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.
_______________________________________________________

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.

_______________________________________________________

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

Mentor/Mentee Spotlight: The NORDP Mentoring Program in Five Questions featuring Faye Farmer

Name: Faye Farmer
Institution: Arizona State University
Are you a Mentor? Mentee? Both? Both

1. What influenced you to become a mentor or mentee?
I found myself telling people that it was a great opportunity to grow their network. It occurred to me that I could benefit in the same way.

 2. What surprised you about being a mentor or mentee?
I had an immediate connection with both my mentor and mentees.

3. How has participating in the NORDP mentoring program impacted your day-to-day work?
I now have a file that I keep on my desktop filled with topics I’m storing up for our discussions.

4. What is one way being in the mentoring program has helped increase or broaden your understanding of research development?
It’s reassuring when you find the commonalities across institutions and helpful when you can think outside the box together to address something that is happening for both of you.

5. What other thoughts would you like to share about the program?
I enthusiastically jumped into NORDP mentoring program. I was matched with someone I had met briefly at a conference and another person I did not know. Because of the different sizes and missions of the two institutions, we were able to explore where we had common and unique concerns for our professional growth. After meeting informally via videoconference every other month, I have come to look forward to the insight and encouragement I receive as both a mentor and mentee. It is a small investment of time, for a wealth of information. I will be signing up again!

___

The NORDP Mentoring Program
The NORDP Mentoring Program offers a formalized pairing process to match a mentor and a mentee with similar professional interests and different levels of experience in order to frame a relationship that offers mutual guidance and support. Once pairs are matched, the mentoring process is an informal one based on the needs of each individual pair.

Posted on behalf of the Mentoring Committee

 

 

 

Mentor/Mentee Spotlight: The NORDP Mentoring Program in Five Questions featuring Jan Abramson

Name: Jan Abramson
Institution: The University of Utah
Are you a Mentor? Mentee? Both? Both

img_3098-jan-abramson

1. What influenced you to become a mentor or mentee?
I love to learn – and have found mentoring and being a mentee a pathway to continual learning. Throughout my career, many people have formally and informally mentored me ~ and when I finally realized that I too could share a listening ear, an open mind, encouragement and support, I actively ‘became a mentor.’ The delight that I take (and receive) in helping others grow sustains me. Mentoring became a passion, and I have deliberatively sought out opportunities to serve as a mentor. AND of course, becoming a better mentor means finding people to mentor me along that path.

 2. What surprised you about being a mentor or mentee?
The intrinsic rewards. The feel goods. The moments of reflection that being a mentor and a mentee bring. That I can see that the effort I put into the relationship makes a difference. AND I can determine what the effort and time commitment is.

3. How has participating in the NORDP mentoring program impacted your day-to-day work?
When I was new to the field of research development, I learned pragmatic skills from my NORDP mentor. Later, I transitioned into a role with a campus-wide mentoring program. Sharing thoughts, ideas, concepts and challenges with someone doing similar work helped me grow in my confidence. Now that I am working in a central office, and involved in research infrastructure support, I am able to support research development on campus, and in the profession by mentoring up and coming professionals. Time with my mentors and mentees is a highlight of my day. I get to think outside the policies and procedures where I am currently spending so much time.

4. What is one way being in the mentoring program has helped increase or broaden your understanding of research development?
The mentoring program has allowed me access to what I call ‘the best brains.’ Those involved in the mentoring program want to give back – or learn – and bring so much to the table. Being involved in the mentoring program has solidified my commitment to research development as an integral component of research.

5. What other thoughts would you like to share about the program?
One thing I appreciate is when the mentee drives the relationship. That helps me help them; by targeting their needs, I get to share what I can, and remember where I have come from. Also, a standing monthly appointment gives me something to look forward to; I learned early on that whenever I reach out a hand to help someone, I benefit too!

_____

The NORDP Mentoring Program
The NORDP Mentoring Program offers a formalized pairing process to match a mentor and a mentee with similar professional interests and different levels of experience in order to frame a relationship that offers mutual guidance and support. Once pairs are matched, the mentoring process is an informal one based on the needs of each individual pair.

Posted on behalf of the Mentoring Committee

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.

_________________________________________________________

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.

_________________________________________________________

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!

_________________________________________________________

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

Mentor/Mentee Spotlight: The NORDP Mentoring Program in Five Questions featuring Karen Eck

 

Name: Karen Eck
Institution: Old Dominion University
Are you a Mentor? Mentee? Both? Mentor x 2
eck_karen
1. What influenced you to become a mentor or mentee?
I’ve been lucky to have some great mentors in my career but I also know what it’s like to feel a bit isolated in my work and looking for advice, support, and someone with whom to share ideas. NORDP’s Mentorship Program has been a great opportunity to connect with colleagues and provide an outlet for exchange to our mutual benefit.

2. What surprised you about being a mentor or mentee?
How easy it is to reach out and develop rapport with people you either don’t know at all or have met briefly at a NORDP conference. RD professionals have so much in common and this becomes apparent once you start talking! Common ground for us is easy to find and that’s the basis for any good conversation – or relationship.

3. How has participating in the NORDP mentoring program impacted your day-to-day work?
The insight I get about the reality of RD at other institutions helps me to think more strategically about my own. I look forward to the time I spend with my mentees. I learn so much from them; it’s a real exchange and I get as much as I give.

4. What is one way being in the mentoring program has helped increase or broaden your understanding of research development?
RD professionals play many different roles. It’s interesting to learn about other jobs, which may mirror your job responsibilities, but due to institutional size, history, geography, policy, politics, etc. require a different approach or different strategies.

5. What other thoughts would you like to share about the program?
We have not set goals for the relationship yet but we have a really good give-and-take. We compare our institutions and share stories. It doesn’t feel like a mentor-mentee relationship but more two colleagues getting together to mull things over. Our experiences are different but our level of expertise feels similar although in different areas.
__________

The NORDP Mentoring Program
The NORDP Mentoring Program offers a formalized pairing process to match a mentor and a mentee with similar professional interests and different levels of experience in order to frame a relationship that offers mutual guidance and support. Once pairs are matched, the mentoring process is an informal one based on the needs of each individual pair.

Posted on behalf of the Mentoring Committee

Mentee Spotlight: The NORDP Mentoring Program in Five Questions featuring Christina Papke

Name: Christina Papke
Institution: Texas A&M University
Are you a Mentor? Mentee? Both? Mentee

papke_2017

1. What influenced you to become a mentor or mentee?
I joined the program as a mentee because I wanted to receive feedback and advice from a research development professional outside of my institution. I felt this could be a great way of generating ideas and gaining different perspectives on how to best assist faculty with their grants. I was also interested in broadening my understanding of research development and how it is structured to meet the needs of faculty at other institutions.

2. What surprised you about being a mentor or mentee?
As a mentee, I was surprised – and pleased – to discover that there is a lot of flexibility in the program. Rather than being very formal and structured, it is up to each mentor-mentee pair to set agendas and decide what works best for them.

3. How has participating in the NORDP mentoring program impacted your day-to-day work?
Through interacting with my mentor, I have gained a number of ideas that I have been able to incorporate into programs, events, and meetings with faculty members. I also look forward to sharing my ideas and gaining feedback on how to refine and improve them.

4. What is one way being in the mentoring program has helped increase or broaden your understanding of research development?
I feel that I have gained a better appreciation for the services offered and structure of research development offices at other institutions. It has been fun to compare notes and see how our offices are both similar and different, and to use those notes to think about things that might be useful to suggest at my institution.

5. What other thoughts would you like to share about the program?
The NORDP Mentoring Program has been excellent! Hearing a perspective from someone outside my institution has allowed me to learn more broadly about research development. During our hour-long meeting each month, I enjoy asking questions, hearing about resources my mentor has found helpful, and exchanging ideas. I see the Mentoring Program as a great starting point for learning how to develop a professional network that includes multiple mentors with expertise in different areas, and also mentees as I grow in my experience.