NIH Record - National Institutes of Health

Snyder Retires from OER

Dr. Margaret Snyder
Dr. Margaret Snyder retired Mar. 30.

Photo:  Chia-Chi Charlie Chang

Dr. Margaret Snyder retired Mar. 30 from NIH’s Office of Extramural Research, where she was Freedom of Information Act coordinator, senior advisor to the deputy director, animal research advisory committee member and privacy coordinator.

“NIH is a marvelous place,” she said. “It was a privilege and honor to have worked here.”

In her position, she advised or drafted responses to public inquiries and official correspondence. Snyder described her job as a “diverse smorgasbord of interesting and challenging activities.” She was also the “bingo baroness” at OER employee picnics, calling out numbers in bingo games.

After obtaining her doctoral degree, Snyder became an academic counselor for first-year students interested in majoring in pre-veterinary science at Ohio State University. She’s also worked at Ohio State’s research foundation, a zoo and a non-profit foundation.

Snyder had applied to work at NIH three times. Her first two applications were unsuccessful. However, the third time was the charm. Her experience between applications prepared her for her eventual position at NIH.

“I wasn’t ready and wasn’t seasoned enough,” Snyder said. “Sometimes, rejection is a good thing.”

On Friday, Aug. 13, 2001, she and her husband packed up their car and a trailer and drove to Bethesda. Although the date was ominous, “There was no bad luck associated” with the move, she said.

Snyder had regularly given blood to the American Red Cross. Shortly after she began at NIH, the NIH Blood Bank emailed employees, in desperate need of donors. She decided to donate because, “How do you say no when you feel somebody’s life depended on your donation?”

On her first visit to the bank, she saw a monitor featuring photos of donors who have given at least 100 times. She thought to herself, “Boy, that’s commendable. I’ll never do that.” Back then, Snyder rarely—if ever—saw a woman’s photograph among the rotating images.

One donation led to another. And “the next thing you know I was counting down the number of donations to 100.” She wasn’t sure if she’d make it before she retired.

“I got 102 donations going out the door,” she said. “I’m pleased and proud that I donated blood.”

Although Snyder won’t be giving at NIH anymore, she’ll continue to give elsewhere—“It doesn’t cost but a little time for such a valuable donation.”

Snyder said her 17 years at NIH have given her wonderful memories, including working on committees with some of the top scientists in the world from NIH’s intramural community and getting to know a few of them.

“I am proud to have worked with the administrators and staff of many scientific programs, Freedom of Information offices and various offices within OER,” she said. “The NIH community is truly committed and dedicated to our mission.”

The NIH Record

The NIH Record, founded in 1949, is the biweekly newsletter for employees of the National Institutes of Health.

Published 25 times each year, it comes out on payday Fridays.

Assistant Editor: Eric Bock (link sends e-mail)

Staff Writer: Amber Snyder (link sends e-mail)