Etta Ward has led research development programs and operations in the IUPUI Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research for 20 years. As the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Research Development, her primary role is to advance the IUPUI research mission through faculty research and professional development. She promotes effective mentoring as a strategy for personal and professional success, which has been central to many efforts internal to the academy and beyond. As a National Research Mentoring Network /Center for the Improvement of Mentored Experiences in Research certified facilitator for mentor training and recently designated CIMER Principal Facilitator, Ward has built a body of work around effective mentorship—especially, targeting minoritized populations. She promotes competency-based and culturally aware mentoring strategies that bolster inclusive mentoring cultures. Ward views this work as her professional calling, with potential to impact mentoring generations into the future.
Ward also leads many diversity and inclusion programs focused on ways to bring people safely to and help sustain conversations on race and inclusive excellence. She has designed programming that helps leaders develop tactics that foster inclusive engage, identify and leverage privilege for inclusion, shape inclusive climates where all are valued and feel a sense of belonging, and create a culture of effective mentorship across differences.