October 2021

SURPAS Council Meeting Agenda

Wednesday October 28th , 2021 11:30am-1:00pm 

Location: Zoom


Quorum:  13

  • Welcome, Zoom etiquette (2’)
  • Introductions and approval of minutes (5’)

8 new postdocs introduced

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

Minutes approved by Chinyere and Julia

  • Updates (10’)

Updates for flu shot clinics on campus

  • Social Media/ Web Manager- Leadership Election
    • Kun Lyu

Likes creating social media content and does extracurricular work on design and digital art creation. Did some current analysis on SURPAS social media accounts, Linkedin not actively posting. Have 2 videos on YouTube. Wants to increase LinkedinSURPAS social media presence. One day in the life Series (what it is like being a postdoc ect..). Wants to post some events on social media and give incoming postdocs a preview in the life at Stanford. Has Adobe suite skills, maybe make a SURPAS logo and make an App. 

VOTED IN -19 yes

  • Council Member Elections (5’)
    • Poonam Agarwal

Has been part of SURPAS activities in the past. Has mentored summer student programs, was co-chair of Bay area postdoc symposium. Enjoys mentoring undergraduate and high school students, took part in NPAW volunteering and Fun Run. Wants to also work with sports events in SURPAS. 

Arianna: what areas are you interested in getting involved in SURPAS? Wants to work with students, communicate for career workshops, and be interested in sports events (running or hiking). 

VOTED IN- 16 yes

  • Council Member Re-Elections (20’)
    • Arianna Celis
    • Vivekanandan Ramalingam
    • David Agyeman-budu
    • Tim MacKenzie

Arianna: Has been on Leadership team in many roles, part of SURPAS since joining 

Tim: what separates being a council member from Leadership? Leadership has more responsibility, keeping the boat a float, and covering for the team when needed

VOTED IN- 14 yes, 1 abstain


Vivekanandan: Wants to help with living costs, been part of council for a bit. Postdoc for about a year. 

What is the most important way to improve living conditions at Stanford? 2 pronged approach (collaborative with working in the system and advocating for ourselves). We are providing useful contributions to science which should be recognized. People with family and children should be able to afford to live here. 

VOTED IN- 16 yes


David: Finishing 2nd year of postdoc, has been a council member since last year. Has been involved initially in SPIF and then postdoc symposium committee. Also helped out with NPAW and volunteering. 

VOTED IN- 15 yes, 1 abstain


Tim: Starting 3rd year postdoc but been at Stanford for a long time. Served as Advocacy Coordinator, and works on Long Range Planning committee. As elected council can bring together the power of postdocs. Last year push for University to Divest from Fossil Fuel. Specifically wants to introduce a resolution to divest from Fossil Fuels as SURPAS. 

VOTED IN- 14 yes and 2 no

  • Committee Updates- JEDI Committee (15’) —Seungsoo Kim

Sengsoo gives an update on JEDI committee initiatives. Current programming is Someone Like Me (monthly events with coffee hour and more structured events), Better Ally (monthly journal club and action planning event, focus on different communities every month), and Diverse Perspectives Seminar Series (bringing speakers from outside Stanford to come). Currently soliciting nominations for the Diverse Perspective Series. 

Usman: what are postdoc demographics compared to other programs? There isn’t really further subdivisions of International postdocs. But in non-international postdocs there are relatively few underrepresented minorities

  • Advertise for next year’s CCC&AOP program (5’) –Eamon

Applications are now open for this certificate. Program which has come from former members of SURPAS and others, program has been around for 3 years. Developing self-awareness, understanding oppression. Learning goals are identity and positionality, current oppressive infrastructures, praxis. Looking for 12 participants, last year had more so no guarantee that you will get in but encouraged to apply. 7 workshops which are 2 hours long, 6 journal clubs (2hr each), electives and praxis. Applications are open now. Info session and Q & A panel on Nov 1st 12-1pm. 

Usman: Can you talk about demographics of who gets into this program and what does it enable them to do? Many people tend to work on issues from minority groups tend to be in that population, but need people that are from majority populations. Are we recruiting people that can speak on behalf of these populations?

Hope that participants will be as diverse as possible (they have been diverse in the past). Eamon has personally found this program useful as well but his experience will be different. Different people can get different benefits out of this programs. Yes to other question. What people will get out of it will be different depending on the person. People being ally’s is something that’s also talked about at length in the program. 

Advice from Postdocs to postdocs, “If I could go back in time to the beginning of my postdoc, I would tell myself…” Can advertise on Twitter account and socials, increase followers. 

Created a new slack channel (If you knew). Some postdocs don’t know about family grants, medical coverage available ect… New social media web manager can help build this. 

  • Upcoming events (10’)
    • Someone Like Me Fall Coffee Hour: Friday October 29th 3-4pm
    • Happy Hour (Thanksgiving Event)
  • November Council Meeting – Wednesday November 17th 11:30am-1pm