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NPA News and Committee Updates
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The Committees of the Membership, along with the International and Diversity Officers, are at the core of the NPA. They work to develop events and resources that support the postdoctoral community, and their work would not be possible without volunteers. Volunteering with an NPA committee is a great way to gain professional experience at the national level, while giving back to the postdoctoral community. Here are some highlights of what committees and officers have been up to and how you can get involved.

 

The Resource Development Committee is excited to offer myPostdoc Monthly, a new webinar series to support postdoc professional development. NPA members can join the webinar live on the first Wednesday of every month, 3-4:30 pm ET. Follow the NPA Community Calendar to stay up to date on upcoming events. Are you interested in developing resources for the postdoctoral community? The Resource Development Committee is looking for enthusiastic new volunteers to help with our ongoing projects this year, including the myPostdoc Monthly webinar series.

 

The Outreach Committee welcomes two new leaders. Jenn Aumiller, M.Ed., director of Career and Professional Development and Office of Postdoctoral Scholars at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, joins Shakira Nelson, PhD, as co-chair of the committee. Nelson formerly served as vice chair, and Catherine (Katie) Zander, PhD, research fellow at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, joins the committee in that role.

 

Planning for the 8th annual celebration of National Postdoc Appreciation Week (NPAW) is underway. The Outreach Committee hopes to build on the momentum of some of the marches that have happened, focusing on postdoctoral issues. NPAW 2017, which aims to recognize the significant contributions that postdoctoral scholars make to U.S. research and discovery, will be September 18-22. The committee will offer a sneak peek of NPAW 2017 in next issue of The POSTDOCket. In the meantime, check out the NPAW toolkit to start planning your event—and submit events at your institution to the NPA to be listed on the NPA website!

 

The Meetings Committee is currently recruiting committee members for the 2018 NPA Annual Conference. Contact Co-Chairs Tiewei (Leo) Cheng, MD, PhD, and Kerry Kauffman, if you’re interested in volunteering. Members of the Meetings Committee will work in subcommittees around various topics, such as networking, keynote and plenary sessions, travel and childcare awards, fundraising, workshops, and posters. Attending the NPA Annual Meeting is optional for members of the Meetings Committee. Most of the work is completed within subcommittees via email, and overall planning updates are provided during monthly conference calls.

 

And don’t forget to mark your calendars for the 2018 NPA Annual Conference, which will be hosted by Case Western Reserve University, April 6-8, 2018, in Cleveland OH. Watch the Annual Conference page and The POSTDOCket for more updates. Check out last month’s special issue of The POSTDOCket highlighting the 2017 Annual Meeting to find out why you should attend!

 

The Advocacy Committee Writing Team has several exciting articles coming up. Articles on professional development and a personal perspective on advocacy appear in this issue. Watch for stories about community engagement and non-academic hiring committee perspectives in future issues of The POSTDOCket. Bethany Veo, PhD, has prepared an infosheet on improving science communication. The Updates Team has broadened its focus to include more items of interest to postdocs beyond policy, and Rajan Chaudhari, PhD, has been helping with an effort on trying to automate the membership process for the committee. If you are interested in joining the Updates Team or helping with Advocacy Committee membership automation, please contact Adriana Bankston, PhD. The Writing Team also welcomes anyone who would like to volunteer time to write or edit; interested volunteers should contact Veo or Bankston.

 

The POSTDOCket Committee has fully implemented the transition from quarterly PDF to monthly HTML publication of the newsletter. The committee thanks the NPA staff—in particular, Amy Wilson, office and marketing manager—and Jana Stone, PhD, Board liaison for The POSTDOCket, for their support and contributions in process. The POSTDOCket welcomes a wide range of content for postdocs, postdoc associations, and postdoc offices. New content areas, with a focus on professional and career growth activities, are currently under development. In addition, the committee aims to provide more visual content to accompany articles. If you’re interested in contributing content ideas, articles, or graphics for The POSTDOCket, please contact the editor-in-chief, Melissa Vaught, PhD.

 

The International Officers extend a special thanks to the New York City Postdoc Council and the Penn Biomedical Postdoctoral Council for sharing the findings of postdoc surveys concerning an early executive order limiting immigration. Summaries of survey findings were published in the April 2017 issue of The POSTDOCket. Thanks to all the volunteers who have and will be working with the international officers on projects focusing on international postdocs. If you’d like to contribute, please contact Amita Bansal, PhD, or Anita Gopal, PhD.

 

The NPA committees and officers have many great projects underway and more to come. But we need your ideas and your help! Are you ready to get involved? Contact a committee leader or fill out the NPA volunteer form today.

 

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