January 2017

Council Meeting Minutes

Stanford Postdoctoral Association

Jan 18, 2016, 11.30-1.00pm

Old Union Room, Room 216



Council members: Perrine Hamel, Katharine Grobek, , Huy Nguyen, Roberta Sala, Jesse Isaacman-Beck, Sharon Greenblum, Saumyaa Saumyaa, Koshika Yadava, Bradley Tolar, Abby Sarkar, Kate Brown, Virginie Gabel, Arnaud Bruyas, Rhea Daughtery, Meritt Maduke, John Hegarty, Arielle Fischer


Quorum:  Yes, 11 council members



·         Meeting called to order by co-chairs, Jesse Isaacman-Beck , Sharon Greenblum


Election of old council member and new council members:

Sharon: 11 yes

Virginie: 11 yes

Arnaud: 11 yes

Elected with all 11 yes.


SURPAS Structure

Jesse explained SURPAS structure to everyone. Slack channel ownership will be transferred to Sharon.


Election of leadership positions:

(13 council members, including Virginie and Arnaud)

Leadership election results:

Communications- Social Media: Virginie – 12 yes, 1 Abstain

Treasurer: Bradley – 12 yes, 1 abstain

Webmaster: Huy -13 yes

Secretary: Saumyaa – 12 yes, 1 abstain

Communications- Email: Jorik – 13 yes


Rhea Daughtery (Associate Director for Connections at the School of Medicine Career Center)

SoMCC focuses on 3 Cs: counselling, curriculum, and connection. SoMCC is organizing an expo on April 5th called BDIE (Bioscience and Biotechnology Industry Expo). It is a sort of meet and greet with people from industry. This event was started by graduate students and eventually SoMCC took over responsibility to organize it. 

To help organize this expo, career center is going to start an ambassador’s program. This program is for both postdocs and graduate students. Through this program they can help organize the expo and have a say in which companies and organizations to invite for it. They will get the opportunity to connect with employers they might be interested in. It is a pilot program this year, with student/ postdoc participation on a voluntary basis. Depending on its success, career center will consider paying students/postdocs part-time, who will join the program next year.

Concerns: Many international postdocs/ students have visa restrictions to work or get paid outside of their regular hours.


Merrit Maduke (Previous Chair, Provost's Advisory Committee on Postdoctoral Affairs)

She has been asked by administration to work on a leadership development project for postdocs at SOM. After meeting several postdocs and having a couple of brainstorming sessions, decision was made to work on building a postdoc alumni network and to organize networking events with them.

Alumni office at Stanford has a postdoc alumni mailing list which we don’t have access to, but they are willing to send out an email/survey to that mailing list on our behalf. Objective of this survey will be to assess the interest of postdoc alumni to participate in networking events on campus. Alumni office already conducted a survey for themselves. Data from that survey will also be shared with the SURPAS council. Will Talbot is willing to fund this project. Some inspiration can be drawn from the SOAR mentorship dinner organized by graduate students annually.  


Outline of the project:

-          4 month project

-          A group of volunteers (6-8 postdcos) who would meet every week

-          Get the survey out

-          Figure out a pilot event

-          Plan the event


Vote on bylaws amendments:

Voting was done on bylaws amendments to introduce two new leadership positions:

-          Events coordinator

-          Advocacy coordinator

One recommendation was made that for these two particular positions, council members who preferably have been on council for 3-4 months and thus have a better understanding of the workings of SURPAS, should be considered.  This clause maybe officially added to bylaws in future.


Bylaw amendments: approved with 13 yes.



Coffee chats:

Council members from various departments will organize coffee chats in their respective departments. Idea is to interact with postdocs and figure out what issues they want SURPAs to work on for them. A document will be sent out to all the volunteers by co-chairs with instructions on purchasing coffee, re-imbursements and a questionnaire for the chats to get them started. Feedback from all the coffee chats will be discussed in next meeting. That feedback can help us focus our efforts on specific goals for the upcoming year.


Upcoming events:

Hike –Merle needs help organizing hiking events

NPA conference- coming soon and we will plan events for that soon.

HH – Organize a January Happy hour.

Grant writing academy retreat – John Hegarty will coordinate that.



Meeting called to closure by co-chairs Jesse and Sharon at 1:00pm.