January 2022

SURPAS Council Meeting Agenda

Wednesday January 26th , 2021 11:30am-1:00pm 

Location: Zoom

Quorum:  13

  • Acknowledgment statement, inc group norms/mutual respect (2’) 
  • Welcome, Zoom etiquette (2’) 
  • Introductions and approval of minutes (5’)

3 new postdocs introduced 

  • Welcome

Acknowledgement statement, Introductions and approval of minutes (10’)

  • Updates (10’)

Covid updates, boosters required. New travel guidelines. This year OPA is making housing a priority and they are working on coming up with definitive plans. Chinyere mentions that they are working on trying to get an increase in postdoc salary. If want to transfer to Instructor position contact OPA to see how that would impact benefits ect… Tim mentions LRP committee is working on these items too and is wanting to work with OPA to get more info. SURPAS survey is extended to Jan21st  and Chuchu went through summary of bylaw changes from last month’s meeting. 

For healthcare benefits contact Denise Livengood (denise17@stanford.edu). 

  • DEI – Brian Costello (40’)

Genentech postdocs salary increase to $90,000 but for industry postdocs which is a bit different Bria will send some info to co-chairs. Bria twitter is @queerentist. Grew up in Sacramento, UG in San Jose (Chemistry degree), PhD in UC Berkley, postdoc in Genentech (cell manufacturing) and now at Stanford working on DEI efforts. Took a year off to work on mental  health and wanting to start in next position at full capacity. They lead some postdoc programs and different workshops. 

Also took a year off after high school and started culinary school but did not like it so transitioned to research. Wanted to reach out to other communities and give more info about STEM. Started taking more Diversity and Equity responsibilities and felt fulfilled with this path. Freelance DEI consultant for different companies, NIH grant facilitator, and knowledge transfer. 

Mentions that STEM is not for everyone and there is an infrastructure. Picture a Scientist movie, great movie with female views of scientists. At UC Berkley have Barker Hall, used to have only one bathroom per floor not accessible. Set up when there were no female scientist in lab so when they did they had to change infrastructure and convert some of the male bathrooms to female bathrooms. Need to identify and disseminate systemic unconscious bias in STEM to make it and environment for everyone to thrive. 

DEI perspectives that capitalize on own experiences. For Bria, data driven so find ways to evaluate success, failure, or unexpected outcomes, allocate resources appropriately. Community building such as representation of the people the initiatives would highly effect, stakeholders and encouraging networking. How to go about doing this? Applied to 65 different jobs before getting current one. 2 month to 15 month job search. 4 pronged approach by engaging with DEI councils and existing initiatives. World cafe bring people together and identify different problems. Anonymous surveys are useful too, especially for more introverted people. Then one-on-one meetings which relieves a lot of potential barriers that people may feel to just have a link to meet. Want to have the outcomes of doing the hard work of advancing DEI and increase partnerships. Then have to self-reflect and do the hard work. 


Appointment booker: https://chemh-brian.youcanbook.me/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/brian-%E2%80%9Cbria%E2%80%9D-castellano-phd-75a37a143/


  •  Leadership Elections
    • Co–chair 
      • Chinyere Iweka
      • M Usman Ahman


Chinyere: current co-chair has worked on many initiatives including recent ones that were announced such as increased family grant. Wants to continue to work on increasing postdoc salary and housing. Wants to work on providing BMR rates for postdoc housing. Wants to establish permanent housing built for postdocs. 

Chuchu asks who would be the best person to work on our initiatives. Chinyere mentions the provost or president. When OPA process doesn’t get anywhere go straight ahead to people that make the decisions.

Usman: Usman mentions that SURPAS has done a great job so far. In surgical oncology and current council member. His dad came here for research and eventually transitioned to industry. Career is very important, wants to also work on compensation. Made an improvement in family grant which has gone up, wants to build comparisons. Get data from surveys to build on salary increase for inflation and cost of living. Wants to work on transferable skills and knowledge transfer between leadership, wellness and 

DEI. Vimala asks how he will manage time being a surgical postdoc. He mentions that he is able to manage time around his postdoc.

VOTED  13 Chinyere

1 Usman

Chinyere is voted in as co-chair. 

  • New council elections
    • Jade He


  • Council Re-elections
    • Nikki Seymour
  • Bylaws

Ran out of time so Julia will send this out as an online vote. 

  • Upcoming events (10’)
    • SURPAS Happy Hour
    • SURPAS Sports Events
      • Running club: Meet at the top of the Oval every Tuesday at 6 PM. Join the email group to receive the weekly email.
      • Volleyball meet-up: Every Saturday from 11-3 PM (AOERC court 2 this quarter). Join the  email group to receive updates.
      • Soccer meet-up: Games are organized with WhatsApp.
      • Monthly hikes
      • Please go to surpas.stanford.edu and to the sports and social link and contact Becky for more information
    • SURPAS/OPA Meeting
      • February 15th at 3pm
  • February SURPAS Council Meeting – 
    • Thursday, February 24th, 2021