Meet the Team

We welcome faculty to reach out to us directly. If you are interested in corporate research opportunities – either as faculty or a potential partner – feel free to reach out to Kim or Brian.


Kim J. Patten, MS

Associate Vice President, Research Development

Kim Patten

Kim Patten is Associate Vice President for Research Development at the University of Arizona. She leads a team of research development professionals supporting faculty in their pursuit of extramural funding from federal, corporate, and foundation (through honors and awards) sponsors. Their work has resulted in more than $700 million in awards to the university since 2014. She advocates a holistic view of research development and the research lifecycle, emphasizing societal impacts of research (e.g., the incorporation and promotion of undergraduate research experiences, core community partnerships, and inclusive practices). Kim currently serves on the National Organization of Research Development Professionals (NORDP) Board of Directors (Term 2022-2026). Before joining the University of Arizona, Kim managed national and international projects and programs in conservation, renewable energy, and distributed data systems. As associate director at the Arizona Geological Survey, she managed and worked with a $30 million research portfolio, including as co-principal investigator on a $3.6 million National Science Foundation (NSF) project and project manager of a $22 million U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) project. Prior to that, she helped develop the research portfolio of a science-based non-profit organization and secured its first NSF funding.

Brian Adair, PhD

Executive Director, Industry Engagement, Research Development

Brian Adair  is Executive Director for Industry Engagement, Research Development, at the University of Arizona. His current work together with prior employment at three manufacturing start-ups, a contract research institution, and an environmental engineering firm gives him expertise in laboratory research, product development, project management, and business development. He has served as a University of North Carolina adjunct professor, a Mecklenburg County Air Quality Commission member, and a board member of Envision Charlotte, a nonprofit public-private partnership focusing on the built environment. Brian holds a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Caltech and a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from UC Santa Barbara.

Stephanie Austin

Administrative Associate, Research Development

Stephanie Austin is Administrative Associate for Research Development at the University of Arizona. She provides overarching administrative support to the teams responsible for operations, proposals, and honors and awards and serves as building manager and emergency coordinator. Stephanie brings experience in bank management and K-12 administration and is a certified substitute teacher. She is a valued, long-term volunteer for the Flowing Wells School District—instrumental in bolstering the district’s fine arts department, supporting the Band and Pom Lines, and serving as president for the band parent organization. When not propelling university research endeavors toward success, Stephanie enjoys spending time with her two grown children and nieces and nephews and playing stand-up bass in small gigs around Tucson.

Danielle Barefoot, M.A.

Associate, International Research Development

Danielle Barefoot is an Associate for Research Development specializing in international research and serves as UArizona's Fulbright Scholar Liaison. Danielle has extensive experience in supporting international research proposals, developing global partnerships, and managing internal funding programs. She has received numerous fellowships to support her undergraduate and graduate studies and research, including a Fulbright Scholarship to Chile to research Cold War university student activism. She is an active member of the Fulbright Alumni Association national organization and Arizona chapter. She is completing her Ph.D. in History with an emphasis on Latin America. She holds an M.A. in History from the University of Arizona and a B.A. in History and Spanish from Georgia Southern University.

Meg Bennett, PhD

Associate, Life Sciences, Research Development

Meg Bennett is a Research Development Associate specializing in bioscience proposal support. She has a Ph.D. in Zoology from North Dakota State University and spent 5 years as an independent postdoctoral scientist. Collectively, she has 15 years of experience in research as a behavioral physiologist studying both native and agriculturally managed bee species. Over the course of Meg’s career, she obtained 10 grants to fund her research sourced from academic, government, and non-profit institutions. Meg also draws from her unique skill set as an artist to help faculty develop creative and compelling proposal narratives. 

Courtney Coffey, PhD

Associate, Education, Diversity & Inclusion, Research Development

Courtney Coffey is an Associate for Research Development specializing in education, training, and diversity-focused proposals. With a background in cultural anthropology focusing on China and gender politics, she enjoys fostering faculty and staff connections, all aspects of grant proposal development, and helping individuals or teams create compelling narratives through intensive developmental editing. She is a member of the National Organization of Research Development Professionals (NORDP) and the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU). She is especially gratified to support proposals that create engaging, culturally-affirming learning environments for underserved communities and underrepresented students.

Nate Gahr

Senior Director, National Security Programs, Research Development

Nate Gahr is Senior Director for National Security Programs at the University of Arizona, aiding faculty as they pursue external funding for fundamental research related to national security. Nate spent more than 25 years in leadership in the US Army, Department of Justice, and US Intelligence community. He established the Counterintelligence Joint Task Force for the FBI Phoenix Field Office, leading a diverse team from numerous federal, state, and local agencies along with community partners to protect national security interests throughout Arizona. Nate has steered numerous national security efforts, focusing on advanced conventional weapons and WMD counterproliferation.

Julia Glennon

Associate, Environmental Sciences, Research Development

Julia Glennon is an Associate for Research Development specializing in environmental sciences. Her prior work is in the nonprofit sector and focuses on sustainability, food systems, and community development. She has employed public policy for institutional food procurement reform and served as the University of Arizona’s first Center for Regional Food Studies program manager. With field-based research experience in Maasailand, Kenya, and a master’s degree from the University of Colorado Boulder, she is passionate about interdisciplinary and inclusive research. 

Leslie Hawthorne Klingler, MA

Content Developer, Research Development

Leslie Hawthorne Klingler is the Content Developer for Research Development at the University of Arizona. She employs her writing, photography, and design skills to translate technical material into pieces that persuade broader audiences to support cutting-edge research and innovation at the university. She inspires and mobilizes groups to experience firsthand the value of improving health and well-being, particularly among the disadvantaged. Her experience includes a master’s degree, years of experience in the nonprofit sector, and six years living and working in Latin America. Fluent in Spanish, she appreciates Tucson’s proximity to Mexico.

Brian Heinze, PhD

Associate, Physical Sciences & Engineering, Research Development

Brian Heinze, Associate for Research Development at the University of Arizona, specializes in engineering and physical sciences. He spent more than 10 years leading R&D projects for startup companies as a research scientist, R&D director, and head of product development. Brian coordinated collaborative proposals to grant agencies and corporate-sponsored research partners to advance sensor technologies for the biotech, energy, environmental, and food production industries. He has worked on R&D proposals and projects for DOD, DOE, NIH, NSF, and several Fortune 500 companies and acted as principal investigator (PI) for Phase I and Phase II NSF SBIR projects. He received his Ph.D. in biosystems engineering from the University of Arizona, where he developed biosensors for the detection of agricultural diseases.

Terrence Higgins

SkillBridge and Workforce Development Administrator, National Security Programs, Research Development

Terrence Higgins is the SkillBridge and Workforce Development administrator for the National Security Program in Research Development Services at the University of Arizona. As the university’s single point of contact for the Department of Defense SkillBridge program, he works with military service members transitioning to the civilian sector and university personnel seeking SkillBridge participants. In addition to facilitating matches that meet service members’ interests and university needs, Terrence promotes the SkillBridge program on campus and helps students and faculty secure positions and research collaborations at National Research Laboratories. Terry is a United States Army veteran with more than 20 years of experience in organizational leadership and training. His most recent position was Command Inspector General at Fort Carson, Colorado.

Greg Hitt

Associate, Economic Development & Community Engaged Research, Research Development

Greg Hitt is an Associate for Research Development at the University of Arizona specializing in economic development and community engagement. He supports faculty in their search for external funding and assists in developing and reviewing proposals. Additionally, Greg employs his experience with local and statewide government and their economic development agencies to enhance university participation in local and regional economic development initiatives. He spent nearly 20 years working for Pima County in planning and infrastructure development, utility coordination, and economic development activities. An Arizona native, Greg is an alumnus of the state's two biggest rivals and has served on local planning and development committees in the Tucson area.

Nathan Hogan

Associate, National Security Programs, Research Development

Nathan Hogan is Research Associate for the National Security Program, Research Development. Prior to joining the university, Nathan served more than 25 years in security and intelligence roles in the US Air Force, US Army, and as a defense contractor. His last position was a Team Lead with Titania Solutions Group, Inc., designing immersive alternative future scenarios based on current global trends for the US Army Intelligence Center, as well as advising on joint and combined training environments for other DoD services and allied partners. He previously served on the committee for UArizona College of Humanities Thunder of War – Winds of Return veteran experience project. Nathan received his Ph.D. in mythological studies with emphasis in depth psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute.

Jill HowardAllen

Director of Industry Engagement, Research Development

Jill HowardAllen

Jill HowardAllen is Director of Industry Engagement, Research Development at the University of Arizona. She contributes to industry collaborations and partnerships by cultivating relationships within the university and the broader community. As former vice president of research and development for the Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA), she is experienced in liaising among business, industry, and academia to nurture partnerships that enhance economic growth. Prior professional roles include talent acquisition with private equity firm Outlier and marketing for several start-up companies and Southwest Airlines. When she's not working, you'll find Jill riding bikes around Tempe with her husband, Tom, and Airedale Terrier, Beulah. She loves seeking out local Arizona bands and good craft beer.

Lidia Macias, MS, MA

Operations Coordinator, Research Development

Lidia Macias is Coordinator of Research Development Operations for Research Development at the University of Arizona. She has collaborated in large-scale, interdisciplinary, multi-institutional, and international research initiatives and has pre- and post-award experience with federal and state agencies, private foundations, and corporations. She is experienced in proposal development and creating impact strategies for research development. Before coming to the University of Arizona, she coordinated institutional and limited submissions for an R01 institution and participated in policy review related to research misconduct and unwanted foreign influence. Lidia holds a B.S. in psychology, B.A. in philosophy, M.S. in experimental psychology, and M.A. in Spanish and Latin American Literature. Her research areas include national identity, otherness, soft and intellectual power, critical theory, and intellectual history, focusing on contemporary Spanish literature.

Jen McCormack, PhD

Associate, Biomedical & Social Sciences, Research Development

Jen McCormack is an Associate for Research Development specializing in health sciences and health disparities proposals. Previously, Jen was the senior director of development and research for a nonprofit in the GuVo District of the Tohono O’odham Nation. Combining western academic and Indigenous research paradigms, she secured and managed diverse grants and worked with multiple federal and state agencies. Throughout her career, she has consulted in research development and governance. As a professor of geography and American Indian Studies, Jen taught with an emphasis for first-generation university students and Native American/Tribal colleges. She gained field-based experience in Indigenous health, governance, education, and public policy with the Native Nations Institute at the Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy and the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development. Jen received her MA in Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Texas at Austin and her PhD in Geography and American Indian Studies from the University of Arizona. The National Science Foundation and collaborative research with the Gwich’in Nation in the Arctic borderlands supported her dissertation research.


Cody Nicholls, PhD

Associate Director, National Security Programs, Research Development

Cody Nicholls smiling and wearing a white shirt, red and blue striped tie, and navy jacket

Cody Nicholls is Associate Director of National Security Programs at the University of Arizona. In this role, he supports faculty in pursuit of external funding (federal, foundation, industry) for fundamental research programs supporting national security topics, issues and challenges, Defense, Intelligence and Homeland Security-related discovery and innovation. Previously he served for just under 9 years as the Assistant Dean of Students for Military and Veteran Engagement at the University of Arizona. Cody is a nine-and-a-half-year veteran of the Army Reserves and Wyoming National Guard. During his tenure in the Reserves he completed two deployments to the Middle East, Iraq (2004-2005) & Kuwait (2008-2009) and one stateside mobilization, in the National Guard, immediately following 9/11 (2001-2002). Cody currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Southern Arizona Defense Alliance. Additionally, he currently serves on Congressman Juan Ciscomani’s veteran advisory council. Cody previously served on retired U.S. Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick and U.S. Senator Jeff Flake’s (AZ) military and veteran advisory councils.  Cody previously served as the Secretary for the Board of Directors of the Tucson Committee on Foreign Relations. Cody served as the National Co-Chair for the NASPA Veterans Knowledge Community with his term of service March 2018 – March 2020. Cody received the “Super Et Ultra” Award from the Veterans Knowledge Community for going “above and beyond'' in his service to his fellow veterans in February of 2019. Cody earned his Ph.D. in Higher Education with a major concentration in Organization & Administration from the College of Education and a minor concentration in Entrepreneurship from the Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona.

Cynthia Ramirez

Executive Associate, Research Development

Cindy Ramirez is Executive Associate for Research Development at the University of Arizona, providing executive support for the National Security Program, Industry Engagement, and broader Office of Development, Research, Innovation & Impact. She brings more than a decade of experience at the University of Arizona with the Office of the President and Government & Community Relations. Her prior experience includes executive support for high-level administrators at Hughes Aircraft/Raytheon Missile Systems. A certified Six Sigma Specialist, she has been an environmental health and safety manager and a building manager. She holds a B.A. in business, economics, and industry from the University of Arizona.

Lindsay Ridpath

Program Manager, Industry Engagement, Research Development

Lindsay Ridpath is Program Manager for Industry Engagement for Research Development at the University of Arizona. She supports the procurement of industry research sponsorships, collaborates with industry on federal proposals, and aids in securing student fellowships and internships. She employs her expertise in content creation for social media and web platforms to promote UArizona faculty, facilities, and other resources to potential collaborators. Lindsay has an MFA, is an RD mentee with the National Organization for Research Development Professionals (NORDP), and holds a Certified Associate for Project Management (CAPM) certification.

Luz Sandoval

Office Manager, Research Development

Luz Sandoval is Office Manager for Research Development. Bringing a wealth of expertise and institutional history to the unit, provides executive support for the AVP for Research Development and manages the events coordination team that is responsible for supporting federal sponsor visits, VIP Visits, and research related conferences and events. She enjoys traveling, watching documentaries and reading.

Paul Sandoval

Director of Research Advancement, Research Development

Paul Sandoval is Director of Research Advancement, Research Development at the University of Arizona. He extracts, processes, analyzes, and leverages data for administrators and managers at the university’s Office of Research, Innovation & Impact. With a bachelor’s degree in business administration, he brings over 30 years of post-award experience from Sponsored Projects Services.

Ashley Pearson

Student Worker, Research Development

Ashley Pearson is an office assistant for Research Development Services at the University of Arizona. Ashley holds an associate degree in business administration and is a current student at the University of Arizona majoring in finance with an emphasis in personal family financial planning. Ashley brings experience in various administration positions including in veterinary clinics, project management and personal assisting. She is glad to bring her knowledge and experience to the RDS team.

Genesis Villalobos

Intern, Department of Defense Skillbridge, Research Development

Genesis is a SkillBridge Intern for Research Development Services. After serving four years as a combat medic stationed in Hawaii, she is completing her undergraduate degree in organizational management with a focus on project management. She is glad to be building on the communication, leadership, time-management, and problem-solving skills that she acquired during her military service career.

Alice Solomon

Specialist, Biomedical Sciences, Research Development

Alice Solomon is a Research Development Specialist with emphasis in Biomedical Sciences. Pairing her strong writing skills and scientific background with a growing knowledge of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Alice aids faculty in proposal development. A PhD candidate in molecular medicine at the University of Arizona, she holds a bachelor's degree in biology from the University of Houston–Downtown. 

Marie Teemant, MA

Associate, Honors & Awards, Research Development

Marie Teemant is Associate for Research Development at the University of Arizona. With a master’s degree and ABD in art history from the university, Marie focuses on nominations for honors and awards and supports proposals in the arts and humanities. 

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