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NPA Board Member Testimonials
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Invigorating and Challenging Experience that Develops Real-world, Transferable Skills

Ian Brooks, Ph.D.

2009-2010 Board of Directors; Electoral Officer (2009); Oversight Officer (2010)

My current term on the Board of Directors is drawing to a close this year (2010), and I really will miss the experience. Serving on the Board is incredibly challenging, and also incredibly invigorating. During my time on the Board I have transitioned from lab-based postdoc to academic administration. I know I wouldn't have been able to make this step without the skills I gained working with the NPA. Furthermore, I have seen with perspective everything the NPA does at different levels of academe, and I feel nothing but pride knowing I played a part in this undertaking.

An Invaluable Opportunity to Have an Impact on Young Scientists

Jonathan Gitlin, Ph.D.
2008-2009 Board of Directors, Vice Chair (2008)


I served on the Board of the NPA form 2008-2010, after spending several years as a committee chair. Serving on the NPA's Board was a rewarding experience that exposed me to situations and helped me develop skills that I had little exposure to in the lab. Although the time commitment was not trivial, the rewards were more than just an entry on my resume; knowing that I had worked to make the postdoctoral experience better for young scientists was a reward in and of itself.

An Unexpected Experience That Opens Doors

Karen Peterson, Ph.D.
2007-2008 Board of Directors, and Advisory Board Member


I gained far more from my experience on the Board than I ever anticipated. I have had the pleasure of working with fantastic colleagues and gained a greater understanding of the inner workings of a nonprofit and what's happening with postdoc advocacy on a national level. Serving on the Board has definitely opened new doors for me in my career.

Reflecting on Four Years of Board Service: My Thoughts on Serving on the Board of Directors for the NPA

John Peck
2005-2008 Board of Directors and current NPA Advisor


Serving on the NPA Board of Directors was a great experience; I really felt I made a difference. Board service did require more of a time commitment than I expected, but all of it was worth it. I gained a great deal of knowledge and experience about governance and leadership, and I was apart of discussions on a wide range of postdoc issues that I normally would never have been exposed to. But what I enjoyed the most is working with my fellow board members, a group of individuals who are extremely professional and very compassionate. Serving on the board of directors is not for everyone, it does require a time commitment with a lot of project work and deadlines. But at the end of the day you will definitely feel that you have made an important difference.

A One-of-a-Kind Experience

Crystal Icenhour, Ph.D.
2008 Board of Directors Chair, 2006-2008 Board of Directors

Serving on the NPA Board of Directors was one of the most rewarding and valuable experiences in which I have been involved. Service on this Board is a one-of-a-kind opportunity, providing postdoctoral scholars and those who are committed to improving the postdoctoral experience the ability to have true impact on how the research enterprise views, trains, and facilitates postdoctoral research. In my service as a Board member and leader, I gained valuable career development skills in a number of areas including leadership, management, organization, fiscal responsibility, recruitment, and many others. These experiences opened up new opportunities as I navigated through a series of career paths and choices. The friendships and networks that I built during my time with the NPA Board of Directors are strong and continue to open up new experiences and opportunities.

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