A Quick Chat about Peer Mentoring Groups (PMGs)

To all members, as we begin a new year of mentoring, the NORDP Mentoring Committee offers Peer Mentoring Groups (PMGs). The seven PMGs are formed based on the corresponding Research Development pillars and provide an ideal platform for NORDP members to network with and learn from each other. We invite you to join a PMG! PMG sign-up is currently open at Wisdom Share.

Recently Melissa Li, Program Manager, Joint Institute for Translational & Clinical Research, University of Michigan joined the Leadership & Management PMG as a co-lead. Melissa interviewed the other co-lead, Katie Shoaf, Associate Director, Grants Resources & Services, Appalachian State University, about her PMG experience.

Melissa: First of all, what is the scope of activities of the Leadership & Management PMG? 

Katie: We cover everything from managing up to growing an RD office, supporting career development, and navigating conflicts. Anything that the group wants to chat about is on the table. Naturally, we spent a lot of time last year debriefing about the impacts of COVID on our workplace interactions. 

Melissa: What prompted you to join the PMG? Could you share a couple of PMG highlights since you joined the group? 

Katie: I have been involved with PMGs since the beginning. I serve on the Mentoring committee and the MESHH (mentorship, expertise, support, helping hands) subgroup that developed some of the tools to support the PMGs as they got started. Mentoring is so important, and I love the atmosphere of a support group clustered around an area of passion for folks. The Leadership & Management PMG has been a great fit. I’m in a quasi-leadership role as an Associate Director, but am very interested in professional development around leadership, so it’s been great to learn from my peers in this group. I’ve developed some really amazing relationships with my PMG cohort. It’s a different vibe than other committee work and other mentoring relationships, and has allowed me to grow alongside people I greatly respect. 

Melissa: Your PMG experience sounds great. How has the experience impacted your professional work? 

Katie: As with most mentoring and NORDP-related things, I learn so much from my peers and it is all translatable into my daily work. I get ideas about how to work better with others and positively impact research culture on my campus. There are also a lot of aspirational things that we discuss in these groups that spark discussions in my own office about long-term goals for RD on our campus. 

Melissa: The PMGs are currently open for sign-up. Any words to those who are considering/debating to join? 

Katie: Do it! It has been so great to build relationships in these types of groups. We support each other, share ideas, discuss our fears and areas of growth. It is a great, low-stakes way to get involved, meet new people, and leverage your NORDP membership. 

Melissa: Thank you so much for sharing your PMG experience and encouraging notes, Katie.

An overview on PMGs is available here. PMG sign-up is currently open at Wisdom Share. See this blog for more information on signing up for PMGs this year.

Please join us for a PMG Orientation on October 21 at 2:30-3:30pm EST. The Zoom link is https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81529400705.

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