MSI Member Cameo: Brooke Gowl

As an organization, 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 for decades to come.  

To further enable a richly diverse and robust national peer network of research development professionals as well as organizational representation, we are highlighting members from minority serving institutions (MSIs) in a new blog series.

Our second cameo introduces Brooke Gowl.

Who: Brooke A. Gowl, Ph.D., Research Liaison Officer
Where: University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work
Number of Years in RD: 10+
Length of NORDP Membership: 6 years

What attracted you to NORDP?Brooke Gowl.jpg

I was attending a Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas conference, and a colleague mentioned NORDP, asking me if I had heard of it. I had not, but I looked into it and joined the trial access listserv. I really liked what I saw in the listserv and became a member.

How does your NORDP membership enhance your own career? Your institution’s or departmental goal-setting related to advancing research?

NORDP has truly enhanced my professional life through networking at the conference, participation on the Member Services Committee, and serving as Regional Representative in the Southwest since 2017. I have also been involved in the mentoring program both as a mentor and mentee, and both roles have enriched my own RD experience.

My college and university have benefitted with the access to the wide range of resources NORDP has at its disposal. We were able to bring an NIH K Award expert to campus who I had heard present at a prior NORDP conference. Membership has also helped us educate our campus on what the RD profession is and also recognize our value to its mission.

What have you enjoyed most about your NORDP membership?  

I have really enjoyed the opportunity to meet new people from all over the U.S. and the world. It has gotten me out of my shell to network and make connections and gather resources. NORDP allows us all to bounce ideas off and ask questions of colleagues about RD as well as career development, especially on the listserv!

Have you implemented something you’ve learned at the annual Conference in your RD career?

I implemented the Houston Research Developers Network (HRDN), an informal network that provides Houston area RD professionals a way to stay connected, ask each other questions, bounce ideas off one another, etc. Although HRDN is not an official part of NORDP, I attribute the idea for the network to discussions I had with colleagues at the 2017 NORDP Annual Conference and my experiences serving as Southwest Regional Representative and member of the Member Services Committee.

What recommendations do you have for other Research Development professionals from similar institutions considering NORDP membership?

I would say just take the plunge and volunteer! I have always found NORDP to be enriching, but that enrichment grew exponentially after I became more involved. However, if you are not sure just how involved you want to be initially, then start small.  NORDP will take whatever time you can give. Don’t feel like you need to commit to being a board or committee member. Volunteer at the conference. Seek out committee chairs to see if your expertise can help on a project. We truly value our members and want you to feel connected however works best for you.

Compiled by Daniel Campbell, Member Services Committee

MSI Member Cameo: Xia (Anna) Wood

As an organization, 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 for decades to come.   

To further enable a richly diverse and robust national peer network of research development professionals as well as organizational representation, we are highlighting members from minority serving institutions (MSIs) in a new blog series. 

Our first cameo introduces Xia (Anna) Wood.

Who: Xia (Anna) Wood, Assistant Director of Research Development & International Relations
Where: Johnson C. Smith University
Number of Years in RD: 13
Length of NORDP Membership: 2

What attracted you to NORDP?

I initially discovered NORDP at the recommendation of my supervisor, the Vice PresidentXia Wood Pic for Government Sponsored Programs and Research, who is  a NORDP member and suggested I look into attending the conference. I then joined the NORDP and learned of the conference travel award, which I applied for and received in 2017. I really like the focus of research enterprise development unique to NORDP that  is quite different from other research administration associations I have been involved with.

How does your NORDP membership enhance your own career?

My involvement with the mentoring program stands out for me. I enrolled the RD mentor program and had a mentor at my first conference who has been a great help to me both professionally and personally. My mentor provided a great deal of encouragement and guidance to me as I advanced my RD career.

I also enjoy using the online resources NORDP provides to members, such as the platform for groups with common interests to “hang out” together and archived webinars on professional development, which I can use to recharge myself at any time.

What have you enjoyed about past NORDP conferences you’ve attended?

I have really enjoyed the poster sessions at the past conference where I have been able to connect with colleagues at comparable institutions. These conversations have provided me with numerous strategies to address similar issues that we all face, e.g., how to reduce the number of last-minute submissions, how to motivate our faculty to write more grant proposals while having many other commitments on campus.

I have also enjoyed interactions with R01 universities and learning how they manage proposal development. Most importantly, I learned from them about how to build our research enterprise through both internal and external strategic collaborations. In addition, I appreciated the opportunities to interact with a variety of federal agencies and talk with Program Officers at my last NORDP conference.

Have you implemented something you’ve learned at the Conference in your RD career? What?

First and foremost, one of the outcomes of attending this conference is that our institution created a position for research development. Additionally, I have picked up a number of helpful resources from NORDP that I have been able to incorporate into my own campus workshops for faculty and professional staff. These ideas have really helped me in my efforts to help faculty improve their proposal quality and increase our university’s grant application submissions. I have also integrated some great strategies on challenges that we all face with things like last minute submissions and some marketing strategies into our practice.

Compiled by Daniel Campbell, Member Services Committee