June 2022

SURPAS Council Meeting Agenda

Thursday June 23rd, 2022 11:30am-1:00pm 

Location: Zoom

Quorum:  12

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

3 Postdocs introduced.

Minutes approved by Tim and Chinyere.

  • Acknowledgement statement, Introductions and approval of minutes (2’)
  • Updates (5’)
    • COVID-19
    • Middle Plaza Waitlist Open
    • Financial Resources for Postdocs

Check health check and health alerts for covid updates. https://healthalerts.stanford.edu/covid-19/

Middle plaza estimation is June but been delayed multiple times. 

Check financial resources on SURPAS website. 4 available grants. Also every month Stanford has pop up food pantry available to postdocs. https://rde.stanford.edu/food-pantry-pop-up

  • SURPAS committee updates (10’)
    • Teaching & Outreach Committee- Divya Pathak

3 major programs; NighLife at Cal Academy in SF with themed nights. Next event is July 21st and theme is “Inked” Teaching certificate be more structured, working with OPA on this. CTRLI guest speaker about teaching opportunities. Elementary is Science is going to be starting up soon. Also had a teaching fair with OPA and will continue to work with them to better structure. Join the next committee meeting on June 29th with posible guest speaker Jennifer Urmson. 

Chinyere: Raven will come to council meeting in September to talk about teaching certificate. 

  • Council Member Renewals/ New Members (5’/person)
    • Iti Kapoor- re-election
    • Geetha Saarunya Clarke – new member
    • Fabiana Aello – new member
    • Shawna Follis – new member
    • Dario Pfyffer- new member
    • Geetha Clarke- new member
    • Xiangping Lin – new member

Iti- re-election: 

Has been part of SURPAS for many years and wants to continue. 

VOTED IN- 15 yes

Geetha- new member:

Started Oct 2021, wants to get more involved in SURPAS. Has been active in past advocacy, increasing partnerships with underrepresented minority groups. 

VOTED IN- 17 yes


Wants to serve postdoc community and add more diversity to postdoc life. 

VOTED in- 16 yes

Aravind- new member: 

Wants to make higher education accessible to URMs. 

Tim: How does constituents come into play with SURPAS? One area wants is SOM diversity cabinet. But this constitutes a larger population. With SURPAS as a larger group they are constituents. Primary and secondary constituents. 

VOTED In 17 yes

Dario- new member: 

Started postdoc beginning of May. Has been involved in family committee and wants to continue with that. 

VOTED IN 15 yes

Shakthi- new member: 

Wants to get more involved in SURPAS and help where needed. 

VOTED in 16 yes

  • Leadership Elections (5’/person)
    • Co-chair: Julia Mimi Abitbol
    • Financial officer: Iti Kapoor, Xiangping Lin
    • Operations manager: Dingying Shan
    • Advocacy coordinator: Shruti Jain
    • SoM diversity cabinet representative for SURPAS: Fabiana Aellos
    • Events Coordinator: 
    • Social Media Manager:
    • Communication Director: 

Co-chair: Julia

Tim: Having been part of leadership having seen different respo of co-chair, new project? 

Our current projects involve housing, family, and subsidies based on results of previous SURPAS survey. It’s a team effort and will work together with SURPAS committees and leadership team to keep advocating for these initiatives as well as new ones that will come up. 

VOTED IN- 23 yes

Financial Officer: 

Iti: Was the previous FO in 2021, now want to come back to it. Was involved in budgeting, communicated a lot with co-chairs. Wants to be elected again. 

Julia: having been FO before, would you change anything this time? Iti: Was a stage with a backlog of transactions and now knows how to deal with that, will make sure there is not a backlog anymore. 

Lucy: how will you budget between committees? Have to assign budget to different committees and make sure everything is well budgeted. See if we can get more budget if we need. 

Chinyere: Each committee has a certain amount budgeted, if a certain committee needs more how will you address that? Was a part of AIMS committee, previously certain amount set for inactive committees and relocate money. 


Manager money orders of chemical labs previously, has experience with budget and reimbursements. 

Lucy: How would you support the SURPAS committees given the tight budget? Try to help find appropriate resources, like OPA or university funding. 

Chinyere: Do you think you’ll have time to get all transactions cleared within a month?


Xiangping VOTED IN – 12 Iti, 13 Xiangping, 1 abstain

Operation Manager- Dingying:

Research manager for family committee, collecting recommendations for doctors. Worked at startup before came to Stanford. Has good record keeping skills. Wants to build postdoc community and increase engagement. 

Chinyere: Are you staying on as resource manager for family committee, would you retain that position? Yes, time is flexible so can balance them well and work is related. 

VOTED IN- 18 yes

Communication Director- Geetha:

Has had previous experience sharing information amongst groups. 

Chuchu: Do you know the responsibilities of the role? Knows some but not all of it but happy to learn. 

Vimala: What kind of time commitment do you have? Having been part of a few organizations before it’s important to divide days and tasks. Wants to see what responsibilities are and go from there. Understands the initial time might be great and is happy to put in the time required to get the job done. 

Lucy: Can we make emails more streamlined so they don’t get tired of reading emails? Hopes to streamline by seeing how much info will get from each committee and maybe have a newsletter that can be sent out. Also send out communications through slack and open to exploring more ideas later. 

VOTED IN- 16 yes

Advocacy coordinator- Shruti:

Postdoc for past 4 years, recently became a mom. Passionate about education for underrepresented groups. Mentors high school and other students to navigate their career paths. Has planning experience in addition to volunteering experiences. Wants to foster inclusivity and belonging, structural changes, peer support, and outreach & funding opportunities. Having a mentor-mentee pair with postdocs, more structured. Know more about what issues postdocs are facing, reach out to different postdoc populations to solve those issues. 

Tim: How can we implement structural changes? OPA is looking forward to getting feedback from postdocs, which they have been open to talking about previously. We can use as a bridge between postdocs and university leadership. 

Chuchu: Showing stats is powerful, are you good at survey summaries and stats for advocacy efforts? Good at researching about stats, never done statistical survey for an organization. Good at analyzing it. Maybe do more surveys so that more postdocs respond. 

VOTED IN- 15 yes

SOM Diversity cabinet representative- Aravind:

Gather sense of needs of postdocs. Triage action items to meet the needs to postdocs. Has worked previously in admin, diversity and inclusion programs. Founded a podcast to increased representative in STEM. Important how you set up a survey and analyze results. Has been a JEDI champion awarded at Stanford. 

VOTED IN- 17 yes 

  • Stanford Family Working Group 

SURPAS looking for postdoc representative for new working group. Write to SURPAS leadership if interested. Support dependent care and identify challenges. Comprises at monthly meeting. Sophie will be joining this working group.  

  • Upcoming events (5’)
    • Family Meet & Greet Bingo 
      • Location: Palo Alto Junior Museum & Zoo
      • June 26, 10 am – 12 pm.
  • Teaching & Outreach Committee meeting
    • Wednesday June 29th 3-4pm
  • July BBQ & Happy Hour
    • Sunday July 3rd, 1-5pm
  • Postdoc Mental Health Wellness Resources & Benefits Info Session
    • Location: Alway M114
    • June 29th, 4:00 pm. 
    • Featuring presentations and Q&A from faculty staff help center and postdoc benefits
  • SURPAS/OPA Meeting
    • Date: July 19th  at 3 pm