A Communications Specialist for the ACUP

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IACUC Administrators Association (IAA)

IAA is a professional organization promoting collaboration, professional development, and continuing education in animal care and use compliance across diverse sectors like academia and industry. It serves as a hub for knowledge exchange and networking. Faculty focus on understanding applicable regulations, maintaining compliant animal care and use programs, and developing effective and efficient practices for program management.

Overall, the IAA ensures well-rounded professional development opportunities for individuals at various stages of their careers in biosafety administration, equipping them with the expertise needed to effectively navigate the complexities of the field.

Programs Support

Joining and maintaining a membership with the IAA ensures a myriad of benefits, including access to exclusive program discounts. Staying connected guarantees ongoing opportunities to save on essential programs, resources, and services that can significantly impact your professional development and organizational efficiency.

IAA activities are partially supported by OLAW, NIH and through memberships and event attendance fees.  We ask that you please become a new member or maintain your membership status (memberships are renewed annually).  If you are a current member of the IAA, you are free to attend webinars at no charge.  Individuals that are non-members or those with expired memberships are asked to provide $75 in support for each webinar they attend.

Webinar Objectives

The objective of each webinar is to provide participants the opportunity to hold engaging conversations on practical tried and tested program management/operation techniques to achieve a desired goal.  To help initiate discussions, a member of the research compliance community will present ideas that focus on the topic of choice.  Colleagues will then participate in open discussions and help to refine and validate proposed practices.  Participants are encouraged to submit (wggreer@umich.edu) questions regarding the defined topic PRIOR TO the event.  During each session, attendees will be encouraged to discuss their own institutions practices and ideas.

Brief Agenda and Discussion Points

A communications specialist plays a crucial role in any organization by effectively conveying messages, building relationships, and enhancing the organization's reputation. Their value lies in several key areas:

  1. Clear Communication: They ensure that messages are conveyed clearly, concisely, and effectively to target audiences, both internally and externally. This clarity helps in preventing misunderstandings and confusion.
  1. Brand Reputation: Communications specialists work to maintain and enhance the organization's brand reputation by crafting messages that align with its values and goals. They manage public relations efforts to shape positive perceptions of the organization.
  1. Stakeholder Engagement: They foster meaningful relationships with stakeholders, including customers, employees, investors, and the media. Engaging stakeholders through various channels helps in building trust and loyalty.
  1. Crisis Management: In times of crisis or challenges, communications specialists play a vital role in managing communication effectively, providing timely updates, and mitigating reputational damage.
  1. Content Creation: They create compelling content across various platforms such as social media, websites, press releases, and marketing materials to engage and inform audiences.
  1. Market Positioning: By understanding market trends and competitor activities, communications specialists help position the organization strategically to stand out in the market.
  1. Internal Communication: They facilitate communication within the organization, ensuring that employees are informed, engaged, and aligned with the company's vision and objectives.

Overall, the value of a communications specialist lies in their ability to shape perceptions, foster relationships, and effectively convey messages that contribute to the success and sustainability of the organization.

During this webinar, we will investigate and identify the value a communications specialist can bring to an institution’s Animal Care and Use Program. In addition, we will have the opportunity to discuss this role with Amy Puffenberger who currently serves in this role at the University of Michigan.  

Participants are encouraged to submit (wggreer@umich.edu) questions regarding PRIOR TO the event. During each session, attendees will be encouraged to discuss their own institutions practices and ideas.

Presenter(s) Biographies:

Standing IAA Faculty and Facilitators

Bill Greer, Assistant Vice President for Research, University of Michigan

Bill graduated from The Pennsylvania State University in 1985 with a degree in Microbiology.  He currently oversees the animal care and use, biosafety, lab safety, controlled substances, and autonomous systems research compliance programs.  His previous roles included the Associate Director for Research Compliance, IACUC Vice-Chair, and Biosafety Committee Chair at The Pennsylvania State University, and the production manager and safety director at Intervet, State College, PA (Formally Tri Bio Laboratories). Bill has overseen animal care and biosafety programs for over 30 years. 

In 2005, he organized and held the very first research administrators Best Practice Meeting, which establish a venue for research oversight professionals to informally meet and discuss programmatic concerns.  He continues to facilitate at least five annual Best Practice meetings covering both biosafety and animal care and use programs.  In 2010, he chaired the founding committee for the non-profit education based IACUC Administrators Association (IAA) and continues to serve as the organization’s president and chair of the board of directors.  Since 2007, Bill has served as ad hoc consultant to AAALAC Council where he performs institutional program reviews, assessments, and status determinations.  He served as a member of the Council of Certified Professional IACUC Administrators (CCPIA).  Bill continues to serve as an educator for the IBC and IACUC Administrative communities and has lectures at multiple venues including PRIM&R, AALAS, BTAA, and C3, as well as facilitates IBC and IACUC Best Practice Meetings.

Ron E. Banks, DVM:  received his veterinary degree from Auburn University’s School of Veterinary Medicine, and retired a Colonel from the United States Army Veterinary Corps.  After postings as the Director, Center for Comparative Medicine, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver, Colorado; and Director, Office of Animal Welfare Assurance at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina; and the Director, Division of Comparative Medicine, The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; he is currently retired.  Along his professional journey he has contributed as Council Member on AAALAC’s Council on Accreditation; Chairman of the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Institutional Animal Care & Use Committee; Board Member for the IACUC Administrator’s Association; and Fellow of the National Academies of Practice.  Dr. Banks is board certified with the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine; the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine; and he is a Charter Diplomate of the American College of Animal Welfare.

Amy Puffenberger:

Amy holds a Bachelor of Science in Film and Video Production (2005) from Grand Valley State University and a Master of Arts Management (2010) from Carnegie Mellon University. While completing her master's degree, Amy worked with both Pittsburgh Filmmakers and the Arts Education Collaborative, and later served as the Manager of Educational Outreach at WQED Multimedia, the PBS-affiliate in Pittsburgh, PA, and the nation's first community-supported public broadcaster.

In 2011, Amy began working as the Program Manager for the National Forum on Higher Education for the Public Good at the University of Michigan (U-M) School of Education. She joined the U-M Medical School Office of Research in 2014 as a Marketing & Communications Specialist and has managed all the internal and external marketing and communications for the Animal Care & Use Program since 2016.

Amy currently serves as the Marketing & Communications Manager for the Animal Care & Use Program, Amy partners with key stakeholders and Program leadership to develop, implement, and maintain all strategic internal and external communication efforts in support of building and sustaining a culture of responsible research conduct at the University of Michigan.

May 1st, 2024 from  3:00 PM to  4:40 PM
Webinar - This session will be held remotely.
United States
Event Fee(s)
IACUC Administrators Association NON-Members $75.00
IACUC Administrators Association Members $0.00