The 2013 Election for the NextGen Association for Postdocs & Graduate students is now underway. Voting will end on Monday, September 30, 2013 at 11:59 PM and winners will be announced on October 1, 2013.
As a reminder, there are four positions: two co-chairs, and two vice-chair. The highest-ranking candidates will be offered the co-chair positions; the third and fourth ranking candidates will be offered the vice-chair position. Each position is to be held for a one-year term, for a maximum of two terms.
Candidate Thomas Abeel
My name is Thomas Abeel and I have been at Broad since 2009, first as a visiting graduate student, later as a postdoctoral fellow. Currently, I work as a postdoc in the Bacterial Comparative Genomics group with Ashlee Earl in the Genome Sequences and Analysis Program.
I have been involved with the NGA since its inception slightly over two year ago and served as a vice-chair over the past year. Outside the Broad NGA, I have extensive experience in the community aspect of science. I started as an elected officer of the undergraduate mathematics, physics and computers science society at my home university. In the following years I served as vice-president and president of this society. Later on I became an officer at the Student Council of the International Society for Computational Biology (ISCB), was founding president of RSG-Europe, a regional affiliate of the ISCB Student Council, and served as a director for the ISCB. In short, I have held leadership roles in various professional societies and associations for over a decade.
My main goal for the coming year with the NGA is to make the Study ABroad program accessible for trainees or to make equivalent resources available to the trainee community.
Candidate Karol Estrada
I’m, as many of you, a Broad-affiliated postdoc. I work in MacArthur’s lab on projects of exome sequencing data. I have experience organizing events for other type of groups such as scientific consortia. One key of success in science is collaboration. The Broad is a unique place in the world where multiple institutions gather one or more days a week to share their knowledge, we need to make better use of that. We also need to remember that publishing papers is important for us, but the general public and policy makers will most likely rarely read those papers, we have to be more proactive in the way we engage with society to let them know why it is important our research. Finally, many of us have someone special living with us, knowing each other’s partners and children would strengthen our connections. Therefore, my goals by serving the NextGen association are three-fold: 1) Increase collaboration among academic trainees of Broad-affiliated institutes 2) engage postdocs in outreach activities and 3) organize outdoor get-together activities for Broad-affiliated trainees including partners and families. To know more about me and my research projects, please visit http://www.broadinstitute.org/~karol or with twitter @karls_es.
Candidate Georgia Lagoudas
My name is Georgia Lagoudas, and I’m a second year Ph.D. student at MIT working in Paul Blainey’s lab here at the Broad Institute. I’m interested in serving on the NextGen Association because I think it’s a crucial component in helping to connect post-docs and graduate students at the Broad. During my past 6 months working at the Broad, I’ve found it hard to meet other students and post-docs outside my lab space, and I think the NextGen Association can help foster these interactions. I’d like to be a part of the association so that I can contribute to event planning, help brainstorm new ways to provide resources to trainees, and provide a diverse perspective on goals for the NextGen Association.
I’ve had similar experience in the past serving on student government and academic planning groups. I was an officer and elected member for four years in the student government at my undergraduate institution, Rice University. Also, I served as an officer for two years with the Biomedical Engineering Society at Rice University, among other involvements. In these positions, I coordinated a variety of social and academic events for students, ranging from academic career panels to town hall meetings to live concert series. I hope to have the chance to serve with the NextGen Association this year, and I look forward to becoming more involved at the Broad.
Candidate Chloé Villani
I am a Postdoctoral Fellow in Nir Hacohen’s Laboratory here, at the Broad Institute, and I have been your NextGen Co-Chair for this last year. It has been a real honor and pleasure being your advocate and voice, as well as working with the Academic Affairs Office on your behalf.
As I truly believe in the mission of the NextGen Association to help Broad trainees and postdoctoral fellows in advancing their career development and supporting them throughout their journey at the Broad Institute, and I believe that I could do much more for you and the Association, I’m seeking your vote to serve you and the Association for a second year.
For the year to come, in addition to continuing organizing social and networking gatherings for our community, I would like to pursue my work with the NextGen Association in setting-up and implementing more career development and professional enrichment workshops, as well as seminar series tailored specifically to Broadies needs on topics related to academic and industrial career paths, developing leadership and management skill sets (e.g. topics related to recruitment and hiring, mentoring, time management, budget management, conflict management), public speaking and presentation skills, job search/interviewing/salary negotiations, grant writing and submission, publication strategy, writing resume and research statement, work/life balance, getting oriented at the Broad as a new trainee/fellow, and cross-training, just to name a few. Additionally, I would like to work this year towards making these seminars and workshops becoming yearly recurrent events.
Towards the end of my term as Co-Chair this year, working with Rany Salem (Co-Chair), Mathias Wawer (Vice-Chair), and Thomas Abeel (Vice-Chair), we have started planning some of these events, aiming at scheduling two per months, in addition to the monthly social networking activities, student seminar series, and mentor lunches with Faculty and Senior Staff. I have gained much experience and greatly developed my network in the process of being your Co-Chair this last year, which uniquely positions me to successfully lead the implementation and organization of all these events for the year to come.
I would be honored to be your advocate and voice to the Academic Affairs Office for a second year, and to give back to our Community by being re-elected Co-Chair of the NextGen Association.
Candidate Mathias Wawer
I am a postdoc in the Chemical Biology Program and joined the Broad about two years ago. I have been working with the NextGen Association from the beginning of my time here and served as one of two vice-chairs for the past year.
I decided to run again in this election because I believe that it is critical to support postdocs and graduate students in their career development beyond the scientific training they receive at the Broad. It is important that we as academic trainees take an active role in building a program that truly meets our needs, which is why NextGen was created. I am thrilled that we have the support of the Academic Affairs office in this and would like to continue our work towards reaching this goal. Over the past year, we have created a plan to expand and improve the panel of events we offer based on our past experience. I am committed to implementing this plan for the next year so we can better help postdocs and graduate students develop in their scientific career and make their time at the Broad a successful and enjoyable experience.
Candidate Terence Wong
I am a third-year PhD student in the laboratory of Levi Garraway in the Cancer Program. As a member of the Broad community for the past 4 years, I have come to realize the vast opportunity and potential for the Broad Institute to benefit the training and professional development of its post-doctoral fellows and graduate students. By attending nearly all of the NextGen Planning Meetings in the past year and serving as the de facto Graduate Student Representative to the NextGen Association, I have been exposed to and participated in the planning of a number of NextGen events, including the “Post-Docs in Industry” panel discussion. If I am elected to co-chair the NextGen Association, I will be a voice for all Broad trainees, especially graduate students, with the goal of providing them with the resources and skills to propel their careers in science. In addition to the NextGen events currently planned for the next year, I will propose additional activities that will address issues especially relevant to the growth of more junior trainees, including how to navigate in a new laboratory, how to develop an optimal relationship with your PI, how to choose high-impact and feasible projects, how to form and negotiate collaborations, and how to identify your ideal scientific career. I strongly believe that these types of events will ultimately benefit the scientific and professional growth of all Broad trainees.
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