As a top-tier research university, behind-the-scenes work at Ohio State helps lead to exceptional discoveries. One person making an impact is Jeff Agnoli in the Office of Research, whose daily mission is to provide faculty with research and development opportunities.
“For me, it’s all about making opportunities possible for our excellent faculty,” said Jeff, whose roles and responsibilities include education, funding, and research development.
Originally from Long Island, New York, Jeff came to Ohio State in 1990 and has since held various roles across the university and medical center. He has always focused on training and development, which led to his involvement with the Office of Research in 2000.
Within the Office of Research, Jeff has a variety of responsibilities. His duties include working with Ohio State leaders to provide research grant opportunities, management of Ohio State’s internal nomination programs for prestigious grants, awards and scholarly prizes, development of a state-wide portal designed to facilitate the discovery of Ohio’s research expertise and resources, technical skills training, research funding and grant writing education for faculty, graduate students and postdoctoral researchers.
Jeff’s hard work connects faculty members from countless disciplines to research opportunities. He loves working in a team environment, and says success would not be possible without the help of his colleagues.
“They’re amazingly talented, interesting, complex and supportive,” he said. “They’re the reason I keep going every day.”
While Jeff modestly applauds his fellow faculty and staff, they commend him as well. Earlier this year, Jeff’s colleagues nominated him for a 2017 Distinguished Staff Award, which he duly received.
“Jeff’s outputs have been nothing but excellent,” said one nominator. “Jeff is a leader to all involved in Research Administration, not only in the opportunities for funding and education, but also, quite simply, as one of exemplary character.”
When Jeff helps faculty receive research funding, he initiates a domino effect that eventually impacts countless others. In one of his favorite projects, Jeff identified a research grant that ultimately provided paid internships, career skills and leadership development training to hundreds of undergraduate students.
Jeff’s positive outlook in life drives his ambition. When he encounters difficult situations, he embraces them with an upbeat attitude, and is constantly aspiring to improve himself and his work.
“Every day is a challenge to figure out how to do things better,” Jeff said.
Jeff believes identifying solutions and accomplishing demanding tasks make work more rewarding, and encourages those beginning their career at Ohio State to approach life with a similar attitude.
“Step out of your comfort zone and learn something new,” he advised. “Volunteering to take on new tasks or learn a new skill is absolutely key.”
Jeff’s optimistic attitude has fueled his nearly 27-year-career at Ohio State. Through his determination to help others, Jeff will continue to make a positive impact at the university.
“The people here are great,” he said.
Jeff, himself, is proof of that.