Our Staff

Frederic "Ted" Russo, Director
(973) 655-3219
The School of Nursing and The Graduate School Room 415

Ted directs the University’s program of grants and sponsored research and manages the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP). He develops policies and procedures to ensure the University is in compliance with federal and state regulations. He represents the University in liaison with external funding agencies, and negotiates sponsored grant and contract agreements with federal and non-federal sponsors.  He develops strategic plans, and implements programs to promote the continued growth of research and sponsored programs activities at MSU. Prior to joining MSU in February 2012, Ted was the Associate Director of Pre-Award Services at Worcester Polytechnic Institute for 7 years. Prior to WPI, Ted held administrative positions at Clark University and Harvard University Medical School. Ted earned a Bachelor’s in Liberal Arts from Harvard University Extension School in 1993, and received a Master’s in Public Administration from Suffolk University in 1998. Ted gained his “Certified Research Administrator” (C.R.A.) designation in 2015. He is an active member of the National Council of University Research Administrators and has presented on various topics related to research administration regionally.


Marina Savransky, Assistant Director ‌
(973) 655-5367
The School of Nursing and The Graduate School Room 419

Marina Savransky is the Assistant Director in the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP). She has been with ORSP since 2009. Marina has over 12 years of experience managing, negotiating, and seeking grants in non-profit and university settings. She assists faculty and staff with preparing competitive grant proposals in submission to federal, state, and local government agencies, as well as to foundations and corporations. Marina manages the proposal development process; provides outreach and training to faculty individually and in educational workshops; and acts as a liaison to funding agencies. Prior to joining MSU, Marina was the Associate Director of Institutional Giving and Grants Management at the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) in New York City where she spearheaded all grant submissions for the $22-million international non-profit organization. During her career she also managed and negotiated federal grants to medical service providers at Public Health Solutions in New York City and was a Grants and Contracts Officer at UMDNJ in Newark, NJ. Marina is a Certified Research Administrator (CRA), holds an M.A. in Middle Eastern Studies from Ben Gurion University of the Negev, and has a B.S. in Finance from the Rutgers School of Business.


Catherine Bruno, Post-Award Officer
(973) 655-6923
The School of Nursing and The Graduate School Room 423

Catherine Bruno is the Post-Award Officer in the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs at Montclair State University.  In her role, Catherine assists faculty in managing their grants by providing guidance in all aspects of their award from reviewing award and contract agreements to coordinating final report submissions.  She serves as the liaison to funding agencies on issues such as no-cost extensions and issues that require prior approval.  She is responsible for the subaward process including drafting of subaward agreements to other institutions, review and negotiating of agreements from other institutions, and monitoring of subaward deadlines. Catherine also manages MSU’s Internal Awards process by preparing and distributing the guidelines and applications, providing support to the faculty serving on the University Committees and serving as the fiscal agent on the internal awards budgets.  She also manages ORSP’s operating budgets.  Prior to joining MSU in August 2008, she was the Manager of Grants and Services to Cultural Organizations at the Westchester Arts Council in White Plains, NY.  There she managed eight grant programs that awarded over $2 million in grants annually and served as the liaison to cultural organizations providing technical and capacity-building assistance.  During her career, she was also a Grant Assistant for the New Jersey Historical Commission, an agency in the New Jersey Department of State, assisting in the administration of more than $6 million in grants to historical organizations throughout New Jersey.  Catherine earned an MBA from Monmouth University in 2004 and received a Bachelor’s of Science in Public Health Administration from Richard Stockton College of New Jersey in 1998.


Dana Natale, Research Development Specialist
(973) 655-5387
The School of Nursing and The Graduate School Room 425

Dana Natale is a Research Development Specialist for the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs at Montclair State University. As such, she assists faculty interested in preparing competitive proposals to federal, state, and local government agencies, as well as foundations and corporations. In addition, she provides training to faculty and staff, and acts as the liaison to funding agencies. Prior to joining the ORSP, Dana spent four years supporting experiential education and campus-community partnership development at MSU. As Assistant Director and Special Projects Coordinator for the Center for Community-Based Learning, she created a development plan and funding protocol, wrote grants, conducted research, and coordinated a variety of campus-community partnership projects. Before coming to MSU, Dana worked in research coordination and development positions for a number of non-profit organizations and Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Research projects that she has undertaken and assisted in have been published in High Plains Applied Anthropologist, Journal of Palliative Medicine, New England Journal of Medicine, Critical Care Medicine, and Journal of Community Engagement and Higher Education. Dana holds an M.A. in Anthropology and a B.A. in Psychology.


Geetha Sampathkumar, Sponsored Programs Administrator
(973) 655-4128
The School of Nursing and The Graduate School Room 415

Ms. Sampathkumar serves as a Sponsored Programs Administrator in the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs. Working closely with the Post-Award Officer, she provides assistance to faculty, staff, and students in support of the University's research and sponsored programs initiatives and internal awards program. Prior to joining Montclair State, Ms. Sampathkumar was an adjunct instructor of business courses at Myers University in Ohio and later joined them as a full-time administrator to assist senior management in the Academic Affairs and faculty services area. In 2010, she joined Columbia University in New York City to provide administrative and logistical support to senior academic leadership and research faculty in a variety of departments. Ms. Sampathkumar comes with a strong business background with years of project management experience and data analysis. Geetha holds an M.B.A. from Baldwin Wallace University (formerly Baldwin-Wallace College), Ohio, and has a B.Sc. in Chemistry and Physics from University of Mumbai, India. Recently, Geetha passed her Certified Research Administrator (C.R.A.) exam conducted by the Research Administrator’s Certification Council and she has a full membership with the Society of Research Administrators International (SRA).

Sam Wolverton, Pre-Award and Outreach Specialist
(973) 655-3223
The School of Nursing and The Graduate School Room 421

Sam joined the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs in August 2012. As a member of ORSP’s Pre-Award team, he supports faculty in preparing competitive proposals to federal, state, and local government agencies, as well as foundations and corporations. In addition, he is responsible for the department’s many outreach efforts, to include the management and dissemination of grant funding opportunities; editing and publishing of ORSP publications; management of ORSP's website and social media presence; and presenting at ORSP trainings and events. Prior to joining OSRP, he held positions in both publishing and accounting. Sam has a B.A. in English from Rutgers University.