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ASU celebrates postdocs during National Postdoc Appreciation Week

ASU's Postdoctoral Affairs Office hosts series of events, both fun and focused on professional development

ASU National Postdoc Appreciation Week
October 01, 2021

Since 2009, the National Postdoctoral Association has sponsored National Postdoc Appreciation Week to recognize the significant contributions that postdoctoral scholars make to research and discovery at universities and organizations all over the country.

The event is celebrated during the week of Sept. 20. At Arizona State University, the Postdoctoral Affairs Office hosted postdocs for a series of events, both fun and focused on professional development. The week culminated with the Arizona Postdoctoral Research Conference, a statewide conference where ASU postdocs presented their research, networked and attended professional development activities. 

“National Postdoctoral Appreciation Week is a great opportunity to pause and thank our postdocs for the great work that they are doing at ASU,” said Wiley Larsen, manager for Postdoctoral Affairs Office, part of ASU’s Graduate College.”They are teaching, managing labs, writing papers and more, all while working on their own research. They play a huge role in what goes on at the university, and we are grateful for their contributions.”

Sally Morton, executive vice president of ASU’s Knowledge Enterprise, spoke at this year’s breakfast and offered encouragement to ASU’s postdocs. The annual breakfast enabled postdocs to network with faculty members. 

“After nine months of navigating the challenges of learning to be a postdoc at ASU, the Postdoc Breakfast felt like a timely moment of support,” said Stephanie Arcusa, a postdoctoral research fellow at ASU's Center for Negative Carbon Emissions. “I appreciated the energy and vision of Dr. Morton's talk about the role of postdocs in ASU's Knowledge Enterprise concept, and l left the event feeling like I was part of something unique.”

Carmen Velasco, a postdoctoral scholar in the Westerhoff Lab in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering, was excited to attend the breakfast. 

“I have been a postdoc at ASU since January 2020, and as much as I have enjoyed working on research and mentoring students, the appreciation breakfast hosted by the Postdoctoral Affairs Office felt very nurturing,” said Velasco. 

During the Postdoc Lunch and Learn on Sept. 23, David Shiffman, a research associate and former postdoc based in Washington, D.C., shared his tips and tricks for having a successful social media following. Shiffman, a prolific Twitter user, goes by the handle @WhySharksMatter and has more than 60,000 followers.

“After the workshop, I have more ideas on what content I should share on my research-based Twitter account,” said Ting Liu, a postdoctoral research scholar at ASU’s Muenich Lab Group. 

ASU closed out National Postdoc Appreciation Week with the Arizona Postdoctoral Research Conference on Sept. 24. Held in downtown Phoenix, this year’s theme was “Potential for all research to promote equity and inclusion,” and it featured a keynote from Michael Johnson, a professor of immunobiology at the University of Arizona.

The Graduate College’s Postdoctoral Affairs Office was created to support the personal growth and professional development of each postdoc through a number of community-building and professional development programs to enrich the postdoc experience at ASU. Visit the Postdoctoral Affairs Office website to view the full calendar of events.

Written by Jenna Nabors

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