a department for seven years and then moved to the RSC in 2012, where I have risen up the ranks over time.
I have a BA in History from Abilene Christian University, an MA in History from UTSA, and a Master’s in Library Science from UNT (Denton). I am married to the head Track & Cross-Country coach at the University of the Incarnate Word here in San Antonio, and we have two children – Gavin, who just turned 9, and Gwyneth, who is 6.
What is your job title and what do you do?
I am the Assistant Director of the Research Service Center for the Colleges of Sciences and Engineering. I have a lot of duties but, in a nutshell, I work with faculty to submit grant proposals to fund their research and help them manage grants that are awarded. It is 40% compliance, 40% relationships, and 20% detective work!
What is the best thing about your job?
I really enjoy research administration, as it always keeps you on your toes! The field is always changing, grant sponsors are constantly updating their rules and regulations, new faculty come on board every year with fresh ideas, and there is always a deadline coming up. The days fly by and there is no chance to ever be bored at work!
How do you define success?
Success means being known for your work ethic, dependability, and ingenuity.
What is your favorite quote?
“Do not judge or you will be judged in the same way.”
If you were stranded on a deserted island, what one band or musician would help keep your sanity?
What is the best vacation you’ve ever had?
I went to China this summer to visit my brother who lives there. I spent a week in Hong Kong and a week in Kunming in the Yunnan Province, where he lives. It was such a wonderful experience. I loved the food and all of the different things that I was able to see and do. Traveling abroad is a great way to open your mind to other cultures.
What is the song title that best describes your personality?
Brown Eyed Girl.
What would you do if you won the lottery?
Pay off my debts as far as it would go. Just kidding. Seriously, I would use it to pay off debt, add to our savings, add to the kids’ college fund, and then give some to our church and probably some other charities, too. Finally, I would love to take a fabulous vacation in Europe – I’ve always wanted to go!
If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Tex-Mex. Well, that’s more of a type of food. If you mean a single item, it would be M&Ms.