Conference Cameo: Kathy Partlow

Who: Kathy Partlow, Senior Proposal Development Coordinator
Where: University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Number of years in research development: 8
Length of NORDP membership: 8
Number of NORDP conferences attended: 8
How do you unwind? I enjoy escaping into a good book.

Given my love of books, I wanted to share my NORDP conference experience and advice with help from “Oh, The Places You’ll Go!” by Dr. Seuss.KCP2

“Congratulations! Today is your day! You’re off to great places! You’re off and away!”

If you’ve decided to go to the annual NORDP conference or are contemplating it, I can tell you that it is a great place to be! I heard about NORDP when I was exploring RD as a potential career path. I had the advantage of being a member of NORDP and attending the annual conferences from the very beginning. I discovered at my first conference and every conference since that the NORDP community is friendly, and extremely willing to give advice and share resources.

“When you’re in a Slump, you’re not in for much fun. Un-slumping yourself is not easily done.”

Are you looking for a better or more efficient way to do an RD task? Have you exhausted your ideas? Are you feeling siloed or isolated? I give you the NORDP annual conference. There is no better way to get your creative juices flowing. I have always left the conference with so many ideas that the harder part is deciding which ones I have time to pursue. I find myself regularly referring to past conference presentations and materials when I discover myself in uncharted territories.

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.”

Two challenges I face at NORDP conferences are choosing the sessions to attend (there are so many!) and networking. I benefited last year from trying out each of the session types. Each offers different depths of content and different ways to receive and share information. For fellow introverts, I’ve found easy ways to meet people include introducing myself at a lunch table, conversing at a round table, asking a few people about their Idea Showcase posters, and attending a networking dinner. One of the most lasting benefits I’ve received from attending the NORDP conferences is developing relationships with colleagues from other institutions. You can also continue networking beyond the conference by getting involved with a NORDP committee (the very last meeting on Wednesday) or participating in other ongoing activities, like the Mentoring Program, Circles, and Peer Mentoring Groups.

“You’re off the Great Places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So…get on your way!”

My last advice as you prepare to get on your way is to protect the time you have at NORDP to invest in yourself. I look forward to seeing you in San Antonio!


We hope to see you at the Conference, which will be held May 17 – 20, at the Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa in San Antonio, TX. The conference room block can be accessed HERE

For more information about the conference or to register, visit Follow @NORDP_official on Twitter for all the latest #NORDP2020 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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