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Summit on Gender and the Postdoctorate - Speaker Bios
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Sibby Anderson Thompkins, Ph.D., serves as Director of Postdoctoral Affairs in the Vice Chancellor's Office for Research and Economic Development at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She brings more than fifteen years experience in higher education and college administration. Her expertise is in serving and supporting the success of women and underrepresented minority undergraduate students, graduate students, and postdoctoral scholars. Additionally, as an educational researcher, she has published in the top journals in K-12 and higher education and is the co-author with Dr. Marybeth Gasman of the award-winning book Fundraising From Black College Alumni: Successful Strategies for Supporting Alma Mater (CASE Books). Her research agenda explores the politics of race and gender in the academy, issues of social justice, and activist research methodologies as tools for social change. Dr. Thompkins has been an active member of the NPA, serving on the Diversity Committee and as the NPA's first Diversity Officer. Presently, she serves on the Advisory Board for the NPA ADVANCE Project, From Postdoc to Faculty: Transition Issues for Women Scientists.

Janet Bandows Koster, M.B.A., assumed her position as Executive Director of the Association for Women in Science (AWIS) in July 2006. She is responsible for the day-to-day management of the 5,000 member organization, which is the largest multi-disciplinary scientific organization for women in the U.S. She has more than 20 years experience in international association and nonprofit management including a strong background in membership marketing and communications. Most recently, she served as Executive Director of the United German-American Committee of the USA, Inc. She has also held senior leadership positions in AARP and Volunteers of America. Ms. Bandows Koster earned a bachelor's degree in Diplomacy and World Affairs from Occidental College in Los Angeles, an M.A. in International Relations from Troy State University, and a M.B.A. from the Keller Graduate School of DeVry University. She is a member of the American Society of Association Executives. She serves on the Advisory Board for the NPA ADVANCE Project, From Postdoc to Faculty: Transition Issues for Women Scientists.

Amber Budden, Ph.D., is a Postdoctoral Scholar at the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis researching bibliometrics and bias in ecological publishing. She obtained her bachelor's degree in Psychology and Zoology from the University of Bristol, United Kingdom, and her doctoral degree in Behavioral Ecology from the University of Wales, Bangor. Before transitioning to more sociological research on the process of science, she was a postdoctoral scholar at the University of California (UC) at Berkeley working on avian ecology. While there she was president of the Berkeley Postdoctoral Association and member of the UC Council of Postdoctoral Scholars from 2002 to 2003. She also chaired the National Postdoctoral Association Publications Committee from 2003 to 2007 and served on the Board of Directors of the National Postdoctoral Association during 2005 and 2006. Her recent work explores the impact of publication bias on progress in ecology and the composition of the ecological community with respect to gender and international representation.

Roger Chalkley, D.Phil., is the Senior Associate Dean for Biomedical Research, Education and Training at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. He was educated at Oxford University in England. He was a postdoc with James Bonner at Caltech which provided an introduction to Molecular Biology and Gene Regulation. He moved to the University of Iowa and become Professor of Biochemistry in 1973. During this time he began to develop his long term interests in Graduate Education and served on recruiting and advisory committees repeatedly. He moved to Vanderbilt in 1986. In 1992 he and his colleagues established one of the first fully integrated biomedical training programs in the country. He became Senior Associate Dean for Biomedical Research Education and Training in 1998, and was the inaugural Director of the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program (IGP) from 1991-1999. Over the years his research has focused on chromatin structure, its modifications and their role in gene regulation, and he has partnered to publish, in his career, over 153 papers.

Philip Clifford, Ph.D., is Associate Dean for Postdoctoral Education and Professor of Anesthesiology and Physiology at the Medical College of Wisconsin. He has a longstanding interest in postdoctoral issues and was one of the founding members of the Advisory Board of the National Postdoctoral Association (NPA). As a part of FASEB's Committee on Training and Careers, he was a co-author of the Individual Development Plan for postdoctoral fellows. He also contributed to the Postdoctoral Compact as a member of the Association of American Medical Colleges' Group on Graduate Education, Research and Training (GREAT Group) Postdoctorate Section. Dr. Clifford's laboratory has been funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Department of Veterans Affairs, and American Heart Association (AHA) to investigate the physiological mechanisms regulating skeletal muscle blood flow during exercise. He is a fellow of the AHA and the American College of Sports Medicine, sits on the editorial boards of several physiological journals, and participates on grant review panels at the NIH, NASA, and AHA. He is also a consultant in the medical device industry and a member of the Anesthesia and Respiratory Devices Panel at the FDA.

Donna J. Dean, Ph.D., is Senior Science Advisor at Lewis-Burke Associates, LLC, a government relations consulting firm she joined in 2005. Her previous federal government career included managing the National Institutes of Health (NIH) peer review system, Senior Scientific Advisor to three NIH Directors, and founding Director of the new National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering. She is a member of the Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy of the American Association for the Advancement of Science; member of the Board of Advisors to the Tulane University School of Science and Engineering; advisor to the joint biomedical engineering program of the University of North Carolina/North Carolina State University; and Executive Board member of the Washington Academy of Sciences. She was national president of the Association for Women in Science and is the author of Getting the Most out of Your Mentoring Relationships. She holds a bachelor's degree in Chemistry from Berea College and was the recipient of Berea's Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2007. She holds a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Duke University. She did postdoctoral work at Princeton University and completed a senior management program at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government in 2001.

Catherine "Kitty" Didion is the Director of the Committee on Women in Science, Engineering, and Medicine (CWSEM) of the National Research Council (NRC). The mission of CWSEM is to serve as a resource for organizations and individuals seeking information and analysis about the status of women in STEM education and employment as well as an institutional focal point on women in science, engineering and medicine in support of complementary activities across the National Academies. In addition to her work at the NRC, she is a Senior Program Officer at the National Academy of Engineering (NAE). As part of her responsibilities she is the Project Director for the Engineering Equity Extension Service Project (EEES).

Before joining the National Academies, Didion was Vice President of the Didion Group, a public affairs and communications firm, as well as the director of the International Network of Women in Engineering and Science (INWES). She previously served 14 years as the Executive Director of the Association for Women in Science (AWIS) and has presented testimony before the United States Congress and U.S. federal agencies. She is an internationally recognized expert on issues of equity and gender in science and engineering. She has extensive experience on Capitol Hill including staff positions at the U.S. Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, Office of Senator Robert Packwood (R-Oregon), the Senate Computer Center, and the Senate Press Gallery.

Kathleen Flint, Ph.D., is the Project Manager at the National Postdoctoral Association (NPA), where she manages the NPA's National Science Foundation-funded ADVANCE program to foster the transition of women postdocs into faculty positions. She has taught at Stony Brook University in the Department of Physics and Astronomy and served as the Assistant Director of the Reinvention Center, a national center focused on enhancing undergraduate education at research universities. In 2004, she spent a year in residence at the National Science Foundation (NSF) where she was a Science and Technology Policy Fellow sponsored by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Located in NSF's Office of Polar Programs, she specialized in issues concerning early-career scientists and helped manage one of NSF's newest postdoctoral fellowship programs. She did her postdoctoral work at the Carnegie Institution's Department of Terrestrial Magnetism and Gemini Observatory North. Dr. Flint received her bachelor's degree in Astronomy and Math from the University of Arizona, and her M.S. and Ph.D. in Astronomy and Astrophysics from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Elizabeth Freeland, Ph.D., is a Postdoctoral Researcher at Washington University in St. Louis. She has been an Adjunct Associate Professor at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and served as Guest Scientist through an AAUW American Fellowship and an APS Blewett Scholarship at the Fermi National Accelerator Lab. Her current research focuses on the calculations of hadron and quark masses. She also specializes in teaching physics to non-scientists. Dr. Freeland has been interested in the issues that pertain to women in science since her undergraduate days. Along with her many scientific papers she has authored works on career breaks and was a returning panelist on "Balancing Careers and Family" at the Forward to Professorship in Science, Engineering, and Mathematics workshop in Washington, D.C. (2004-2008). She also spoke on the topic of career breaks in physics at the 2009 Women in Astronomy and Space Science conference. She earned her bachelors' degree in Physics and Mathematics from Tulane University and her M.S. and Ph.D. in Physics from Johns Hopkins University. Her dissertation topic focused on nanoscale friction.

Stacy L. Gelhaus, Ph.D., is Chair of NPA's Board of Directors. She is a Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Postdoctoral Fellow in the Center for Cancer Pharmacology, directed by Ian Blair, at the University of Pennsylvania (Penn). Her current research is focused on the metabolic activation of environmental chemicals and their contribution to lung and airway disease. Her doctoral research examined novel separations of nucleic acids using ion-pairing reversed-phase high performance liquid chromatography (IP-RPLC). She earned her bachelor's degree in Biology and Biochemistry from Mount Saint Mary's University and a Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). She received her NRSA award from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences in 2007. In addition to her research interests, she has been an active member of the Biomedical Postdoctoral Council at Penn and served as co-chair of that group from 2006 to 2009.

Donna Ginther, Ph.D., is Professor of Economics and the Director of the Center for Economic and Business Analysis of the Institute for Policy and Social Research at the University of Kansas. Prior to joining the University of Kansas faculty, she was a research economist and associate policy adviser in the regional group of the Research Department of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. She has also taught at Washington University and Southern Methodist University. Her major fields of study are scientific labor markets, gender differences in employment outcomes, wage inequality, scientific entrepreneurship, and children's educational attainments. She has been widely published and has received research funding from the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and the Kauffman Foundation. She is currently a member of the Board of the Committee on the Status of Women in the Economics Profession of the American Economic Association, in charge of organizing the CeMENT national mentoring workshops, and a member of the Board of Trustees of the Southern Economic Association. A native of Wisconsin, Dr. Ginther received her Ph.D. in 1995, her M.S. in 1991, and her bachelor's degree in 1987 in economics, all from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Alice Hogan is currently an independent consultant, working with Harvard University, the University of Michigan, Simmons College Center for Gender in Organizations, and other academic institutions on programs and policies to advance the participation of women in academic science and engineering. She retired from the National Science Foundation (NSF) in 2007, where she was the founding Program Director of the National Science Foundation's ADVANCE program. Prior to work with the ADVANCE Program, she was a senior program manager with NSF's Division of International Programs with responsibility for strategic planning, oversight, and management of bilateral science and engineering programs with countries in the Asia Pacific region. She was a Fellow at the Women and Public Policy Program at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, and serves on the external advisory board for Brown University's ADVANCE Program.

Cathee Johnson Phillips, M.A., serves as the executive director of the National Postdoctoral Association (NPA), headquartered in Washington, D.C. She manages operations of the association and works to develop programming that benefits the postdoctoral community. She is the principal investigator for the NPA's project, From Postdoc to Faculty: Transition Issues for Women Scientists, funded by a National Science Foundation (NSF) ADVANCE Partnerships for Adaptation, Implementation, and Dissemination (PAID) Award.

Johnson Phillips holds a master's degree in leadership from Bellevue University in Omaha, Nebraska, and a bachelor's degree in English and Spanish from Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa. She came to the NPA from Morningside, where she served as the director of Foundation and Grant Development, chair of the Leadership Exploration Committee, adjunct instructor with the Department of Mass Communication, and as a member of the Institutional Research Board. She also served as the president's researcher and writer for the college's strategic plan through 2019. She was co-author of a grant proposal that garnered Morningside a five-year, $1.2 million award from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of English Language Acquisition, in support of training in-service teachers in preparation for English as a Second Language endorsement. She also co-authored a successful $600,000 grant proposal for the NSF S-STEM program.

Joan M. Lakoski, Ph.D., is the Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Career Development at the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences, and the Associate Dean for Postdoctoral Education, Professor of Pharmacology and Chemical Biology, and Professor in Clinical and Translational Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. She is an advocate for postdoctoral education and, from 2008-2009, she served as Chair of the Postdoctoral Leaders Section of the Association of American Medical Colleges Graduate Education and Training (GREAT) Group. She is a member of several NPA committees. Dr. Lakoski was the recipient of the 2007 Postdoctoral Advocate Award from the University of Pittsburgh Postdoctoral Association. She is also an active advocate for women in research and has hosted the annual Women in Medicine and Science Receptions at the University of Pittsburgh. Her contributions have been recognized as a member of the University of Pittsburgh Provost's Advisory Committee on Women's Concerns, which received the 2009 Chancellor's Affirmative Action Award. Among her service in numerous leadership roles in professional organizations, Dr. Lakoski is President of the Society for Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (SELAM), International.

Phoebe Starfield Leboy, Ph.D., is Past-President of the Association for Women in Science (AWIS) and Professor of Biochemistry Emerita at the University of Pennsylvania (Penn). She received a bachelor's degree in Zoology from Swarthmore College and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Bryn Mawr College before starting a postdoc at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School. She then moved to Penn's School of Dental Medicine, becoming Professor of Biochemistry in 1976. She also held faculty appointments in the Cell and Molecular Biology and Bioengineering Graduate Groups. At Penn, Dr. Leboy chaired the Graduate Group in Molecular Biology and the University Faculty Senate. She was a permanent member of several NIH grant review panels and chair of the NIH Skeletal Biology Development and Disease Study Section. She co-chaired Penn's Task Force on Gender Equity, and served as a liaison from Penn to the MIT/9 University consortium on gender equity in science. Dr. Leboy has received a NATO Postdoctoral Fellowship, an NIH Research Career Development Award; a Fogarty Senior International Fellowship, and a Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching, as well as several mentoring awards. She was a visiting professor at the University of California San Francisco, a visiting fellow at Oxford University, and a postdoctoral fellow at the Weizmann Institute of Science.

Kelly Mack, Ph.D., is Program Director for the ADVANCE program at the National Science Foundation (NSF) and Professor of Biology at University of Maryland Eastern Shore. At her home institution of University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES), from which she has been on loan to NSF since 2008, she has served in many capacities including Biology Program Director for undergraduate instruction and professional development. She has also led externally funded projects that totaled over $12 million dollars, including the UMES ADVANCE program to foster the advancement of African American women faculty in science and engineering. Dr. Mack serves as a member of the Board of Governors for the National Council on Undergraduate Research and the National Institutes of Health Review Subcommittee, where she has a vital role in facilitating the improvement of the state of undergraduate education in the United States. Dr. Mack's research has focused primarily on the use of novel antitumor agents in human estrogen receptor negative breast tumor cells, and more recently, on the use of bioflavonoids in the regulation of estrogen receptor positive (ER+) and estrogen receptor negative (ER-) breast tumor cell proliferation. Dr. Mack received her bachelor's degree in Biology from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore and her Ph.D. in Physiology from Howard University.

Mary Ann Mason, Ph.D., J.D., is a Professor at University of California (UC) at Berkeley. In 2000 she became the first woman graduate dean at UC-Berkeley, with responsibility for more than 10,000 graduate students. As dean, Dr. Mason was a trail-blazer, fostering a cultural change in higher education across the nation to become more family-friendly for faculty and students alike. Her recent book Mothers on the Fast Track: How a New Generation Can Balance Family and Careers from Oxford University Press is co-authored with her daughter Eve Mason Ekman and investigates the effect of marriage and childbirth on the careers of young women in worlds of law, medicine, science and academia. In 2008 she became a Founding Faculty Co-director of the Berkeley Law Center for Health, Economic and Family Security (CHEFS), a research and policy center focusing on national flexible workplaces and health reform for working families. Her recent publications from this Center include a ground-breaking study of women in science, Staying Competitive: Patching the Leaky Pipeline in Science, co-published with the Center for American Progress in November 2009 and Better Educating Our New Breadwinners, in the Shriver Report, October 2009.

Catherine Mavriplis, Ph.D., has been a Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering since 1991, in the United States and more recently in Canada where she is an Associate Professor at the University of Ottawa. She specializes in computational fluid dynamics for a range of applications in aerodynamics, MEMS, combustion and meteorology. She is interested in interdisciplinary approaches as well as the applied mathematics side of engineering. Dr. Mavriplis served as a Program Manager at the National Science Foundation (NSF) in applied and computational mathematics. She has also devoted herself to the advancement of women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), both in the United States and Canada. She has worked on nationally-funded NSF and NIH projects to advance women and to promote paths to leadership both in academia and in industry, notably with Pratt and Whitney Canada. The FORWARD to Professorship workshop that she has co-organized with Rachelle Heller and Charlene Sorensen has served more than 350 women aspiring to gaining tenure in STEM professorships. More information is available on her website:

Helen Mederer, Ph. D., is Professor of Sociology and Anthropology at the University of Rhode Island (URI). Her research seeks to identify structural barriers to women's participation in the workforce and to men's participation in families. Current research projects include a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Sea Grant study of women's participation in fishery management and a National Science Foundation ADVANCE Institutional Transformation Grant. She is also part of a new initiative at URI's Schmidt Labor Research Center on work-life research. Dr. Mederer teaches undergraduate courses on families, gender, work and family life, and aging. She has been the Chair of the URI Work-Life Committee since its inception in 2003 and has presented widely on this topic.

Jeri M. Mulrow is a Senior Mathematical Statistician with the Division of Science Resources Statistics (SRS) at the National Science Foundation (NSF). She has over 25 years of experience as an applied statistician working in all employment sectors, government, industry, nonprofits, and academia. Since joining SRS in December 2001, Mulrow has had major roles in several survey redesign efforts and instituted statistical and methodological standards, has participated in division-level strategic planning, and is lead on the SRS Taxonomy Project. In January of 2010, she was named senior advisor to the SRS Postdoc Data Project, a comprehensive effort to collect a board range of postdoc information across fields of science and employment sectors. She holds a bachelor's degree in Mathematics from Montana State University and a Master's of Science degree in statistics from Colorado State University. She is in the middle of serving a three-year term to the Board of the American Statistical Association, and is a Senior member of the American Society for Quality and a member of the American Association of Public Opinion Research.

Kathie Olsen, Ph.D., is the former Deputy Director and Senior Advisor at the National Science Foundation. Visit her full biography HERE.

Jennifer Reineke Pohlhaus, Ph.D., is Director of Science & Policy at Ripple Effect Communications, Inc, where she is Project Director on contract for the NIH Office of Extramural Research. Previously, she staffed the NIH Working Group on Women in Biomedical Careers while serving as Special Assistant to the Director at the NIH Office of Research on Women's Health and AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow. Dr. Pohlhaus has served on the NPA Board of Directors and is the immediate past Vice Chair. She received a Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Graduate Certificates in Health Policy and Instructional Technology from Duke University, and a bachelor's degree in Biochemistry/Biophysics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI).

Nancy B. Schwartz, Ph.D., is Dean for Graduate and Postdoctoral Affairs in the Division of Biological Sciences at the University of Chicago. In this position she oversees all aspects of Ph.D. and postdoctoral training. She also serves as Director of a Howard Hughes Medical Institute "Med into Grad" program, an MD/PhD training program, a Post-baccalaureate program (PREP), a P30 IDDRC Center, a P01 program project and an R01. She participates in and/or holds leadership positions in numerous institutional, governmental and national committees, boards and organizations such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Association of American Medical Colleges, Educational Testing Services (ETS), and the National Postdoctoral Association. Dr. Schwartz received her bachelor's degree in Chemistry and Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Pittsburgh and has received an Arthritis Foundation Fellowship, American Heart Association Investigatorship, NIH RCDA, NIH Merit Award and currently has an NIH Mentor of Excellence Award for research training.

Diana A. Stavreva, Ph.D., is a Research Fellow at the National Cancer Institute. She completed her doctoral work at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences in 1998, focusing on Mutational Genetics. In August 2001, she joined the Imaging Facility Group at the Laboratory of Receptor Biology and Gene Expression (LRBGE) at the National Institutes of Health as a Postdoctoral Fellow to investigate the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) dynamics at promoter elements in live cells and the GR-regulated pol II transcription. In 2006, she became a Research Fellow at the Hormone Action and Oncogenesis group at the LRBGE and extended her work on GR biology and GR-target genes regulation in response to the ultradian secretion of glucocorticoids occurring naturally in mammalian systems. As a member of the Postdoctoral Fellows Subcommittee of the Second Task Force on the Status of NIH Intramural Women Scientists she participated in a research study focused on determining the factors influencing the decision of female postdocs to pursue academic careers.

Lilian Wu, Ph.D., is Program Executive, Global University Programs, IBM Technology Strategy and Innovation and a research scientist. She chairs the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Institute of Medicine's National Research Council Committee on Women in Science, Engineering, and Medicine and is a Councilor of the Association for Women in Science (AWIS). She is a member of the S&E Workforce Committee of the Government-University-Industry Research Roundtable of the National Research Council; and a member of NSF's Advisory Committee on International Science and Engineering and NSF's Corporate Alliance.

She received her Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics from Cornell University. Her major research interests are analysis of technology enabled and people intensive complex systems, particularly in the services sector. She is also a member of the Board of trustees of the New School University and Fordham University in New York City, and the President's Council of Olin College. She was a member of President Clinton's Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), NSF's Committee on Equal Opportunity in Science and Engineering and served on the Advisory Committee of NSF's Engineering Directorate. Among her other professional services, she served on AAAS's Committee on Public Understanding of Science and Technology and DOE's Secretary of Energy's Laboratory Operations Advisory Board.


As part of NPA ADVANCE, the summit is supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0819994. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

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