University Honors Postdocs During National Postdoc Appreciation Week
East Carolina University’s Office of Postdoctoral Affairs honored its 25 postdoctoral scholars during National Postdoc Appreciation Week (NPAW).
The annual event, held Sept. 21-25, celebrates the significant scientific contributions by postdoctoral scholars across the country. Postdoctoral scholars at ECU are researchers who are continuing their training under the direction of an experienced mentor.
The postdocs celebrated at virtual events held throughout the week that highlighted the group’s accomplishments throughout 2020.
During the week’s final event, the office honored ECU Postdoctoral Association Council President Morgan Milton for her service during the 2019-20 academic year and anatomy and cell biology postdoc Benjamin Hale for the year’s most outstanding publication.
“It has been my honor and pleasure to serve the ECU postdoc community as the PDA Council president this past year,” Milton said. “I am immensely proud of what the council has achieved over the past year and the opportunities we have been able to bring to the postdocs even through the complications of COVID. I am greatly looking forward to serving the postdocs again as their president next year.”
Milton was highlighted in 2020 for her work with Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Chair John Cavanaugh and their search for a more effective antibiotic. Hale received a prestigious Ruth L. Kirschstein Postdoctoral Individual National Research Service Award from the National Institutes of Health.
“It is an honor to receive the PDA Outstanding Publication award and to have the support of the ECU postdoc community,” Hale said. “I would like to thank the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs for funding the award and all the work they do to benefit ECU postdocs.”
With most in-person events interrupted this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs has concentrated on providing virtual programs to promote early career development. Developing presentation, interview and writing skills, along with learning how to create individual career development plans have been key focuses on the office this year.
Over the past year the office has hosted peer review workshops, participated in the university’s virtual Research and Creative Achievement Week, and hosted Burroughs Wellcome Fund Senior Program Office Victoria McGovern during this year’s NPAW.
The office is gearing up for even more events to close out the year, including an ECU postdoc alumni panel and annual responsible conduct of research training sessions.
Former ECU postdocs have gone on to hold academic and industry positions with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, AstraZeneca, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, and Illinois State University, among others.
Current ECU Postdoctoral Association Council Vice President Andrea Pereyra was also selected to serve as an international officer for the National Postdoctoral Association. She is the second ECU postdoc to serve in a national position with the NPA.