Garcia receives 2022 CANR Staff Innovation Award

MSU Extension’s Marie Garcia to receive 2022 CANR Staff Innovation Award.

Marie Garcia

Marie Garcia, executive assistant for MSU Extension’s Health and Nutrition Institute, will receive the 2022 CANR Staff Innovation Award on April 21.

The CANR Staff Innovation Award recognizes a support staff member who uses creativity to appropriately develop new and/or improved processes, methods, systems, products or services and encourages others to do the same.

In 2018, Marie Garcia joined MSU Extension’s Health and Nutrition Institute (HNI) as the executive assistant to the director and associate director. When Marie started, she systematically met with HNI leadership and program leaders to learn existing workflows and structures. She immediately identified processes needing to be simplified. It is this initiative to improve processes and services that led Marie to be nominated for the CANR Staff Innovation Award.

Marie has been described as a “self-taught technology wizard,” utilizing tools such as One Drive, TEAMS and Qualtrics to streamline processes for MSUE staff around the state. For example, Marie built a Qualtrics based technology order form, which gathers valuable information and has built-in Fiscal Officer approval to reduce email traffic and keep accurate records for computer purchases. 

Marie also provides support to HNI’s grant processes and equips herself with the intricate details of all grants. As an example, Marie worked with MSU Technologies to file Memorandums of Agreement related to copyrighted program materials – and has assisted in the completion of 23 agreements with other land grant universities. Marie created several novel uses of Qualtrics to simplify information collection across work functions. She frequently anticipates upcoming deadlines and prepares documents and templates to assist HNI leadership in navigating complex timelines and reporting requirements. 

Not only is Marie innovative, one nominator with over 20 years in MSUE shared “...Marie Garcia is by far the kindest, most effective, most efficient and most innovative support staff I have ever had the privilege to work with.” 

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