Director of research compliance Erin Parrish enjoys interacting with a variety of clients on a daily basis. The ability to view multiple perspectives is something that Parrish received as a Master of Natural and Applied Science student at Missouri State.
“The MNAS program provided me an interdisciplinary education which allows me to
understand many fields and work effectively with many different groups of
people,” said Parrish.
Parrish, who also completed her bachelor’s degree in biology with minors in chemistry and Spanish at Missouri State, selected biology and chemistry as her emphasis areas in the MNAS program.
As a student, Parrish wasted no time in discovering what research opportunities were available to her. She was able to establish a relationship with Jordan Valley Innovation Center while working in two laboratories. Parrish focused her research as a graduate student on DNA biosensors.
“I had great facilities and equipment to use. I also had great mentors in the faculty and staff that worked there,” said Parrish.
“A student involved in a traditional discipline may only be able to see one way to solve a problem, where as an MNAS student may be able to see a better or different solution or approach to the same issue,” said Parrish. “Since every student’s goals are different, students do not have to settle for fitting their goals to a certain program. The program adjusts to them.”
Working across different disciplines has been something that Parrish finds useful every day.
“I currently work in a position in which I need to understand research from almost every scientific area, and through the MNAS program, I gained the problem solving skills and knowledge base to be able to do so,” said Parrish.
Most research projects proposed by members of the campus community come through the research compliance office where Parrish reviews each project to make sure it meets federal, state and grant regulations.
“I enjoy getting to learn about the different research that is done on campus. The regulations are always changing and there are always new projects being accomplished, so there’s never a shortage of work,” said Parrish.
Parrish also collaborates with a number of area organizations that are involved with University research, including Mercy, Springfield Public Schools and Burrell Behavioral Health, as well as other area universities.
Currently, Parrish is working on her PhD in higher education and will soon begin her
dissertation, which she plans on doing in the area of international education.