Mentee Spotlight: The NORDP Mentoring Program in Five Questions featuring Christina Papke

Name: Christina Papke
Institution: Texas A&M University
Are you a Mentor? Mentee? Both? Mentee


1. What influenced you to become a mentor or mentee?
I joined the program as a mentee because I wanted to receive feedback and advice from a research development professional outside of my institution. I felt this could be a great way of generating ideas and gaining different perspectives on how to best assist faculty with their grants. I was also interested in broadening my understanding of research development and how it is structured to meet the needs of faculty at other institutions.

2. What surprised you about being a mentor or mentee?
As a mentee, I was surprised – and pleased – to discover that there is a lot of flexibility in the program. Rather than being very formal and structured, it is up to each mentor-mentee pair to set agendas and decide what works best for them.

3. How has participating in the NORDP mentoring program impacted your day-to-day work?
Through interacting with my mentor, I have gained a number of ideas that I have been able to incorporate into programs, events, and meetings with faculty members. I also look forward to sharing my ideas and gaining feedback on how to refine and improve them.

4. What is one way being in the mentoring program has helped increase or broaden your understanding of research development?
I feel that I have gained a better appreciation for the services offered and structure of research development offices at other institutions. It has been fun to compare notes and see how our offices are both similar and different, and to use those notes to think about things that might be useful to suggest at my institution.

5. What other thoughts would you like to share about the program?
The NORDP Mentoring Program has been excellent! Hearing a perspective from someone outside my institution has allowed me to learn more broadly about research development. During our hour-long meeting each month, I enjoy asking questions, hearing about resources my mentor has found helpful, and exchanging ideas. I see the Mentoring Program as a great starting point for learning how to develop a professional network that includes multiple mentors with expertise in different areas, and also mentees as I grow in my experience.

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