Switching jobs comes with wrinkles, but IU School of Medicine's new senior associate dean for development and alumni relations is navigating a complex transition.
Mark Notestine, a veteran fundraiser with experience at Dartmouth College, The Ohio State University and East Carolina University, arrived for his first day at IU School of Medicine’s Office of Gift Development, to an almost empty office. His new staff of 30—gift officers, alumni relations staff and their support teams—were working from home due to the pandemic. It’s been just one of the unusual aspects of beginning a new job during a pandemic. IU MEDICINE editor Bobby King posed these questions to Mark.
Mark, it’s good to have you here. First things first. Do you have any helpful hints for folks who want to correctly pronounce your last name?
Thank you very much. It’s a pleasure to join the team at the Indiana University School of Medicine. My last name? Two syllables: Note – Stine. Western European origin, the spelling has evolved over time.
What was it like to show up to an empty office in the middle of a pandemic?
In a word: “unusual.” Two of my colleagues were kind enough to meet me on Day One. We held a “staff meeting” with our entire team via Zoom. I was able to get a computer, my Crimson card. We had lunch at a restaurant that was preparing to close due to the pandemic. I’ve been working remotely ever since.
You’re here to direct the IU School of Medicine Development and Alumni Relations team?
I’ve spent almost my entire career advancing the mission of medical schools in academic medical centers. It’s an honor to be here and I’m excited and committed to our mission to advance health care for the people of the State of Indiana and beyond by promoting innovation and excellence in education, research, and patient care.
How do you view philanthropy—and our office’s role in assisting it?
I view philanthropy as a way individuals, corporations, and foundations can invest in something they care deeply about. More than ever before, the IU School of Medicine needs private philanthropic support to continue to improve the health and well being of the people of our state and nation. We’re here to help.
You have assumed a job held for many years—and quite successfully—by Liz Elkas. How do you step into that situation? And did Liz offer any advice?
Liz Elkas is a “giant” in our profession and she did a fantastic job building this program, leading our team, and raising private philanthropic support for IU School of Medicine. She has an impressive professional network. We’ve connected and shared ideas, and I look forward to future partnership opportunities with Liz in her role with the Riley Children’s Hospital Foundation.
What are your interests outside of work?
First and foremost, my family and friends. My wife Peggy and I have two adult children who live in Nashville and Los Angeles, but most of our extended family live in the Midwest, so moving to Indianapolis is kind of like “coming home.” I also love intercollegiate athletics, state history, trying new foods, and the musical and visual arts.
What are some places in Indianapolis you want to visit when it’s safe to do so?
I’m currently living downtown on the Canal and walk daily, so I can hardly wait to visit the Indiana State History museum, the NCAA Hall of Champions, the Herron School of Art and Design, and many of the local restaurants and musical venues. By all accounts, Indianapolis looks like an incredible city, and I look forward taking full advantage to all it has to offer!