Introducing the 2017-2018 UWPA executive officers:
- President – Stephanie Carpenter. Stephanie previously served as treasurer to the UWPA, beginning in February 2016. Stephanie was the only person to receive a nomination for the presidency. She is also the only officer to serve in the previous administration. She takes the role previously held by Jonathan Lenz, who served as president since early 2015.
- Vice President – Dan Radecki. Dan is brand new to UW Madison and the UWPA, but brings with him previous experience as a graduate student leader. Dan takes over the role previously jointly held by Andy Pohl and Yashdeep Phanse, both of whom were mainly functioning as webmaster and chair of the international committee to the UWPA, respectively.
- Secretary – Andrea Davis. Andrea has attended several UWPA events, but is another new leader on the executive council. She takes over for Carina Collins, who served in the position since February 2016.
- Treasurer – Nisha Iyer. Nisha is also new to the UWPA. She takes the role previously held by Stephanie Carpenter.
- Communications Director – Steven Baker. Steven has been regularly attending monthly meetings for the past year. He led an effort to create a UWPA fundraiser and coordinate several UWPA events. The Communications Director is a new role in the UWPA, created in late 2016.
This year marks the first iteration of an elections-based mechanism to appoint UWPA leadership. In March 2017, we (the UWPA Executive Council) finalized our plans to hold elections for new officers for the June 2017 to June 2018 period. The plans were to have two stages: (1) a call for nominations from all UW postdocs, (2) voting by UW postdocs for nominees for each position. The goal of the process was to seek fresh leadership for the organization. In the past, the process of becoming a UWPA officer was less formal and involved voting in person during a monthly UWPA meeting. While all UWPA meetings are open to all postdocs, it’s been our belief that not enough postdocs have been involved in elections, and furthermore, the elections were too informal. The current bylaws of the UWPA do not outline a specific format for elections, but those are set to be updated this year.
In the May 24th meeting, we appointed new officers from the list of nominees received in the 2017 call for nominations. Several of the nominees offered to assume one of multiple positions, and some nominees were nominated more than once. Given that we had received just enough nominations for all positions, and that we achieved our goal of finding new leadership, the online election for this year was cancelled.
We’re excited to see that 80% of the executive council is brand new, and we look forward to the fresh vision in store for 2017-2018. It’s important to note though that the UWPA is not merely led by 5 people alone. All UW Madison postdocs are invited to attend and participate in monthly meetings to voice their opinions and/or concerns, and serve on and lead various committees (e.g. the Postdoc Symposium Committee, the Diversity and Inclusion Committee, etc.). If you are a UW Madison Postdoc, and you feel like something is missing from the postdoc community, or you feel there’s an area which needs improvement in your experience as a postdoc, please contact the President or Vice President directly via e-mail.