Steering Committee

UMN-PDA Steering Committee

The Steering Committee is a group of postdoctoral scholars who regularly take part in meetings, events, and interact with the officers of the UMN-PDA. The Steering Committee are the postdoctoral scholars responsible for shaping postdoctoral policy at the University of Minnesota. Officers are voted on annually and can serve up to three years. Any postdoc can become a member of the Steering Committee simply by notifying the PDA and showing up for meetings (in person or virtually).

Minutes of all Steering Committee meetings are publicly available.


President - Bruno Lima

Serves as the primary contact for the University of Minnesota administration. Ensures that all events, scholarships, committee meetings and budgets are created on time and are of high quality. Schedules and coordinates annual Town Hall meetings with the general postdoctoral population at the University of Minnesota. Serves as the liaison to other postdoc associations at different institutions.

Vice-President - Aleta Steevens

With the President, ensures that all events, scholarships, committee meetings and budgets are created on time and are of high quality. Takes responsibility for the President's duties in the event of his/her absence.

Treasurer - Carolina Soto-Palma

Manages the UMN-PDA Budget and acts as a liaison to the Graduate School on all financial matters.

Secretary - Shannon Negaard-Paper

Schedules, records and disburses minutes for each Steering Committee meeting.

Policy and Advocacy Officers - Kelsey Johnson

Serves on the Faculty Senate to advocate for postdoc-friendly University policies with an understanding of the diverse needs of University of Minnesota postdocs.


Communications and Outreach Chair - Beatriz Baselga Cervera

Communicates efforts of the UMN-PDA to the postdoctoral community through e-mail and maintaining the UMN-PDA website and calendar. Also serves as the face of the UMN-PDA at New Employee Welcomes.

International Affairs Chairs - Manish Shetty

Host events and identifies resources that would be of use to international postdoctoral members. Maintains contacts within the University of Minnesota community (including the International Student and Scholar Service) to aid career development for international postdoctoral members.

Social Chairs - Beatriz Baselga Cervera& Robyn Rebbeck

Organize social events for the PDA and advertise events through Facebook and the PDA Calendar.

PDA Representatives and Liaisons

Senate Committee on Faculty Affairs (SCFA) - Aashi Chaturvedi & Kelsey Full

Represent postdocs and the PDA at the Faculty Affairs Committee.

Senate Research Committee (SRC) - Aleta Steevens

Represents postdocs and the PDA at the Senate Research Committee.

Academic Freedom and Tenure Committee (AF&T) -Benjamin Tansi

Represents postdocs and the PDA at the AF&T.

Graduate School U-Wide Writing Initiative Advisory Committee Meeting - Manbir Rakkar

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity, DcoP liason-Ashley Martin, Aleta Steevens and Beatriz Baselga Cervera

Serve as the PDA's primary contact and voice in the Diversity Community of Practice (DCoP). Identify the needs of postdocs from diverse backgrounds and help to develop PDA program accordingly.

Graduate Student Advisory Board - Manish Shetty & Manbir Rakkar

Serves as the PDA's primary contact and voice in the Graduate School Advisory Board.


Delegates are self-nominating volunteers responsible for participating in monthly PDA meetings and representing the interests of their unit colleagues. Each college, center, institute, or satellite campus is given a number of seats on the PDA Steering Committee depending on the proportion of postdocs they employ. PDA officers are elected from the pool of delegates. Additional delegates to colleges currently with delegate representation are welcome.

Medical School/Dentistry/Pharmacy

Aleta Steevens

Anna Ingebretson

Aashi Chaturvedi

Carolina Soto-Palma

Bruno Lima

Julia Willett

Martha Streng

College of Biological Sciences

Robyn Rebbeck

Beatriz Baselga Cervera

Kelsey Johnson

Office for the Vice President of Research (includes Hormel Institute, Institute on the Environment, Minnesota Population Center, and the Supercomputing Institute)

Delegates Needed!


Brenna Doheny

College of Science and Engineering

Shannon Negaard-Paper

Manish Shetty

College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences/Veterinary Medicine

Kaushi Kanankege

Manbir Rakkar

Lisa Elliott

Erin Treiber

College of Liberal Arts/College of Education and Human Development/Public Affairs/Public Health

Kelsie Full

Non-affiliated Academic Health Center departments (e.g. Cancer Center, Center for Drug Design)

Delegates Needed!

Team Members

Team members are ad-hoc volunteers that have agreed to be contacted to help organize specific events, without any predetermined time or effort commitment. All PDA members can volunteer throughout the year (no elections needed).