Dear colleagues and friends,
I am so honored to begin my term as President of the UBC-Postdoctoral Association (PDA). First and foremost, I would like to thank our outgoing President, Grace Lee, for her commitment, passion and enthusiasm over this last year. Under her leadership, the PDA has made some leaps and bounds, especially with regards to increasing professional development opportunities for postdoctoral fellows and research associates, and increasing the visibility and reach of the PDA within UBC and beyond. She will join the ranks of many wonderful past-Presidents, and I am so grateful that many of them still reside in Vancouver and will allow me to count on their counsel during my term.
As preparation for my term as President, I served the PDA executive committee as co-VP-Social this past year. Through this position, I have been involved in planning, advertising and executing our annual research and academic events, in addition to numerous networking events to foster interaction and collaboration among postdoctoral fellows and associates. Specifically, together with the PDA, we planned and organized the annual “3 Minute Postdoc Slam” and “UBC Postdoc Research Day”, as well as a Whistler ski trip, kayaking trip, hike in North Vancouver and many other fun socials on and off campus. This has provided me firsthand experience with all of the successful events the PDA organizes annually. However, just because the PDA was successful this past year doesn’t mean we should rest on our laurels. In the upcoming year I plan to introduce several new initiatives to contribute to the UBC PDA’s mission to foster community and networking for postdoctoral fellows, provide a forum to discuss important issues and provide a voice to communicate those issues to the UBC Postdoctoral Fellow’s Office, and provide more professional development opportunities. I am looking forward to creating an exciting calendar of events with the PDA executive team in the coming weeks!
In closing, on behalf of all UBC postdoctoral fellows, I would like to extend many thanks to the outgoing PDA officers. It has been a pleasure working with each of you this past year. Libin Abraham – thank you for your efforts in providing more teaching opportunities for postdoctoral fellows, Raj Kannan – for your leadership with the Canadian Association of Postdoctoral Scholars (CAPS), Kelly Sakaki – for your efforts in increasing our readership with the PDA newsletter, Gesa Volkers – for keeping us all on track with the finances and for ensuring PDA events ran smoothly, and Elisa Wong – my partner in crime as co-VP-Social this past year – I have had a great time planning and attending PDA events with you. Lucky for all of us, many of our outgoing PDA officers will remain part of the executive team this term.
I would also like to welcome our new PDA leaders! Yun Zhang will take over VP-Operations, Farzam Fotovat for VP-External, Galen Wright for VP-Communications, Nima Mohtaram for VP-Finance, and Britt Drögemöller for VP-Social. I would also like to welcome all of the individuals who have already expressed interest in joining the PDA executive team. I have heard so many great ideas from each of you already, and I look forward to a productive and fun year ahead!
Finally, I would like invite all of you to join the PDA executive committee as a volunteer. PDA membership is open to all UBC fellows and associates. All members of the PDA executive team are invited to attend meetings with the PDA officers, share their ideas and get involved in planning and organizing our events, and advocate for postdoctoral fellows and associates at UBC. Please contact us if you want to be involved!
Miranda Kirby, PhD
President, UBC Postdoctoral Association