Staff Spotlight: Mary Adams

The nameplate on Mary Adams’ desk proclaims her to be the “Chief Deliciousness Officer,” and few would contest that title. Adams plies the PRC with candy, cakes cookies, and the other tasty products of her longtime hobby as a baker extraordinaire.

“I try to give everyone a little bit of happiness,” she says.

When she’s not decorating cakes, Adams is the PRC’s Financial Manager, taking care of the funding details for millions of dollars in the center’s grant-funded projects, from the application process through the life of the project. Right now, there are 9 faculty with more than 15 projects, including some that involve other institutions. So, she’s got plenty to do.

“It’s kind of crazy,” she says.

Adams started her career with the PRC in 2003 when it was located at Saint Louis University, trading a job sorting billable hours in a law office for one negotiating the funding maze of the federal bureaucracy.

“The law office was easier, but it wasn’t as much fun,” she says. “I work with a great group of people at the PRC.” She moved over to Washington University in 2008, along with the center’s director, Ross Brownson.

Adams has a candy dish on her desk in Hillman Hall and 20 pounds of butter in the fridge at her home in Webster Groves to put toward the cakes and other goodies she produces. How does she stay so trim? She used to play volleyball six nights a week, but now exercises at her local gym and practices Pilates.

In addition to her co-workers, her husband and two grown sons benefit from her baking wizardry. Later this year she’ll become a grandmother, with yet another tummy to tempt.

“The kids think I should have had a bakery,” she said. But folks at the PRC like her right where she is.

Learn more about Mary here.

Check out our other student, staff, and faculty spotlights.