NORDP Board Member Cameo: David Stone

Who: David Stone, Ph. D., Chief Research Officer
Where: Oakland University
Number of years in Research Development: 12
Length of NORDP membership: 8 years

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

In 2005, when I was working in Europe but planning to come to Northern Illinois University as director of sponsored projects, I did an environmental scan in Europe and the US to better understand the needs of faculty with respect to Stone photo 1.jpgexternal funding. On the basis of that scan, I saw that faculty at mid-tier institutions like NIU needed assistance with what I call positioning (strengthening their standing in the literature, as researchers, and as grant writers) in order to compete with their colleagues who were selected out of grad school by larger research universities. On that basis, I created a hybrid job that I called research development specialist, a single role that handled the standard pre-award requirements, but who also worked very closely with faculty to strengthen their positioning prior to (and then throughout) their efforts are seeking funding. I am now the chief research officer at Oakland University, where I have made research development integral to our office.

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

I had been discussing my new model of RD with Holly before the gathering that led to the founding of NORDP. I presented at the first meeting and have, I think at all subsequent meetings, and was asked to serve on the board in 2012. I have been on the board ever since, including a stint as president in 2014-15. I have served on numerous committees in that time, and in 2015, I founded NORD with the goal of establishing research development not just as a profession, but also as a field of research, providing an opportunity for scholars both within and outside NORDP to create new knowledge based on the work we do in RD and the role it plays in higher education, in science, in economic development, in technology advancement, in knowledge mobilization, and elsewhere.

What relationships have you built as a result of NORDP (new colleagues, connections to institutions where you previously had no point of contact)?

In my years in NORDP, and especially through the board, I have made a number of very strong connections that I have come to rely on in my work. Having served as president, I find that I can call any university in the country when I have a question or need some feedback, and my requests are always welcomed.

What inspired you to run for a position and serve on the NORDP board?

Back in 2010, when we were first talking about whether research development was a coherent thing, something that could be recognized as a profession, it was less clear whether people working in models like mine at NIU would be understood to be doing research development. At that point in time, most people connected to the movement were working in very large universities on very large projects. So, when I was asked to be on the board, and again when I was asked to run for president, I made it clear that core to my mission would be to ensure that the kinds of RD that are carried out at smaller schools and that often involve research admin work as well as RD would be valued, recognized, and represented in NORDP. So during the bylaws revisions in 2013-14, I ensured that there would always be seats on the board for representatives from PUIs, mid-level schools, and minority serving institutions. I am very heartened by the fact that the vast majority of the growth in NORDP membership since 2012 has been in these kinds of institutions.

What initiative are you most excited about in your role as a board member?

I continue to be very excited about the prospects for NORD. Last year we partnered with InfoReady to offer small grant awards to investigators interested in conducting research on (or about) research development. InfoReady has committed $30,000 for three years of pilot funding for these awards in order to kick start RD as a field of study. Unlike research administration, which uses a static body of knowledge to support the work of its professionals, RD professionals always work strategically and contextually, and so need a living, breathing, always developing literature that they can draw from like professionals do in other strategic fields like management or healthcare. Helping launch RD as a field is a complex undertaking, but it plays to my strengths as an interdisciplinary philosopher of science, and so I very much enjoy it and am excited for the day when RD is studied by disciplines outside of us who are examining our contributions to larger issues in higher education, science policy, science funding, faculty development, networked industrial policy, and other issues that are shaping our future.

Compiled by Daniel Campbell, Member Services Committee

NORDP fosters a culture of inclusive excellence by actively promoting and supporting diversity, inclusion and equity in all its forms to expand our worldview, enrich our work, and elevate our profession.

 

NORDP Board Member Cameo: Karen Fletcher

Who: Karen Fletcher, M.B.A. Director of Grants Resources & Services
Where: Appalachian State University
Number of Years in RD: 8
Length of NORDP Membership: 6

When and how did you enter the field? What kind of RD work do you do?Fletcher_headshot_2018

I was working in Advertising and Sales at the local newspaper when I was hired at Coastal Carolina University (CCU) to create a Proposal Development program in 2010. I was told that my sales skills landed me the position, as they wanted someone to sell the benefits of applying for external funding to faculty members at a PUI and coach faculty on how to sell their project/research to funders. I also think my background in writing, editing, marketing, and running a non-profit education program helped with the job duties.

I was hired as the Director of Grants Resources & Services at Appalachian State University in 2015. We are a central office that handles the collection, analyzation, and dissemination of funding opportunities; administers limited submission and internal grant competitions; provides educational programming on strategic research positioning and competitive proposal development; and works with faculty to develop their research and funding strategies.

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

I joined NORDP and attended my first Conference in 2012 (attending every Conference since) and found myself surrounded by people who were professional, organized, and committed to providing a network and education to RD professionals like me. I applied to be a mentee and in 2013 I joined a dinner group which inspired me to be more involved. Eventually I joined the Member Services Committee, the Pre-Conference Committee, the Communications Working Group, the Conference Program Committee, co-chaired the Mentoring Committee, and I volunteer as a NORDP mentor and am a member of the PUI Working Group. I was elected to the Board of Directors in 2016, was elected Secretary in 2017, and was elected Vice President/President Elect in 2018. I co-presented at the 2016 conference in CO and the 2017 conference in VA.

What relationships have you built as a result of NORDP (new colleagues, connections to institutions where you previously had no point of contact)?

There are too many to choose from! From my first NORDP member interaction with Pollyanne Frantz, who introduced me to Karen Eck (VP, current President), who became my Board mentor and I now work with side-by-side as VP/President-Elect; to meeting and working with Board member, Jan Abramson, on the Mentoring Committee and with her help, conceptualized a research mentoring program for my institution which earned me external grant funding and has garnered institutional support in its second year – the “NORDP connection” has shaped my career.

I could name many more members who have left an impact on me, but this space won’t allow it. My advice: never let an opportunity to meet a NORDP member pass you by – you never know where it will lead you!

What inspired you to run for a position and serve on the NORDP board?

I decided to run for the Board when I found myself looking for more PUIs to talk to and I wanted to make sure PUIs had a voice on the Board. I have attempted to support PUIs at the Board level and am happy to support and be a part of the new PUI Affinity Group that Ron Fleischmann is leading.

What initiative are you most excited about in your role as a board member?

I am excited about the Board’s efforts to develop a Strategic Plan for NORDP’s future. More to come on this soon!

What is your proudest accomplishment as NORDP board member?

So far, my proudest accomplishments are working with Jennifer Lyon Gardner to help standardize operating procedures and my work with Karen Eck on establishing a New Board Member orientation.

Compiled by Daniel Campbell, Member Services Committee

NORDP fosters a culture of inclusive excellence by actively promoting and supporting diversity, inclusion and equity in all its forms to expand our worldview, enrich our work, and elevate our profession.

NORDP Board Member Cameo: Kathy Cataneo

Who: Kathy Cataneo, Director of Research Development
Where: University of New Hampshire
Number of years in Research Development: 9
Length of NORDP membership: 9 years

When and how did you enter the field? What kind of RD work do you do?Kathy Cataneo - May 2018.jpg

I have been supporting faculty research and scholarship at the University of New Hampshire (UNH) for 35 years, 25 of which as Director of the Office of Sponsored Research. In that position, I was responsible for 26 staff conducting all pre- and post-award activities at UNH. During that time I became quite familiar with the interests and strengths of all our active researchers, and contemporaneously experienced a growing appreciation of and proclivity toward helping the faculty become more strategic, competitive, and successful in their proposal writing.

In 2010, I was appointed as founding director of the UNH Research Development Office. I create and implement programs to help UNH researchers identify the best funding sources for their work and write the most competitive proposals possible. I have also mentored UNH masters’ level students to enter the RD field.

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

After receiving generous advice and inspiration from Holly Falk-Krzesinksi, I joined NORDP in 2010, attended my first NORDP Conference in 2011, and have attended every Conference since then. In 2011-12, I helped Anne Windham (Brown University) establish a Northeast regional NORDP group, and became NORDP NE Chair in 2014. At the national level, I have been a panelist at Conference sessions and co-presented a pre-conference workshop with Ann McGuigan in 2016. I have been a member of the NORDP Communications Working Group and the Member Services Committee (MSC), and I currently serve as MSC chair and a member of the Revenue and Finance Committee. I have also been fortunate to be a mentor to an outstanding NORDP mentee.

What relationships have you built as a result of NORDP (new colleagues, connections to institutions where you previously had no point of contact)?

My initial NORDP networking began in NORDP NE, where I met new colleagues from large, research intensive institutions to mid-sized to small institutions, and formed lasting friendships with so many people. We share information and resources, invite each other and our faculty to attend regional meetings with federal program officers, and meet formally as a group at least twice a year. The regional networking became a great springboard for building lasting professional and personal relationships with colleagues across the country. From the beginning, I have been impressed by and grateful for the openness and willingness displayed by every NORDP member to share knowledge and resources so willingly with each other.

What inspired you to run for a position and serve on the NORDP board?

In NORDP’s history, there had been just one Board member from the Northeast (Anne Windham) before I ran. I wanted to bring a sustained Northeast “voice” to the Board. I was also passionate about increasing the Board’s appreciation for the role that regional groups play in nurturing RD as a profession and in serving as a pipeline for increasing membership at the national level. I had great support and encouragement to run from my NORDP NE colleagues, including Peg AtKisson, another lifelong colleague and friend.

What initiative are you most excited about in your role as a board member?

After working in my first year on the Board to craft and gain Board approval for an “Affinity Group” policy – which brought official NORDP recognition of regional groups to the fore — what excites me the most is serving as NORDP’s Member Services Committee Chair. With a vision established by former chair Terri Soelberg (who was my Board mentor), this committee’s members have worked diligently to increase the NORDP membership to new heights, and to implement creative retention measures to keep members engaged. Personally, I enjoy interacting with new members, helping to address issues they may have when they first join, and connecting them to others within NORDP to enhance their member experience. (Akin to on-boarding new faculty!)

Compiled by Daniel Campbell, Member Services Committee

NORDP fosters a culture of inclusive excellence by actively promoting and supporting diversity, inclusion and equity in all its forms to expand our worldview, enrich our work, and elevate our profession.

 

NORDP Board Member Cameo: Jennifer Lyon Gardner

Who: Jennifer Lyon Gardner, PhD, Associate Vice President for Research
Where: The University of Texas at Austin
Number of Years in Research Development: 10
Length of NORDP membership: almost 6 years

When and how did you enter the field? What kind of RD work do you do?Web-Jennifer_Lyon-8798-Edit

I was an analytical chemist, then a grant writer, then a program manager for the center grants that I wrote that were funded, and now a full-fledged RD professional. Over the span of about 10 years at UT, I worked first in an interdisciplinary research unit, then in a Dean’s office providing college-level RD support, and since 2016, as Associate VPR. I design campus-level initiatives that promote collaborative research, including UT’s research grand challenges initiative, Bridging Barriers, which involves more than 800 faculty and researchers. I also lead a campus-level RD team, which provides competitive intelligence and proposal development guidance to interdisciplinary teams of researchers. One of the most exciting things I’ve done recently is run a flash-funding retreat for newly minted associate professors – I’ll tell you more about this in Providence, if my conference abstract is selected!

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

When I started my Dean’s office job in 2012, my dean suggested that I look into NORDP. It just so happened that the NORDP conference that year was taking place down the street from me, in Austin. My involvement in NORDP has steadily increased over the nearly six years that I’ve been a member. I have served on the annual conference planning committees for the past four conferences, and I co-chaired the 2016 conference in Orlando. In 2016 I was honored to receive the NORDP Rising Star of Excellence Award in recognition of my contributions to the organization. I am currently serving as Secretary (2018-2019).

What relationships have you built as a result of NORDP (new colleagues, connections to institutions where you previously had no point of contact)? 

Too many to count! Some informal mentors who deserve a shout-out in this blog post for the inspiration they’ve given me include Peggy Sundermeyer (former NORDP Treasurer; I consider her NORDP’s fairy godmother); Gretchen Kiser (who tapped me to co-chair with her in Orlando); and Karen Fletcher (current Vice President and former Secretary of NORDP). The community spirit of NORDP gave me the confidence to cold-call the RD leadership at UCLA (NORDP members Michelle Popowitz and Cassie Rauser) to invite them to give a research grand challenges talk with me at the 2017 conference in Denver. Since then, a university-led grand challenges community of practice has been formed, which produced a really valuable best practices report (with several NORDP members contributing).

What inspired you to run for a position and serve on the NORDP board?

Several NORDP leaders that I admire encouraged me to go for it. The opportunity to give back to the organization that has been a never-ending source of inspiration and encouragement for my professional life really appealed to me. We all know that what makes NORDP awesome is the dedication of our members – serving on the Board, to me, seemed like a great way to rededicate myself to the organization.

What initiative are you most excited about in your role as a board member?

The Conference Co-Chairs are orchestrating what could be our best NORDP conference yet – new presentation formats and new opportunities to network are coming, and they look extremely cool. Also, I love what the Communications Working Group is doing to keep us all up-to-date on the latest blog posts and NORDP news. Meanwhile, I’m geeking out behind the scenes as Secretary, bringing order to our internal processes and file storage systems. That might not sound very glamorous, but the satisfaction of crossing tasks off a list can be a great thing, you know?

Compiled by Daniel Campbell, Member Services Committee

NORDP fosters a culture of inclusive excellence by actively promoting and supporting diversity, inclusion and equity in all its forms to expand our worldview, enrich our work, and elevate our profession.

NORDP Board Member Cameo: Karen Eck

Karen Eck is currently serving as the NORDP President for 2018-19. We thank Karen for her service to NORDP!

Who: Karen Eck, PhD, Assistant Vice President for Research
Where: Old Dominion University
Number of years in Research Development: 13
Length of NORDP membership: 9 years

When and how did you enter the field? What kind of RD work do you do?Eck-portrait-NORDP2018

I started working at McGill University in Montreal, Canada in 2005 in a hybrid RA/RD position supporting the Faculty of Medicine. In 2009, I moved to ODU as Director of Research Development where I managed a team of Grant Development Specialists assigned to our 6 academic colleges and was responsible for limited submissions, intramural grant competitions and faculty workshops & outreach. As AVP for Research at ODU since 2015, I have been interfacing with internal and external stakeholders in support of research development and implementation of a 5-year Research Strategic Plan for the university.

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

I became aware of NORDP in Fall 2009 when I came to work at ODU and attended the 2nd annual conference in Chicago in 2010. I haven’t missed a conference since then (9/10)! I presented talks at the conferences in 2012, 2013 and 2015 and collaborated to develop a half-day pre-conference workshop in 2016. Before I was elected to the Board of Directors in 2015, I served on the Facilitating Collaboration Working Group, chaired the Enhancing Research Collaboration subcommittee and served as a mentor in the NORDP Mentoring Program. I co-chaired the annual conference in 2017 and 2018, served as Vice President in 2017-2018 and I am now serving as President until July 1, 2019.

What relationships have you built as a result of NORDP (new colleagues, connections to institutions where you previously had no point of contact)?

I am going into my fourth and final year on the NORDP Board and I have been fortunate to work with so many smart and motivated colleagues. Two former board members who I consider mentors are Peggy Sundermeyer (former NORDP Treasurer) and Gretchen Kiser (former NORDP President). I have had 3 amazing mentees who I look forward to seeing each year at the conference and from whom I have learned a great deal. Those relationships are special and it was a privilege to exchange and learn with them. It has also been great reconnecting with colleagues in Canada as a liaison to the Canadian Association of Research Administrators (CARA) as well as meeting other international members of NORDP who come to the U.S. for the annual conference.

What inspired you to run for a position and serve on the NORDP board?

Joining NORDP helped me connect to colleagues across the country in similar positions. The exchanges on the listserv and at the conferences were so beneficial and I felt as if I had found my tribe. After a few years, I wanted to get more involved. I had recently helped organize and host a state-wide conference at ODU for research administrators that was successful and I felt I had something to contribute to conference organizing. I liked working in teams to get things done so I ran for a NORDP Board spot the first year elections were held in 2015.

What initiative are you most excited about in your role as a board member?

I think the NORDP Mentoring Program is exceptional. The opportunity for one-on-one mentoring, the care that is taken to match people with like interests, and the resources and support to make it a good experience for mentors and mentees are unique in my professional sphere. Having a mentor, a resource for ideas and problem solving, and feeling supported can make a difference in someone’s career and overall happiness at work. That’s powerful and I think NORDP is rightfully proud of this unique program.

What is your proudest accomplishment as a NORDP board member?

I’m proud of the work I did organizing the 2017 and 2018 conferences. Working on a conference is an intensive group experience where you work closely with your colleagues. It allows you to get to know people and build friendships and trust. It also helped me to learn more about NORDP and how the organization functions. I’m also proud to have played a role in reviving the PEERD program, including recruiting reviewers and coordinating a site visit.

Compiled by Daniel Campbell, Member Services Committee

NORDP fosters a culture of inclusive excellence by actively promoting and supporting diversity, inclusion and equity in all its forms to expand our worldview, enrich our work, and elevate our profession.

New NORDP Board Member Cameo: Paul Tuttle

Paul Tuttle is one of three new elected NORDP Board Members in 2018. We thank Paul for his service to NORDP!

Who: Paul Tuttle, Director of Proposal Development
Where: Office of Research Services & Project Management, North Carolina A&T State University
Number of years in research development: 18
Length of NORDP membership: 7

What’s your history in RD? When and how did you enter the field? What kind of RD work do you do?newest Paul Tuttle headshot (August 5, 2018).jpg

I began working in the field of research administration at North Carolina A&T from 2000 to 2003 and returned as the Director of Proposal Development in 2015. In the interim, I worked at Winston-Salem State University as their Associate Director of Sponsored Programs and as a grants consultant and later the Managing Grants Consultant for Hanover Research advising client colleges and universities on strategic research advancement. Like many of us, I had been doing RD work without realizing it—I felt that I had “found my people” after attending my first conference in 2012 in Alexandria.

I have spent my entire career working to strengthen higher education institutions’ research enterprises. In my current role at North Carolina A&T,  I help faculty understand the funding landscape, oversee and facilitate grantsmanship training, coordinate new faculty research orientation, help faculty express their project visions in words, facilitate interdisciplinary teaming for research across campus, and help guide the strategic directions of the Division of Research and Economic Development. I feel that I have come home to my dream job, in which I not only help individuals and teams to grow, but departments and colleges as well.

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

I began my engagement with NORDP first as a conference attendee and presenter, marrying my background in business and technical writing with my current career in positioning, developing, and writing proposals. Over time, I became curious about how the pre-conference workshop planning was done, so I joined the committee. Because I have always been interested in professional development, I also joined the PD committee. Throughout my involvement with NORDP, I have had numerous informal mentors in how to do RD better; these mentors’ guidance and the chance to see NORDP up close and in action have helped me grow. I see my participation in and service to NORDP as a way to give back to the organization, which has given me so much.

What relationships have you built as a result of NORDP (new colleagues, connections to institutions where you previously had no point of contact)?

I have met countless people at NORDP conferences over the years, building many relationships serendipitously after conversations at lunch, on breaks, at receptions, and so forth. I try to follow up on these conference contacts via phone or email to continue our conversations: it has been so helpful to me that so many NORDP members are so friendly and willing to share their knowledge and experiences.

What inspired you to run for a position on the NORDP board?

I was actually nominated by two members of the NORDP board. I had not been expecting it at all; I was tremendously flattered by this surprising and validating gesture. I was honored and humbled to be accepted by the board as a candidate and voted on by the NORDP membership. I view my nomination, candidacy, and election to the NORDP Board as the single largest professional compliment I have ever received.

What initiative are you most excited about in your new role as a board member?

The RD field and NORDP are both maturing, and I am excited about the chance to help guide that process. Recognition of the differing career paths toward becoming an RD professional are a sign of that maturation. We are getting closer to being able to define not only the skill sets of a NORDP RD professional but also what RD is or can be for people at different levels in a higher education institution, from a VPR at an R1 to the newest, most entry-level departmental research administration. I am also very interested in diversity and inclusion initiatives, and not simply because I currently work at the largest HBCU in the U.S.: I want to ensure that all are represented and have an opportunity to voice their perspectives and that as a discipline and an organization we appreciate and utilize the richness of the diverse viewpoints among both existing and potential NORDP members.

Compiled by Daniel Campbell, Member Services Committee

NORDP fosters a culture of inclusive excellence by actively promoting and supporting diversity, inclusion and equity in all its forms to expand our worldview, enrich our work, and elevate our profession.

New NORDP Board Member Cameo: Kimberly Eck

Kimberly Eck is one of three new elected NORDP Board Members in 2018. We thank Kimberly for her service to NORDP!

Who: Kimberly Eck, MPH, PhD, Director of Research Development
Where: University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Number of years in research development: 9
Length of NORDP membership: 4

What’s your history in RD? When and how did you enter the field? What kind of RD work do you do?Eck_Pic.jpg

I started in RD in 2009 working for a small consulting company with clients in the healthcare and public health sector. Like many RD professionals, I had never heard of “research development” and didn’t know I was a research development professional until I had been working in my role for several years. After several years of consulting, I moved to higher education and found my niche. Today, as the Director of Research Development at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, I lead a team that specializes in interdisciplinary teaming, long-range planning, and supporting major, multi-million proposals. I have taken a major leadership role in a university-wide cluster hire and grand challenge initiative and am increasingly involved in supporting our university centers and institutes.

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

During the past year, I served as the Chair of the Southeast NORDP Region (SE NORDP). In this role, I led the region and SE NORDP Executive Committee in becoming an officially-recognized affinity group, launching a regional meeting series, and creating a regional RD job shadow experience. I’ve also regularly presented at the NORDP conference with colleagues and contributed to committees. I’ve really enjoyed presenting my original research with a great group of collaborators that I met through NORDP.

What relationships have you built as a result of NORDP (new colleagues, connections to institutions where you previously had no point of contact)?

Being a part of NORDP has allowed me to develop a nation-wide network. I know so many people at so many institutions throughout the country that I would have otherwise never met. In particular, working with my collaborators on research projects and my fellow SE NORDP Executive Committee members has been very rewarding. It is great to have a group of professional colleagues to learn from, bounce ideas off of, and share frustration with. I love catching up with colleagues every year at the NORDP conference.

What inspired you to run for a position on the NORDP board?

I am passionate about the field of research development and NORDP. Over the next four years, I hope to help NORDP continue to grow and serve its members. 

What initiative are you most excited about in your new role as a board member? 

I have often commiserated with fellow research development professionals about the lack of understanding and consistency in titles, roles, and responsibilities. There is a new initiative that I am planning to propose that relates to cataloging and describing the typical titles, roles, and responsibilities of research development positions. This a complex task that builds on the original research conducted by myself and colleagues and will require substantial input from the NORDP community. Ultimately, I hope to lead a working group to create a set of guidelines that will be useful to NORDP as well as human resources, administration, and institutional leadership.

Compiled by Daniel Campbell, Member Services Committee

NORDP fosters a culture of inclusive excellence by actively promoting and supporting diversity, inclusion and equity in all its forms to expand our worldview, enrich our work, and elevate our profession.