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Volume 15, Issue 3 (March 2017)

Committee and Officer Updates


The 2017 NPA Annual Meeting in San Francisco, California was the biggest yet. Please complete the Annual Meeting Exit Survey to provide your feedback, which is used to continually improve the conference. The Meetings Committee will soon begin recruiting volunteers to help plan the 2018 NPA Annual Conference in Cleveland, OH. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Leo Cheng, MD, PhD, or Kerry Kauffman, BA. The NPA welcomes Kauffman as co-chair of the Meetings Committee and thanks Jennifer Lamberts, PhD, for her two years of service as co-chair.


The Outreach Committee produced this year’s raffle at the Annual Meeting. Donations from various companies were included in the prize packs, including a one-week condo stay in Myrtle Beach, tickets to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Girl Scout Cookies, autographed books, and much more. The Outreach Committee is seeking to grow the social media team to increase visibility of the NPA on social media. Volunteers interested in working with the Outreach Committee should contact Vice Chair Shakira Nelson, PhD.


A new resource from the Advocacy Committee writing team titled “Promoting Mental Health Wellness in the Postdoctoral Community," by Bethany Veo, PhD, is now available. Upcoming publications from the Advocacy Committee writing team include “Being Active in Your Own Training” and “Identifying Career Development Resources for Postdocs Nationally” both by Adriana Bankston, PhD. Resources under development include an article on encouraging PIs to allow trainees to pursue professional development by Rachel Mulheren, PhD, and improving science communication with the public by Veo. The Advocacy Committee writing team welcomes anyone who would like to volunteer time to write or edit. Interested volunteers should contact Veo or Bankston.


The Resource Development Committee is excited to that Erin Heckler, PhD, has been appointed as co-chair, joining Sarah Hokanson, PhD, in leading the committee. Spearheaded by the Resource Development Committee, the NPA is launching a new webinar series this year called myPostdoc, providing a new professional development resource for our postdoc members. A full schedule of webinars was announced at the Annual Meeting in San Francisco.


NPA Diversity Officers, Marcela Hernandez and Vanessa González-Pérez, have developed a series of webinars. The first, Diversity: The Key to Innovation and Creative Solutions, occurred on November 17, 2016. Implicit Bias: An Obstacle to Achieving Diversity, the second in the series, was delivered on January 10, 2017. Recordings of the webinars are available to NPA members.


To celebrate Black History Month, the NPA highlighted African-American scholars and scientists who made important contributions to their disciplines and our country. Although African-Americans are an integral part of U.S. society, their stories and contributions are often overlooked. Throughout the month of February, the NPA shared some of these stories via social media. Individuals highlighted include Harold Amos, Mamie Phipps Clark, Edward Alexander Bouchet, Jewel Plummer Cobb, Kenneth Clark, Katherine G. Johnson, and Neil deGrasse Tyson.


The NPA Board of Directors has appointed Anita Gopal, PhD, as International Officer. Gopal joins Amita Bansal, PhD, in addressing the issues and special needs of the international postdoc community.


NPA in the Community


The NPA responded to concerns about Trump’s recent executive orders and NPA Advisor Brendan Delaney, Esq., commented on the President’s Executive Order on immigration. On Friday, January 27, 2017 President Trump signed an executive order on immigration restricting travel to the United States from citizens of seven countries - namely, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Somalia & Libya. The initial interpretation and implementation of this order led to confusion among U.S. border agents and others placed with admitting individuals to the United States. A new executive order has been issued, and Delaney has provided comment on the development. The NPA Board of Directors and International Officers have also issued a notice concerning other visa considerations.


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