College of Health Hires Senior Contract and Grant Specialist

Heather M. Messina will work to build the capacity for research in the college and to support the research efforts of faculty, staff and students.

Heather Messina

Heather M. Messina officially began her new role Oct. 1. 

Heather M. Messina has been named senior contract and grant specialist for Lehighs College of Health. Transferring from the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP), Messina officially began her new role on Oct. 1. 

As the senior contract and grant specialist, Messina is responsible for activities related to the life cycle of sponsored program administration, such as identifying sources of funding, proposal preparation and contract management, as well as providing financial support to faculty, staff, and students. She will work closely with Associate Dean for Research Hal Skinner, principal investigators and ORSP to manage grants and contracts. 

Im looking forward to contributing expertise in research administration and overall grant management at the college-level,” Messina said. 

She also brings over nine years of institutional knowledge to the college, having made the internal transfer. 

Messina has deep pre- and post- award research administration experience and throughout her career has demonstrated leadership by training and mentoring new hires. During her time at ORSP, she was responsible for pre- and post- award tasks, from proposal preparation through grant award for several engineering departments and an interdisciplinary program. She also has contributed to developing and revising administrative processes.

Im looking forward to supporting the growth of the College of Health, specifically, serving the faculty as they make a transition from other universities or industry and grow their research programs here at Lehigh,” Messina said.

Im grateful for being able to continue my career path here at Lehigh, and I look forward to growing both personally and professionally,” she said. When I graduated college, the commencement speaker encouraged us to pick a direction, a place, and grow roots. Ive definitely grown roots here at Lehigh, and now Im starting to branch out.” 

Messina also expressed her appreciation for her supervisors and colleagues who have encouraged her to grow and develop.

 Im so grateful for current and previous supervisors and colleagues, who encouraged me to pursue interests and professional development inside and outside of the institution,” she said. They have been supportive during this transition. Im looking forward to strengthening that connection and being a bridge between offices in support of research.”

Prior to her work at Lehigh, Messina was a grant specialist for the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine in Scranton, Pa. There, she was responsible for research development and cultivating relationships with agency contacts, industry partners and other key stakeholders in support of medical research. 

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