Marie Walters has been an integral part of the University of Washington Alzheimer's Disease Research Center (ADRC) since its inception in 1985. As assistant to the director of the ADRC, Walters is the heart of the day-to-day operation of the center, and helps keep it running smoothly and efficiently. She handles multiple tasks, from answering calls from the public about research opportunities, to maintaining the budgets and working on grants for the ADRC. States Walters, "Much of my job is generated by questions from different investigators and people that are involved with the center.
In an administrative position, my job revolves around answering questions and problem-solving. I am sort of the 'go to' person; if I can't resolve the problem, I try to find out how I can facilitate and get it resolved. Every day is a challenge."
The aspect Walters enjoys most about her job is her interaction with the different investigators, and facilitating their needs to help the center run better. She also really enjoys working with budgets. "That's the part of the job that has a very organized fashion to it which I like; it has a start and a finish," comments Walters, "It provides a nice balance to the problem-solving and various questions I deal with."
When not working, Walters maintains a very active lifestyle. She has been practicing yoga for over five years, and is on a Master's Women's crew team. "It's really nice to feel that team spirit, and have that balance of being part of a team," says Walters. She also enjoys gardening and running.
Although Walters has been with the ADRC for only 17 years, she has been working at the UW for over 30 years, and is retiring soon. When asked what she will take with her from her experiences here at the UW ADRC, Walters states "I hope I have had a impact at the ADRC; in helping investigators through the grant process and applications I have been involved with, and helping receive money for ongoing Alzheimer's research."
Over the years, Walters has put countless hours and enormous energy into the ADRC, and is one reason that the center has been so successful. Former ADRC director, Dr. George Martin states "Marie was my loyal secretary for more than a quarter of a century. She was there at the birth of our ADRC, and has helped implement numerous initiatives. Giving her up to Murray Raskind when I stepped down as director meant the loss of my star assistant, but it was the right thing to do for both Marie and the Center, as evidenced by the present vigorous state of ADRC."
Dr. Murray Raskind, ADRC director, concurs, "Marie is simply 'the best'. There is no problem too big or complex for her to spin her magic and find a solution - keeping everybody cheerful while she does it! She has won the confidence and respect of people both within the university and the greater Puget Sound community who have worked with her in the struggle against Alzheimer's disease." Dr. Linda Teri, director of the ADRC Education and Information Transfer Core, adds, "Marie has managed an exceedingly complex grant with great professional and personal skill. Much of our success is attributable to her hard work. We will miss her greatly."