The Berkeley Lab Postdoc Association kicked off its inaugural event on Monday, March 28th in the Cafeteria Dining Hall and patio. It drew approx. 100 early career researchers, including postdocs and graduate students. Lab Deputy Director Horst Simon, BLPA’s Executive Sponsor, provided a welcome message, encouraging all attendees to network and meet each other, and create opportunities for future collaborations. “As you know, Berkeley Lab has a very strong history in science, being the first multidisciplinary lab focusing on team science,” said Simon. “We have scientists and postdocs from all over the world. And I think that’s particularly important for the Postdoc Association, since some of you are just starting out in your career and are in California and the U.S. for the first time, to have some connection to colleagues, and hopefully make friendships that last over your career.”
BLPA Steering Committee member Antoine Wojdyla introduced the new association, and invited guests to consider becoming a BLPA Board Member. New Lab Director Mike Witherell and Chief Operating Officer Glenn Kubiak also attended the event.
The social mixer was organized by the steering committee: Antoine Wojdyla, Etosha Cave, and Valentine Trotter. Guests participated in a “BINGO” icebreaker activity, where they had a chance to network with many early career researchers from multiple disciplines and backgrounds. Winners of the BINGO game received Amazon gift cards. Representatives from the organization INSPIRE were also there, with an informational table to announce upcoming events. Launched in February 2016 and supported by the UC Village, INSPIRE is a “network for relocated partners to inspire, support, and motivate each other.” They organize workshops, social events, and activities to help develop personal and professional networks, meet other people in the area, share tips, and welcome new members who are relocating from another city or country.
The next BLPA general meeting will be held next Tuesday, April 5th in Building 15, Room 300 @ 5:30 p.m. Postdocs, early career researchers, and graduate students are invited to attend. If you are interested in attending BLPA’s monthly social events, or becoming a Board Member, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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