Meet Our Staff
Nathan Blouin, MBA, CRA
Nathan has over 10 years’ experience in Research Development and pre-award Sponsored Research Administration. As Director of UNC’s Office of Research Development, he constantly looks for new ways to support the research mission of the university. Prior to joining UNC in 2016, Nathan led a large and complex proposal support effort at New York University (NYU) within the Office of Sponsored Research. Over the years, Nathan has supported dozens of successful large scale proposal efforts, across a number of federal, state, and private grant-making agencies. He holds an MBA in Finance, Marketing, and Strategy from NYU, and a BA in Chemical Biology and Philosophy from Boston University.
Leigh Ann Samsa, PhD
Research Development Manager
Leigh Ann holds a doctorate in Cell and Molecular Physiology from UNC-CH and BS in Biology from Duke University. She completed a research postdoc in UNC’s School of Medicine and a teaching postdoc in NC State’s Biotechnology Program before joining the Office of Research Development in 2020. Leigh Ann’s primary role is to support strategic initiatives that grow the UNC’s research with an emphasis on large grant opportunities proposal development.
Rachelle Davenport, BS, BA
Limited Submissions Coordinator
Rachelle is a 2019 graduate of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. A native of Mebane, NC, Rachelle, has professional interests consisting of research, social work, and legal matters. Prior to joining UNC, Rachelle worked for UNC Charlotte’s Anthropology Department as administrative support for three years. She holds a BS in Psychology and a BA in Criminal Justice from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
Research Development Coordinator
We are in search of a Research Development Coordinator.
B. Gail Whitfield, BA (retired)
Executive Assistant to the Director
Ms. Whitfield retired from UNC in 2020 after 24 years of exemplary service to the University. She supported ORD, OPA and the OVCR with a broad range of administrative, financial, internal grant coordination, and personnel management functions. Gail was a founding staff member of ORD, where she played an integral role in structuring office policies, procedures, and standards of operations.
Contact Our Office
Office of Research Development
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
308 Bynum Hall, CB# 4012
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-4012
Phone: (919) 962-7503