Vol 3. Issue 27 / September 20, 2004

Administrative Assistants Welcome Training Initiative

Based on a submission by Anna Myers

Administrative assistants at The Scripps Research Institute now have a new resource to help them do their jobs well: an ongoing series of training seminars. Last week, more than 70 participants attended the first session in the program.

"The seminars fill a need," says Training Manager Owen Anderson. "We've had many requests for more information about different aspects of the administrative assistant job."

The new seminar series, which is made up of four two-hour sessions, is the culmination of 10 months of meetings by an Administrative Assistants Training Taskforce. Members of the taskforce— who, in addition to Anderson, include Vicky Nielsen Armstrong, Nancy Boccio, Rachel Braithwaite, Nancy Curry, Antonette Lestelle, Anna Meyers, and Kathy Sterling—conducted surveys and held interviews to determine training needs and priorities.

In the process, they found the tasks administrative assistants perform are diverse—perhaps not surprising given the diversity of research labs at the institute. They also noted that the institute's administrative assistants come to any training with different backgrounds and levels of experience.

"One of the challenges of constructing this program was to make it work for everyone," comments Anderson.

To address this challenge, sessions are offered in a modular format, so participants can choose to focus on the topics most appropriate for them. Additional resources for new administrative assistants have been posted on the web (see http://www.scripps.edu/services/tsr-eye/nuadmndocs.htm).

The first seminar on September 9 featured three speakers: Software Trainer Nancy Curry, who spoke on the new web resources; Pre-Award Administrator Fred Heaton, who spoke on grant submissions; and Lestelle, who shared organizational tips for grant submissions.

Results from an initial survey of participants indicate the training was extremely well received. To date, 90 percent of respondents have rated the first session "excellent" or "very good."

"I'm very excited about this training, especially as we have several new admins in the Chemistry Department," says Armstrong, who works as administrative manager and assistant in the Chemistry Department. "We hope to get everyone off to a great start!"

The next three sessions will address topics including protocol forms, visa applications, travel procedures, grant accounting, coordinating with the Technology Development Office, and human resources issues. They will be held on:

  • September 23, 9:30 - 11:30 AM , in the Committee Lecture Hall;
  • October 7, 9:30 - 11:30 AM, in the Committee Lecture Hall;
  • October 13, 1 - 3 PM, in the Keck Amphitheater.

Administrative assistants may sign up for any or all of the sessions by completing the form posted at http://www.scripps.edu/services/tsr-eye/seminars.htm.

Meyers, a member of the task force and administrative assistant in the Immunology Department, adds, "The goal is to offer the training twice yearly, so if you miss a session, you may attend at a later date. We also want to thank the principal investigators for their support in encouraging their administrative assistants to attend these sessions, even though it may mean some disruption to their labs."


Send comments to: mikaono[at]scripps.edu





" One of the challenges of constructing this program was to make it work for everyone."

- Owen Anderson