Office of Research & Sponsored Programs

Office of Research and Sponsored Programs Staff and Affiliates


Jennifer Waldron  Jennifer Waldron
  Associate VP Research
  (319) 273-2748

As Associate Vice President for Research and Innovation at the University of Northern Iowa, Jennifer J. Waldron is responsible for elevating the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs and supporting faculty in seeking external support for mission-related scholarship and outreach initiatives. She provides oversight for the establishment of Centers and Institutes and of the Institutional Review Board. Additionally, she provides leadership in promoting academic ethics and in facilitating scholarship. Dr. Waldron also serves as the Dean of the Graduate College and is a Professor in the Department of Kinesiology. She has published and presented widely with a focus on gender and sexuality in sport and physical activity, as well as hazing in sport. Dr. Waldron is the recipient of multiple awards, including the AAHPERD Mabel Lee Award for Young Professionals, Regents Award for Faculty Excellence, and College of Education Faculty Award for Scholarship.

  Director of Research and Sponsored
  (319) 273-3025
Tolif Hunt has overseen the Office of Research & Sponsored Programs since the spring of 2015 and has been with the RSP office since 2012. Tolif holds an MS in Environmental Science and Policy from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and a BA in Conservation Biology from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He is also a Certified Research Administrator (CRA). Prior to joining UNI, Tolif was the Executive Director of Whiterock Conservancy located in western Iowa and worked for 5 years in the conservation field with the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy. Tolif coaches youth baseball and football, plays rec-league softball, and loves spending time outdoors with his wife and four children.

   TBDResearch Ethics Director
RSP is currently transitioning to a new Director of Research Ethics/IRB Administrator. For inquiries related to this position, responsibilities, or other questions, please contact Tolif Hunt at

   Clerk IV
   (319) 273-3282
Sean Parrish joined RSP as a Clerk IV in April 2019 and provides research support services to the Preaward and Postaward teams as well as assistance with IRB and research development. He earned a BA in English Language and Literature from the University of Chicago and his prior experience includes freelance writing and non-profit work. Before coming to UNI, he spent ten years as an eCommerce manager for Goodwill. When not writing or working in his yard, Sean enjoys attending the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony and farmers markets.


Post Award Team

Michele Mullings-Shand
Associate Grants and Contracts Administrator
(319) 273-6418

   Karen BassKaren Bass
   Account Clerk
   (319) 273-6437
Karen joined the RSP team in May 2017 as an account clerk.  She’s responsible for labor distribution accounting and journal entries, month end Regents Board reports, maintaining grants and contracts records, financial statement reporting and distribution, and balancing and closing out accounts.  Karen cheerfully shares her candy and seasonal decorations with visitors and colleagues, and she is an enthusiastic Panther.  She graduated from UNI with a BA in Management, with a Finance emphasis. Her son is currently a UNI student and her daughter plans to attend next year.  Karen enjoys reading, movies, and spending time with family and her two dogs.

Donna Uhlenhopp   Donna Uhlenhopp
   Account Specialist
   (319) 273-7054
Donna Uhlenhopp is in charge of all invoicing for the post award side of Research and Sponsored Programs. She also handles the final accounting for each award, and completes the incentive funds distributions. In addition, Donna assists the director with the operational aspects of the Research and Sponsored Programs office. Donna will begin her 29th year of employment with UNI in May.  She enjoys spending time with her family and 7 grandchildren, walking, painting, gardening, camping, watching grandchildren sporting events, and singing with her worship team.

   Post Award Support Services Coordinator
   (319) 273-4321
Britta Sandberg triages incoming grant and contract awards, drafts some agreements, and is responsible for post-award amendments and extensions. In addition, she is responsible for issuing and administering outgoing sub-awards and annual audit certifications. Britta has over fifteen years of experience with Iowa Regents Institutions, including positions as senior accountant, contract administrator, business manager, and research support manager at the University of Iowa and Iowa State University. She holds degrees in accounting and history from the University of Iowa.


Preaward Team

Rebecca Rinehart   Rebecca Rinehart, CRA
   Preaward Specialist & Interim IRB Administrator
   (319) 273-6482
As a Preaward Specialist, Rebecca assists faculty and staff in identifying funding opportunities and preparing and submitting proposals. She also leads RSP trainings and events such as the Summer Grant Writing Workshop and Scholar Connexus. Rebecca earned a B.S. in Geology from Bryn Mawr College and her prior work experience is in environmental public health and regulatory compliance. She earned the CRA (Certified Research Administrator) credential in 2020 and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Research Administration and Compliance.

Maggie Heretakis   Maggie Heretakis
   Preaward Specialist
   (319) 273-3961
Maggie Heretakis helps provide resources and information related to funding opportunities for grant proposals, assists with the proposal development process, preparing budgets for grant proposals, and the submission process for external grant proposals. Her previous work experience was in planning and she is currently a member of the Waterloo Housing Trust Fund board, which is focused on affordable housing issues. Maggie earned her B.A. in Geography and Russian Language at Middlebury College. Maggie enjoys hiking with her dog whenever the weather permits.


Graduate Assistants

2020-21 Pending

Graduate Assistant Job Description


Institutional Review Board

Interim IRB Administrator 
(319) 273-6482
IRB Chair
HPC 3B  0244, (319) 273-6152

IRB Members


Office of Intellectual Property

Intellectual Property Officer
(319) 273-4327
William (Bill) Harwood
Science and Technology Officer
(319) 273-2056