We want to recognize some amazing NSPN members who have dedicated time to making sure our community flourishes. This past month, we have new leadership coming into our four regional hubs. To celebrate the transition, we invited both the outgoing and incoming regional hub chairs to share about themselves and what they have done or in store for the National Science Policy Network.
Sudeepti Kuppa, outgoing Southern Hub Co-Chair
- What is the most rewarding thing you have done during your tenure as a regional hub Co-Chair?
Planning and executing the Southern Hub Retreat.
- How has the hub grown during your tenure?
We started with about 2-3 groups and now have over 11! Recruiting and chatting with new onboarding groups has been super rewarding too.
I’m in a science communications role at National Cancer Institute and do a little bit of policy, but hoping to stay on as a general NSPN member to keep my ear to the ground on policy happenings so I can implement it more into my actual job!
Sarah Goggin, incoming Southern Hub Co-Chair
- What is the most satisfying thing you have done in the realm of science policy?
One of my goals as President of SPI at UVA was to drive our organization towards more active pursuit of science policy initiatives and increased engagement with members of our organization, the University, and the broader community. It has been extremely satisfying to actually see that through, and see our group make some real impacts in the community. For example, we completed our first SPI-DAC (SPI Direct Advocacy Committee, science consulting for local non-profits inspired by ScAAN) project, and the NGO we were working with invited us to work on another project and also offered to refer us to another organization -- it was very satisfying to know that we were actually filling a need and helping to advance science-based policies. I'm excited to keep working on more SPI-DAC and other community outreach and advocacy projects our chapter has on the agenda for this upcoming year!
- As you are stepping up to the position as a Regional Hub Co-Chair, what are you excited about doing in and with the Hub?
I am always a big proponent of resource sharing, so one of my goals is to improve our online resources such as events templates, ideas for funding sources, etc. All of the chapters and individuals in our group have very similar goals, so it makes sense for us to share our experiences about what worked and what didn't for various events or initiatives so we can all learn from each other. We can also provide templates for planning and executing such events and initiative so other groups (new, old, not yet formed) can have an easier time getting started with new projects. At our hub breakout session at the NSPN symposium this year I got a chance to talk with a lot of members from the Southern Hub, and this seemed like something a lot of our members would be excited to contribute to and utilize. I am also excited to engage with our Southern Hub community on science policy issues relevant to the southern region, through potential Hill Days, election working groups, or journal club-style discussions on our monthly hub calls.
- What are your interests/passions in the realm of science policy?
My research is focused on how genetic and environmental factors affect obesity risk through their impacts on brain development. I'm interested in applying this work to inform policies that could mitigate the effects of environmental risk factors. This is a small side passion of mine in science policy -- reminding researchers in the biomedical space that policy interventions are another option to translate their research, not just therapeutics! Beyond my research, my main interests are more broadly in the diplomacy realm -- topics surrounding emerging technologies, global health, and governing an increasingly global society.
Make sure to check out the other regional hubs and their regional leadership!