2020 Postdoctoral Conference #DivSch20

The #DivSch20 virtual conference occurred Jul 30 - Aug 1. We brought together a diverse group of postdocs and doctoral graduate students for professional development and networking.

Info about: Agenda | Logistics | Sponsorships | Registration
Past events: 2019 | 2018 | 2017

Speakers & Facilitators

Plenary Speaker Levon T. Esters, PhD

Research Mentoring in an Age of Activism

Plenary Q&A was moderated by materials scientist @MicellaPDeWhyse who will reveal her identity.

Levon Esters photo headshotPlenary speaker Levon T. Esters is a Professor in the Department of Agricultural Sciences Education and Communication at Purdue University. Dr. Esters serves as the Director of the Mentoring@Purdue (M@P) program which is designed to increase the number of women and underrepresented minorities (URMs) receiving advanced post-secondary STEM-based agricultural and life sciences degrees in Purdue University’s College of Agriculture. Over the past eight years, the M@P program has become known within the College and across campus as a support mechanism that positively impacts student transition, academic adjustment, persistence, retention, degree completion, and professional success for graduate students, especially those from URM backgrounds.

Dr. Esters also serves as a Senior Research Associate at The Rutgers Center for Minority Serving Institutions. He has established himself as a scholar within the field of mentoring and is a nationally recognized scholar on equity and diversity within the STEM-based agricultural and life sciences disciplines. Dr. Esters’s research focuses broadly on issues of educational equity and access of underrepresented minorities with a concentration on the mentoring of graduate students of color; STEM career development of racial and ethnic minorities attending Historically Black Land-Grant Colleges and Universities; and educational and professional mobility of graduate students and faculty of color. He is among a few African-American scholars in the United States who conducts research in these areas, and has been able to serve as a national role model for other African American graduate students who are committed to broadening participation of URMs in the Ag+STEM disciplines.

Plenary Speaker Janet Stemwedel, PhD

Succeeding in Academia, Remaking Academia: We Shouldn't Have to Choose Between the Two
Janet Stemwedel headshotPlenary speaker Dr. Janet D. Stemwedel is Professor and Chair of the Department of Philosophy at San Jose State University, where her research and teaching focus is on philosophy of science, ethics in scientific practice, and how scientists and non-scientists can better share a world. She earned PhDs in Chemistry (1994) and Philosophy (2001) from Stanford University, and in 2017 was elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science for "distinguished contributions to the philosophy of science and ethics, and for exceptional efforts to promote the public understanding of science and scientists in culture."

Dr. Stemwedel has served on the Governing Board of the Philosophy of Science Association, on the Executive Board of the American Philosophical Association, as co-chair of the Philosophy of Science Association and History of Science Society Joint Caucus of Socially Engaged Philosophers and Historians of Science, on the Public Responsibility in Medicine & Research (PRIM&R) Diversity Advisory Group, and as conference co-chair for the PRIM&R Institutional Animal Care and Use Conference. She has developed and delivered ethics training sessions for NASA-Ames as well as for NSF-funded Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) programs at IBM-Almaden and San Jose State University. She has written extensively about the ethics (including ethics in academic workplaces and research communities) and philosophy of science for outlets including Forbes, Scientific American, and ScienceBlogs.

Alberto Roca, PhD, Conference Chair
Executive Director; DiverseScholar

Adriana Bankston, PhD
Board of Directors; Future of Research

Emil Chuck, PhD
Director of Admissions & Recruitment
Rosalind Franklin Univ of Medicine & Science;
Board of Advisors, DiverseScholar

Micella DeWhyse, PhD
Materials Scientist; Columnist/Blogger, AAAS ScienceCareers 2004-2008
"Micella" has revealed her identity in this article.

Levon T. Esters, PhD
Professor of Youth Development & Agricultural Education
Purdue University

Edward Krug, PhD
Assoc. Dean for Postdoc Affairs (retired)
Medical University of South Carolina
Board of Advisors, DiverseScholar

Bill Lindstaedt, MS
Asst. Vice Chancellor; Career Advancement, International & Postdoctoral Services
University of California, San Francisco

Harinder Singh, PhD
Assoc. Director, Graduate Professional Success in STEM (GPS-STEM)
University of California, Irvine

Janet D. Stemwedel, PhD
Professor and Chair of the Department of Philosophy
San Jose State University
Board of Advisors, DiverseScholar

Andrea Stith, PhD
Director for Research Development, Science, and Engineering
University of California, Santa Barbara

Agenda (a)

All attendees, speakers, sponsors, staff, and volunteers at our event are required to comply with this Code of Conduct.

For security, links to online sessions below use either password/wait-room (Zoom) or registration (Crowdcast) features. For access info, registered attendees should check your confirmation emails or see the pinned message in the #conf-divsch channel of our private Slack group.

Thursday July 30

Time Session Speaker(s)
10-11:30am PST Welcome & Attendee Introductions Roca & Krug
12-1:30pm Postdoc Fundamentals Roca
2-3:30pm Academic Careers Krug
2-3:30pm Policy & Administrative Careers Singh & Bankston
2-3:30pm Industry Careers Lindstaedt

Friday July 31

Time Session Speaker
10-11:30am PST Preparing Your CV Lindstaedt
12-1:30pm Research Mentoring in Age of Activism (b) Esters

Saturday August 1

Time Session Speaker
10-11am PST Designing Your First Grant Proposal Stith
12-1:30pm Succeeding in Academia, Remaking Academia (b) Stemwedel
1:45-3pm Humanities meet-up Stemwedel
10am-3pm 1-on-1 appointments (c) Lindstaedt
10am-3pm 1-on-1 appointments (c) Krug
10am-12pm 1-on-1 appointments (c) Chuck

a) All times are Pacific Standard Time (PST); Tentative agenda subject to change.
b) For plenary talks, best to use Chrome browser.
c) Registered attendees should check your email for sign-up instructions. Each appointment is 25 minutes long with a 5 min speaker break so meetings should start every half hour.


When: July 30 to August 1, 2020

Where: online! Registered participants will received instructions by email.

Registration for the Public

The plenary talks by Esters and Stemwedel are open to the public. Please register for the seminars at each talk's webpage using the "Save my spot!" button.

Registration for Postdocs and PhD Graduate Students

Registration has now closed for non-plenary sessions; but, joins us for public plenary talks (links above). The non-plenary sessions are limited to PhD trainees drawn from existing members of the following:

  • DiverseScholar Doctoral Directory: instructions in spring/summer email newsletters
  • MinorityPostdoc email list: instructions to join Doctoral Directory in spring/summer newsletters
  • Special Partners: Southern California SACNAS chapters; UC-Irvine GPS-STEM

Registration deadline: Friday July 24

Sponsors and Partners

National Institutes of Health

AtKisson Training Group

University of California, Irvine School of Biological Sciences

University of California, Irvine GPS-STEM

California State University, San Bernardino

Hope College

Stanford University Office of Postdoctoral Affairs

Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science

Sponsorship and Exhibitor Rates (b)

Contact us to arrange your sponsorship!

Sponsorship Level: - One Two Three Four Five
Cost: $100 $250 $300 $1K $2.5K $5K
Registrations (#) 1 - 1 1 2 4
Listing: Event webpage - Y Y Y Y Y
Recognition @ welcome - - - Y Y Y
Candidate database- Platinum - - - - Y Y
Candidate db w/CVs- Diamond - - - - - Y

b) Sponsorship benefits subject to change without notice. At Level 3 and higher, there is no discounted conference sponsorship since the 2020 event is virtual. This is because those sponsorships are also tied to Institutional Subscriptions, e.g. Level 3 sponsorship is equivalent to a Gold Subscription, and includes advertisements on the MinorityPostdoc website as well as access to the Doctoral Directory CV database.

In event of cancellation by July 10, a full refund less a 5% processing fee will be issued. No refunds will be made for cancellations after that date.

Photo credits:

  • Esters: Esters
  • Stemwedel: Stemwedel
  • Micella PDeWhyse logo: AAAS
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