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News & Press: Events

2017 Distinguished Service Award Recipient Announced

Friday, December 2, 2016  
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December 2, 2016


The recipient of the National Postdoctoral Association (NPA) 2017 Distinguished Service Award (DSA) is the Postdoc Executive Committee (PEC) at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (ISMMS). The DSA represents appreciation for an individual or entity that has demonstrated either a profound, sustained, or leadership contribution to improving the postdoctoral experience. This year the award goes to an entity, and will be presented at the 15th Annual Meeting, hosted by the University of California System, March 17-19, 2017.

The PEC at ISMMS maintains continual leadership of driven postdocs dedicated to improving professional development, community, and advocacy for fellow postdocs at ISMMS. Comprised of over 30 postdoctoral members and led by two elected co-chairs, the ISMMS PEC serves a community of over 600 postdocs annually. Established in 2009, in response to lack of institutional resources, the PEC has been the major driving force for institutional and now NYC-wide improvements in postdoc policies and advocacy. To date, the PEC has established a five-year postdoc term, formed a mistreatment resource panel, successfully advocated for the National Academy of Sciences’ recommended $50,000 minimum salary as institutional policy, and established an NYC-wide coalition that comprises postdoctoral leaders from seven major NYC research institutions to collectively develop unified postdoctoral policies for the unique institutional environment in NYC. Despite the fleeting nature of the postdoc position, the ISMMS PEC has created, maintained, and strengthened a powerful and effective leadership role and has made profound and sustained contributions to improving the postdoctoral experience at ISMMS, greater NYC, and beyond. 


The PEC organizes an annual symposium during National Postdoc Appreciation Week, promoting career advancement, networking, and opportunity for hundreds of postdoc attendees from NYC institutions. Using results from their annual survey, the PEC crafts and cultivates professional programming including short-courses in leadership and conflict resolution, teaching and science communication, and project management.


One nomination letter stated, "over the last seven years, the PEC has done an outstanding job of advocating for improvement of postdoc policies and benefits, creating and maintaining forward-thinking professional development programming, and cultivating programs and events to build and maintain a strong postdoc community at ISMMS, in NYC, and at a national level." A second letter concluded, "I am confident that the PEC will continue to provide strong guidance to postdocs at ISMMS and in the greater NYC area in coming years."

“These comments, and many others, strongly reflect PEC’s dedication to enhance the postdoctoral experience and to support the mission of the NPA,” NPA executive director, Julie Fabsik-Swarts, M.S., CFRE, CAP, commented. “We offer our congratulations to PEC for being nominated and selected as the recipient of the 2017 Distinguished Service Award.”