2017 Conference Cameo: Chad Walton

#NORDP2017 starts Monday, May 8 in Denver, CO. Keep checking back here at the blog and on our Twitter feed (@NORDP_official) for live conference updates. Register here: http://www.nordp.org/conferences.
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Who: Chad Walton, Research Program Officer
Where: University of Hawaii at Manoa
Number of years in research development: I’m just starting out.
Length of NORDP membership: 1
Number of NORDP conferences attended: 2017 will be my first!
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? I aspired to be a Dentist.

My journey into Research Development (RD) can be best described as “following the white rabbit down the hole.” After receiving my PhD from the University of Hawaii at Manoa (UHM) in 2006, I completed my post-doctoral training and was promoted to Assistant Professor in 2011 (UHM). In 2014 I took on the role of the Director of Trauma Research for the State of Hawaii’s Trauma System, with a focus on promoting statewide trauma-related interdisciplinary, inter-institutional and translational research. Taking that big step away from being a principal investigator and toward a primarily RD role was my first venture into the rabbit hole, and I haven’t looked back since.Chad Walton photo

My current role is as the Research Program Officer (RPO) in the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research (OVCR) at UHM, effectively completing my transition from faculty to RD professional. The RPO position affords me the opportunity to work with a tremendously diverse and innovative faculty, eager for campus-wide collaborative research initiatives. The journey thus far has been a very rewarding one.

I learned about NORDP from a colleague who has attended numerous NORDP conferences. She suggested NORDP as a great resource and was fully supportive of me attending the annual conference. I have only been a member since July, but have already been impressed by the responsive interactions on the NORDP listserv, as well as the available resources.

One of my first tasks at UHM is to develop and implement a web-based faculty networking tool to aid in identifying teams for collaborative grants. The advice and individual “lessons learned” that NORDP members have shared with me have been invaluable in ensuring I don’t repeat mistakes or reinvent the wheel.

Even though I have yet to attend a NORDP conference, I’ve already found the collegiality amongst NORDP members to be tremendous. My goal in attending my first conference is to find best practices and meet as many experienced colleagues as I can in order to develop my network and skillset. With such a wealth of knowledge and experience within NORDP, I hope to absorb the experiences and continue down my rabbit hole, with a few more friends to enjoy the journey with.

Since I have yet to attend a conference, I cannot share any advice for other first-time conference-goers, but I can offer a subtle suggestion: Hawaii would be a great place to hold a future conference!

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We hope to see you at the 2017 NORDP Research Development Conference, which will be held May 8-10 in Denver, CO. For more information about the conference program or to register, visit http://www.nordp.org/conferences. Follow @NORDP_official on Twitter for all the latest #NORDP2017 updates.

If you’d like to be featured in a Conference Cameo, let us know at rdconf@nordp.org

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