PDA Corner

By Alessia Deglincerti and Bryan Utter

Much of the pda efforts over the past few months focused on the launch of a new Student/Postdoc Summer Seminar Series. The Summer Seminar Series provided postdocs and graduate students the opportunity to present their work in front of the Rockefeller community. The Series took place every other Thursday at 4:00 p.m. and ran between June 20 and August 22. There was an informal wine & cheese reception following the talks that allowed the scientific discussion to continue beyond the allotted presentation time. We would like to thank all of the speakers, the faculty sponsors who hosted the seminars, and all of those who participated for making the series such a great success. We plan to make this seminar series a recurring event in future summers, so stay tuned for more information if you would like to participate! Continue reading

PDA Corner

by Claudia Scheckel and Ismail Ismailoglu

PDA Super Bowl Party. Photo credit: Claudia Scheckel

You are probably familiar with the academic responsibilities of the PDA, like organizing the postdoc retreat and the Tri-I seminar series. Similarly, our social events, like the holiday, summer or Super Bowl parties, are well-established and attended by many postdocs. But the PDA has one additional, less visible, role: to form a bridge between the postdocs and the administrative departments at Rockefeller. To fulfill this role, we regularly survey the community, determine common problems, and discuss solutions with department directors. In January, we performed a life satisfaction survey and met with President Marc Tessier-Lavigne, VP Virginia Huffman, Associate VP of Facilities Alexander Kogan, Dean Sidney Strickland, Associate Dean Emily Harms, and Director of Immigration and Academic Appointments Maria Lazzaro to discuss the results. Continue reading

PDA Corner

by Ismail Ismailoglu and Claudia Scheckel

The PDA Board 2012-2013 (Ismail, Bryan, Paul, Nidhi, Claudia, Dusan). Credit: Nidhi Gangadhar.

The last couple of months have been a time of change for the PDA. We would like to thank the departing members Linda Feigherty, Asma Hatoum, Nidhi Gangadhar, and Paul D’Agostino for their service, and welcome newcomers Dusan Bogunovic and Bryan Utter (as well as ourselves).

The most significant issue we’ve encountered in the past few months is the ongoing construction in Faculty House. Waterproofing and façade replacement are nearly complete there, and the work will soon move to Scholars Residence. During construction, several residents have noted chemical smells and dust. At a meeting with the Housing Department, it was agreed that the work would continue at a slower pace and air quality measurements would be taken to ensure safety. Additionally, the Housing Department is providing air purifiers and temporary housing for those affected. The PDA continues to be in touch with the Housing Department and the community on this subject. Continue reading

PDA Corner—2012 Postdoc Retreat

by Asma Hatoum

At a quarter to six on a crisp September morning, eighty-five of us eager Rockefeller postdocs lined up at the main gate to board the buses that would whisk us out for the retreat. Along the way, the rising sun revealed clear blue skies—the forecast held to its promise. By eight-thirty, we had arrived at the Interlaken Inn in the beautiful Litchfield Hills of Connecticut. Scenic landscapes and lush gardens welcomed us and provided the perfect backdrop for the intense scientific and social exchange that would follow over the next two days (September 12-13). Continue reading