NORDP New Board Member Cameo – Antje Harnisch

Who: Antje Harnisch, Assistant Vice Provost for Research

Where: Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Number of Years in RD:  RA and RD 20+

Length of NORDP Membership: 5 years

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

I entered the field through Research Administration 20-plus years ago. I spent the first 15 years at a land-grant R1 university, and I’ve been at a small technical university for the past seven years. There I have helped set up a research development office (RSI), participated in recruitment efforts, mentored the hires, and facilitated attempts at defining roles and responsibilities between OSP and RSI. Our team helps faculty with their proposals, provides training, and runs internal grant opportunities and limited submissions. 

What’s your history with NORDP? How have you engaged with the organization?

I have participated at the regional level for a number of years and have been involved at the national level for the past four years. I have presented at a regional conference, and we have hosted one at WPI, which was a great experience. It was truly a pleasure to work with Northeast NORDP leadership to put the conference together and arrange logistics to make the event a success. I’ve also participated in leadership roundtables and found them consistently informative and inspiring exchanges of information, experiences, best practices, and last but not least, a sense of community. I always went away with new ideas and feeling a sense of belonging. 

What relationships have you built as a result of NORDP ?

I’ve appreciated the role that NORDP has played in representing and shaping this profession. I have been consistently impressed with the colleagues that make up the group and the programming the organization provides. NORDP colleagues have proven to be a wonderful resource for me professionally and kindred spirits on a personal level too.

What are you most excited about as a board member?

I appreciate sitting on the NORDP board as an opportunity to learn and grow through working with and learning from colleagues who I respect and with whom I share passions, goals, and values. I’m excited about contributing to the implementation of the current strategic plan and engage in future strategizing to move NORDP and the profession into the future.

Compiled by Sharon Pound, Communications Working Group

Save the Dates: Expand your network by participating in the NORDP Peer Mentoring Groups!

One mentor is almost never adequate for the mentee. [The PMG] helped us to focus on what we could address”- Jennifer Glass, NORDP Board member and Mentoring Committee member. 

The NORDP Mentoring Committee’s Peer Mentoring Groups* (PMG)  provide an ideal platform for NORDP colleagues to learn from each other. NORDP Mentoring Committee currently has 7 PMGs Peer Mentoring Groups, based on the pillars of Research Development. 

1.     Career & Professional Development: exploring how to become more efficient and effective in our roles

2.     Communication: promoting awareness of RD opportunities and publicizing research

3.     Enhancing Collaboration: building collaborations and interdisciplinary research programs

4.     Leadership & Management: leading in both official and unofficial capacities

5.     Mentorship: discussing and supporting mentoring best practices for mentors and mentees

6.     Proposal Development: supporting faculty grant seeking and increasing extramural funding

7.     Strategic Planning & Advancement: guiding policy and planning for enhanced research and scholarship

Learn more about PMGs here.

This year PMGs will use the Wisdom Share platform (https://nordpmentoring.mywisdomshare.com), which is the same platform that NORDP uses for its mentoring program.  Please mark your calendars for the following dates:

October 1, 2021 PMG sign-up opens in Wisdom Share: You can begin to sign up for one (or all 7!) of the PMGs. Signup will be open October 1. 

To sign up for a PMG:

  1. If you’ve not yet registered in Wisdom Share, sign up with a login and password here
  2. Under “Role,” choose “Peer Mentoring.”
  3. On your dashboard’s far right side, you will see the PMGs; simply click join for the group(s) of interest.

Already-registered users can go directly to their dashboards.

October 21, 2021 – 2:30-3:30pm EST PMG Orientation  – Come join your PMG colleagues to learn about the process, Wisdom Share functionality, and meet as a group. The Orientation will include an introduction to the seven PMGs, engaging in PMGs on Wisdom Share, and an opportunity to get acquainted with the PMGs real-time. Click here to join the orientation: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81529400705

* Participation in Peer Mentoring Groups (PMGs)  is one of the many benefits of being a member of NORDP.

NORDP New Board Member Cameo – Melinda Laroco Boehm

Who: Melinda Laroco Boehm, Director, Office of Research Development

Where: University of California, Merced

Number of Years in RD: 6.5

Length of NORDP Membership: 6.5

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

I came into RD just after completing my Ph.D. in Medical Sociology (2014). Given we were a military family, we had orders for an international move just a few months after I completed my degree, so I purposefully delayed entering the job market. Looking back, I am grateful to have been afforded the time to really look for what I wanted to do and contribute, which was somewhere in the vicinity of an intersection of research, a deadline-driven environment, community engagement, and strategic initiatives. After those international orders were changed to California, I saw just the opportunity for what I wanted to pursue: Research Development. At UC Merced, we are a centralized unit, supporting all schools and organized research units in strategic grantseeking, proposal development support to faculty researchers, and initiatives to grow our research enterprise.

What’s your history with NORDP? How have you engaged with the organization?

You could say my career in RD aligns exactly with my time in NORDP. The NORDP 2015 Conference in Bethesda was (technically) my first day on the job. After driving for three days on a cross-country move, I interviewed at UC Merced the day after we arrived in California. Susan Carter was conference co-chair at the time and thought it was perfect timing for me to fly back cross country to the conference. It was there I met most of my new colleagues.

Since then I’ve remained active on the Professional Development Committee. I’ve attended every conference since 2015 and participated in the annual conferences in numerous capacities: Conference Planning Committee, mentee activities, workshop facilitations, panel discussions, roundtable discussions, and participation in Implicit Bias Training (2019). Over the past year I’ve remained PD Committee Co-Chair, engaged in Conversation Roadblock Sessions, presented at our Pacific Region Meeting, contributed to the CCC Task Force, and am currently in the LEAD Peer Mentoring Group. I also fully support (and encourage) my staff to contribute and participate in any capacity for the organization.

What relationships have you built as a result of NORDP?

I’ve built myriad relationships as a result of NORDP. Former colleagues have become my conference workshop co-presenters and dear friends. I’ve created my own version of a Board of Advisors made up of my peers/peer mentors, and their counsel, strategic advice, and sarcasm have helped me redirect my focus many times and solve challenges in positive and meaningful ways.

What are you most excited about as a board member?

I’m excited to better understand the infrastructure and governance aspect of the Board. If you know me, you’d know I am detail-oriented with a fondness (understatement) for organization, so I am looking forward to that aspect.

However, I’m most excited about meeting more NORDP members, hearing their thoughts and ideas, and helping to serve as a catalyst in elevating their innovative ideas to create effective (and sustainable) change. As a collective, NORDP members are some of the most innovative and strategic thinkers I’ve ever known, and I want to help ensure we are meeting the needs and interests of our members in a helpful, culturally-competent, and mission-driven way.

Compiled by Sharon Pound, Communications Working Group

Mentor Dyad Reflections: Jessica Brassard/David Widmer

We hope you are enjoying the opening months of the 2021-2022 NORDP Mentoring Program and that you have had a chance to meet in your dyad! We are excited to share a piece of Mentoring Reflection by introducing Mentor David Widmer, Manager of Research Development and Outreach at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and Mentee Jessica Brassard, who recently transitioned from Michigan Technological University to a Graphic Designer position in the University of Michigan’s Research Development Office. Jess and David were paired for the 2020-2021 mentoring year and are continuing their engagement beyond the official program.

Short bios

David Widmer, PhD, is the Grants & Contracts Manager of Research Development & Outreach at Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK) and has 20 years of research administration and research development experience.  David manages the G&C Funding Development Team (FDT) now in its 12th year of providing proposal development and funding acquisition support to MSK researchers. David’s outreach and training has focused on developing specific populations of investigators including junior faculty and post-doctoral researchers. David was part of the first NORDP mentoring class in 2011, has served on the Mentoring Committee since 2015, and served as MC co-chair from 2017-2021. This was his fifth year as a mentor. David is a Fulbright Scholar, a recipient of a Swiss Confederation fellowship, and has an MS in Cell & Developmental Biology, an MA in Humanities and Social Thought with a concentration in the History of Medicine, and a PhD in Behavioral & Molecular Neuroscience. 

Jessica Brassard is the Graphic Designer in the University of Michigan’s OVPR Research Development office. Jessica has a long background in fine art, design, and marketing and transitioned to research development in 2015 when she joined the Michigan Technological University RD team. She has experience with what we might think of as “core” RD responsibilities (faculty development, proposal development, strategic initiatives, workshops and training) but she has always loved the chance to work on visuals for proposals and science communication. She creates visuals that increase clarity and saliency for proposals and OVPR initiatives. This will be the fourth year that Jessica has participated in the NORDP Mentoring Program. She has been both a mentee, a mentor, and participated in a PMG or two. This year, she joined the Mentoring Committee and is focusing on the McMc (Mentoring Committee Marketing (sub)Committee). In all aspects of her life, Jessica strives to find ways to improve the world around her. 

  1. What influenced you to apply to be a mentor and a mentee for the 2020-21 NORDP Mentoring Program?
  1. JB — I believe I can learn something from everyone I meet. The NORDP Mentoring Program does a great job of creating opportunities to meet, build relationships, and learn from each other. 
  2. DW — My experience with the NORDP mentoring program previously has been very positive. I was in the first mentoring class in 2011 and my mentor helped me during a pivotal transition in my career of moving from Research Administration to Research Development. When I came to the Mentoring Committee in 2015, I started up again first as a mentee and then transitioned as both mentor and mentee. This upcoming year will be my fifth year as a mentor. My experiences with all my mentors drive me to want to pay it forward and the learning that happens with my mentee makes me want to mentor again. And by learning, I mean I learn from my mentees because I do every time. The mentoring experience shows that we all have something to share and that you might be in a better position to serve as a mentor now than you may think.
  3. What was your favorite part about your relationship?
  1. JB — As I have gotten to know David, I have enjoyed learning about his background. David has generously shared his published work which I have read and found fascinating. I enjoy spending time reflecting on the challenges he has faced over the past year in his institution and the issues I face in my institution. Having David’s perspective helps me reflect more clearly because he sees things from an outside point-of-view while still having the context of our RD mission. 
  2. DW — The camaraderie! Jess and I really clicked and talked about so much more than RD. I feel we have crafted an important connection that will last beyond the mentoring year. I even benefited from her baking skills and received a care packet for the Holidays.
  3. What surprised you about being a mentor or a mentee?
  1. JB — During the process of using the NORPD mentoring packet to reflect on my own progress, goals, and network, I am surprised by the progress I’ve made year to year. And again at the end of a mentoring year, I am surprised by the incredible benefit of the conversations we’ve had, despite shifting work priorities and adjusted meetings over the year. 
  2. DW — What’s surprised me from the start of mentoring was the reciprocal learning that happens. I taught enrichment to seventh and eighth graders in graduate school and staying one step ahead of them in topics and subjects was a challenge since they gave me perspectives I never had before. Mentoring kids I think put me in good stead to be a NORDP mentor although previous mentoring experience is not by any means a prerequisite for supporting your RD colleagues in mentoring.
  3. How has participation in the Mentoring Program helped broaden your horizons about Research Development in general and/or affected your daily work in particular?
  1. JB — In this year of the COVID-19 pandemic, I have struggled with the amount of work I can maintain in our new way of living and working. The Mentoring Program has helped “right-size” my expectations to the realities. While this is being done at my institution and within my unit, it is also extremely helpful to get perspective with both David and my other mentee. 
  2. DW — Bringing back to one’s home institution is an important benefit of NORDP membership and the Mentoring Program has helped me learn and grow in RD, and have colleagues to share and brainstorm ideas with to take back to MSK. The dyads and the Peer Mentoring Groups are great for that but they wouldn’t be such a success if it weren’t for the fabulous open and sharing NORDP membership.
  3. Any words of wisdom or encouragement for those wanting to apply next year? Any other thoughts you would like to share? 
  1. JB — Don’t get caught up in the tasks you might add to your list of to-dos or the additional meetings you need to schedule. Think of this as a year-long opportunity to get to know another human and add to your network!
  2. DW — If you think you are not ready to mentor, think again. Everyone has something to share, differing experiences to discuss, and perspectives that will broaden the horizons of another program. I thank Jess for broadening my horizons in our mentoring partnership this year.

NORDP Consultant Pilot Program; Calling for Applications

With the generous support of Eric and Wendy Schmidt via recommendation of the Schmidt Futures program, NORDP is piloting a program to grow research capacity and competitiveness within historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) by increasing institutional capacity for research development. To develop and grow sustainable research support infrastructure, the awarded two-year pilot project will provide NORDP consultants—via either virtual engagement or in-person engagement—to participating HBCUs at no cost to the institutions.

NORDP is pleased to announce two opportunities to be a part of the NORDP Consultant pilot program.

  1. Please consider applying and share this opportunity with program evaluators in your network. The National Organization of Research Development Professionals (NORDP) requests proposals from experienced evaluators for the evaluation of a two-year pilot project that will create sustainable research support infrastructures at four participating HBCUs. The evaluator will provide formative and summative feedback to NORDP leadership and the HBCUs related to impacts and outcomes as aligned with project objectives. The evaluator will also provide recommendations to inform future programmatic decisions. A bidders conference will be held on September 21, 2021 at 12-1pm EDT. Proposals are due November 10, 2021. Additional information can be found in the RFP here.
  1. Please consider applying to serve as a NORDP Consultant. The National Organization of Research Development Professionals (NORDP) seeks applications from NORDP members to participate as NORDP Consultants in a two-year pilot project that will create sustainable research support infrastructures at four participating HBCUs. Proposals are due November 10, 2021. Additional information can be found in the RFA here.

The application process for HBCUs will also be announced in the upcoming weeks. HBCUs will be contacted directly and invited to apply.

NORDP New Board Member Cameo – Lisa Lopez

Who:   Lisa Lopez, Senior Research Development Officer

Where:   College of Health and Human Development, California State University, Fullerton

Number of Years in RD:  7

Length of NORDP Membership:   6

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

I entered RD after completing my postdoc. I was looking for an alternative career away from the typical research scientist trajectory, but I knew I still loved working in academia. The problem was that I didn’t have anyone in my network who could help me navigate a transition outside of the laboratory. When looking for jobs, I found various RD opportunities, but I had no clue if I would even be qualified for such a position. After a quick Google search, I found the NORDP website with information on the responsibilities of a “research development professional.” I read all I could find about this “new” profession and found that it was indeed something I was qualified for and could find rewarding. Most importantly, I found a community of folks who, while working at their own institutions, had a shared passion for RD and supported each other along the journey.  I started to apply for RD jobs and was fortunate to land at a local Cal State, where I’ve been ever since.

In my current role, I perform RD duties at the college level as a member of the Dean’s senior leadership team.  I work closely with my colleagues in the Office of Research and Sponsored Projects to put on grant-related trainings for faculty, and I work as part of the Pre-Award team for my college to help faculty submit proposals.  In my college, I focus on faculty development.  I provide guidance to help faculty position themselves for success in their research and as they seek external funding, and I develop and manage several college programs to support faculty research.  I am also involved in a college task force aimed at increasing the hiring and retention of diverse faculty. 

What’s your history with NORDP? How have you engaged with the organization?

I joined NORDP in 2015.  I started to attend the annual meetings and presented a poster in Colorado in 2017.  In 2020, I increased my engagement with NORDP and joined the Nomination Committee.  This was such a worthwhile experience, and I encourage anyone looking to get started in volunteer work with the organization to consider joining NomCom.  Committee work gave me insight into the organizational structure of NORDP and also exposed me to the skills and experiences of the Board candidates.  It was through my work on NomCom that I was able to see myself as a future member of the NORDP Board. 

What relationships have you built as a result of NORDP?

NORDP members are such a supportive and engaging group.  When I was new to RD, I really appreciated going to the annual conference and meeting and learning from members who had been in the field a lot longer than me.  I’ve also been fortunate to meet some really awesome members as part of the Nomination Committee.  This year, I’m taking part in the Mentorship Program as both a mentor and a mentee.  So far, I’ve really enjoyed the experience, and I’m incredibly thankful to have already met so many new folks as a participant in this summer’s Celebrating Mentoring Days.   

What are you most excited about as a board member?

NORDP is growing and changing, and I’m really excited to have the opportunity to be part of the leadership that will help shape what our organization looks like in the coming years as we prepare to develop our next strategic plan.  I’m also eager to meet more members and learn how others enhance their professional development and how institutions support the profession.  I’m interested in exploring the different models of RD at institutions and how NORDP can best meet the needs of our members in varied RD roles and from diverse backgrounds.  NORDP is now over 1,000 members strong, and it’s an exciting time to be involved in this organization.  I can’t wait to see what we all can accomplish in the years ahead!

Compiled by Sharon Pound, Communications Working Group

NORDP New Board Member Cameo – Nathan Meier

Who: Nathan Meier, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Research

Where: University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Number of Years in RD: 18

Length of NORDP Membership: 10

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

Like many NORDP members, I followed a circuitous route to the profession. Following undergraduate study, I farmed full-time with my family for two years before going on to earn a Master of Technical and Professional Communication from Auburn University—the only place in the country where that specific degree is offered. I started out wanting to be an English professor but changed my focus as I learned more about the challenges of the tenure track once I began my graduate work. My first semester at Auburn, I ended up in a principles of technical communication course and really enjoyed the experience because it gave me a chance to meld my interests in writing and technology. The MTPC program was a great fit for me and felt like an applied English degree. During my final semester at Auburn, I audited a class called “The Proposal as Genre and Argument,” and it was another natural blend of my interest in writing, rhetoric, literature, and technology. When I returned to Nebraska after graduating, I applied for a proposal writing position at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and have been in RD ever since. I did not set out to be in this field, but the skills I brought and learned and my natural interests led me here. I am grateful to have the opportunity to add value to faculty-led projects on our campus.

My current position is focused on faculty and institutional success especially as they relate to external funding competitiveness. My RD portfolio of work involves providing strategic direction for our proposal development, external faculty recognition and awards, and research impacts programs. I also get involved with many special projects for our vice chancellor and our campus (e.g., efforts related to diversity and inclusive excellence, federal relations, pursuing the Carnegie Community Engagement Classification, etc.). I also have become heavily involved with our institution’s pursuit of grand challenges. 

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

I started out as a listserv lurker and became a member after a couple of years. I joined the conference planning committee in 2015 as an abstract reviewer and then got involved with conference marketing. I later joined the nominating committee and was eventually designated as its chair. I basically helped out wherever I could starting with a variety of little projects and scaffolded toward increased responsibilities over time. I have been a mentor as well. Following an invitation from the board, I threw my hat in the ring to fill out the remaining portion of a departing board member’s term in 2019. During my two years serving as an appointed board member, I felt like I found my niche with NORDP and realized there is more I could do, so I decided to run for a full four-year term.

Over the years, we had been hearing from members that NORDP needed more intentional pathways to advance organizational leaders. We needed to find ways to help members become engaged members and ultimately committee leaders and then, hopefully, candidates for the board. I worked with Jan Abramson, Katie Shoaf, Mady Hymowitz, and Karen Fletcher to stand up the NORDP Leadership, Engagement and Development (LEAD) Initiative. This program, which is still evolving, is designed to nurture organizational leaders and help NORDP members cultivate their own individual careers. 

I also been working with other NORDP colleagues for the last couple of years to expand the recognitions available to NORDP members and our external champions of RD. We want to recognize and reward the important, impactful contributions our colleagues are making and ensure they capture the attention of our members.  

What relationships have you built as a result of NORDP?

The RD community is at its core a very strong network, and NORDP is its backbone. We openly share knowledge to help our faculty and institutions succeed. Our “back of the house” support allows our nation’s research enterprise to thrive and achieve its goal, which, from my perspective, is to help improve the human condition. 

NORDP is an incredible crucible in which we can mix with others from around the world and from a variety of organizational types. I appreciate the free and open exchange of ideas we enjoy from which you can pick and choose what works best for your individual context. For example, I have learned and adapted a great deal from my colleagues at PUIs and MSIs that is helpful in my RD work at Nebraska, which is a comprehensive research, land-grant institution.

For the last few years, I have really come to value a collection informal peer mentoring groups formed by NORDP members with shared interests and goals. I get to connect with colleagues from all ranks and from a variety of institutional types. It is wonderful to know that I have many great colleagues across the country with whom I can spitball ideas and get frank, helpful feedback.

What are you most excited about as a board member?

I think that NORDP is at an inflection point. We now have 1,100 members, and we need to sustain the organization and position it for a dynamic future. The fact that our membership continued to grow during the pandemic is incredible. I am excited about the climate survey that the Committee on Inclusive Excellence is launching to help us determine what we can do better and inform strategies to make sure NORDP is a place welcoming to all. I am excited to see how we deliver on our current strategic plan as it comes to an end next year and think about how we will reflect and plan for the next stage by continuing to innovate and remain relevant to the RD community.

RD has come a long way since NORDP began. We are moving away from mostly experimentation and anecdotal evidence about what works to having colleagues laying RD down as a field through rigorous study. I hope we learn how to work smarter not harder in the RD space as a result of our colleagues’ research results. 

I am also very excited about the LEAD Peer Mentoring Group that Jan Abramson, Karen Fletcher, Katie Shoaf, and Mady Hymowitz are facilitating. We are seeing many new faces in NORDP and the profession—and this is captured well in the group’s participants. I view that as a sign of NORDP transitioning with new players coming to the table, and I hope that they will emerge as the next generation of contributors and leaders—both within NORDP and to RD.

Compiled by Daniel Campbell, Member Services Committee

NORDP New Board Member Cameo – Carolynn Julien

Who: Carolynn Julien, Associate Director of Research Administration

Where: Hunter College, City University of New York

Number of Years in RD: 33

Length of NORDP Membership: 8

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

I stumbled into the RD field to be honest. Early in my career, I saw a posting for a position that sounded interesting. I thought it would be a good fit as I enjoyed writing and I worked well on teams. I figured it was worth a shot and I have been working in the same office here at Hunter College CUNY for the same boss ever since.

We are a PUI and our services run the gamut. We are truly a soup to nuts operation. We work with Junior Faculty to find the funding as well as to develop and submit proposals. We also work with senior faculty and everyone in between. Our office is a central one that supports faculty in all of the schools encompassing Arts & Sciences, Social Work, Nursing and Education.  

What’s your history with NORDP? How have you engaged with the organization?

I have been to two in person conferences (DC and Austin) as well as the most recent virtual one, but the majority of my involvement in the past was via the mentoring component of NORDP. I received a mentor in 2013 and we have continued our connection all these years later.  

I began to increase my engagement during the early part of the pandemic. I decided that I wanted to give back more, and I became a mentor to four individuals during the 2020-21 year. It was through this that I became involved with the Mentoring Committee. I recently gave a presentation during the Mentoring Lightning Storm entitled, From Silos to Success, during the 2021 conference. I discussed the mentoring system we have here that brings RD professionals together from all of the 25 CUNY system schools that has proven to be very effective. You can check it out here: https://nordp2021.gtr.pathable.com/meetings/virtual/BKmzcCgEwZcMQiH9T

I also served as a co-moderator on the Mentoring Across Differences presentation at this summer’s Mentoring Conference for NORDP. We expanded the definition of difference to speak about mentoring relationships and the beauty that these differences can add to these relationships. 

What relationships have you built as a result of NORDP?

There have been so many honestly and I have built many friendships. I really did not feel that connected to NORDP prior to the 2020-21 year. Engaging with fellow members allowed me to develop relationships, many of which have turned into true friendships. I am also part of an informal group that meets once a month, which formed from Conversation Roadblocks event with NORDP’s Committee on Inclusive Excellence (CIE). This group provides a combination of personal and professional development and serves a great opportunity to talk about differences. 

What are you most excited about as a board member?

I am really looking forward to the opportunity make a difference by having a seat at the table. I am also very interested in figuring out some of the tools, tips and knowledge that can be leveraged for PUI organizations like mine. I am excited to continue my involvement in mentoring and learn how to be able to mentor others who want a seat at the table as a board member. I am looking forward to having individuals who look like me understand that they too are welcome and their ideas & opinions matter. 

Compiled by Daniel Campbell, Member Services Committee

NORDP New Board Member Cameo – Jennifer Glass

Who: Jennifer Glass, Research Development Officer

Where: Office of Research Development and Administration, Eastern Michigan University

Number of Years in RD: 7

Length of NORDP Membership: 6

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

I actually came to RD from a research professor position. I studied cognitive function in various health and aging conditions at the University of Michigan and had lots of experience writing grants. I saw a job description and was looking for a change at the time. I had never heard of the field before, but it sounded like a good fit for my experience. 

I am the only person solely doing RD work in my office. I work with the entire campus and the bulk of my time is proposal and faculty development. Eastern Michigan University (EMU) is primarily a PUI and our faculty tend to have high teaching loads. My primary role is to facilitate and help in any way I can when faculty are seeking funding. 

What’s your history with NORDP? How have you engaged with the organization?

When I started at EMU my boss knew about NORDP and encouraged me join, even making it a part of my hiring package. I thought it sounded like a good idea since I was new to the field. I attended my first conference in 2015 and went to a roundtable about mentoring with the discussion focused on how to bring back the mentoring program (at that time, the old way of manually matching mentor-mentee pairs had become too onerous). I have been involved with the Mentoring Committee ever since and it has been great to see the growth in mentoring initiatives over the years. I have also been involved with the Committee on Inclusive Excellence for the past two years. 

I currently serve as the chair of the PUI Affinity Group, but with my seat on the board, I am stepping down as we put together a succession plan for the group. I am excited about a landscape survey we have just launched to get an idea of what RD looks like at PUI’s across NORDP. At many of the smaller institutions RD folks have similar roles, but they often have other roles in sponsored projects, pre-award or grants administration. The PUI group is interested in the concept of “building a culture of research” and what it means at PUI’s. If you are interested in learning more about this initiative, please contact Kara Luckey. 

What relationships have you built as a result of NORDP?

I could go on for days about the relationships I have built via NORDP. There is so much talent in our group. We would all be in our silos without the organization. For example, the PUI Affinity Group idea arose from a listserv posting. It has developed into a vigorous group working at PUI’s who are passionate about RD in those settings.  

I always get so much from the conference and I bring home new ideas and strategies every time. The conferences also give me insights about the RD enterprise itself. One of these ideas is how to reach out to colleagues on campus about communication of research to the general public which is an important aspect of our work. 

One of the best things about NORDP is how helpful everyone is. If you ever have a question you can pose it to the Listserv and you will have many answers in a few minutes. I appreciate the culture of NORDP. We could easily view each other as competitors, but there seems to be an understanding that the better the research the better for the field as a whole. 

What are you most excited about as a board member?

I am excited about seeing how the board works and being a part of the leadership at a point where we have had so much growth. We are changing how we manage ourselves due to the growth. NORDP is a very different organization than it was even just two years ago.  

I am also looking forward to getting to know the many accomplished people on the board. I continue to be passionate about PUI’s and I am glad to be a part of seeing how NORDP can help these types of institutions in the future. 

Compiled by Daniel Campbell, Member Services Committee