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Dawn W Parks

College of Agriculture Administration 

  • Assist Dir of Sponsored Prgm Development

Dawn Parks’ primary focus is to improve the College of Agriculture’s grant-submission success rate. Parks helps principal investigators—researchers, educators and Extension—make their proposals compelling and impactful. She has a high success rate in a competitive and challenging environment—one in which more people are chasing fewer grant dollars. A specialist in multidisciplinary, multi-institutional grant teams, her expertise includes organizing teams, project management design, organizational structure development, technical editing and coaching teams to meet timelines and outcomes associated with on-time delivery of proposals.


Parks’ combination of storytelling, management and coaching skills have been instrumental in bringing more than $20 million in grants to the college since she joined its staff in December 2010. She developed new and cutting-edge ideas as public and government acceptance director for ArborGen, a forest biotech company; as lead negotiator for the forest industry on the United Nations Biosafety Protocol; and as consultant for JMW, where she coached senior executives and teams at BP as they researched, developed and implemented innovative technology and programs.  In her own company, The Alternate Edge, Parks specialized in strategic planning and organizational management.  She was instrumental in restructuring the primary economic development office in Charleston, South Carolina, in a way that enabled it to land the Boeing plant in North Charleston.


Parks hold a bachelor’s degree from the University of Cincinnati College of Business and a master’s degree in forest policy from Purdue. She serves on the board for the Farm at Prophetstown, a sustainable demonstration farm near West Lafayette.