New NORDP Board Member Cameo: Nathan Meier

Nathan Meier is one of two new appointed NORDP Board Members in 2019. We thank Nathan for his service to NORDP!

Who: Nathan Meier, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Research
Where: University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Number of Years in RD: 16
Length of NORDP Membership: 8 years

When and how did you enter the field? What kind of RD work do you do?Meier.png

I began my career in RD during the fall of 2003 at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL). UNL’s Office of Research and Economic Development hired me as a proposal writer specialist following my completion of a Master of Technical and Professional Communication at Auburn University. My work in proposal development naturally (and rapidly) evolved to include other activities common across RD like funding opportunity identification; large-scale proposal project management; faculty training; federal and agency relations; supporting broader impacts and partnership development; increasing faculty nominations for prestigious honors and awards; coordinating limited submissions; managing internal funding programs; and facilitating the formation of cross-disciplinary, multi-organizational teams. The work I do currently builds on that base of experience and focuses on advancing institutional research goals and fostering faculty success. To do so, I want to help more of our faculty take strategic advantage of the many RD resources available to them and shift from grant-seeking to grant-getting. The difference is subtle but more than semantic!

What’s your history with NORDP? How have you engaged with the organization (committee work, conferences attended/presented)?

The first NORDP conference I attended was in Austin (2013). I have been at each one since, presenting at five of the last six. A couple years into my membership, I volunteered to assist the 2015 conference planning committee with abstract review and marketing. As marketing sub-committee chair, I pitched the concept of the “Conference Cameo,” which was enthusiastically received, institutionalized, and expanded. In 2017, I joined the Nominating Committee and had the privilege of providing leadership to that dedicated group through the 2018 and 2019 Board election cycles. Since 2018, I have been NORDP’s liaison to the Network for Advancing and Evaluating the Societal Impacts of Science (AESIS). I hope many NORDP members are planning to attend the October meeting AESIS is hosting in Washington, D.C., which will focus on the “Impact of Social Sciences and Humanities on Society.” In June, I was invited by Jill Jividen and Jenna McGuire to join the two of them, Eva Allen, and Michael Thompson to form the core committee for 2020 conference planning. I look forward to working with these talented member-leaders to help organize the biggest and best meeting yet.

What relationships have you built as a result of NORDP (new colleagues, connections to institutions where you previously had no point of contact)?

Like so many others, when I found NORDP, I found “my people.” Over the years, the professional connections formed as a result of my membership have enriched my work and the way we approach RD at Nebraska. For example, we have been motivated by hearing about how others implement faculty development programs or organize focused cohort programs around increasing competitiveness for specific funding programs (e.g., the NSF CAREER Award). Learning about others’ experiences and adopting best practices from the NORDP network has transformed our approach to – and success at – supporting faculty. For the last couple of years, I have really come to value informal, peer-to-peer mentoring relationships. These are excellent venues for brainstorming and information exchange that can help us all do a better job of positioning our faculty and institutions to be more successful and impactful. I learn from and am inspired by so many NORDP members that it would be foolish to try to name names.

What are you most excited about as a board member?

It is quite exciting to stand on the shoulders of the RD giants who provided the leadership necessary to establish and grow NORDP, and it will be an honor to provide input into the strategic planning process. My vision for the future of NORDP is one that is inclusive, strategic, and entrepreneurial. I want the organization to more intentionally cater to the professional needs of members across career stages, credentials, and institution types. I want every RD professional to know they can find a welcoming home in our organization and see themselves in a leadership role within NORDP or at their institution if that is something to which they aspire. I truly believe NORDP must continue to be the primary source to which RD professionals turn for the level and quality of professional development needed to make their best work better and help it evolve over time. To my mind, ensuring member-responsiveness and organizational agility are key to the long-term success of our organization.

Compiled by Daniel Campbell, Member Services Committee

A press release announcing both new board members can be found here: 2019 NORDP Board appointment release

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.