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Damon Spight

Faces of IUPUI: Damon Spight

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Damon Spight. Photo by Liz Kaye, IU Communications

Damon Spight, Faculty Recruitment Manager in the Office of Faculty Affairs at the School of Dentistry, is so inspired by IUPUI’s mission and culture that he has returned to join the staff not once, but twice. He began his career here more than 25 years ago in what was then the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Undergraduate Education. He left for a year before returning as outreach coordinator in what was the Office of Learning Partnerships, a position he held for a short time before spending the next 10 years with the National FFA Organization. When he returned to IUPUI a second time in 2011, it was to assume his current position.

“What attracted me to IUPUI in the beginning and led to my eventual return is the culture of learning and growth, not only for students, but also for staff and administration,” said Spight. “The collaborative nature of campus, the availability of cutting-edge technology and the professional development opportunities, particularly in the School of Dentistry, are exceptional.”

In addition to his role addressing faculty concerns, responding to employee policy inquiries, overseeing candidate recruitment processes and tending to search committee needs in the School of Dentistry, Spight has made important contributions across campus. He was a member of the inaugural cohort for the Next Generation 2.0 Leadership Program, which prepares women and underrepresented faculty and staff for leadership positions and opportunities for advancement in higher education. That experience led Spight for subsequent opportunities at IUPUI, including his participation in the school’s workgroup on Change and Innovation and service on the IUPUI 50th Anniversary Steering Committee.

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Spight works at his desk in the Office of Faculty Affairs and Global Engagement at the IU School of Dentistry. Photo by Liz Kaye, IU Communications

“Damon is dedicated, disciplined, and meticulous in his work and a consummate professional when dealing with faculty, staff and students alike. His reputation is exemplary, so he is sought after to serve on various school and campus committees, initiatives and activities,” said Gail Williamson, R.D.H, M.S., professor emerita of dental diagnostic sciences. “Several years ago he was selected by the School of Dentistry to participate in the Next Generation 2.0 Leadership Program which has served him well as he continues to contribute his time and talents to the school and campus,” Williamson continued.

By his own account, Spight’s most significant professional achievement is his involvement in the creation of the first IUPUI Staff Mentoring Program, an idea that was born during his Next Generation 2.0 experience. Spight, along with others including Williamson and Assistant Vice Chancellor for Research Development Etta Ward, engaged and collaborated with key campus stakeholders to give structure to the idea to match an established IUPUI faculty or staff member with a newer employee for a yearlong mentorship. The program, which was partially funded by a Welcoming Campus Innovation Fund grant, was a tremendous success during its first year, promising continued growth in the coming years.

“Damon truly understands the value and power of an effective mentoring relationship to help position professionals for success. He was integral in spearheading the effort to get buy-in at the highest level for IUPUI’s first-ever campus-wide staff mentoring program. From the time we first met as former members of the IUPUI Staff Council to the present, spreading the mentoring message has been a consistent theme for Damon,” said Etta Ward, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Research Development.

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Spight chats with his colleague Meredith Lecklider. Photo by Liz Kaye, IU Communications