NORDP 2019 Conference Cameo: Ruba S. Deeb

#NORDP2019 starts Monday, April 29 in Providence, RI. Keep checking back here at the blog and on our Twitter feed (@NORDP_official) for conference updates. Register here: https://www.nordp.org/conferences.
_____________

Who: Ruba S. Deeb, Ph.D.
Where: University of Bridgeport
Number of years in research development: 3
Length of NORDP membership: 2
Number of NORDP conferences attended: 4
How do you unwind? Read novels

Over the last 20 years, I have worked with a diverse team of talented investigators at Weill Cornell Medical College on unraveling the pathophysiology of cardio-metabolic, lung, and neurodegenerative diseases. My experience is associated with extensive knowledge in research design that leads to the successful development of manuscripts for scientific journals, conferences, and for federal and non-federal representatives and donors. In addition, I have years of experience as a peer reviewer for leading scientific journals, a lecturer and presenter at national and international conferences and as a teacher and mentor to students (undergraduate, graduate, medical), interns, residents and postdoctoral associates.

RubaDeebIn 2015, I was appointed as the Director of Biomedical Research Development by the University of Bridgeport (UB) to help build a scientific environment that enhances research support for faculty and promotes “team science” and collaborative research programs.  Notably, UB is an emerging research institution where faculty time is consumed by heavy teaching loads. This leaves very little time for research that results in long-term meaningful projects that receive grant funding.  As such, resources for biomedical research at UB are very limited. In 2015 and with the support of UB leaders, I established UB’s first Collaborative Biomedical Research Center, outfitted with state-of-the-art research equipment for use by UB faculty and their students as well as collaborators for conducting their biomedical research projects.

In collaboration with the Director of the Office of Sponsored Research and Programs at the UB (Dr. Christine Hempowicz), we received a NIH Biomedical/ Biobehavioral Research Administration Development (BRAD) grant for enhancing research development and administration at the university. Since receiving the NIH BRAD award, I became a NORDP member in 2016. This was advised by research development professionals to help inspire my strategic design of activities that facilitate team building, creating relationships with the community, attracting research funding, and increasing UB’s competitiveness. Choosing a NORDP mentor (Dr. Brooke Gowl) was great as she was able to help me navigate appropriate funding mechanisms, grant writing workshops, and seminars, as well as offer valuable advice to incentivize faculty to attend workshops and seminars.

Attending NORDP conferences and learning from experts how to find funding opportunities during challenging times, how to launch “Grand Challenges” initiatives, or how to “achieve success with limited resources” are just a few examples of inspiring topics that have helped me to define the building blocks for UB faculty. In fact, due to the value of all of the talks at every NORDP conference that I have attended, my wish is that the organizers can find a scheduling solution that minimizes session overlap and allows attendees to maximize the number of talks that they can attend. This year, I am looking forward to attending as many sessions as possible including the round table discussions – an excellent way to network with colleagues. Finally, I am very happy to connect face-to-face with my NORDP mentor, Dr. Brooke Gowl.

Visit the NORDP Store online now through March 15! We hope to see you at the Conference, which will be held April 29 – May 1, 2019, at the Omni Providence Hotel in Providence, RI. 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 #NORDP2019 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.

Conference Co-Chair Cameos: Kari Whittenberger-Keith & Jan Abramson

Who: Kari Whittenberger-Keith, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; 2019 NORDP Conference Co-Chair, NORDP Board Member 2016 – 2020

Who: Jan Abramson, University of Utah; 2019 NORDP Conference Co-Chair, Board Member 2017 – 2021

JanImage
Conference Co-Chairs in Rhode Island: Do you know where this is?

Number of years in research development & length of NORDP membership:

Kari:  Depending on how you count it, I have been doing RD for 17-20 or so years.  When I came back to RD in January 2012 after several years as a faculty member, I joined NORDP at the suggestion of Peg Atkisson, who was doing a workshop on my campus two weeks after I started.  I took her advice and have been a member, and attended every conference, since 2012.  (Thanks, Peg!)

Jan:  I have been working in Research Development—once I learned what RD was—for almost 10 years. I joined NORDP in 2011 and have attended 5 conferences. I knew early on I wanted to be involved in planning the Conference—I love organizing and implementing big events.

What should conference attendees look forward to this year?

An amazing group of NORDP colleagues have put together an exciting and educational program. The conference starts with a welcome reception on Sunday night—and be ready to hit the ground running on Monday morning! We are piloting a “Long-Form Day” where every session will either be 2 or 4 hours. This will give attendees an opportunity to take a deeper dive into content and learning. Tuesday and Wednesday will have traditional 1-hour sessions, Lightning Talks and Round Table sessions. The Idea Showcase will also have time to meet the candidates running for open board positions, meet the members of the current Board and learn about the committees and other opportunities to get involved with NORDP. This year, be ready for more opportunities to network, engage with sponsors, learn, and enjoy the company of our colleagues.

The NORDP Members who are serving as Local Hosts are putting together a slate of morning activities, great dining options, and some experiences—like a trip to the Planetarium—that will give people an opportunity to explore Providence. For those new to NORDP, or at their first conference, the Member Services Committee has also developed a slate of activities to make you feel welcome.

Providence is an amazing city—it is walkable, with great restaurants (don’t miss the lobster rolls!) and shopping, great history and other activities, just a terrific destination.

What motivated the change in the duration of the conference?

For the past several years, members have consistently requested a three-full-day conference in the evaluation feedback. The opportunity presented itself to address member requests when we reserved Providence as the site of the 2019 conference. It is a little daunting to make such a big change; adding 20+ hours of educational content, getting the message out, and with the increase in length came increased costs, which had to be passed along to attendees. All of the many committees and NORDP members that are working on the conference are committed to making sure conference attendees have a stellar experience.

How does the NORDP conference come together?  Who are the players?

 Over and over, you’ll hear that NORDP is a volunteer organization. Nowhere is that more evident than during Conference planning. There are 12 committees, working to develop the Best. Conference. Ever. Committees can be small—with 3-5 members, or very large, with 20-25 members. On lots of committee conference calls (the major way we get things done), you will hear laughter, commitment and genuine concern for the needs of NORDP members.

How did you personally get involved?  What made you decide to become a conference chair?

 Kari:  I was a member of the Professional Development Committee when it still included Mentoring and the Pre-conference Workshop working group, which I was active in.  When the chair of that group left NORDP in 2014, I was asked to step into that position, which brought me into the conference planning in a big way, since that group was part of both the Planning and Program Committees.  I have learned a tremendous amount working on the conference for the last several years—about event planning, budgets and logistics, strategy for effective programming—but what I have enjoyed most is learning from my fellow volunteers and drawing on their creativity as we try to develop a terrific experience for all of our members.

Jan: Working on the Conference Committee is a great way to get to know NORDP members from across the country. The needs of the conference are a great match for my skill set. I received a conference attendance award for the first conference I attended, and was asked to give back by volunteering at the conference. Which I did—and found it was a great way to feel a part of the organization. Every year, I do at least one volunteer turn at the registration desk. And have a lot of fun seeing colleagues and meeting new people.

I love being involved in a behind-the-scenes role, to put on major events. Over the course of my career, I have been involved in a planning role on professional conferences nationally and internationally, with the 2002 Winter Olympic Opening and Closing ceremonies, and as a company manager for a professional children’s dance theater. I enjoy paying attention to the details, organizing and reorganizing the puzzle pieces, and then, watching attendees and participants experience the results of the work.

What are you most excited about having this year’s event in Providence?

Jan: I lived in Rhode Island during high school, so this is a little bit of a homecoming for me. Like every year, I am excited to catch up with colleagues, meet new people, and expand my personal and professional network. I’m excited to share my old stomping grounds during Networking Dinners, and hear from members about the revised conference format.

Kari:  I am excited to see the expanded format and learning experiences come to life and to see how our members embrace these new opportunities to further develop professionally and build new connections among our colleagues throughout the country and the world.

_______________

Visit the NORDP Store online now through March 15! We hope to see you at the Conference, which will be held April 29 – May 1, 2019, at the Omni Providence Hotel in Providence, RI. 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 #NORDP2019 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.

NORDP 2019 Opening Keynote: Christina Paxson, President of Brown University

We are thrilled to announce Christina Paxson, President of Brown University, as the opening keynote speaker at #NORDP2019!

President Paxson’s speech will highlight the importance of research development, not just to the success of individual faculty researchers, but to the broader success of higher education institutions, and, to the success of the nation’s research enterprise. Included in her speech will be discussions of:

  • the current state of the research ecosystem, affirming the value of research to the nation and the world, and asserting why, at this particular moment in time, it is vital to support research that advances knowledge and informs public policy;
  • the pressures on the higher education business model, and how strategic planning, operational excellence, and professional development are all increasingly important to institutions of higher education; and
  • the key skills, functions, and roles RD staff must have going forward.

President Paxson will also share about her own experience as a researcher earlier in her career.

A brief bio: President Paxson is the 19th president ofBrown University President Christina Paxson Brown University and Professor of Economics and Public Policy. Since assuming the presidency in July 2012, Paxson’s key priorities have included building distinction in strategic areas of Brown’s rich research environment, such as brain science, data science, the digital humanities and engineering; expanding financial aid through initiatives like the Brown Promise, which eliminates University-packaged loans from all undergraduate financial aid packages; and cultivating entrepreneurship among teacher-scholars and students.

Under Paxson’s leadership, Brown gained national attention for an ambitious plan to advance academic excellence by shaping a fully diverse and inclusive campus. Brown released Pathways to Diversity and Inclusion: An Action Plan for Brown University in February 2016. Paxson is a nationally recognized higher education leader, respected economist and public health expert. She has been the principal investigator on a number of research projects supported by the National Institutes of Health and authored or co-authored numerous journal articles. Her most recent research focused on the relationship of economic factors to health and welfare over the life course, particularly on the health and welfare of children.

Paxson served as vice president of the American Economic Association in 2012, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a board member of the Association of American Universities. In January 2016, the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston named Paxson to its board of directors, and in 2019, named her deputy chair. She is 1982 honors graduate of Swarthmore College and earned her graduate degrees in economics at Columbia University (M.A., 1985; Ph.D., 1987).

Christina Paxson will be the opening keynote speaker for the 11th Annual NORDP Research Development Conference, which will be held April 29 – May 1, 2019, at the Omni Providence Hotel in Providence, RI. 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 #NORDP2019 updates.

MSI Member Cameo: Xia (Anna) Wood

As an organization, 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 for decades to come.   

To further enable a richly diverse and robust national peer network of research development professionals as well as organizational representation, we are highlighting members from minority serving institutions (MSIs) in a new blog series. 

Our first cameo introduces Xia (Anna) Wood.

Who: Xia (Anna) Wood, Assistant Director of Research Development & International Relations
Where: Johnson C. Smith University
Number of Years in RD: 13
Length of NORDP Membership: 2

What attracted you to NORDP?

I initially discovered NORDP at the recommendation of my supervisor, the Vice PresidentXia Wood Pic for Government Sponsored Programs and Research, who is  a NORDP member and suggested I look into attending the conference. I then joined the NORDP and learned of the conference travel award, which I applied for and received in 2017. I really like the focus of research enterprise development unique to NORDP that  is quite different from other research administration associations I have been involved with.

How does your NORDP membership enhance your own career?

My involvement with the mentoring program stands out for me. I enrolled the RD mentor program and had a mentor at my first conference who has been a great help to me both professionally and personally. My mentor provided a great deal of encouragement and guidance to me as I advanced my RD career.

I also enjoy using the online resources NORDP provides to members, such as the platform for groups with common interests to “hang out” together and archived webinars on professional development, which I can use to recharge myself at any time.

What have you enjoyed about past NORDP conferences you’ve attended?

I have really enjoyed the poster sessions at the past conference where I have been able to connect with colleagues at comparable institutions. These conversations have provided me with numerous strategies to address similar issues that we all face, e.g., how to reduce the number of last-minute submissions, how to motivate our faculty to write more grant proposals while having many other commitments on campus.

I have also enjoyed interactions with R01 universities and learning how they manage proposal development. Most importantly, I learned from them about how to build our research enterprise through both internal and external strategic collaborations. In addition, I appreciated the opportunities to interact with a variety of federal agencies and talk with Program Officers at my last NORDP conference.

Have you implemented something you’ve learned at the Conference in your RD career? What?

First and foremost, one of the outcomes of attending this conference is that our institution created a position for research development. Additionally, I have picked up a number of helpful resources from NORDP that I have been able to incorporate into my own campus workshops for faculty and professional staff. These ideas have really helped me in my efforts to help faculty improve their proposal quality and increase our university’s grant application submissions. I have also integrated some great strategies on challenges that we all face with things like last minute submissions and some marketing strategies into our practice.

Compiled by Daniel Campbell, Member Services Committee

Conference News: New to #NORDP2019

The 2019 NORDP Research Development Conference in Providence, RI, will be chock-full of exciting events. Based on member feedback, the Conference Planning Committee has livened up this year’s program with new formatting and fun activities to boost your networking and professional growth opportunities. New to #NORDP2019:

  • A full 3 days of content: A welcome reception will be held Sunday evening as attendees arrive, and programming will run ALL DAY Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
  • Workshops: 2-hour and 4-hour workshops will be held concurrently all day on Monday, April 29. While 4-hour workshops are now on waiting lists (email lnakoneczny@FirstPointResources.com to be added), attendees will have 17 2-hour workshops to choose from, including:
    • Using Technology to Facilitate Team Building from the Bottom Up
    • Strategies for Successful Broader Impacts
    • Developing the Research Enterprise: International Perspectives and Experience
    • Hubs & Spokes: A Comparison of Central, Distributed and Hybrid RD Models
  • Fresh formats: The 2019 program will offer a series of lively 5-minute lightning rounds (based on Ignite talks) and 1-hour roundtables for deeper discussions of valuable topics.
  • Career Center: All hiring managers/recruiters are invited to complete the 2019 Employer Career Center Application on or before March 8. Our conference planning team will provide you with access to potential applicants and assist you with scheduling interviews.
  • NORDP swag: Visit our online store for your own NORDP gear! T-shirts, hoodies, hats and more are available for purchase until March 15!

You asked and we listened: members wanted more content. Our 2019 conference will be bigger and better, and registrations fees have increased this year to cover the extra half-day of conference. Early Bird registration ($640 for members) will be available until March 15.

Our full conference program will be posted soon! Conference questions can go to rdconf@nordp.org.

Conference Cameos: Did you miss our kick-off conference cameo this week? Learn about long-time member Anne Pascucci here.

________________

We hope to see you at the Conference, which will be held April 29 – May 1, 2019, at the Omni Providence Hotel in Providence, RI. 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 #NORDP2019 updates.

NORDP 2019 Conference Cameo: Anne Pascucci

#NORDP2019 starts Monday, April 29 in Providence, RI. Keep checking back here at the blog and on our Twitter feed (@NORDP_official) for conference updates. Register here: https://www.nordp.org/conferences.
_____________

Who: Anne Pascucci, Director, Office of Sponsored Programs
Where: Christopher Newport University
Number of years in research development: 13
Length of NORDP membership: 8
Number of NORDP conferences attended: 4
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? Clown

“Research development professional” was a term I hadn’t heard until I met Mark Milutinovich. At AAAS at the time, he told me that an initiative I was trying to get off the ground was Research Development. The idea was to incorporate many disciplines at Radford University into a Rural Health Initiative. “Health” included physical/mental (nursing, PT, OT, Psych, Social Work), cultural (Dance, Theater, Music), educational (College of Education and Human Development), and financial (College of Business and Economics). The measurable impacts would be on the community and the student experience in the community. Mark told me that I should seek out Holly Falk-Krzesinski at the next NCURA meeting because she was doing a session on RD.  I went to that session and have been calling myself a Research Development Professional ever since, although I have been doing this type of transdisciplinary work since I was at Rhode Island College (2000-2008).

Anne
Anne at NORDP in 2018

I attended my first NORDP conference on a scholarship in 2011. I have attended as many annual meetings as possible ever since. NORDP is my “leave feeling great” conference. It is about creativity, validation, and sharing ideas. I am invigorated at the end of the conference and ready to implement new ideas upon my return. NCURA is an excellent resource but it is the “here are the new rules to be afraid of conference.” Vitally important, as I am at a PUI with dual responsibility, but one leaves each conference with very different feelings, goals, tools, and peer connections.

I am particularly excited to be chairing the PUI NORDP Affinity Group this year. We hope to formalize our place in NORDP and expand everyone’s knowledge about who we are and what we do. I am honored as I am stepping in after a spectacular group led by Ronald Fleischmann put the backbones together.

My advice to conference attendees is to bring business cards. I know that I am old school but immediately upon return, I request to connect on LinkedIn with new peers and resources. Go to every possible opportunity to network. Seek out folks from different backgrounds and types of institutions. You will gain something from everyone that you meet.

_____________

Visit the NORDP Store online now through March 15! We hope to see you at the Conference, which will be held April 29 – May 1, 2019, at the Omni Providence Hotel in Providence, RI. 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 #NORDP2019 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.