ORSP Administration & Staff

ORSP Mailing Address:

MTSU Box 124
2269 Middle Tennessee Boulevard
Murfreesboro, TN 37132
Email: research@mtsu.edu; research2@mtsu.edu

david butlerDavid L. Butler, Ph.D.
Vice Provost for Research and Dean of Graduate Studies 
(615) 898-2182 

Tara Hayes, Administrative AssistantTara Hayes
Administrative Assistant to VPR & Dean  
Phone: (615) 898-5897    Fax: (615) 904-8020 

rachel Rachel McGinnis
Office of Research and Sponsored Programs
Phone (615) 898-5010

Oversees all ORSP operations including award management and research compliance. 

Dr. Jamie BurrissJamie Burriss, Ph.D.
Undergraduate Research Center
(615) 494-7669 

Oversees the Undergraduate Research Center (URC) including serving as the advisor for the Student Organization for the Advancement of Research (SOAR), oversight of URC communications, SOAR Ambassadors, and graduation distinction, facilitates the Undergraduate Research Experience and Creative Activity (URECA) grant cycles, coordinates events such as the Fall Open House, Scholars Week, and Posters at the Capitol, and organizes workshops offered by the URC.  Serves as Fulbright Scholar Liaison for faculty.  Oversees Export Control Compliance Verification forms for international travel.

 Nolan Hatley, Ph.D.
 Research Compliance Officer
 (615) 494-8918
 compliance@mtsu.edu ; nolan.hatley@mtsu.edu

 Responsible for specific components of research compliance including the Institutional Review Board, Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, and Research Integrity. Develop and implement policies, procedures, programs, and educational activities which satisfy Federal, State, local and institutional rules and regulations which govern proper conduct of research.


Lisa Lee
(615) 904-8398

Provides financial support for the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs by processing grants and contracts from draft through execution. Oversees faculty start-ups, budgeting, and more. Tracks URC, URECA, MT-IGO, ORSP, and VPR budgets and assists with projections. 



Katie Medrano
Program Manager
(615) 904-8040

Provides internal operational support for all areas of the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, including internal research funding, procurement and personnel (hiring, termination, extra compensation, summer salary), events, faculty development, and website design. Facilitates the MT-Internal Grant Opportunities (MT-IGO) program, Grant Writing Enhancement Program (GEP), Raider Research Series, ORSP communications, and ORSP workshops and trainings.



Julie Darbonne
(615) 898-2400

Supports departments with questions related to personnel (hiring, termination, extra compensation, and summer salary), travel, etc., and provides administrative support to the ORSP award specialist team. Coordinates responses to external surveys and prepares statistical reports for both internal audiences and state agencies regarding grant-related activity. Responds to internal and external inquiries to ORSP, assists with maintenance of the ORSP website, and manages grant-related communication to faculty and staff.


Awards Management Staff




Keith Palmer, Award Management Specialist

Keith Palmer
Award Management Specialist
(615) 494-7600

Pre-Award Assignments:

College of Basic and Applied Sciences - all departments except Biology  
College of Graduate Studies - Center for Health and Human Services (CHHS)  
James E. Walker Library  
Other Academic Affairs areas not listed  

Michelle Willard, Award Management Specialist

Michelle Willard
Award Management Specialist
(615) 494-7848 

Pre-Award Assignments:

College of Behavioral & Health Sciences      
Jennings A. Jones College of Business  
College of Education  
College of Liberal Arts  
College of Media and Entertainment
College of Basic & Applied Sciences - Biology
University College and Office of Student Success
College of Graduate Studies - Data Science Institute
University President's Office
Student Affairs
International Affairs
Business and Finance




Kelsey BentonKelsey Benton
Award Management Specialist

John SousaJohn Sousa, M.F.A.
Award Management Specialist
(615) 898-5894



Jamie Treadwell
Award Management Specialist
(615) 898-2327