2017 Conference Cameo: Natasha Chopp

#NORDP2017 starts Monday, May 8 in Denver, CO. Keep checking back here at the blog and on our Twitter feed (@NORDP_official) for live conference updates. Register here: http://www.nordp.org/conferences.
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Who: Natasha Chopp
Where: Michigan Technological University
Number of years in research development: 5
Length of NORDP membership: 4
Number of NORDP conferences attended: 3
Most interesting place visited: Glasgow and Stirling in Scotland

In 2012, I started working at Michigan Technological University (Michigan Tech) in the Vice President for Research (VPR) Department. Hired as an Office Assistant, I mostly did data entry for all the proposal/award activity and submitted proposals on behalf of the n-chopp-002-copyUniversity. Believe it or not I thoroughly enjoyed data entry and I learned a lot about the various types of research being conducted at Michigan Tech. After a few months, I was promoted to the Research Development & Marketing Manager. I quickly took on the responsibilities of managing the internal awards program, developing (and now managing) our internally built crowdfunding platform called Superior Ideas, coordinating limited submission opportunities, assisting students with their fellowship applications/proposals, maintaining the VPR website, and assisting with research development related activities for the faculty on campus.

In 2016, I was promoted to the Director of Research Opportunities. Many of my job duties remained the same but I also took on new tasks. I’ve just recently become one of Michigan Tech’s representatives for the Federal Demonstration Partnership (FDP). FDP is an association of federal agencies, academic research institutions with administrative, faculty and technical representation, and research policy organizations that work to streamline the administration of federally sponsored research. Another one of my new tasks is managing Michigan Tech’s Space Management tool.

I first learned about NORDP when I took on my role of Research Development & Marketing Manager. My colleagues in the Research Development Office were already members of NORDP and they strongly encouraged me to join and attend the conferences. My first NORDP conference was in Austin, Texas and I was excited to learn more about the organization and listen to other Research Development professionals. I’ve even presented at a few NORDP conferences and was a sponsor on behalf of Superior Ideas. I’m happy to say this year will be my fourth NORDP conference.

This year’s NORDP conference I am looking forward to visiting the Denver area and seeing those who I met at the last few conferences. I’m also excited to attend this year’s sessions and learn about new strategies and ideas.

My advice for first time attendees is to put yourself out there and meet new people. Take advantage of the networking opportunities and stay in contact with those you meet after the conference is over. Also, don’t be afraid to share your ideas and ask questions.

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We hope to see you at the 2017 NORDP Research Development Conference, which will be held May 8-10 in Denver, CO. For more information about the conference program or to register, visit http://www.nordp.org/conferences. Follow @NORDP_official on Twitter for all the latest #NORDP2017 updates.

If you’d like to be featured in a Conference Cameo, let us know at rdconf@nordp.org

Annual Conference Attendance Scholarships Available

NORDP Members with financial need may apply for a scholarship to support their attendance at the Annual Conference. In keeping with NORDP’s goals to increase overall membership and encourage diversity, we are giving priority to applications from new members and first-time Conference attendees and are designating two additional scholarships this year for underrepresented ethnic and racial minority applicants. To apply, please complete the Scholarship Application before the February 13 deadline.

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We hope to see you at the 2017 NORDP Research Development Conference, which will be held May 8-10 in Denver, CO. For more information about the conference program or to register, visit http://www.nordp.org/conferences. Follow @NORDP_official on Twitter for all the latest #NORDP2017 updates.

2017 Conference Cameo: Shauncey Hill

#NORDP2017 starts Monday, May 8 in Denver, CO. Keep checking back here at the blog and on our Twitter feed (@NORDP_official) for live conference updates. Conference registration: http://www.nordp.org/conferences.

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Who: Shauncey Hill
Where: Mississippi State University
Number of years in research development: 12
Length of NORDP membership: 1 year
Number of NORDP conferences attended: 1
Most interesting place visited: New Delhi, India

I started working in research administration in the late 90’s as the “copy girl” in the Sponsored Programs Administration office with the official title of Sponsored Programs hill
Assistant. I was the one who made copies of proposal submissions. My days were filled with last minute whiting out, inserting pages, “bribing” the FedEx guy, and racing to the
airport to drop off the package on the due date. I loved every minute of it.

As opportunities presented themselves, I began dabbling in research development, not realizing that it had a name. Eventually, I was promoted to an SPA administrator and then transitioned to departmental administration at the Mississippi State University (MSU) Engineering Research Center funded by the National Science Foundation. This was during an energizing time when MSU’s research direction geared more towards multidisciplinary research and collaboration. My responsibility was submitting all of the proposals for five centers under the ERC umbrella – yes, challenging but exhilarating. Thereafter, I worked for a university-level center under the Office of Research & Economic Development (ORED). In addition to my primary duties at the center (primarily post-award), I spent a portion of my time assisting faculty members and/or departments across campus who didn’t have support (pre-award) as tasked by ORED. This opportunity allowed me to participate in university-level activities, which opened my eyes to the challenges faced in research administration on a broader scale.

After 10 years, the most incredible opportunity materialized when the director of the MSU International Institute asked me to join their team. Established as a part of a presidential commitment to increase global awareness on our campus, the International Institute’s mission is to expand the experience of faculty, staff, and students through global research and outreach programs. I transferred to the Institute as Director of International Research Development in July 2015 and it is truly a pleasure serving in this capacity. The offices of Immigration Services, English Language Institute (formerly ESL), and Study Abroad were merged into this Institute. Then the Recruitment and the Engagement units were created shortly thereafter. Lastly, the International Research Development (IRD) was formed.

Last year, Dr. Rick Nader, Associate Vice President for International Programs informed me about NORDP and encouraged me to attend the conference. This was my first time attending and I really enjoyed the sessions, but regrettably, I focused more on proposal submissions. I didn’t take advantage of the amazing resources and networking opportunities that NORDP has to offer. Therefore, my recommendation to other attendees is to be intentional and fully engaged! I look forward to making meaningful connections at this year’s annual conference!

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We hope to see you at the 2017 NORDP Research Development Conference, which will be held May 8-10 in Denver, CO. For more information about the conference program or to register, visit http://www.nordp.org/conferences. Follow @NORDP_official on Twitter for all the latest #NORDP2017 updates.

If you’d like to be featured in a Conference Cameo, let us know at rdconf@nordp.org