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NEC Spotlight May 26th, 2024
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‘Words as Art’: Creativity Drives Anderson’s Career

Posted by on April 26th, 2023 Posted in: Blog


“Six miles of contentment.”

That’s how Roger Anderson described his daily commute — on bike along Lake Michigan’s shoreline — when he first moved to Chicago a decade ago.

His desire to actively integrate into the city created work-life harmony; a balance central to his commitment to highlighting the diverse research initiatives at Northwestern University.

Roger Anderson standing in the Mid-Atlantic Rift, the space between the North American tectonic plate and Eurasian plate, during a recent trip to Iceland.

As the marketing and communications director of the Northwestern University Clinical and Translational Sciences (NUCATS) Institute, Anderson was excited by the opportunity to work alongside evaluators within the National Evaluation Center (NEC) for the Network of the National Library of Medicine (NNLM). The dual roles play a crucial part in Anderson’s desire to mix his creative spark with the ability to foster impact to wide audiences.

“I love being creative — whether that is through writing, photography, designing newsletters, or thinking of new ways to approach common issues,” he says. “The NNLM is a large network, so making sure that we are conveying significant aspects of our work is critically important. It’s exciting to work with evaluators, as they are always looking to do things better.”

Anderson welcomes his work with some of the brightest minds contributing to a vast array of scientific inquiry, many of whom are both NUCATS and NEC members. Among these leaders is NEC and Galter Library Director Kristi Holmes, who he credits with enriching his personal and professional development.

“Having been part of the NEC since its inception has resulted in a terrific journey. Being able to support the NEC’s mission of providing innovative evaluation frameworks and evidence-based evaluation tools and practices to the NNLM is a great opportunity to help make a national impact.”

Anderson graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in journalism before earning a master’s degree in Integrated Marketing and Communications from Northwestern University. With a background in copy editing, newspaper design, and prior work as publications editor at Northwestern’s Office for Research, Anderson joined NUCATS as director of marketing and communications in 2019.

While COVID-19 brought unique challenges to his role as a media cultivator, he acknowledges the versatile progression it encouraged to make communicative tools more accessible.

“Communication methods have been evolving for some time, and the pandemic accelerated some terrific tools, like virtual meetings. As the pandemic winds down, we are relearning which communications work best in our new reality.”

Anderson now lives in Glenview, Illinois, with his wife, two daughters, a rescued Floridian greyhound named José, a cat named Gabby, and three turtles (Shelly, Leo, and Ronnie).

“We are avid explorers and it’s a thrill to watch our daughters – Eloise (7), Alaina (4) — build so many memories, from picnicking under the Eiffel Tower to snorkeling with sea turtles in the Caribbean.”

While first adapting to the city, Anderson cherishes his time spent living near Wrigley Field — but not because he was cheering for the Cubs. He is a Wisconsin native, after all.

“I love competition, and I follow various teams throughout the year, including Chelsea Football Club and every Wisconsin-based sports team.”

With years of experience as a marketing and communications director, Anderson is eager to continue bridging content for NEC and NUCATS with creative harmony.

“Working with the NEC and its diverse group of members has been a rewarding experience. I look forward to continually improving our communications strategies as we enter year three.”

Written by Alex Miranda

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This project is funded by the National Library of Medicine (NLM), National Institutes of Health (NIH) under cooperative agreement number UG4LM012343 with the University of Washington.

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