This year’s symposium theme is Cultivating Community. How do you build community in a new role? At a new institution? During a pandemic?

In-person, March 21, 2022

The Postdoc Symposium is our annual opportunity to recognize the postdoctoral community and its important contributions to the broader university ecosystem. The 2022 Postdoc Symposium will focus on how one cultivates community both within and across groups. This annual event is sponsored by the WashU Postdoc Society, the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs, and the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research.

Keynote Speaker

Ashley J. Housten, OTD, MSCI, OTR/L
Assistant Professor of Surgery

Postdoctoral Talk: Creating your own Path: Finding Success as you Follow your Research Interests

Dr. Housten graduated from the Washington University Program in Occupational Therapy with a Doctorate in Occupational Therapy and Master of Science in Clinical Investigation. During her time as a student in the Program in Occupational Therapy, she focused on health literacy and disparities by working with her mentor to deliver community and hospital-based interventions to youth and families with or at-risk for sickle cell disease. Dr. Housten then applied her skills in health literacy and disparities to post-doctoral research training in decision sciences at Washington University and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Her recent research has centered on decision-making in the context of limited evidence and divergent guidelines among vulnerable populations.

Symposium Schedule

10:00 am         Registration in EPNEC

10:45 am         Mentorship awards

11:00 am         Keynote speaker

12:00 pm         Pick up lunch/lunch break

12:30 pm         Roundtables* (session I)

1:30 pm          Break

1:45 pm          Roundtables* (session II)

2:45 pm          Break

3:00 pm          Storytellers- Collaboration with Campfire
Featuring Dr. Yu Seon Kim, Dr. Wade Self, Dr. Rubi Gonzales, Dr. Rachana Shekhar Vaidya, Dr. Vini John, Dr. Andrea Scharf, Dr. Mohamed Hassan

4:00 pm        Resource Fair/Reception

*There will be 10 separate roundtables at which 1-2 speakers will be seated to discuss their experience in their careers, particularly around their sense of community in that career. An additional 6-7 participants will be able to join each table. Participants in the roundtable sessions will spend 30 minutes at a table of their choosing before rotating to a different table, allowing participants to visit multiple tables during each session (4 different tables across the two sessions). Because of the limited space, postdocs will receive preferential access to this part of the symposium. Thank you for understanding!

2022 Outstanding Faculty and Postdoctoral Mentor Awardees

Congratulations to:

Dr. James Stroud– Outstanding Postdoc Mentor Award*
This award goes to a current postdoctoral appointee at Washington University who is nominated by their mentees. It recognizes the postdoc for their commitment to building up and supporting undergraduate and graduate mentees on their own scientific journeys.

Dr. Alexxai Kravitz– Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award*
This award goes to a faculty mentor of a postdoctoral appointee at Washington University who is nominated by their postdoc mentees. It recognizes a faculty member who goes beyond being a supervisor to their postdocs, truly supporting and advocating for their postdocs to achieve success.

Dr. John Russell- Lifetime Achievement Award
This year we are thrilled to recognize Dr. John Russell for his unwavering support and advocacy for postdocs. His work over the past 2 decades led to the establishment of the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs, the formation of the Washington University Postdoc Society, and the advancement of policies to support the postdoctoral community. Thank you for all you have done for postdocs, Dr. Russell!

*all-submissions were de-identified and provided to an anonymous panel of raters. Raters rank-ordered the submissions for each award, and the faculty and postdoc mentors with the highest ratings were chosen to receive the award.

This year, we will be hosting roundtables for postdocs to explore career paths and what community looks like in those career paths. Upon registration select attendance to this event and your topics of interest. Speakers confirmed so far are listed below, new speakers will be added as they are confirmed.

Our roundtable discussion panelists:

Resource Fair

The Resource Fair features a variety of campus groups open to postdocs as well as offices with resources available to postdocs. This year, your symposium packet includes a Resource Fair Bingo Card. As you go around, have a conversation with the people at different tables and receive a check on your bingo card. Get 5 resources in a row, fill out the back of the card, and submit your completed card at the fair’s exit to be entered into a drawing for one of 10 prizes!

List of partners for the 4th Annual Postdoc Resource Fair . Check back often for updates!

Becker Medical Library
Bernard Becker Medical Library serves as an information resource and services hub for the Washington University Medical Center. The library provides the information and expertise to deliver innovative support for advancing discovery and improving human health. 

Career Center
The Career Center supports trainees with in-person and virtual advising, career events, workshops, and employer programs!

Center for Teaching and Learning
The CTL is a champion for excellence in teaching to support student learning.

Clinical Research Training Center
The Clinical Research Training Center (CRTC) prepares scholars at all training levels, from within Washington University and beyond, to tackle medicine’s toughest challenges.

This graduate student-led initiative works for diversity and inclusion at WashU, particularly serving the STEM fields.

Dunn Law Firm
Dunn Law Firm works hard to fully understand you and your legal issues to provide professional, prompt, and cost-effective service with empathy and integrity. They’ve worked with postdocs in the past, particularly around visas.

First-Gen Scholars (FSG)
First-Gen Scholars (FGS) is determined to give graduate students and postdocs who were first-generation students and/or come from a low-socioeconomic status background a place to feel comfortable in academic research. FGS hopes to meet the needs of its members through tailored mentoring, professional development opportunities, campus and community outreach, and inclusive programming across Washington University in St. Louis (WUSTL).

HR Wellness Connection
The Wellness Connection programs are designed to help employees thrive at work and outside of work.

InPrint is a trainee-run scientific communication network that provides WashU researchers with free, confidential scientific editing, schema design, and presentation consulting services. InPrint members gain opportunities to strengthen scientific communication skills and engage in professional development.

MEDA Program
The Mentorship to Enhance Diversity in Academia (MEDA) Program is designed to provide diverse trainees with mentorship, resources, personalized guidance, and engaging opportunities needed for success at WashU and beyond.

MOST Policy Initiative
The MOST policy initiative serves as a boundary spanning organization between science and policy at the state and local levels by providing resources, fostering relationships, and showcasing collaborative solutions.

MyWay to Health
This program is on-site for employees. It is deeply rooted in scientific evidence, expert opinion and 25 years of research and provides sound advice, guidance, and tips to help you take charge of your well-being.

Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
The Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion infuses DEI throughout the Washington University School of Medicine community. Its work advocates and advances efforts to create a welcoming, diverse, and inclusive environment for everyone.

Office for International Students and Scholars (OISS)
The OISS supports international students and scholars during their time at the University. Their services include immigration advising, orientation to WashU, and other programs to help students thrive academically and socially and engage them in U.S. Life and culture.

OUTmed advocates for the LGBTQIA+ community. Membership is comprised fo faculty, trainees, residents, students, staff and allies.

Office of the Ombuds
The Office of the Ombuds provides assistance in resolving university-related concerns and advocates for fair treatment and process. This office is a confidential resource for staff, postdocs, and graduate students!

Office of Postdoctoral Affairs
The Office of postdoctoral affairs advocates for postdoctoral researchers and issues. It aims to offer training and career development opportunities, to serve as a central resource for postdoctoral information, and to assist in the development of a diverse research community.

Office of Technology Management
Office of Technology Management (OTM) helps WashU faculty, staff and graduate students in the transfer of technology from the lab to the global marketplace. Located in Missouri’s Cortex Innovation district, OTM manages a wide variety of intellectual properties arising from research programs, and acts as a resource for faculty in the areas of material transfer/confidentiality agreements, patent prosecution, market feedback & licensing.

Research Infrastructure Services (RIS)
RIS facilitates the discovery of knowledge and enhances educational opportunities by providing secure, sustainable, scalable, and integrated research technology services in a collaborative and diverse environment.

Skandalaris Center
The Skandalaris Center fosters and empowers an inclusive community that finds opportunities in problems and transforms ideas into actions. It works to build an ecosystem of education, research, and resources that engage the WashU community as entrepreneurial leaders and collaborators

The WashU MedMasters ToastMasters Club provides a supportive and positive learning experience to develop communication and leadership skills, resulting in greater self-confidence and personal growth.

Washington University in St Louis Black Postdoc Association (WUSTLBPA)
The Washington University in St Louis Black Postdoctoral Association’s (WUSTLBPA) mission is to enhance the experience of Black postdoctoral fellows by establishing an interdisciplinary community that will serve as a cultivating and supportive environment while providing opportunities for career development and peer mentorship. WUSTLBPA welcomes all Black, African, and African American postdocs at the university to join. For more information, please email

Women in STEM (WiSTEM) is for all women scientists at WashU and is determined to give women a place to feel comfortable in science and other STEM fields.

The Washington University Postdoc Society (WUPS) supports postdocs across the university by offering events that foster career development, leadership, and sense of community.

If you would like to have a table at the resource fair, contact us.