Staff Spotlights

Staff Spotlight – Eduardo Ortiz

Written By: Drexler B. James'13 | July 27, 2021

Eduardo Ortiz in Puerto Rico flag chair

Eduardo Ortiz’s impact spans across the college through his support of the research process. As a Contracts and Grants Specialist III in the College of Health Professions and Sciences, he has been instrumental in providing support to faculty member’s research endeavors at every stage of the research process, taking the heavy lifting off their shoulders.

Learn more about Ortiz and his role in the college.

How did you come into your role in the college?

Ortiz: I earned my undergraduate degree in biology at the University of Puerto Rico and then I did my graduate studies in healthcare administration via a dual program between the University of Puerto Rico and Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara School of Medicine in Mexico. After graduate school, I was offered a Clinical Research Coordinator position in Sponsored Research at the University of Puerto Rico. It was a great experience, but I wanted to travel outside my comfort zone. I was approached by ObvioHealth, a private, industry-focused contract research organization in my third year as a Clinical Research Coordinator at UPR. I accepted a Clinical Project Manager position for national and international research. After a few years, they moved my position to another state, so I started searching for a research administrative position here in Orlando, and I was hired when we were the College of Health and Public Affairs, which soon became our current College of Health Professions and Sciences.

As you watched us transition to CHPS, what makes you excited about our future?

Ortiz: When I started here, we had just transitioned to launching our new college. Seeing the synergies that exist among our programs and units has been very exciting because faculty, staff, and students across units are so passionate about varying aspects of health, wellness, and clinical issues. The volume of work and dedication shown by our faculty in conducting their research is impressive. It is exciting because this is a huge opportunity for a young college that only has the possibility to grow.

What do you do in your current role here at CHPS?

Ortiz: As contracts and grants specialists, my colleagues and I are, sometimes, the first points of contact when researchers are developing research ideas. It is very satisfying to work with our faculty as they identify and work to secure funding to advance their lines of research. As in healthcare, collaboration is key in healthcare research as well.  Our faculty collaborate widely not only within our college and partner colleges within the Academic Health Science Center, but also with colleagues in other UCF colleges and external institutions as well.  We want faculty to focus only on their science and it is our job to take on as much administrative work as possible to ensure proposal compliance and that funded projects are managed smoothly and in compliance with all requirements.

What is the most satisfying aspect of your role?

Ortiz: The sense of community that I strive to build with our faculty. Not only do I try to get to know their professional areas of passion and expertise, but I also try get to know them on a personal level. We spend a lot of time together working on proposals and I try to make myself available to everyone 24/7. I take research very seriously. After long conversations and countless meetings, once the work is done, we have learned something about each other, and it’s great. We are very lucky to have the faculty we have in CHPS. We have a lot of good people in our college who do outstanding research to advance health and wellness.

When you are not working, what do you enjoy doing in your free time?

Ortiz: I’m a sucker for history and culture. When I was growing up, my parents always planned two trips each year and they made sure that one was a family trip to take us kids somewhere we had never been before. I appreciated and learned so much from this that I have kept the tradition of traveling to a new place each year going as an adult. I love to throw myself into new cultures; if you want to know a country, immerse yourself in the food, the music and enjoy the culture. When I can’t go outside the country, I travel throughout Florida. Florida is a hidden treasure with so many beautiful springs.

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