- August 2022
Years in Position: 6 years
Years at MSU: 13 years
Kay Davidson’s experience at Sara Lee/Bryan Foods made her well suited for her job as the budget coordinator for a large department at Mississippi State University.
“I came to MSU after Sara Lee/Bryan Foods closed,” Davidson said. “Having worked with military and export requirements and documentation, this opportunity seemed a good fit, considering my sales administration and customer service experience.”
Davidson is responsible for assisting faculty in preparing and submitting grant proposals and is the department grants and contracts liaison between faculty and the Office of Sponsored Projects. She helps faculty complete and submit reports for their federal projects and monitors faculty’s individual Office of Research and Economic Development research training, making sure they stay up to date on the requirements of MSU and federal agencies. She has also had other responsibilities in the office and can step in to help when she’s needed on other tasks.
“This job can be stressful when impending deadlines approach, but it’s also very satisfying when everything comes together and the goals are met,” Davidson said. “When a faculty’s proposal is awarded, having a small part in their success, is very gratifying.”
With Davidson’s help, international students in the department now can get up to three years of experience in their area of study.
“When I first started, our College of Forest Resources students could only apply for one year of Optional Practical Training on their student visas because of the way the degree coding system for instructional programs worked,” she said.
“After I began collecting eligibility information, with the help of International Services, our department head garnered college and division support and got approval from the university and the Institutions of Higher Learning for our degree codes to be changed in the system. This allowed international students to apply for one year of OPT with an option for two additional years on their visas, gaining more experience and time to successfully find permanent jobs in their fields.”
Organization, initiative, attention to detail, and the ability to work under pressure and as a member of a team are essential to working in contracts and agreements administration, Davidson said.
“There are so many aspects and people involved in successful accomplishments,” she said. “Any accomplishment is a collective effort, built on teamwork and communication. As the saying goes, ‘There is no ‘I’ in team.’ If you don’t communicate with others, the team network breaks down. It’s very difficult, if not impossible, to succeed without the assistance of others.”
Davidson said she has developed a love for country living after having lived in large cities. In her spare time, she enjoys photography, camping, fishing, and seeing all the beautiful nature God created.