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Summer 2018 (Volume 28, Number 2)

Meet the CRA Team!

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Sharon Brinkos
(Membership Engagement coordinator)

Can you describe your role at the CRA?

  • Working to break down CRA membership by segments so we can address specific needs of our members.
  • Sponsors – staff contact person for our Industry Sponsors.

When should you contact me:

Anytime you have any questions or require additional information – I will gladly put you in touch with the appropriate staff member if it isn’t me.

How long have you been at the CRA?

5 years as of June 2018.

What do you love most about working for the CRA?

Working from home and my co-workers – we have a great team!

What is your favourite CRA memory to date?

I don’t really have a favourite – great memories always come out of every ASM!

If you could travel to any place in the world, where would you go?

Take an Alaskan cruise.

If you had an extra hour in the day how would you spend it?

Cooking.

All-time favourite quote:

"Don’t do anything to anyone that you wouldn’t want done to yourself."


Virginia Hopkins
(Research & Technology coordinator)

Can you describe your role at the CRA?

I am responsible for the Research Committee; managing the CIORA Grant Competition and Abstracts; and updating the website and mobile app.

When should you contact me:

You should contact me if you have any questions about CIORA, Abstracts, the website, mobile app or anything research or technology related.

How long have you been at the CRA?

6 ½ years

What do you love most about working for the CRA?

Everything! I really enjoy my job, working from home, my co-workers and the members.

What is your favourite CRA memory to date?

My favourite memory is spending the day after the ASM in Lake Louise with Sharon and Claire. We went for a horse-drawn sleigh ride along the lakeside trail and skating on the lake. It was the perfect way to end a very long and exhausting week!

If you could travel to any place in the world, where would you go?

I’ve travelled to several breathtaking locations, but I still have Australia on my bucket list!

If you had an extra hour in the day how would you spend it?

I’d like to do more volunteering.

All-time favourite quote:

“Reach for the moon and at least you'll land somewhere among the stars.”


Claire McGowan
(Project coordinator)

Can you describe your role at the CRA?

I provide support for all Operational Committees, Sub-Committees and Program Committees* and am responsible for membership communications and surveys.

*excluding CRA Research, Abstract Review and CIORA Grant Review Committees

When should you contact me:

Please feel free to contact me regarding any of the following:

  • Operational Committee inquiries
  • ASM, Residents’ Pre-Course, FLIRT and NRRW programs
  • Membership communications (e-Newsletter, e-Blast and/or website requests)
  • Investigator-led surveys

How long have you been at the CRA?

3 ½ years

What do you love most about working for the CRA?

The people I work with, both internally and externally…such an exceptionally dedicated and inspiring group of individuals.

What is your favourite CRA memory to date?

A favourite recurring memory is the legendary dance floor at the ASM…always so much fun to watch everyone bust a move!

If you could travel to any place in the world, where would you go?

Nepal, it’s my favourite place on the planet.

If you had an extra hour in the day how would you spend it?

Enjoying time at home with the people who matter most.

All-time favourite quote:

“When things don't go right, go left.”


Christine Witlox
(Operations coordinator)

Can you describe your role at the CRA?

Some of what my role entails is directing the CRA’s Summer Student Program, coordinating events and managing logistics as well as guiding best practices with respect to the organization’s policies and processes.

When should you contact me:

I am the main contact for anything involving the Summer Student Program or event-related issues, but my line is open to anyone.

My overall goal is to help the CRA operate as smoothly and efficiently as possible, allowing it to serve its members in the best possible way, so if I can’t help I will find the person who can!

How long have you been at the CRA?

I am a brand-new addition to the team, having started in March of 2018.

What do you love most about working for the CRA?

I love the people that make up the CRA – from our Board Members to our operational staff. Everyone on the CRA team is so passionate about what they do, helpful and welcoming.

What is your favourite CRA memory to date?

Hmm, I don’t think I’ve been here long enough to have a favourite memory – I look forward to making many though!

If you could travel to any place in the world, where would you go?

Italy and the Greek Isles one day – but in the meantime I’ll take Disney World with my family in a heartbeat!!

If you had an extra hour in the day how would you spend it?

If I’m being honest – probably folding laundry! If I was daydreaming, definitely curled up with a good book.

All-time favourite quote:

“When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.” – Henry Ford

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