Q&A with Don Takehara, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
1. What is your current role at your institution/company?
I am in the Grainger Engineering Office of Research within University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. I work closely with faculty to connect them with funding and collaboration opportunities with federal agencies, foundations, National labs as well as corporations. I also work on faculty development.
2. How long have you been a NACRO member?
I first participated with NACRO at the annual conference at Northwestern in 2012.
3. What do you enjoy most about your NACRO membership?
Though there have been many highlights including helping start the Industry Perspectives subcommittee within the Benchmarking Committee, I am currently very excited about our alliance with NORDP (National Organization of Research Development Professionals) which is part of the Membership and Alliances Committee. We are currently partnering with NORDP to work with federal agencies on understanding the multiple perspectives (corporate relations, research development, federal agency, industry) on grants that include significant industry participation.
Of course, the wonderful people is the most important part of NACRO!
4. So far, what has been your greatest Corporate Relations success? What has been your greatest challenge?
Building relationships with individuals at corporations have been both my greatest success and greatest challenge.
5. What’s something about you (a fun fact) that not many people know?
I am a certified life coach focusing on career and leadership development. My career after obtaining my PhD in Chemical Engineering included 17 years at Dow Chemical, 9 years at Taylor University, and seven years at Illinois.