Celebrating Mentoring Days Recap

This year’s Mentoring Program kicked off with an exciting two-day Celebrating Mentoring Days in June with more than 100 registrants! The event featured an inspirational presentation from our keynote speaker Dr. Kelly Diggs-Andrews on the science behind effective mentoring, and a special panel discussion on mentoring across differences – we would like to express a sincere ‘thank you’ to our guest panelists, Angela Clear, A.L. Carter, and Sarah Messbauer for sharing their experiences, perspectives and insight.

The event also brought a closure to the 2020-21 mentor-mentee cohort on a positive note through McHuddles for mentors and mentees, and it also launched the orientation activities for the 2021-22 Mentoring Program. A record-breaking 107 mentor-mentee pairs are participating in this year’s program. 

Other program highlights included demonstration of the newly adopted Wisdom Share software (many thanks to the NORDP Board of Director for their support!), a quick reboot of the On-board Packet tools, and a refresher on the Peer Mentoring Groups focusing on an array of research development topics, from Career & Professional Development, Leadership & Management to Proposal Development and more. 

It takes a village to organize and run the Celebrating Mentoring Days! We want to give a big shout-out to the MC organizers and the more than 30 MC member volunteers who made this year’s inaugural event a huge success! 

Having fun is better shared with others even in zoom!

Hats Off to 2021 NORDP Mentor Training Workshop Graduates!

The NORDP Mentoring Committee’s Mentor Training Team held a mentor training workshop in May-June 2021. Twelve NORDP members from 10 states participated in 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. Developed 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 Jan Abramson, Toni Blair, Kristin Boman, Paula Carney, Tabitha Finch, Rachel Goff-Albritton, Kathy Partlow, Erica Severan-Webb, and Samarpita Sengupta. All participants and facilitators are invited to participate in other Mentoring Committee activities. 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.

Kate AlfieriBrooke Gowl
Colleen BivonaWendi Jensen
Emily DevereuxMelissa Li
Susan ElkinsSarah Robertson
Christina ErlienJaime Rubin
Becky FousheeMelissa Vaught

Mentoring Reflections: Carolynn Julien & Hollie Fuhrmann


Welcome to the third installment of Mentoring Reflections! This time, we chatted with Carolynn Julien at Hunter College, CUNY who served as mentor to Hollie Fuhrmann at the University of Utah. 

If you have not yet, don’t forget to register to participate in Celebrating Mentoring Days on June 29th and 30th. The two-day program will be packed with enlightening mentoring focused sessions, roundtables and networking events. 

  • What influenced you to apply to be a mentor and a mentee for the 2020-21 NORDP Mentoring Program? 

In 2013, Carolynn received a mentor from the NORDP Mentoring Program. Her relationship with her mentor is still ongoing and has become a very important relationship in her life. Due to the importance of this relationship, she decided to #PayItForward, as the Mentoring Committee likes to call it, and be a mentor. For some time, Hollie has wanted to engage in a formal one-on-one mentorship relationship with someone that was not also her director/supervisor. She really wanted to develop a relationship and expand her network. The NORDP Mentoring Program provided that opportunity for them both.

  • What was your favorite part about your relationship 

Carolynn has found the mentoring relationship to be extremely fruitful. The biweekly meetings with Hollie have been the highlight of her week! Although she and Hollie have different backgrounds and experiences, they have connected in a special and unique manner. Hollie really didn’t know what to expect going into this experience. It is important to note that they started to meet and build their relationship at the same time that world was shutting down due to the pandemic and as issues related to racism, discrimination, and violence were becoming something we could no longer ignore. Their mentoring relationship became a unique moment to examine and discuss these important issues because how can we successfully serve and advance the research missions of our institutes without acknowledging and addressing equity, diversity, and inclusion. They are both thankful for the opportunity to discuss and guide each other on this journey.

  • What surprised you about being a mentor or a mentee? 

Carolynn was surprised at how satisfying and enriching their relationship has become and didn’t expect the mentoring relationship to develop into such a personal relationship. Their mentoring relationship has developed so organically and been so responsive to their lived experiences during challenging times. It has also been very personal. Hollie didn’t expect to connect with Carolynn on such a deep and personal level, especially over Zoom. In the beginning, Hollie saw their meetings as a work-related task. Now, she really looks forward to them and sees them as a break from work or as an opportunity to share and reflect on work and life more broadly.

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

In the last several months, Hollie and Carolynn have discussed several work-related matters and their mentoring relationship has been an invaluable resource. In addition, their shared experience and their unbiased, trusted advice has helped them navigate being RD professionals and allowed them an opportunity to celebrate themselves as women leaders.

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

Just do it! And, be open to the experience! You will be surprised by the connections and the progress you will make as individuals and as a team.

If you would like to share your mentoring story, please contact mentorprogram@nordp.org.

Inaugural Innovation Award Goes to NORDP Mentoring Committee

NORDP recently presented its Inaugural 2021 NORDP Innovation Award to the NORDP Mentoring Committee at the organization’s 2021 annual conference.

Faye Farmer, member of the NORDP Board of Directors, notes that this award was created to recognize individuals, groups, or organizations that leverage unique approaches to kickstart innovation in research development. She describes the NORDP Mentoring Committee as, “setting the highest bar for true innovation in our organization.” For this reason, the committee was selected for this initial award among an extremely competitive pool of candidates.

“We especially recognize the work they’ve accomplished this past year to revolutionize how our organization operationalizes mentoring,” Farmer says.

NORDP’s Mentoring Committee members have leveraged their individual skills and expertise in new and inventive ways, she adds. They established the first-ever metric-based mentor matching system, adapted mentoring materials to the unique field of research development, implemented themed peer mentoring groups, and created new programming to connect research development curious individuals not in the profession to established professionals as a pipeline for member recruitment and retention.

“This committee of innovators is advancing the research development field in ways that generate evidence of promise or demonstrable results, a requirement of this inaugural award,” Farmer says.

“NORDP is so fortunate to have such innovative members who are actively advancing research development,” Farmer says.

If you, your committee, or your institution is interested in preparing a nomination to this or other awards, check out NORDP.org for additional information. The timeline for NORDP Awards, from nomination through recognition, is as follows:

  • Call for nominations issued: Second Wednesday in September
  • Nomination period: September to November
  • Awards Q&A webinar: Final Wednesday in September
  • Nomination deadline: First Wednesday in November
  • Awardee recognition: During the annual Research Development Conference

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.

Celebrating Mentoring Days Keynote on Digging Deeper and Doing Better

The NORDP Mentoring Committee presents Celebrating Mentoring Days Tuesday, June 29 and Wednesday, June 30. Come celebrate mentoring! 

All NORDP members are invited to attend. The complete program and registration information is available at https://nordp.memberclicks.net/celebrating-mentoring-days

Dr. Kelly Diggs-Andrews, Diggs-Andrews Consulting LLC, will deliver the opening keynote on “Digging Deeper, Doing Better: The Science of Effective and Inclusive Mentoring in STEMM” at 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, June 29. 

The content of this keynote is applicable to Research Development (RD) professionals, as we mentor both formally and informally across a variety of disciplines. In her keynote, Dr. Diggs-Andrews will provide an intellectual framework to accelerate the acquisition of mentoring insights to cultivate effective mentoring relationships.

Mentoring is a critical aspect of academic training and research progress, yet is often learned and perfected only through trial and error. Participants will learn about evidence-based approaches to broaden participation of culturally diverse groups in the science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medical (STEMM) fields. Overall, RD professionals will gain confidence in working with mentees from diverse backgrounds, add new strategies to their mentoring toolbox, and gain access to available resources to support quality mentorship in their professional careers and at their home institutions. Participants will be able to continue the discussion in breakout group discussions immediately following the keynote on 1) Digging Deeper – the science behind effective mentorship, or 2) Doing Better – mentoring across diverse dimensions.

Kelly Diggs-Andrews, PhD is the founder and CEO of Diggs-Andrews Consulting, LLC, a consulting and media company whose goal is to broaden accessibility to science careers through science outreach, diversity training, and professional development. She is also a senior Master Facilitator with the National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN) and the Center for the Improvement of Mentored Experiences in Research (CIMER), where she leads both in-person and virtual workshops for research mentors across career stages and disciplines nationwide. She has led trainings at national scientific conferences for the American Society for Microbiology, International Mentoring Association, the Society for Neuroscience, the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students, and others as well as numerous colleges, universities, and medical institutes. Her curricular expertise includes Entering Mentoring, Facilitator Training for Entering Mentoring, and Culturally Aware Mentoring.

#PayItForward by Mentoring

– When you learn, teach. When you get, give. – Maya Angelou

Applications for the 2021-2022 NORDP Mentoring Program are now open and will be accepted through June 7, 2021!

Are you ready to take your learning up a notch? Mentoring is an excellent way to:

  • Learn by teaching
  • Build your professional network
  • Create and continue a culture of mentoring within NORDP
  • Share knowledge and exchange ideas 
  • #PayItForward

The Mentoring Program is an opportunity to enhance your skills by interacting with other Research Development professionals. Every year, there is a high need for mentors – and YOU have wisdom to share! Consider becoming a mentor (and, you can be a mentee as well). If you are not sure if you are ready to mentor, watch this lightning talk: The Transition from Mentee to Mentor.

To make it easy, the Mentoring Committee has developed OnBoarding and Reflection Packets with resources for mentors and mentees to support all phases of the mentoring relationship (see the Mentoring Toolkit). The Committee continues to develop and hone these resources to meet the needs of both mentors and mentees. In addition, each mentor-mentee pair is assigned a facilitator who is available to answer any questions. The Committee also offers Mentor Training that helps you build upon competencies crucial for mentoring relationships. The May/June series has already started, but you can share your scheduling preferences to help us plan for future Mentor Training workshops if you are interested.

Questions? Let us know! mentorprogram@nordp-adminrdp.org

Interested in learning more? See what previous matched pairs say about their experiences:

Mentoring Reflections: Carolynn Julien & Faye Farmer

Mentoring Reflections: Jamie Burns & Eric Wayne Dickey

Finally, SAVE THE DATE on June 29 and 30 (11 a.m. – 7 p.m. EDT) for Celebrating Mentoring Days hosted by the Mentoring Committee! A full program and registration information will be coming soon.

Mentoring Reflections: Jamie Burns & Eric Wayne Dickey

Welcome to the second installment of Mentoring Reflections! This time, we chatted with Eric Wayne Dickey who is at Western Oregon University and served as mentor to Jamie Burns at Arizona State University. 

A reminder that the NORDP Mentoring Program is open for applications; consider applying!

  • What influenced you to apply to be a mentor and a mentee for the 2020-21 NORDP Mentoring Program?

Eric: My previous institution had a job performance coaching program where I learned the value of mentoring as a mentee. I was then encouraged to become a mentor. I was a little reluctant at first but decided to ignore my own self-doubt. And I have never looked back. 

When I changed institutions, I was suddenly without a mentoring program, so I joined the NORDP Mentoring Program and now serve on the Mentoring Committee Leadership Team. 

Meeting with mentees inspires me. It takes a commitment to the self and a bravery to reach out for guidance. Mentoring reminds me to continue to develop my own professional self. I often joke with my mentees that by the end of our mentoring compact, it is they who will be mentoring and inspiring me. And so far, that has been true with every person I have mentored.

Jamie: Throughout my life and career, I have been very fortunate to have had incredible mentors. In realizing how these individuals have shaped my life, I was very intrigued when I learned of the NORDP mentoring program. I joined the program because I wanted to find a mentor within RD. I thought mentorship would help me gain better insight into the field and guide me on ways I can contribute to RD both inside and outside of my institution.

  • What was your favorite part about your relationship?

Eric: My current mentee inspires me. She is driven. She is successful. Being with people like this is my favorite part of mentoring.

Another favorite part is the trust and confidence mentees have in me. It is a sacred agreement. It takes a leap of faith for mentees to reach out. Providing a safe space and confidential guidance are why I am there.

Jamie: I was very thankful for the openness of my mentor to listen and share. I wasn’t sure what to expect when the program began; but, I found that I not only gained a mentor, but an ally who listened to what I was thinking, helped me consider multiple perspectives and possibilities, and ultimately encouraged and supported the decisions I made. 

  • What surprised you about being a mentor or a mentee?

Eric: I have mentored more than a dozen people. I thought I was alone out there in this crazy world. Alone with my self-doubt, with my imposter syndrome, and with my crazy notion to be a nice person that helps people. What surprised me most is learning how much need there is out there for positive role models and interactions. Some previous mentees have had some real challenges in their work environments, with their tasks and with their colleagues. Mentoring helps normalize things. We all face similar struggles. Helping people resolve their work-related issues is very rewarding.

Jamie: After hearing about the mentor/mentee program, I assumed the program would provide a strict structure to define the engagement. I was surprised that there wasn’t a set structure. Beyond the initial interactions with the NORDP member who coordinated and paired us, it was up to my mentor and me to determine what worked best for us. This flexibility was great as it allowed us to customize our interactions so that my mentor could help me achieve specific goals.

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

Eric: Mentoring colleagues has been a great way to help me better mentor the faculty I serve. It’s helped me improve my conversational and deep listening skills. Mentoring has helped me improve my own work environments and to better advocate for myself. It is a win-win-win, for the mentee, for the mentor, and for their institutions.

Jamie: It was a huge benefit to have mentorship from an RD professional at a different institution because my mentor could offer different perspectives about RD. By combining the best practices my mentor shared with me with the best practices I’ve learned from my mentors at ASU, I gained a broader understanding of RD. 

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

Eric: Don’t wait to become your best self. Start now.

Jamie: If you’re thinking about mentoring, I would recommend the NORDP Mentor Training program. My mentor encouraged me to attend this training, and it was a great experience! The program helped me develop the confidence to mentor in the future.

If you would like to share your mentoring story, please contact mentorprogram@nordp.org.

Applications for the 2021-2022 NORDP Mentoring Program are now open and will be accepted through June 7, 2021. 

Mentor Training for Research Development Professionals – Registration Open for May/June 2021 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.”

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 four 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 Wednesdays (May 26 – June 23, 2021; 2 – 4 pm (2-hours) EST/11 am – 1 pm PST) with an application and reflection session on Fridays (May 28 – June 25, 2021; 2 – 3 pm (1-hour) EST/11 am – Noon PST).

Register TODAY for the webinar series (30 participant limit):  https://nordp.memberclicks.net/spmtc

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.

Investing in You: Exciting News from the Mentoring Committee

As NORDP has grown, so has the NORDP Mentoring Program. The NORDP Board of Directors has invested in a mentoring software program designed to provide a more robust mentoring experience for NORDP members. A number of mentoring software companies were invited to provide demonstrations and respond to a request for proposals, and after careful vetting, Wisdom Share was selected as the vendor. With the software, positive changes are coming to the NORDP Mentoring Program. Here are some of the highlights:

  • To align with the NORDP Program Year, the official start for the mentoring program is July 1
  • Applications for the Mentoring Program will open in early May
  • As always, you can be both a mentor and a mentee
  • The software matches mentors and mentees using a proprietary, tested algorithm that has been adapted to support the unique skills and abilities of research development professionals
  • Matching will be completed by mid-June
  • Once matched, program participants will have access to tools to guide the mentoring relationship, including a dashboard to track progress, milestones to support the process, partner information at a glance, a resource library that provides content on mentoring best practices and ways to communicate securely over the platform

Participants in Peer Mentoring Groups will also benefit from the Wisdom Share infrastructure. There are resources, tools, and communication platforms for each group. And, the software has the capacity to support other NORDP programs and services that leverage members’ skills and knowledge.

During the coming weeks, there will be a Mentoring Town Hall, and additional blog posts with more detailed information. At the Conference, be sure to check out David Widmer’s overview of how mentor-mentee matches are made utilizing the software’s ability to assess some basic personality traits and preferences around communication, as well as the career-related demographic and experiential factors the Mentoring Committee has employed in prior years. This Lightning Talk will open our Mentoring Lightning Storm on Wednesday, May 5, 3:45 PM EST. Also, watch for software demos throughout May and early June; Mentoring Committee (MC) members will be available to help with the registration process, if needed.

This is an exciting next step for the NORDP Mentoring Program. MC member Jennifer Glass (Eastern Michigan University) summed it up nicely: This takes the Mentoring Program to the next level!

So, thank you to the NORDP Board of Directors, MC members, current and former mentors and mentees, and those of you who participate in Peer Mentoring Groups. Your commitment to mentoring has provided the motivation and justification for this organizational investment.

Consider this an invitation to start thinking about participating in or continuing your participation in the NORDP Mentoring Program…and stay tuned for more!

Mentoring Reflections: Carolynn Julien & Faye Farmer

As we approach a new year in the NORDP Mentoring program, we thought it might be beneficial for NORDP members contemplating becoming first-time Mentees or Mentors to hear from current participants in the program. With that in mind, the NORDP Mentoring Committee is pleased to share the inaugural installment in a series of “Mentoring Reflections” from mentoring dyads enrolled in the 2020-2021 NORDP Mentoring Program. The first of these dyads comprise members of the Mentoring Committee who agreed to share their insights. Mentors and mentees got together to talk about their experiences in the program and jointly wrote up responses to questions that were put to them.

The first in the series of Mentoring Reflections is from Carolynn Julien, who is the Associate Director, Office of Research Administration at Hunter College in The City University of New York, and her mentee, Faye Farmer, who is the Executive Director in the Office of VP Research Development at Arizona State University.

  • What influenced you to apply to be a mentor and a mentee for the 2020-21 NORDP Mentoring Program?

We got to know each other in the exceptional mentor training program in 2020-2021. Interacting in the training program allowed us to gather some insights about our professions, talents, and abilities. During a breakout session, Faye heard Carolynn mention a project she was working on, and Faye wanted to start a similar project. Taking the initiative, Faye reached out to Carolynn to see if Carolynn could mentor her through the project and Carolynn willingly accepted. Being in the mentor training program allowed us to comprehend the possibilities of broadening our circle of mentors. Once the project is successfully completed, we will further share our experiences about the project and the process.

  • What was your favorite part about your relationship?

We were both working on similar projects and used the mentoring relationship as a resource. We provide positive reinforcements and maintain regular check-ins that are easy and pressure free. What we learned during this relationship is that we are kindred spirits, and this also provided an opportunity for Carolynn to make a connection with NORDP and be of service to the organization.

  • What surprised you about being a mentor or a mentee?

The powerful personal connections were a surprise. We both have served as mentors and have been mentees and know that this is not always the outcome. We know that this mentoring relationship will continue to be an ongoing relationship after the 2020-2021 mentoring program ends.

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

This program has taught us that it is crucial to recognize the qualities of people you need to enhance your journey as a RD professional. Our mentoring relationship has added depth to our lives by realizing the power of the RD network. The simple ask to be a mentor is an example of the power of the NORDP network.

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

Please take the leap to be a mentor or mentee; the rewards in serving as either are abundant. Our second piece of advice is to be open to the full potential of the mentoring relationship and to be receptive to all of the possibilities.

If you would like to share your experiences as a mentoring dyad, please contact mentorprogram@nordp.org.

Applications for the NORDP Mentoring Program for the 2021-22 year will be opening soon. Watch this space for more information in the coming weeks!

Written by Samarpita Sengupta and C. Scott Balderson