Staff Profile: Cecial Patrick, Sponsored Programs Office

After 35 years at VCU, Cecial Patrick, grants research coordinator in the Sponsored Programs Office, will retire on January 1, 2020.
cecial patrick

Cecial began working for VCU in November of 1984. She was originally hired by Lamont Kier, Ph.D., to work in the Department of Medicinal Chemistry as the office service assistant. “Dr. Kier was very sincere and compassionate,” says Cecial. “The position required someone to operate the IBM Displaywriter System 6580, which was a microcomputer-based word processing machine with a floppy unit. It was large and had a lot of parts.”

Besides the Department of Medicinal Chemistry, Cecial also spent time in the Training and Technical Assistance Center and the Department of Biology. And for the past five years, Cecial worked in the dean’s office as a fiscal technician, grants specialist and grant research coordinator where she manages financial support, verified sponsored awards, and monitored deficit reports and monthly expense reports. Her proudest accomplishment in her professional career is her mastery of all the financial programs used by VCU. “I had to learn to use so many different systems starting with Financial Record Systems in the 1980s, Banner 8, Banner 9, eVA, and now, RealSource,” Cecial explains. “Switching from system to system taught me to be prepared for change in the blink of an eye.” 

Among her many favorite memories from her time at VCU, Cecial will always treasure watching her daughter graduate in 2016 with her B.S. in psychology. “I will never forget her smile while walking across the stage to get her degree.” She’ll also miss the training opportunities that are offered and the campus environment as a whole. “I enjoy meeting new students and watching them progress throughout their time at VCU,” says Cecial.   

What’s next for Cecial? “I’m going to start a new chapter in my life. I plan to spend time with family, travel and enjoy life,” says Cecial. As she says goodbye to VCU, Cecial is guided by the quote, “Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go; they merely determine where you start,” by Nido Qubein.

Cecial can be reached at

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