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NRMN Completes A More Than Perfect Union: The Executive Director Visits Wyoming, South Dakota, and Nebraska

By February 15, 2017No Comments

NRMN has reached a key milestone in its organizational development. As of the first week in February 2017, NRMN has expanded its national reach to officially include members from all 50 states and Puerto Rico!

Identifying a significant “network coverage gap” in the Mountain West states of Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, South Dakota, and Nebraska, NRMN’s leadership organized and has initiated a Mountain West tour by the Executive Director, Dr. Rafael E. Luna. This Mountain West tour enhances nationwide access to NRMN’s research resources, professional development, mentor training, and online networking platforms.

As part of this tour, Dr. Luna travels this week of February 13th through 17th, visiting major research campuses across the great states of Nebraska, South Dakota, and Wyoming. This Mountain West trip was sponsored by the NRMN awardee institution, Boston College and its Office of the Vice Provost for Research.

Faculty from the University of Nebraska-Medical Center in Omaha will meet with Dr. Luna individually and in small discussion groups to ask questions about NRMN and identify key mechanisms for their active involvement in the national network. At the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Dr. Luna provided an afternoon talk as part of the Chemistry Department weekly colloquium and subsequently met with departmental faculty leaders to discuss their role in growing NRMN regionally.

At the University of South Dakota on Wednesday, February 15th, Dr. Luna provided a day-long series of seminars and workshops for students and faculty, wherein he introduced NRMN to these audiences and also engaged workshop participants in discussion regarding the best use of NRMN’s Guided Virtual Mentorship and MyNRMN, along with other resources to ensure their key transition points from their respective biomedical career stages to academic success.

On Monday, February 13th, Dr. Luna visited the University of Wyoming in Laramie, participating in a statewide web-conference with Wyoming community college and UW-Casper INBRE collaborators and undergrad students, and then holding a series of meetings with investigators, PIs, postdocs, graduate students and undergraduate students throughout the day.

NRMN has been systematically achieving a nationwide reach through a number of targeted efforts, including the deployment of Master Facilitators to provide Research Mentor Training across states from coast to coast; expanding the number of campuses offering NRMN professional development and grant writing coaching groups; holding an integrated multi-day training event in Puerto Rico; and enhancing the NRMNet online experience through features like Guided Virtual Mentorship and MyNRMN networking applications. This Mountain West tour completes a more than Perfect Union.

NRMN Map Jan 2017Shown on left: U.S. map showing NRMN membership reach as of the first week of January 2017, highlighting states where membership was sparse: NV, ID, MT, ND, SD, NE, and WY. Previously, Wyoming was the only state with no NRMN members as of the beginning of 2017. There is now a growing representation from these states due to NRMN setting up key strategic partnerships within this region.
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