Staff Spotlight: Rocchina Testa makes the Faculty shine

January 2015

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When she is not travelling to beautiful European destinations, Rocchina Testa can be found in her office on the 5th floor. She has been with the Faculty of Dentistry for the last 6 years and with McGill since 1999. She began her time with McGill in the Faculty of Medicine and after two years joined the Financial Services team, where she met her second family. As FST Manager she acts as the researcher’s primary contact for all financial questions and assures that the financial administration is carried out in accordance with the appropriate regulations and guidelines. She tells me that she “always tries to make our Faculty shine within the University!”

Brenna Kaukonen: What is your role in the Faculty of Dentistry?
Rocchina Testa: I am the first point of contact for the Faculty when it comes to grants, and when requested by the Faculty I also work on operating funds, endowments, awards and financial issues with Financial Services. A big part of my job is to provide support and guidance to researchers on post award financial management, including budgeting, compliance and reporting. I assist researchers to make sure that their obligations and deadlines are respected. I also ensure that best practice and processes are in place to maximize compliance with internal and external policies and regulations. In other words I always try to make our Faculty shine within the University!

BK: What are three words that describe your role?
RT: Compliance, transparency, resourceful

BK: What do you find the most challenging about your position?
RT: The most challenging part of my position is having people understand that without the students and researchers we would all be out of a job!

BK: What do you like most about working in the Faculty?
RT: What I like most about Dentistry is that we are a small Faculty and we have a great research team. (With only 5% of Canadian dentistry professors, McGill carries out 1/3 of all funded research.) We are lucky to have an excellent leader and I believe we lead by example. I also like that the fact that when I started working in Financial Services I met Rosemary and I feel I have come full circle to be working with Rosemary again. Of course, I just love the location and the people. Besides all of the above, I really like that while working in Dentistry I am still in contact with my old colleagues, which makes me feel like I never left my second family over at Financial Services.

BK: If you could switch your job with anyone within the Faculty/University, whose job would you want?
RT: I think it would be Christina Vroom’s position, Associate Director of University Advancement. She never seems stressed, always has a smile on her face and gets people to give her money!! What a job – I am sure there is something I am not aware of!

BK: What career lessons have you learned thus far?
RT: Never make a hasty decision, always have backup, always be a professional at work and always strive for excellence.

BK: Tell us something about yourself that would surprise us?
RT: I LOVE Banner! It seems like I’m the only one in the Faculty that does 

BK: Tell us three words that best describe you:
RT: Patient, resourceful and thinking outside the box

BK: Top 3 life highlights?
RT: My granddaughter, Scarlett, of course! Life is made up of so many moments, and only we can make them special. If you want something you must go after it. We should not let them slip through our fingers.

BK: What is on your wish list for the next 10 years?
RT: I hope to continue to provide an excellent service to the Faculty. I’d like to stay in shape. When I retire I’d like to spend more time with my sweet Scarlett and travel Europe. And did I say I would like to win the lottery?!?!

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