Great Lakes Region’s Half-day Retreat Recap

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

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

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

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

Written by the NORDP Great Lakes Region Executive Committee

Save the Date: 2021 NORDP Great Lakes Region Virtual Retreat

2021 NORDP Great Lakes Region
Virtual Retreat

DATES: January 27 – 29, 2021

THEME: Research Development in Pivotal Times

HOST: Indiana University Office of the Vice President for Research


DAY 1:
Diversity and Inclusion
Networking, keynote and breakout discussion groups

DAY 2: Driving Research Development beyond COVID-19
Networking, panel discussion, breakout discussion groups

DAY 3: Keynote: “Telling the Research Story”
Concurrent sessions, Great Lakes business meeting, and happy hour

REGISTRATION: This event will be free, but registration is required. Registration information to come soon.

We hope you can join us in January for our winter retreat, and we eagerly look forward to seeing you. Follow @NORDP_official on Twitter and the NORDP News blog for the latest announcements and information.

Great Lakes Regional Meeting Introduces RD to NORDP Newcomers

The University of Michigan (U-M)  hosted the 2019 NORDP Great Lakes Regional Meeting on October 21 at the Michigan League in Ann Arbor. The full-day conference received 180 attendees representing more than 30 institutions and organizations across the region.

Chaired by Jill Jividen and Beth LaPensee, the conference featured sessions on topics such as sustaining interdisciplinary initiatives, measuring research impact, coordinating complex proposals and managing internal funding programs. A NORDP-NACRO Alliance, led by Don Takehara from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, resulted in three joint sessions around corporate relations, and Scott Hutcheson from the Agile Strategy Lab at Purdue University offered a three-hour Strategic Doing introductory workshop.


The event provided knowledge-sharing and networking that NORDP members always appreciate, and a welcoming first-time experience for prospective NORDP members.

“As a NORDP member for the past three years, I can really feel our networks deepening and expanding as a result of regional meetings like this,” said Allison McElroy, associate director for foundation relations at U-M and a volunteer at the event. “The smaller scale makes it easy to re-connect with NORDP members from other institutions, and I met a lot of first-time NORDP attendees as well—many of whom were already making plans to follow up with regional colleagues about specific meeting content, as well as sharing hopes to attend the annual conference in May.”

Jessi Bishop-Royse, senior research methodologist in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at DePaul University, found the sessions valuable: “This past week was the first time I have attended any meeting of NORDP. I was blown away by how useful it was.”

Martina Jerant, administrative coordinator for U-M’s Center for RNA Biomedicine and a certified workshop leader in Strategic Doing, also enjoyed her first NORDP experience: “The topics were so rich—I only wish I had more time to see them all! I really enjoyed speaking to colleagues within and outside of my institution. This was the perfect setting to share information, learn best practices and make connections. The speakers were informative and incredibly generous with their time and resources, and offered to stay connected with any future questions we might have.”

The 2019 Great Lakes Regional Meeting was sponsored by the U-M Office of Research, the Michigan Institute for Clinical & Health Research (MICHR) and InfoReady Corporation, an Ann Arbor software company. Available slide presentations will be stored on The Ohio State University’s Knowledge Bank.