Program Updates: SPC Election and Symposium Site Chosen

We are happy to announce we’ve chosen a venue for the 25th Annual CSU Biotechnology Symposium!  The 2-3 day event (program pending!) will be January 3 – 5, 2013, at the Anaheim Marriott.  We’ve reserved space to hold a handful of workshops, task-force meetings and small group meetings Thursday, followed by the formal sessions all day Friday and Saturday. The 2013 symposium dates fall right after the New Year’s Holiday again this year, but the prices nearly doubled for a meeting held a week later. Mark your calendars now and save the dates!

Tuesday the first call for Strategic Planning Council (SPC) nominations went out to faculty serving on the CSUPERB Faculty Consensus Group (FCG).  Next week we’ll put the call out for new SPC Deans, as well. These two groups provide program direction and, together, form a sort of two-chamber congress for CSUPERB.  The faculty serving on the SPC are elected from and by the FCG.  Beyond governance, the SPC and FCG do all the “work” of CSUPERB!  They spread the word about CSUPERB grants and opportunities on their home campuses, review grant proposals, form task-forces, organize workshops, serve on award selection committees, and pretty much run the annual CSU Biotechnology Symposium behind-the-scenes.

In addition to all these tasks, the SPC members are “true believers” in CSUPERB’s mission.  These collaborative faculty leaders are gifted educators and scholars. They all believe “the best way to engage, recruit and retain students in life science careers is to provide access to and opportunities in real-world biotechnology research settings.”*   Each summer the SPC formulates the program’s operating budget to carry out our program goals.  With input from the FCG on what’s working and what’s not working, the SPC also sets the funding priorities that drive CSUPERB’s requests for proposals. The SPC stays up-to-date on educational innovations, scans the funding landscape for multi-campus grant opportunities, and partners to develop grant proposals.  This all takes a big-picture viewpoint (CSUPERB serves 23 campuses!), willingness to learn, partnering skills and creativity (along with some patience to let big things develop with time and practice!). It’s a collegial, multi-disciplinary group – so we’re hoping for a spirited, engaged, energized slate of nominees  this spring!


* This quote is obviously from CSUPERB’s new strategic plan. The SPC drafts the strategic plan for approval by the Presidents’ Commission and Chancellor Reed.


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    About Susan Baxter

    I'm the executive director of CSUPERB and the editor of this blog. Over my career, I've worked with teams to formulate new herbicide products, to figure out how transcription factors work in combination, to discover protein targets for new diabetes treatments, and to develop software for human population genetics studies. I started a biotechnology career because a couple of companies in Richmond, Virginia, offered me summer internships. Since then I’ve worked in major corporations, small start-ups, research institutions and academia. Now I'm working with CSUPERB, funding promising CSU students and faculty, and supporting biotechnology education and research across the 23 CSU campuses. It is a personal mission of mine to smash the myth of "the right academic pedigree." Biotechnology changes so rapidly that it is extremely limiting to ask students to chart an exact career path, focus on a particular technique, or build a defined technical skill-set. My career advice? Stay agile by keeping your mind open, exploring your own interests, and working alongside excellent colleagues on hard problems.

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