NORDP 2018 Conference Cameo: New Board Member, Etta Ward

#NORDP2018 starts Monday, May 7 in Arlington, VA. Keep checking back here at the blog and on our Twitter feed (@NORDP_official) for live conference updates. Register here:

Who: Etta Ward, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Research Development
Where: IUPUI
Number of years in research development: 15
Length of NORDP membership: 3
Number of NORDP conferences attended: 2
What are the most interesting places you’ve visited? Brussels Belgium for a presentation and Park City Utah to volunteer for the Sundance Film Festival.

I have been in senior leadership at IUPUI for 15 years, advancing from Director of Research Development and then Executive Director of Research Development to my current role as Assistant Vice Chancellor for Research Development. I led the effort to grow IUPUI’s research development operation from an office of two to a diverse team of nearly 30. I have led efforts to advance the IUPUI research enterprise by developing, planning, and implementing programs, training, and specialized services to advance the research and creative activities of our faculty, staff and students.Ward cropped again

I joined NORDP in 2016, after hearing many great things about the organization from my colleagues. Everyone raved about how perfectly NORDP initiatives and programming aligned with our research and faculty development work, as opposed to what NCURA offers.

All of the conferences I’ve attended have expanded my network of professional support and created unique opportunities for me to collaborate on projects and topics that interest me and that support my own professional purpose and calling. Effective mentoring as a strategy for success and developing rich cultures of mentorship stand at the forefront of what I do here at IUPUI and beyond. This professional interest is further nurtured through my active participation on NORDP committees and groups.

Work on the NORDP Mentoring Program Committee affords me the opportunity to further shape the rich culture of mentoring that the organization embraces. I helped with efforts to create tools and educational resources like the NORDP Mentoring Program packet that is offered to participants to facilitate positive and mutually beneficial relationships.

Through the mentoring program, committee work, and other working groups, I have built positive relationships with many RD professionals who have enhanced my own professional growth and development. Working on the Diversity Working Group allows me to focus on another passion, which is to promote inclusive excellence.

For this coming conference, I am especially excited about co-presenting a preconference workshop with Jan Abramson (peer-mentor) on effective mentorship, co-presenting two posters, and engaging and networking with NORDP colleagues.

My advice to new members (and non-active) current members is to get involved and stay involved. A simply way is by submitting an abstract to present something (e.g. pre-conference workshop, short workshop, poster, etc.). Everyone can contribute, and this is one way to help grow the RD profession and contribute to the conversation about work. Even if you are new, find some question, issue, opportunity to lead a discussion on. Everyone wins!

Etta Ward was just appointed as the newest member of the NORDP Board. Congrats, Etta!

Conference Marketing Committee


We hope to see you at the Conference, which will be held May 7-9, 2018 at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City in Arlington, VA.  For more information about the conference program or to register, visit Follow @NORDP_official on Twitter for all the latest #NORDP2018 updates.

NORDP fosters a culture of inclusive excellence by actively promoting and supporting diversity, inclusion and equity in all its forms to expand our worldview, enrich our work, and elevate our profession.


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