Hats Off to the 2023 NORDP Mentor Training Workshop Graduates!

The NORDP Mentoring Committee’s Mentor Training Team held a mentor training workshop in January – March 2023. Nineteen NORDP members completed the 5-week workshop, covering the 9-module Entering Mentoring curriculum initially developed for research mentors and tailored by the NORDP Mentoring Committee for RD professionals in collaboration with the University of Wisconsin Center for Improvement of Mentored Experiences in Research (CIMER). RD professionals explored key mentoring competencies that can benefit RD mentors and mentees that have been associated with improved career outcomes, employee engagement and retention, and more inclusive work environments. The workshop was facilitated by NORDP members Toni Blair, Kristin Boman, Paula Carney, Rachel Goff-Albritton, and Melissa Li.
The NORDP Mentoring Committee is committed to equipping Research Development professionals for success by offering meaningful mentoring expertise, support, and resources. The next Mentor Training Workshop is being planned and will be announced soon. If you would like to be contacted when the next workshop series is scheduled, please complete this form.

Congratulations to the following 2023 NORDP Mentor Training graduates!

SheriAndersonNorth Dakota State University
SarahAtkinsonMichigan Tech
AnnaBabkhanyanUniversity of Hawaii
DanielleBarefootUniversity of Arizona
TiffanyBrutusJames Madison University
ElizabethCarrollTexas Tech University
KathyDreyerUniversity of North Texas
DebbieFrankWashington University in St. Louis
SharonFranksUC San Diego
CarolynnJulienFairleigh Dickinson University
MonicaKesselUtah State
LizLanceSyracuse University (Falk College)
CrystalLoveIndiana University
JenniferLyon GardnerThe University of Texas at Austin
AliPearksUniversity of Colorado Denver
MatthewSchwartzUMass Chan Medical School
VessVassileva-ClarkeUniversity of Michigan
QuyenWickhamArizona State University
ViktoriyaZhuravlevaColumbia University
List of graduates from the 2023 Mentor Training and their home institutions.

2022 Leadership Award: Kathy Partlow

As part of the April 27, 2022 NORDP Awards session, NORDP Fellow Jan Abramson presented the 2022 NORDP Leadership Award with heartfelt emotion to her peer, colleague and friend — Kathy Partlow. The NORDP Leadership Award “honors a member, a group of members or team, an RD unit, or an organization that demonstrates exceptional leadership and/or a deep commitment to volunteerism in ways that advance the profession or field of RD.”

Jan began her recognition of Kathy with a quote from Peter Strople, former director of Dell Computer Corporation — “Legacy is not leaving something for people, it’s leaving something in people. The legacy of leadership begins at the first moment of impact.” Jan’s moment of impact with Kathy began when they worked together on the Mentoring Committee. Whether we know it or not, our NORDP experiences have been touched in some way by Kathy’s quiet, behind-the-scenes leadership. 

Jess Brassard from the Communications Working Group interviewed Kathy about her take on leadership. 

Who: Kathy Parlow

Where: Remote-working from Oklahoma. Note: Kathy participated in this interview in her personal capacity. 

Number of years in research development: 10

Length of NORDP membership: 10

What is leadership to you? 

KP: Formally, I am a co-chair of the Mentoring Committee and the lead for the Evaluation & Innovation team. Broadly, I believe leadership is noticing that one is in a position to to bring others up. This can happen from any title or position. Leadership also means having a big-picture, strategic mindset to guide a group of people toward the group’s mission.

How did you learn or develop your style of leadership? 

KP: My style of leadership is focused on others. I use the unit’s mission as a meter. My contributions started small and really grew as I became passionate about mentoring. Along the way, other leaders mentored me and helped me “settle in” to the style that best suits me. I was very much mentored into my servant leadership style.

How does your membership in NORDP develop your leadership style? 

KP: I came to a point in my career where there was no pathway to leadership in my job and had a mentor that encouraged me to think more broadly about where I could gain leadership experience. I chose to develop my leadership capabilities outside my “day job” through volunteering and community service. 

What relationships have you built as a result of NORDP, and how have these relationships influenced your work? 

KP: I have connected to amazing colleagues and formed lasting friendships through mentee/mentor relationships and volunteer activities. Their guidance is infused through my work and career journey. I learned to be active and intentional about building relationships. Within the Mentoring Committee, I take it to heart. It’s the foundation of everything the Mentoring Committee does. 

What do you wish you would have known when you began your leadership journey within NORDP? 

KP: I wish I would have known earlier that leadership is a gentle pathway. It doesn’t need to be a switch that is flipped. I eased into the time commitment. The “rising co-chair model” of the Mentoring Committee and other NORDP committees helps with transitions. I appreciate the co-leadership and support this model enables. 

What have you found most rewarding, and most challenging, about leading within NORDP? In your CAREER? 

KP: As far as the most challenging — the Mentoring Committee leadership team saw the need to adapt to a growing NORDP. That meant large initiatives were needed to adapt and diversify the resources for mentoring (e.g. peer mentoring groups (PMGs) and implementing Wisdom Share mentoring software ). The reward from this hard work has been the feasibility of supporting record-breaking numbers of NORDP Mentoring Program participants. . 

By far, the most rewarding part of NORDP is the people. I love to recognize and celebrate with NORDP volunteers in these accomplishments (and all the mini-milestones throughout). 

What advice do you have for others within NORDP who are looking to develop as leaders? 

KP: My advice is to choose a measured path. Most NORDP leadership roles allow you to ease into them. Make small contributions at first. Share your time and skills in areas that interest you. Find reward in the volunteer work.

Mentoring Reflections: Sammy Rodriguez & Charlene Emerson

Written by: Mentoring Committee Marketing & Communications, Sammy Rodriguez, and Charlene Emerson

The yearly NORDP Mentoring Program offers a structured mentoring experience for NORDP members. While the program officially runs for a year, a lot of participants continue their mentoring relationships long-term. This month, we catch up with one such long-term mentor-mentee pair as they share their reflections on their mentoring journey. 

Sammy Rodriguez is currently serving as Interim Director for the Office of Research Advancement & Partnerships at Washington State University. He has been in research development and administration for over 10 years. His PhD is in educational psychology and his Masters in English literature. He is a member of NORDP’s Nominating Committee and also a mentor for NORDP’s mentoring program. He serves as a mentor for Charlene Emerson.  

Charlene Emerson is a Scientific Editor and Writing Consultant for the NextGen Precision Health building at the University of Missouri – Columbia. It’s hard to know when her career in research development started exactly, but she has over 5 years of professional experience in science editing. She received her PhD in Molecular and Human Genetics from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX, where she was a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow. She is a mentee in NORDP’s mentoring program.

Q1: What influenced you to apply to be a mentor and a mentee for the 2021 NORDP Mentoring Program?

Charlene: I was very new to my position and to the Research Development field in general. I felt I needed to get advice and perspective about an RD career from someone who I didn’t work with closely, someone who could be relatively unbiased and candid in conversation. The NORDP Mentoring program felt like the perfect opportunity.

Sammy: Having NORDP go over the mentoring program in advance, its structure, the approach to pairing mentors/mentees, expectations, and its flexibility, provided more clarity on what to expect before deciding to sign up.

Q2: What is your favorite part about your relationship?

Charlene: My favorite part of my mentoring relationship with Sammy is how we’ve been able to watch each other grow and share in celebrating that growth. Our conversations have covered a lot of our challenges and ambitions, so it’s been great to be able to keep returning to that consistent support. I’m always looking forward to our next meeting to update him on my latest big project or to hear how his plans have turned out.

Sammy: My favorite part is that I gained a colleague I probably wouldn’t have otherwise. Although Charlene is relatively new to the profession, she has so much knowledge and drive, and she’s a leader. Feels like we are mentoring each other. I’m happy that I am able to share some experiences and guidance and get feedback later on what was helpful, how an issue got resolved, or hear about a big win on her plans to advance her goals. It serves as validation and motivation to continue to share what we know with others.

Q3: How has participation in the Mentoring Program helped broaden your horizons about Research Development in general and/or affected your daily work in particular?

Charlene: RD is an incredibly varied field and I’ve learned a lot about the variety of positions and growth trajectories for an RD office. I now have more knowledge about different areas I could grow into and I don’t feel as uncertain about where this career path will take me. In my daily work, I feel much more confident that I’m approaching challenges and opportunities reasonably and that I have a supportive resource for any questions that come up.

Sammy: It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day work of our office, our institution, but we have to keep a balance even within the professional sphere of our lives. It can’t just be tasks, tasks, tasks. We have to take care of ourselves and our colleagues, taking time for professional development, mentoring, taking a step back for a minute, and consider all those aspects that revolve around our profession. Doing so will ultimately make our careers more enjoyable, fruitful, and lasting. RD is truly a community, and as we grow and gain more and more years of experience, there is a responsibility to share what we know and our ideas. RD and NORDP are at a maturing phase where there is a broader space for mentoring as a key element for growth, looking to the future of RD and as an organization.  

Q4: What surprised you about being a mentor or a mentee?

Charlene: I was surprised how easy it was to grow the relationship comfortably. Before the mentoring got started, I was nervous that it would feel awkward or that we wouldn’t have anything to talk about. But once I decided to just open up and ask about topics that I’d been wondering about, insecurities about how to move forward with my career, or my perceptions of office politics, conversation came incredibly easy.

Sammy: How well it has gone. I think there’s always a level of apprehension when considering getting into a mentoring relationship. What if the pairing doesn’t work? What will we talk about? Is it going to be awkward? There’s a degree of opening up, whether you’re a mentor or a mentee, an element of vulnerability. Once you get past that initial pause and take the next step, then vulnerability turns into honesty and that builds trust. And I have to go back to a previous point I made, I’ve learned so much from Charlene. I knew that you also learn as a mentor, but I’ve learned in ways I had not anticipated.

Q5: What made you decide to maintain a longer-term mentoring relationship and how has it impacted you?

Charlene: It was an easy decision because I felt like we both still were getting quite a lot out of our conversations. Our monthly meeting doesn’t feel like an obligation or just another thing to get done, it’s a bright spot in the month.

Sammy: When the program was officially coming to an end, I think it was mutual that getting together and having these conversations, exchanging ideas, challenges, and successes had become natural. There wasn’t a reason it couldn’t or shouldn’t continue. I’ve read some advice that mentoring should have an end date, and I can see that, if the goals have been met, etc. But as I mentioned earlier, I’ve gained a colleague, a very knowledgeable, thoughtful colleague who has contributed to my professional development. We’re genuinely interested in contributing to each other’s success. Having someone to go to, vet an idea, ask a question, who knows you and at the same time is not biased due to proximity, is a great resource to have. I have gained a trusted colleague I can go to, and I’m also available to assist her in any way she feels I can be of help.

 Q6: Any words of wisdom or encouragement for those wanting to apply next year? Any other thoughts you would like to share? 

Charlene: Set expectations early on, then just relax and have a good conversation. And definitely don’t get caught up in thoughts that you’re taking up your mentor/mentee’s time, you’ve both chosen to be part of the mentoring relationship and there’s a lot to gain on both ends.

Sammy: Go for it. Getting outside our comfort zone is necessary for growth. Although each mentoring relationship is unique, there’s one common thread: whether as a mentor, mentee, or both, we all have an interest and are making a commitment to mentorship. It may feel like a gamble, but the odds are you’ll have a great experience!


Applications for the 2023-24 cycle will open in the spring; keep an eye out for emails from the NORDP listserv. Additional mentoring opportunities are available through the Peer Mentoring Groups that are open for participation throughout the year via the WisdomShare platform.

Investment in mentoring is an investment in you! So, as Sammy says, “Go for it!”

Mentoring — Make it yours

Byline: Susan Carter, Jan Abramson

During January, the Mentoring Committee leveraged National Mentoring Month to share information about the many ways to get involved with mentoring. As Mentoring Month comes to a close, Susan Carter and Jan Abramson, NORDP Fellows and the inaugural recipients of NORDP’s Mentoring Award, share some thoughts.

Mentoring broadens perspectives,; establishes connections, and grows relationships. It’s a way to meet new people, learn new skills, and refine your own. Mentoring opens doors, and takes you places you might never have imagined. And, it is fun!

Susan reflects, “When I look back on my career in research development, one of the best professional steps I ever took was to engage with the Mentoring Committee and to become a mentor, both formally through the NORDP Mentor Program, and informally to others in RD. The time I spend mentoring really is fun, but most importantly, I have learned much more than I ever imagined I would. One definitely gets back more than one gives, which has been a huge benefit of being involved in mentoring. There is always someone I can call on when I need a new perspective, advice, or even just a friendly voice or face on Zoom for a bit of venting. Moreover, many of my mentees have become wonderful collaborators as well as great friends: we’ve built new ideas and new programs together.”

Jan shares, “the Mentoring Committee was my first step into NORDP, and mentoring continues to be a foundation of my life. Although I have retired, my connections stay strong, and I continue to #PayItForward. My world is richer thanks to the many relationships I have formed over the years. My intent is to nurture and celebrate connections — new and established. I’m thankful for my mentors, my mentees, and those who are peer mentors. I am who I am, because you touched my life.”

The Mentoring Program is a benefit available to all NORDP members, and we encourage you to get involved. Join a Peer Mentoring Group (open year round), register to participate in the 1- on- 1 or cohort-based mentoring program (applications open annually in the spring), join the Mentoring Committee, and be open to mentoring opportunities.

Mentoring is what you make it… Make it yours.

#MentorOn and #PayItForward

Recipe for Success on Mentoring

By the NORDP Mentoring Committee Leadership Team
Jan Abramson, Angela Jordan, Elizabeth Lathrop, Hilda McMackin, Kathy Partlow

January 2023 marks a new chapter in a super busy post-Covid time for research development professionals. Whether you are re-adjusting to in-person or hybrid norms, you can enjoy some of our favorite holiday recipes shared at the Mentoring Committee’s virtual holiday party held in December.

We also invite you to join the Mentoring Committee Open House Thursday, January 19 at 2 pm Eastern by emailing mentorprogram@nordp.org to receive a zoom link — everyone is welcome!

Illustrated image that shows three people adding vegetable ingredients to a giant cooking pot.

Recipe for Success on Mentoring

Ingredients:

Desire to Connect
Shared RD Experience
Be Present to Lend Support
Active Listening
Protected Time
WisdomShare Learning Library Resources

Methods:

  1. Begin your “dish” by signing up for the NORDP Mentoring Program in May.
  2. Select recipe options: the One-To-One Dyad or the Cohort Mentoring.
  3. Preheat the oven via the program kick-off and orientation in June.
  4. Regular check-ins with your Mentor/Mentee(s) is the secret sauce that makes learning palatable and delicious!
  5. Marinate the mentoring flavors by attending the regularly-scheduled McHuddles and connecting with other Mentors and Mentees.
  6. Generously sprinkle any and all spices from the Peer Mentoring Groups or PMGs brought to you by NORDP members and accessible anytime on the WisdomShare platform.
  7. Last but not the least, you can fine-tune your culinary skills by attending the NORDP Mentor Training Workshops — the Jan/Feb sessions are currently full but keep an eye out for additional offerings in 2023.

Best served with #ICARE and #PayItForward!

A New Year’s Resolution for Mentors: Register for CIMER Mentor Training for RD Professionals

by: Paula Carney

Mentor Training for Research Development Professionals – Registration Open for January/February 2023 Workshop Series;

Are you a mentor? A mentee? Do you find yourself formally or informally mentoring staff or faculty? Are you ready to explore mentoring competencies that can be utilized across the work of research development (RD)? This interactive webinar series covers the 9-module Entering Mentoring curriculum, initially developed for mentoring researchers and tailored for RD professionals. A recent webinar series attendee commented:

“EXCELLENT training! The ideas presented are very applicable both to mentoring both within the research development profession and elsewhere in the research enterprise — the things I have learned and practiced in this course are incredibly valuable to me as I provide mentoring to faculty, particularly early stage investigators and junior faculty, in the area of grantsmanship.”

recent participant

Using evidence-based strategies, participants will build upon competencies crucial to the success of the mentoring relationship and expand mentor training across the research enterprise. Participants who complete the entire curriculum will receive a certificate of completion. The curriculum results from an association between the NORDP Mentoring committee and the University of Wisconsin Center for Improvement of Mentored Experiences in Research (CIMER) in collaboration with the National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN), organizations involved in developing and validating the original curriculum. RD professionals at all levels of mentoring will explore how mentoring (shown to improve career outcomes, impact employee engagement and retention, and lead to more inclusive work environments) can benefit mentors and mentees in RD.

This webinar series will be presented and facilitated by the NORDP Mentoring Committee. There are six certified CIMER Trained Facilitators, and two Trained Facilitators on the Mentoring Committee.

Webinar Schedule:

Two sessions are scheduled each week: Interactive Workshop Sessions will be held on 5 Tuesdays (January 31–February 28, 2023; (2-hours) 2–4 pm EST/11 am–1 pm PST) with an application and reflection session on Thursdays (February 2–March 2, 2023; (1-hour) 2–3 pm EST/11 am–1 pm PST.

Register TODAY for the webinar series (30 participant limit). Please register to receive login information for all workshop sessions.

Registration: National Organization of Research Development Professionals (memberclicks.net)Mentor Training for Research Development Professionals

If this series doesn’t fit in your schedule, share your scheduling preferences to help us plan for future Mentor Training by completing a survey of your preferences.

Questions? Contact us at mentorprogram@nordp.org.

January is National Mentoring Month

Written by the NORDP Mentoring Committee

The Mentoring Committee invites every NORDP member to celebrate National Mentoring Month January 1 – 31. Originally developed as a campaign to expand quality mentoring opportunities for youth, the month-designation can be a catalyst to remember the mentors and mentees who have supported you along your path.

This images has a gradient background of yellows, soft pink and orange. A text heading says, "January is National Mentoring Month." There are hashtags near the bottom of the image meant to inspire readers to use and follow on social media. The hashtags include: #MentorOn, #Mentoring, #ResearchDevelopment, #PayItForward, #NORDPMentoringMatters, #MentoringAmplifies, and #MentoringMonth.

National Mentoring Month, in addition to the early summer months, is a time of year where engagement from NORDP members interested in becoming a mentor increases. This year, with the support of the mentoring community, we are encouraging you to go beyond digital engagement and become involved in real life. Mentoring relationships are at their best when connections are made, sustained, and invested in.

Watch social media and engage in conversation on mentoring (using #NORDPMentoringMatters and #MentoringMonth), take time to listen to a podcast or two (The Science of Mentorship from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine is a great listen), or explore the NORDP Wisdom Share Learning Library (register here if you don’t have an account in Wisdom Share). Here are some dates to make note of:

January 7 — I am a Mentor Day — own it!

January 17 — International Mentoring Day — #MentoringAmplifies support around the world

January 21 — Thank Your Mentor Day — share your story to inspire

Also explore some offerings from the National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN).

The National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN) is an NIH grant-funded initiative whose entire purpose is to diversify the STEM workforce by providing researchers across all career stages in the biomedical, behavioral, clinical, and social sciences field with evidence-based mentorship and professional development programming that emphasizes the benefits and challenges of diversity, inclusivity, and culture. Their program achieves that through mentorship, networking, and professional development through their online networking platform, MyNRMN, which has over 21,000 mentors and mentees.

How to Leverage the NRMN Network Webinar Series (Monthly Series) – Jan. 17 at 11am CST. Register here: https://unthsc.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_z3ZWYl8TRSyyHPosIoIc9w

The NORDP Mentoring Program is a benefit available to all NORDP Members. The Mentoring Committee strives to provide resources and support for all NORDP Members interested in mentorship. To do this, the committee leverages national partnership and engages in a variety of scholarly activities. Members supporting members as mentors, mentees, or as part of a peer mentoring or learning group, making NORDP and the profession of research development a stronger community!

Applications will open in the spring for the 1:1 or the Cohort Mentoring Program. Peer Mentoring Groups are also available to join any time, and we invite you to start 2023 by joining and exploring opportunities within the Mentoring Committee. For more information, email the Mentoring Committee and a member of the Leadership Team will respond!

Happy New Year!

Reflections: Cohort Mentoring Group

The 2022-23 Mentoring Program started in July, with a new pilot cohort mentoring program. The Cohort Mentoring Group consists of matching three mentees with similar interests with one shared mentor based on the WisdomShare matching algorithm. The Mentoring Committee caught up with a mentoring cohort and in this post, mentor Kate Bullard and her mentees, Kelsey Haasevoort, Josh Tychonievich, Hayley Bohall share their reflections. 

Dr. Kate Bullard, who serves as the mentor in the cohort, is a Senior Research Program Development Officer in the Office of the Vice Provost for Research at Lehigh University. She manages limited submissions, internal seed funding and research development for the University. Additionally, she works with the Vice Provost on strategic initiatives to improve the research environment at the University. 

Dr. Kelsey Hassevoort is a research development manager and leader of the Community-Academic Partnerships Core in the Interdisciplinary Health Sciences Institute at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She facilitates new research initiatives and supports community-academic partnerships in health. She also works with Illinois Extension and other campus partners to develop and coordinate collaborations between undergraduate and graduate scholars and community organizations.

Hayley Bohall is the Assistant Director of Research Development within Knowledge Enterprise at Arizona State University.  Research Development (RD) works with research faculty, staff, and leaders to improve funding success and grow the research enterprise. RD seeks to empower and embolden every faculty, staff, and student member of ASU to increase their competitive edge in support of the expanding quality and quantity of the research enterprise. Hayley’s primary responsibility is to support and manage limited submissions, internal grant competitions, and nominations to various federal and non-federal agencies. She interacts with faculty and staff across disciplines to provide research development support and provides solutions to issues associated with sponsored projects. 

Josh Tychonievich is Research Development Program Director at the Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts at the University of Notre Dame. Josh provides research development and project management support for the arts, humanities, and social sciences, with a primary focus on helping faculty in the College of Arts and Letters develop, fund, and realize their research agendas.

Q1: What influenced you to apply to be a mentor and a mentee for the 2022-23 NORDP Mentoring Program? Why did you choose the cohort mentoring model?

A: Mentor Kate: I hoped that I could share some of what I’ve learned over the years. I came to research development after doing other things so I hoped that some of that life experience could be useful. The cohort model wasn’t one I explicitly chose but I am enjoying it! 

A: Mentee Kelsey: I have participated in the NORDP mentoring program as a mentee for the last two years, but made the decision this year that I was ready to step into a mentor role. However, I was still looking for some support in the mentoring space so when I saw the cohort model, I thought it would be a perfect fit!

Q2: Have you participated in a 1:1 mentoring model before? How has this experience been different or similar?

A: Mentor Kate: I have participated in 1:1 mentoring before and in many ways it is similar. It is a chance for the mentee to take stock of where they are professionally and think through their goals. Obviously with a group there is less time for each mentee but there is also the chance to learn from each other. 

A: Mentee Josh: I convene the Communications Peer Mentoring Group for NORDP, but aside from that, this cohort is my first mentoring experience. I find that I benefit not only from the advice of the designated mentor but also from the perspectives of my fellow mentees.

Q3: What was your favorite part about this cohort mentoring model? 

A: Mentor Kate: It takes the pressure off of me! Seriously I’ve learned from the mentees in the cohort and they are absolutely learning from each other. It is a really good support group. 

A: Mentee Hayley: Multiple perspectives. One of the primary purposes of a mentoring program is to hear and learn from someone else’s experiences. In this cohort model, not only am I learning from and encouraged by my mentor but also my fellow mentees, who each bring their unique RD background.

Q4: How has participation in the Mentoring Program helped broaden your horizons about Research Development in general and/or affected your daily work in particular? 

A: Mentor Kate: I am more intentional about mentoring my direct report and encouraging her to seek out additional mentors.

A: Mentee Kelsey: Participating in the mentoring program has really broadened my network with NORDP and helped me think about how I want to navigate my career. Now that I’ve experienced being a mentor and a mentee, it’s clear that the learning goes both ways. One thing I love about the cohort mentoring model is that you get to learn not only from your mentor, but from your fellow mentees! Having those additional perspectives allows for a much richer conversation and I find I leave each meeting with actionable advice that informs the way I work.

Q5: What surprised you about being a mentor or a mentee?  

A: Mentor Kate: For me the preparation it takes for each meeting. I absolutely enjoy them but I also have to make sure to block a bit of time to prepare for each one. In part this is because I want to ensure each member of the cohort gets time and space in the hour a month. 

A: Mentee Josh: I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how beneficial the mentoring program has been. I’ve already made good use of the suggestions offered by my mentor and fellow mentees. They’ve made me a more effective RD professional. I look forward to our meetings each month!

Q6: Any words of wisdom or encouragement for those wanting to apply next year? Any other thoughts you would like to share?  

A: Mentor Kate: As a mentor or mentee you will definitely benefit! It really is not a huge amount of time per month and it pays dividends well beyond the investment.

A: Mentee Hayley: Don’t hesitate to apply. The cohort model takes some of the pressure off the mentee and has allowed me to enjoy the time we spend together, and I look forward to our meetings. In these first few months, I have already seen my RD career from a new perspective.  


The 2022-23 NORDP Mentoring Program is now in full swing! Applications for the 2023-24 cycle will open in the spring, keep an eye out for emails from the NORDP listserv. Additional mentoring opportunities are available through the Peer Mentoring Groups that are open for participation throughout the year via the WisdomShare platform.

Investment in mentoring is an investment in you. As the new year approaches, we encourage everyone to resolve to invest in themselves next year!

Effective Mentoring Roles: Coach and Sponsor/Champion

by Kristin Boman, MPH & Paula Carney, PhD

The NORDP Mentoring Program continues to be an important member benefit, first matching Mentor-Mentee pairs in 2011, and growing to support the professional development of NORDP member Mentors and Mentees through effective programs, resources and tools. Mentors support a collaborative relationship designed to engage the Mentee in personal and professional growth and development. This practice helps acquire essential competencies needed for career success. One important component of the mentoring relationship identifies a mentor network that can serve Mentees. A second component identifies roles Mentors can fill as part of the relationship. Specifically, Mentors may serve as Coaches, and/or Sponsors/Champion at different times in a research development professional’s mentored career development. 

The NORDP Mentoring Committee designed the My MESHH Network (Mentorship, Expertise, Support, HelpingHands) which is part of the Mentor Program Onboarding Packet. Mentors and Mentees report that the tool is especially useful, and enables the Mentee to identify a mentor network as well as mentor roles that can serve the Mentee’s professional development. My MESHH Network is designed to be a dynamic tool that can help a Mentee identify and connect existing and prospective relationships to meet evolving professional goals, including the roles that may be needed to support the mentoring relationship.

A Mentee can identify the role(s) needed from a Mentor. For example, a career guidance Mentor may use coaching skills so the Mentee can identify values to inform career direction. A Mentee may then seek out a Mentor who can serve as a Sponsor for professional development related to these values. 

Although the NORDP Mentoring Program is designed for Mentors and Mentees who are at different institutions, the tools and mentoring roles could also be used in mentoring programs within an institution or in situations when a supervisor also has a mentoring role.  

Definitions of Coach and Sponsor/Champion roles as well as scenarios of how each role may contribute to the mentoring relationship follow:

COACH

Definition: Coaching is a method that enables the Mentee to develop and succeed in their jobs and lives. One definition of coaching is “…partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential”. Two main tools used in coaching are asking powerful questions and exploring values, so the Mentee identifies goals and strengths, overcomes limiting beliefs, emotions, and obstacles, and improves well-being, life satisfaction and performance.

Example Scenario: A Mentee expresses interest in changing their career – from grant writing within a PI-led small research institute to a broader office of research role. They accept a school-level research administration position with an opportunity to build research development services within the school. The hiring manager soon left and so did the research development opportunity; the Mentee is now unhappy in the role. As their Mentor, asking powerful questions (open-ended questions that send Mentees in search of discovery, such as “Look ahead one year; standing there, what decisions would you make today?”) and supporting the Mentee’s identification of values (What is important to you? What do you want?) are two coaching skills that can support the Mentee’s journey.  

SPONSOR/CHAMPION

Definition: A Mentor can sponsor a Mentee by putting them in the “right place at the right time” for a specific opportunity by serving as an advocate and using their network and influence. A Mentor can also champion a Mentee for broader career advancement in an organization or profession.

Example Scenario: A Research Development Professional identifies that they want to develop expertise in the Science of Team Science (SciTS) and seek a professional role that provides an opportunity to attain a leadership role in this area. The primary Mentor and Mentee together identify a NORDP member for their My MESHH Network who can be an advocate and guide and who also has a voice at the SciTS table to serve in the Sponsor/Champion role. The Mentor, who is active in SciTS organizations, introduces the Mentee to members in the organization’s special interest group to champion their involvement. Several years later, the Mentor identifies a team science position and serves as a Sponsor for the Mentee as they apply for the job opportunity.

SUMMARY

Awareness of approaches that support Mentor/Mentee interactions can lead to meaningful relationships. Learn more about the NORDP Mentor Program and its resources here

REFERENCES/RESOURCES

Hewlett, S.A. (2014, January 21). Are you ready for a sponsor? Harvard Business Review. https://hbr.org/2014/01/are-you-ready-for-a-sponsor

ICF. (2021). ICF, the gold standard in coaching: Read about ICF. https://coaching federation.org/about 

Yacobucci, M. (2021, June 22). How to be a strong sponsor and advocate for faculty. National Center for Faculty Development [webinar]. https://www.facultydiversity.org/webinars/facultysponsor

NORDP Book Club is Forming

A NORDP Book Club is forming with enthusiastic readers and thought-provoking books. The concept of a book club started to solidify at the NORDP 2017 Conference on Twitter. Conference-goers, specifically those attending the Leadership Without Authority session with Brian Ten Eyck and Shay Stautz, collected some titles to begin reading after the conference.

A virtual book club has begun to take shape. Anyone can join at any time. The majority of the book discussions will take place online. The NORDP Book Club, like any book club, will have many options, based on your preferences:

  • Read with the group’s pace and engage in group discussions about insights and actions you might take in your work.
  • Read with the group, but keep insights to yourself.
  • Read at your own pace, using the book list as inspiration for your next read.

Facilitation

The book club will be facilitated based on the preferences of the group. A few options have been created to offer as starting points. We can add and delete from this list of options as we move forward with the book club:

  • Goodreads Group: This is nice because it offers an easy way to make a book list, link to user’s desired book format (even audiobook and public libraries), and have discussion. It requires that all participants have a Goodreads account. (https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/219569-nordp-book-club)
  • Slack Channel: Maybe more people are on Slack than on Goodreads? Readers can have discussion and side convos pretty easily. Of course, if you’re not on Slack, this would also be another sign-up. I have it currently integrated with an Airtable database to keep a running list of books. (https://nordpbookclub.slack.com/signup)
  • NORDP Book Club Circle in the members area of the NORDP website. This could easily be done, too. The downside of this option is that there may be people who are not NORDP members that want to participate.

Booklist

A booklist has been created on Goodreads.  It can also be found by clicking on “bookshelf” from the NORDP Book Club Goodreads page. Anyone can add books to this list. There are tags (called “shelves”) that can be used to show which books are “to-read,” “read,” and “currently-reading.” This list automatically updates a #booklist channel on the NORDP Book Club Slack.

Groundrules

There have been several suggestions for format, frequency, and facilitation. These have been shared in Slack. Generally, though, we are looking at a monthly discussion of a title chosen by the group. To participate in the discussion, you won’t need to have read the book. All books should be generally applicable to research development, higher education, or professional development.

As the NORDP Book Club develops, we’ll post updates on the NORDP Blog. Please send any feedback and ideas to Jessica Brassard (jnbrassa@mtu.edu).