Michael C. McGough
Position: Grants Coordinator, UGA College of Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS)
Class: MA NPO 2009
It wasn’t my plan to work at the University of Georgia when I entered the MA NPO program, but the experience certainly prepared me for the complex environment of academia. This became apparent when UGA was awarded a grant under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to provide consumer education about the healthcare law and consumers’ new health insurance options. As the grants coordinator, my role in grant proposals typically ends once the grant is awarded, but this is not a typical grant. Given the politically-charged discourse surrounding the ACA, also known as Obamacare, it was not surprising that a wide range of people and organizations would be interested in this grant.
To date, the highest level of interest came before the work funded by the grant had even begun when the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the U.S. House of Representatives investigated 51 of the more than 100 organizations that had received the Health Navigators grants, including UGA. As the grants coordinator for this project, I worked with UGA’s Director of Federal Relations, legal counsel, and faculty involved with the project to assemble our response to the Committee’s letter in just over a week. The Committee’s response was favorable, with one member referring to UGA’s program as a ‘model program’ given the quality of both the program and our response to the inquiry.
Interest in the Navigator program remains high as the 12 UGA Navigators educate Georgians across the state about health insurance, and I am regularly called upon to assist faculty and administration in responding to specific inquiries about the grant. In addition to my duties of preparing and submitting grant proposals, I’ve been called upon to serve on faculty and staff search committees and assist the Dean in encouraging and promoting research within FACS. Many of the skills learned in the MA NPO program have proven invaluable, and I am proud of the role I’m playing in providing Georgians “Knowledge for Real Life.”