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URMC / Clinical & Translational Science Institute / Stories / April 2018 / Growth at the UR CTSI: O’Dell Named New Director of Research Education

Growth at the UR CTSI: O’Dell Named New Director of Research Education

Nicole O'DellNicole O’Dell, M.L.S., was recently named director of research education at the UR CTSI. In the new role, O’Dell plans to unify the approach and vision for the UR CTSI’s many educational and training opportunities with the ultimate goal of developing a clear pipeline to becoming an independent researcher.

O’Dell replaces Thomas Fogg, M.P.H., M.S., who oversaw the UR CTSI’s research education initiatives since its inception in 2006. When Fogg accepted a position as the associate director for workforce development at the Yale Center for Clinical Investigation, O’Dell was a natural choice to replace him, having worked alongside him from the inception of UR CTSI.

“While the UR CTSI family will miss Tom, we are very happy to see Nicole in this new position,” said Martin Zand, M.D., Ph.D., co-director of the UR CTSI. “Nicole is one of the original founding members of the UR CTSI and as the Institute grew over the past 12 years, so did she.”

O’Dell earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the College at Brockport before becoming one of the first staff members at the UR CTSI in 2006. Starting as a secretary, she was quickly promoted to administrative assistant. In 2011, she received a Master of Library Science from the University at Buffalo while working full time. Her love for the library and the skills she developed for her degree promptly earned her a promotion to senior information analyst, leading the program evaluation function of the UR CTSI alongside Ann Dozier, Ph.D., chair of Public Health Sciences at URMC.

In her many roles, O’Dell has learned about all of the aspects of the UR CTSI, and has become an invaluable resource for institutional information and knowledge. She acquired much of that knowledge during preparation of annual progress reports, creating databases to track program outcomes, and conducting surveys and needs assessments over the past ten years.

O’Dell was also very involved with the National Center for Deaf Health Research, a division of the UR CTSI, from the very beginning. That experience opened her eyes to health disparities and unique issues faced by the Deaf community and inspired her to pursue a Doctorate of Education in teaching and curriculum at the Warner Graduate School of Education.

As a life-long Rochesterian, O’Dell wanted her doctoral research to be of value to the local community, which includes one of the largest per capita Deaf populations in the country. She also became interested in online teaching and learning when she completed her Master of Library Science online through the University at Buffalo.

 O’Dell’s research focuses on examining whether the social identities that Deaf students assume in online coursework environments differs from the social identities they assume in everyday life. Data collection is currently underway for her final dissertation project, which she will defend in October, 2018.

“I’m grateful for the opportunities I’ve received here,” said O’Dell. “I don’t think I would be where I am now if it wasn’t for the University of Rochester and all of the amazing opportunities it has offered me, both personally and professionally. My time at the University of Rochester has definitely encouraged me to be “Ever Better”.”

Michael Hazard | 4/6/2018

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