Next week, institutions nationwide recognize one of the pillars of academia: postdocs.
National Postdoc Appreciation Week (NPAW) is an annual celebration to highlight postdoc research and discovery across the country.
CU Boulder’s Office of Postdoctoral Affairs (OPA), in partnership with the Postdoctoral Association of Colorado Boulder (PAC Boulder) and National Postdoctoral Association, is offering both virtual and in-person activities each day of the week including a breakfast celebration luncheon (RSVP) and BBQ social at Scott Carpenter Park.
NPAW is an opportunity to acknowledge the impact of CU Boulder postdocs and their mentors and OPA annually provides two prizes.
Outstanding Postdocs of the Year
Highly competitive, the Outstanding Postdoc of the Year Awards recognize CU Boulder postdocs excelling in research productivity, innovation, communication, leadership and advocating for justice, equity, diversity and inclusion.
This year’s awardees are Drs. Tabitha Green (Integrative Physiology) and Zachary Laubach (Ecology & Evolutionary Biology).
Dr. Tabitha Green is a postdoctoral fellow who has trained under Dr. Rachel Rowe for the past seven years as both a postdoc and graduate student, investigating traumatic brain injury. Rowe praised Green’s productivity, highlighting her publishing ten manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals, seven of which over the past year at CU Boulder. Rowe described Green as “one of the brightest, most efficient, proactive, and team-oriented trainees I have had the pleasure of working with.” Green is also a recipient of the “Women in Neurotrauma Research Visiting International Scholar Award,” recognizing females in neurotrauma research, a PAC Boulder Travel Awardee and serves as an editorial board member for Frontiers in Neurology.
Postdoctoral fellow Dr. Zachary Laubach, a vertebrate biologist studying early life environments, was nominated by Dr. Rebecca Safran, a previous Outstanding Postdoc Mentor of the Year recipient. Safran emphasized Laubach’s “outstanding contributions, exceptional potential, and steadfast and authentic commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion” in her nomination. Laubach has a strong track record securing extramural funding receiving a prestigious NSF Rules of Life Postdoctoral Fellowship, a Morris Animal Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship and an NSF Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant.
Outstanding Postdoc Mentor of the Year
The Outstanding Postdoc Mentor of the Year Award, recognizing exceptional faculty mentors who regularly engage postdocs, is awarded to Dr. Kristi Anseth (Chemical & Biological Engineering).
Distinguished Professor Kristi Anseth was nominated by a group of postdoctoral scholars: Alex Khang; Della Shin; George Tseropoulos; Kaustav Bera; Michael Blatchley; and Monica Ohnsorg. The group, mostly comprised of PAC Boulder members, emphasized Anseth’s exceptional leadership and mentorship, having trained over 45 postdoctoral researchers, 20 of whom now faculty members at top universities. They also highlighted Anseth’s use of individual development plans as a key tool used to track postdoc professional development, and her encouragement of work/life balance and the importance of personal time away from work.