Texas A&M University Postdoctoral Leadership

2023-2024 Executive Committee

Alexandra Howard, PhD

Department of Ecology and Conservation Biology

Isaac Khan, PhD

Vice President
Texas A&M University System Health Science Center

Shannon Schmidt-Combest, PhD

Communications Officer
Department of Food Science and Technology

Javier Ruiz-Pérez, PhD

Department of Ecology and Conservation Biology

Lauren O'Neil, PhD

Recording Secretary
Department of Geology & Geophysics

Joana Rocha, PhD

Event Coordinator
Department of Microbial Pathogenesis & Immunology (School of Medicine)

Sayantan Samanta , PhD

Satellite Campus Officer
Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Vernon

Executive Committee

The Executive Committee is the main governing body of the Texas A&M PDA. The members of the Executive Committee include a President, Vice President, Communications Officer, Treasurer, Event Coordinator, Recording Secretary, Satellite Campus Officer and interim positions created according to current or anticipated needs. Officer positions are elected or appointed to one-year terms.

The Executive Committee shall meet regularly to discuss ongoing business and topics that are related to the Texas A&M PDA mission. The committee will be in charge of maintaining the relevance of the bylaws to the PDA, suggesting amendments as necessary. The Executive Committee shall provide analysis of the legality and the integration of any proposed amendment prior to a vote and shall be responsible for interpreting the bylaws when a question of interpretation arises.

Terms of office shall begin June 1, and shall be terminated May 31.

  • President: The President shall preside over and set agendas for the Executive Committee meetings and the annual general assembly meetings, shall serve as the liaison to Texas A&M and other organizations, shall approve and/or initiate PDA events, and shall be responsible for the condition of the PDA and the proper discharge of the duties of the Executive Committee members. Additionally, the President will serve in official capacities representing the PDA in other campus organizations including but not limited to the University Staff Council and the Center for Teaching Excellence Faculty and Student Advisory Board.
  • Vice President: The Vice President shall support all of the duties of the President and assume those duties, or those of the other officers, in their temporary absence, shall coordinate creation of an annual written report to be completed and presented at the spring general assembly meeting. This report will summarize all completed business, ongoing business, and plans for the next year by all committees.
  • Communications Officer: The Communications Officer will carry out the PDA’s correspondence with the Texas A&M community. Specifically, they will communicate meeting notices, activity announcements, maintain the Executive Committee email server, respond to emails on the general PDA email account, maintain the PDA website, and distribute any news and noteworthy achievements of the PDA members. Additionally, the Communications Officer will be expected to actively maintain the social media accounts of the Texas A&M PDA.
  • Treasurer: The Treasurer shall develop a budget request and present it to the office of postdoctoral affairs prior to a new fiscal year. Upon approval, the Treasurer shall keep record of spending and administer budget tracking, and provide regular reports on the organization’s finances at general assembly and Executive Committee meetings. Additionally, the Treasurer is responsible for the organization’s compliance with Texas A&M rules and regulations. They shall complete required financial training through the TrainTraq system.
  • Event Coordinator: The Event Coordinator shall assume the organizational tasks of PDA events. This includes the Fall and Spring picnic, the National Postdoc Appreciation Week (NPAW) events, and other social networking events. They shall work closely with the Treasurer to organize necessary payments and with the Communications Officer to promote them. Where appropriate, they shall also coordinate with representatives of other PDA chapters at Texas A&M.
  • Recording Secretary: The Recording Secretary shall take minutes at Executive Committee meetings and the General Assembly. They shall further maintain the PDA Google Drive to preserve previous work and templates, which will facilitate the work of future Executive Committees and ensure continued successful pursuit of the PDA mission.
  • Satellite Campus Officer: The Satellite Campus Officer shall serve as the point of contact for postdocs from satellite campuses. They shall collect their suggestions and present them to the Executive Committee and the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs for discussion. They shall arrange virtual events, such as virtual write and share sessions or virtual coffee talks. 



Previous Executive Committee Members

2022 – 2023

President (from August 2022) – Anton Classen (Soil and Crop Sciences); (June 2022) – Alice Brandao (Animal Science)

Vice President – Irshad Ahmad Hajam (Physiology and Pharmacology)

Communications Officer (from October 2022) – Ivette Cornejo Corona (Biophysics and Biochemistry)

Treasurer (from October 2022) – Javier Ruiz-Perez (Ecology and Conservation Biology)

Recording Secretary (from October 2022) Lauren O’Neil (Geology and Geophysics)

Event Coordinator (from October 2022) – Joana Rocha (Microbial Pathogenesis and Immunology)

Website Officer/Interim Position (from October 2022) – Isaac Khan (Texas A&M Health)

Satellite Campus Officer (from October 2022) – Bhupinder Singh (Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center – Vernon)

2021 – 2022
President/Treasurer (after Jan 2021) – Tyler Raszick (Entomology)

Vice President/Communication officer (after Nov 2021) – Josefina Kjollerstrom (Veterinary Integrative Biosciences)

Communications Officer (until Nov 2021) – Alexa Wood (Geography)

2020 – 2021
President/Treasurer (after Jan 2021) – Tyler Raszick (Entomology)

Vice President/Communication Officer (after Jan 2021) – Josefina Kjollerstrom (Veterinary Integrative Biosciences)

Communications (until Jan 2021) – Adam Salazar (Biochemistry and Biophysics)

Treasurer (until Jan 2021) – Loren Rivera Vega (Entomology)

2019 – 2020
President Patricia Ishii (Veterinary Integrative Biosciences)

Vice President Rachel Pilla (Gastrointestinal Laboratory)

Treasurer Tyler Raszick (Entomology)

Recording Secretary John Boswell (Soil and Crop Sciences)

Corresponding Secretary Josefina Kjollerstrom (Veterinary Integrative Biosciences)

2018 – 2019
Amanda Adams (Biology)

Vice-President Vinicius Venancio (Nutrition and Food Science)

Treasurer Heather Allaway (Health and Kinesiology)

Corresponding Secretary Shuya Ota (Cyclotron Institute) 

Recording Secretary Rachel Pilla (Gastrointestinal Laboratory)

2017 – 2018

President Amanda Adams (Biology)

Vice President Rachel Scudder (Oceanography)

Corresponding Secretary Matthew Kesterke (Biomedical Sciences)

Recording Secretary Heather Allaway (Health and Kinesiology)

Treasurer Samantha Bell (Microbial Pathogenesis and Immunology)

2016 – 2017

President Amanda Adams (Biology)

Vice President Rachel Scudder (Oceanography)

Correspondence Secretary Jone Stanley Arulrajadurai (Veterinary Integrative Biosciences)

Recording Secretary Xi Li (Veterinary Integrative Biosciences)

Treasurer Samantha Bell (Microbial Pathogenesis and Immunology)