Recognizing Outgoing Leadership

Aug 03, 2020

We welcomed our new and continuing leadership team last time. Now, we want to take a moment to recognize and celebrate the outgoing regional hub leadership who have been with us from the National Science Policy Network's beginnings. We have asked each of them to give some final thoughts as they move on to other roles inside NSPN and beyond. Let's wish them the best!


Amanda Acosta-Ruiz

Eastern Hub Co-Chair: Amanda Acosta-Ruiz

1. What is the most rewarding thing you have done during your tenure as a regional hub Co-Chair?

I am particularly proud of the work done to re-structure the Eastern Hub Retreat once the COVID-19 pandemic interference became apparent. The planning team was immensely helpful in identifying potential formats that would allow us to accomplish the goals we had set for the retreat in an online form. The re-structured retreat encouraged robust discussion among our chapters on initiatives that have been successful and on challenges that our chapters have faced in growing science policy groups in the Eastern region. We also shared many ideas on how to re-think our events and initiatives in the new era of COVID, including the discussion of worthwhile ways to use funds over the months following. This main goal of encouraging each other and sharing ideas was successfully accomplished despite moving to an online format. I am very thankful and proud of the team who helped plan the retreat with me and of all those who participated in our discussion. I hope the discussion resonated with everyone and some of the ideas shared can be integrated into our individual chapters.

2. How has the hub grown during your tenure?

It has been a complete pleasure seeing the Eastern Hub grow during my tenure! I view the growth of our region in two dimensions: the chapter leaders have grown closer together, and many chapters have increased their engagement with our region. For the first dimension, I am reflecting on the chapter leaders across the region, people I greatly admire and now call friends. I like to think this is a common feeling across the Eastern Region, showcased in the lively social conversations we have before and after our monthly Hub calls. As a second dimension, it has also been great to meet new leaders interested in NSPN and in getting more connected with other science policy groups in our region. We have seen a lot of idea sharing among our chapters, allowing us to learn from each other and grow together. I believe the Eastern Region has a lot of potential for new chapters to form and affiliate with NSPN, and I am happy to have established a strong foundation to grow from.

3. Outside of science policy, what else are you proud that you’ve accomplished recently?

I am proud that I have reignited my interest and dedication to running during quarantine. While not particularly fast, I am definitely enjoying the freeing headspace of a good run. Whenever large events begin to happen again, I would be interested in running a half marathon!

4. What’s next for you?

I am looking forward to continuing my involvement with NSPN in different capacities, ensuring early career scientists feel that they have a wealth of opportunities to participate in the discourses that affect society. Along with this, I will balance my last year and few months in lab, wrapping up my projects on synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus. At some point I will start job searching too, let me know if you have any leads!


Rob Stanley

Central Hub Co-Chair: Rob Stanley

1. What is the most rewarding thing you have done during your tenure as a regional hub Co-Chair?
One of the most rewarding things has been to meet all of the people around the central hub, to see their passion for science and policy, and to do what I can to help them succeed in their missions and goals. 

2. How has the hub grown during your tenure?
We have doubled in size in terms of active groups, and have increased far above that in terms of the numbers of new members. It will be amazing to see the great work that everyone continues to do!

3. Outside of science policy, what else are you proud that you’ve accomplished recently?
I’m proud of the support I can give to some of my friends during covid. it’s a really tough time seeing people I know and care about get sick or lose their jobs, and I’m just proud that I can be there to support them, i.e., by being a listening ear and soundboard

4. What’s next for you?
I am looking forward to transferring over to becoming the chair for the Grants & Finance committee where I can continue to do good work to support the graduate and early career scientists around the country.
 


Lisbet Finseth

Western Hub Co-Chair: Lisbeth Finseth

1. What is the most rewarding thing you have done during your tenure as a regional hub Co-Chair?

I really enjoyed seeing the hub grow and connecting with new members. Originally, I was interested in NSPN because I wanted help growing my own scipol group. Not only did I receive that, but I was able to give back that support to other NSPN chapters.

2. How has the hub grown during your tenure?

I am amazed at not only the number of members that’s joined, but how active and involved everyone is! Over the last year and a half, our hub has grown exponentially and everyone has fantastic ideas to develop communication and policy resources and opportunities.

3. Outside of science policy, what else are you proud that you’ve accomplished recently?

Most proud: finishing every mini NYT crossword from the last 3 months. Right behind that: submitting my first ‘first author’ paper.

4. What’s next for you?

I will be completing my degree as well as joining the first SciPol Scholars class!
 


Amrita Banerjee

Southern Hub Co-Chair: Amrita Banerjee

1. What is the most rewarding thing you have done during your tenure as a regional hub Co-Chair?

The main highlight of my two years as the Southern Hub Co-Chair was the Southern Hub Regional Retreat. It was a team effort to submit our proposal, raise the funding, plan, and execute this event. There was so much enthusiasm from our hub and it was a great opportunity to meet other members face-to-face. We were extremely excited to see that other regional hubs are interested in replicating our event and we hope that this continues as NSPN grows. Besides this flagship event, it has been very rewarding to get to know and work with my fellow Southern Hub constituents and Co-Chairs.

2. How has the hub grown during your tenure?

Again, the hub retreat was a really great opportunity to meet other members outside of the national symposium. It also provided members with the opportunity to start in-person collaborations which was very gratifying as an organizer. Recently, our hub has added multiple new chapters, including a growing contingent of groups in our North Carolina/Research Triangle corridor. Our chapters are working on diverse initiatives, collaborating across groups, and providing resources and guidance to each other which is what I hoped to facilitate as leadership.

3. Outside of science policy, what else are you proud that you’ve accomplished recently?

As I have been preparing to move out of my house soon, I learned to use a power washer and power washed my deck. The process was very therapeutic and the difference in color was very satisfying!

4. What’s next for you?

I was selected as 1 of 2 AAAS Legislative Fellows for the class of 2020-2021. I’m excited to join the other NSPN members who were selected as AAAS STPF fellows in DC. It’ll be interesting to see how work on Capitol Hill has adapted to COVID-19 but I am certainly looking forward to the learning experience. Additionally, I will continue my participation in NSPN as the Vice-Chair of the Science Diplomacy Committee where I hope to help develop resume-building opportunities for those interested in science diplomacy.
 


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