Meet the Member Services Committee

What exactly does the Member Services Committee do?

In its most fundamental sense, the Member Services Committee (MSC) manages two important services for NORDP: the recruitment of new members, and the retention of existing ones.

On the recruitment side, the MSC recruits new members through our prospect list. Prospects are folks who have attended past conferences, regional meetings, and/or signed up for our listserv but never became an official NORDP member. Our regional representatives reach out with a personal email, highlighting the benefits of joining NORDP. The MSC is also developing a recruiting campaign focused on the upcoming conference in San Antonio, Texas.

As for retention, Member Services manages membership benefits for NORDP, developing and implementing programs to ensure all of our members feel that what they gain from NORDP is worth the price of membership.

This means that the MSC regularly develops and implements membership surveys (like the member needs and satisfaction survey, or the forthcoming salary survey) to ensure NORDP has a pulse on the types of resources needed to effectively support the membership at large.

It also means that the Committee is a main point of contact and support for regional and affinity groups, working groups for special projects like the recent addition of Trainee and Retiree member categories, and subcommittees like the MSC Conference Activities group, which manages the Conference Ambassadors program

Wow, that sounds like a busy group. Who’s currently in charge?

The MSC is steered by a collaborative group consisting of a Chair and two co-Chairs:

  • Dr. Kay Tindle is an Assistant Vice President for Research at Texas Tech University and serves as the NORDP MSC Chair.
  • Dr. Sarah Messbauer is a Research Development Analyst at the University of California, Davis and is an MSC Co-Chair.
  • Dr. Brooke Gowl is currently Research Liaison Officer at the University of Houston, and as of January 13, 2020, will be Associate Director for Research Development in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at George Mason University; she is also a MSC Co-Chair.

How did each of you get involved with this committee?

Kay blames Peggy Sundermeyer and Terri Soelberg for her initial involvement in MSC.  Peggy recruited her to be the SW Region Representative and Terri brought all of the regional reps into the MSC.

Sarah has no one to blame but herself; less than two months into her first job in RD at the 2018 NORDP conference in D.C., Sarah attended the MSC business meeting with a list of suggestions for how to improve the conference experience for new members and first time attendees… only to be immediately dubbed the “New Member Liaison to Member Services” by the inimitable Kathy Cataneo.

Brooke received an email from Kay via the Southwest Region listserv asking if anyone was interested in being the Southwest Region’s Regional Representative. She responded that she was interested, and before she could blink, she was listed on the website as Regional Rep and a MSC member.

Now that you’re in charge, what goals do you have for Member Services? What would you like to accomplish as a committee in the near future?

Enhance responsiveness to member needs by soliciting regular feedback from members, taking action on that feedback, and anticipating and creating appropriate programming/actions for new members. Create a welcoming environment for new members.

That sounds like an ambitious set of goals… especially given that you’re doing this on top of your day jobs! Which begs the question: what are the benefits of volunteering your time to a committee like Member Services? What’s in it for you?

For Kay, serving as the MSC chair is an opportunity for her to give back to the organization that has given so much to her in her professional development journey. Sarah enjoys the many opportunities to develop her professional skillset and grow her network of friends and colleagues across the world. Brooke enjoys helping to continue NORDP’s development as an organization and ensuring that new and longtime members know that they are valued and have much to contribute to and receive from NORDP.

And last but not least, what would you say to encourage people to volunteer their time on the Member Services Committee?

Are you interested in learning more about the resources NORDP provides? Are you looking for ways to get more connected with NORDP? Ask the MSC at membership@nordp.org.

Compiled by Daniel Campbell, Member Services Committee

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.