Great Lakes Region’s Half-day Retreat Recap

The 2022 NORDP Great Lakes Region held its annual retreat on January 18 via Zoom. The event saw about 30 participants from 17 organizations. This year’s theme was wellness and Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB).

The retreat kicked off with musical performances by University of Michigan student musicians, setting a calming atmosphere at the beginning. The programming included an inspiring guest presentation, titled How Trust Levels and “Thinking Traps” Influence Work Team Engagement and Effectiveness, by Denise Williams, PhD, University of Michigan Organizational Effectiveness Consultant. Next, the Great Lakes Region community was invited into a conversation on DEIB, where the participants discussed their institutions’ approaches to implementing DEIB in research development work. The Great Lakes Region Executive Committee gave regional updates on the governance of the regional Executive Committee, asked for input on potential activities to engage members, and introduced the region’s book club. Finally, the retreat concluded with a casual virtual happy hour.

Ten participating members were randomly selected to receive a copy of the book Lessons from Plants, by Michigan State University’s Dr. Beronda Montgomery, the first read for the book club. With the consideration of wellness, health breaks were provided while fun and relaxing music was played. Colleen Greene, University of Michigan Senior Wellness Coordinator, also demonstrated invigorating and restorative desk stretches between two sessions. The half-day event received positive feedback, including insightful discussions and professional connections.

The retreat was organized by the Great Lakes Region’s inaugural Executive Committee. The committee members are Maggie Berg (University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign), Jessica Brassard (University of Michigan), Ellen Freeman (U of Minnesota-Twin Cities), Sarah James (AtKisson Training Group), and Melissa Li (University of Michigan). It was financially supported by a mini grant from a recent competition organized by NORDP’s Member Services Committee aimed at assisting affinity and regional groups with retention, recruitment, and engagement of members. 

Written by the NORDP Great Lakes Region Executive Committee

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