Who: Rachel Goff-Albritton, Assistant Director – Office of Research Development
Where: Florida State University
Number of years in research development: 4 1/2
Length of NORDP membership: 4 1/2
What initiative are you the most proud of in your role as a NORDP volunteer?
I am really proud of my role in mentor training for RD professionals over the past two years. Over my time as part of the mentor training subcommittee of the Mentoring Committee I have helped to create training materials and worked with three cohorts of NORDP members to provide training sessions using evidence-based practices. We have helped teach them effective mentoring strategies using an interactive discussion-based training in collaboration with national centers and organizations (CIMER and NRNM) who are tasked with cultivating effective mentoring in the U.S.
How has your service to NORDP enhanced your career?
My involvement with NORDP has helped me find best practices for my office by learning from other offices across the country as well as other committee members. They have given me ideas for educational workshops and other events for faculty. I am also putting the mentoring strategies learned from my volunteer work into use in my role as assistant director and while supervising students. I have also learned how to be a peer mentor, and I am learning as much from my peers as they learn from me. The Mentoring Committee is a fun one to be on and one where everyone is truly trying to give back, which is what I enjoy the most about it.
How did you hear about NORDP and what made you join initially?
My boss, Beth Hodges, who is also my mentor, is great about providing staff members with professional development opportunities. She believes that it is important to be involved in your national organization to make sure you are providing services and resources that are cutting edge and relevant. I was able to attend the conference during my first year and I have always left the conferences feeling pumped to do my job with lots of new ideas. I really love this about NORDP!
What relationships have you built as a result of NORDP?
I have made a lot of friends across the country through my engagement with the Mentoring Committee. I have had mentors and mentees who have now become colleagues, such as Jenn Glass, Deborah Lundin, and Tanya Volkert. I have learned from their experiences and brought them back to FSU. I have really enjoyed working with Jan Abramson, Kathy Partlow, and Paula Carney, as well as with the rest of the mentor training subcommittee! I am constantly gaining little chunks of knowledge from them on how they approach their roles as RD Professionals.
Describe how NORDP has changed from when you initially joined
The Mentoring Committee has really improved the resources provided for the mentor/mentee pairs. They truly help build relationships and now offer different mentoring options like peer mentor groups, which provide mentoring for any type of experience you are looking for. I also served on the Nominating Committee where I have seen many improvements on the nominating process for board and officer positions, and the mentoring committee’s Facilitators Subcommittee, where volunteers have improved the roadmap for mentor/mentee relationships and the facilitator check-in process throughout the annual program.
What recommendations do you have for members to get more involved with NORDP?
Join the Mentoring Committee as we have a lot of fun! Volunteer with any committee and you will meet people who will provide you with opportunities for growth and professional development. There are mentors on every committee who offer many learning opportunities. You can also present at conferences. Every time I present I meet someone new who does what I do and we become collaborators. You are helping NORDP as a volunteer, but you also gain a great deal as well.
Compiled by Daniel Campbell, Member Services Committee