The control and administration of SER is vested in an Executive Committee, which, as per SER bylaws, includes a President, Past-President, President-Elect, five Members at large and an Executive Director. All positions, except for the Executive Director, are elected individually by majority vote of the members voting.
The 2020 Elections include candidates for President-Elect, Member at Large (Membership), and Member at Large (Awards). SER members are entitled to vote for one candidate in each position. The voting period begins on April 7, 2020 and concludes on May 8, 2020.
SER has been my professional society home for over a decade and I would be honored to serve as President. Over the years I have benefited from the productive discussions with colleagues, and enjoyed getting to know epidemiologists at all career stages – the conference is truly an academic highlight of my year. I have contributed to the SER in a variety of ways including as a submission reviewer, poster judge, “breakfast with the experts” and dissertation workshop faculty, and symposia, contributed session and plenary session organizer. I have been a member of the SER Publications Committee since its inception. The SER Workshop I have co-led on methods for causal inference has been a wonderful opportunity to make some of the latest methods developments more accessible, and it has initiated productive debates and collaborations with SER colleagues. Read more
My broad perspective on epidemiology is that we are positioned to have the most impact if we balance the importance of the health questions we address with the rigor of the methods we apply, rather than holding one above the other. For our work to be better understood outside our field, a prerequisite for impact, we must translate our findings in terms of expected changes to health in the population. We must continue to engage to find ways to present our findings accessibly for non-expert audiences. For SER as an organization, I am dedicated fostering Annual Meeting and other events as spaces with a strong sense of community where epidemiologists from all backgrounds and career stages are supported, and collaborations and engagement are fostered.
In my research, I am interested in the effects of the social and physical environment, and programs and policies that alter the social and physical environment, on many aspects of health (e.g., violence, substance use, mental health, and gestational health). I have a methodological focus to my work, including application of causal inference methods and semi-parametric estimation approaches, aimed at improving the rigor of observational research, and optimizing public health intervention planning. My research has been supported by a New Innovator Award from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Office of the Director.
As Associate Dean for Research at the UC Berkeley School of Public Health (UCB SPH), I have substantial experience fostering collaborative environments (e.g., developing a grant peer review process and grant writing workshops) and administration (e.g., managing the relationship between academics and research administration for UCB SPH). Further, I have been the elected Epidemiology representative on the UCB SPH governing body, the Faculty Council, for most of my time on the faculty. I would bring substantial leadership and administrative experience to the role of President of SER.
Thank you for considering my candidacy.
I am humbled by the opportunity and privilege to run for the President of the Society for Epidemiologic Research (SER), my primary professional home. Running for this important office in 2020 when our annual meeting will be held in Boston is also symbolic to me because I attended my first SER meeting in Boston in 2007 as a new junior faculty from the Netherlands, still fresh out of graduate school and a visiting professor at UCLA. As an international member at the time, it was a big commitment to attend SER meetings which I did gladly because SER provided a natural professional home for me. Read more
I believe my leadership, research, training and service experiences will be important assets to the position. Currently, I am a Professor of Epidemiology at the Fielding School of Public Health and an affiliated Professor at the Department of Statistics, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). I am a physician with advanced training in epidemiology, biostatistics, and health services research. My research interests include epidemiologic methodology especially bias analysis and causal inference, clinical epidemiology, computational epidemiology, and social epidemiology. I have had the honor of serving as the Chair of the Coordinating Committee for Graduate Affairs, which reviews and approves the establishment and disestablishment graduate degree programs, departments and schools, and advises the Academic Senate and the President on all graduate education matters at the University of California system. Prior to that, I had served in various leadership positions including being the Associate Dean for Global Health and the Director of the Center for Global and Immigrant Health at UCLA. In my research, I have contributed to the literature on causal inference, quantitative bias analysis, pediatric and perinatal, cardiovascular, metabolic, obesity and occupational exposures and outcomes. In addition to teaching core courses on causal inference and bias analysis, I have chaired the UCLA epidemiology doctoral examination committee for the past ten years. I have (co-)advised more than 20 doctoral students and served on the doctoral committees of some 60 candidates in epidemiology, community health sciences, statistics, informatics, computer science, bioengineering and biostatistics. I have also mentored many visiting scholars, postdoctoral fellows and junior faculty. Along the way, I have received many research, teaching and service awards including the Council of Science Editors Award for outstanding contributions to global health policy and practice (hosted by Fogarty International), the European Society for Philosophy, Medicine and Health Care’s First Prize for Young Scholars under age 35 who have made innovative contributions to the philosophy of medicine and health care, the Causality in Statistics Education Award from the American Statistical Association, the Honorary Skou Professorship from Aarhus University in Denmark, and the Academic Council Chairs Award for Mid-Career Leadership from the University of California Systemwide Academic Senate.
I care about SER deeply. I have, therefore, been involved with SER in various capacities. For example, I have given podium presentations, presented many posters, contributed and chaired symposia and workshops, reviewed meeting abstracts, judged poster awards and served as faculty for the Student Dissertation Workshop. Also, I have enjoyed serving on the Educational Committee and the Diversity and Inclusion Committee. From these experiences, I can attest to the indispensable place of SER in the careers and, indeed, the lives of epidemiologists at all stages of professional growth.
SER is the unifying body that brings epidemiology students, researchers and practitioners together to address pressing health problems in the world, not just the US. If elected SER president, I will work with all members, build on the excellent initiatives of prior leadership and position SER to be the society it has reason to value. SER has accomplished much and still has much to do to remain a vibrant intellectual home for current and future epidemiologists. SER should continue to promote diversity and inclusion among its rich membership. We will welcome and promote the different peoples from various backgrounds, programs, and places that call SER their professional home. Equitable representation, meetings, initiatives, awards and interactions are critical to our founding and continuing goals to promote the work of junior faculty and students and to keep all epidemiologists at the vanguard of scientific developments. SER should catalyze innovation and action to address novel and old health threats including infectious disease pandemics, climate change, inequities, aging, multimorbidity from noncommunicable diseases, and mental health. Naturally, we will rise to the challenges using rigorous and consequential epidemiologic methods. We must debate and extend multi-disciplinary approaches, new data sources and study designs, the use of novel tools, technologies and media for research and training, and the active translation of epidemiologic findings. SER should provide leadership on the science, art, communication and politics of health in collaboration with public health and clinical practitioners, other scientists, policymakers and society. In doing so, we affirm the centrality of epidemiology to both public health and medicine.
Like many of us, I look forward to the annual meeting – catching up with old friends, making new connections and most importantly leaving with new ideas to apply to my work. For me, the annual meeting is an exercise in self-improvement, a way to continue to hone my skills as an epidemiologist. I have also enjoyed the many webinars and career development sessions SER hosts throughout the year. Compared to the other professional organization I am affiliated with, this active effort to serve the membership sets SER apart. It would be an honor to serve a professional organization so committed to its membership. Read more
As an SER member over the past 15 years, I have contributed to the society in a number of ways — as a member of the Diversity and Inclusion committee, symposium organizer, pre-conference workshop organizer, abstract reviewer, poster judge and presenter. Moving forward, I would like to see SER continue its commitment to diversity and inclusion, broadening our membership to include new voices, welcoming back those who have drifted away and creating an environment that is welcoming to all. The work of building a more diverse and inclusive society requires consistent self-reflection, a willingness to make changes and courageous leadership. Fortunately our leadership has been deeply committed to making positive change in the society.
In addition, I believe SER should continue to develop the next generation of scholars. One of our strengths has long been the many opportunities afforded to students and post-docs. The dissertation workshop, the many student filled sessions, the active student and post-doc committee and the many opportunities to “meet the expert” help attract new talented scientists to our realm. Continuing to build upon these opportunities will help maintain SER’s high visibility and strong reputation. As the next Member-at-Large I hope to continue to work on both these important issues.
I earned my doctoral degree from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, my MPH at the University of Michigan and a Bachelor’s degree in International Affairs from The George Washington University. Before finding my way to academia, I spent seven years in public health practice working at the CDC (the National Center for Health Statistics) and the New York City Department of Health. Currently, I am an Assistant Professor of Epidemiology at the University of Washington in Seattle. I am a social epidemiologist with research interests in a variety of stressors, financial instability and precarious employment to name a few. In addition, I study environmental justice and environmental health disparities.
I am excited to throw my hat in the ring for Member-at-Large for SER. I attended my first Society for Epidemiologic Research meeting in Seattle in the halcyon days of 2000. I snuck into the meeting without paying and was delighted that no one questioned who I was or what I was doing there; I immediately knew this was my sort of organization. Indeed, over the years it has become increasingly clear that SER is the place I feel most academically at home. As proof, I offer the following description of my first SER meeting with the full knowledge that any of these sentences could be used to question my mental state in a court of law: I attended a symposium titled “Bayes Watch,” a pun involving a TV show that nobody in the audience had likely seen; I enjoyed the “Bayes Watch” symposium immensely; I think Sander Greenland’s presentation on partial Bayesian analysis and data augmentation may have influenced my career trajectory. Read more
I earned my MS in epidemiology from the University of Washington, my PhD from the University of North Carolina and did a postdoc in biostatistics at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. After my postdoctoral education, I took a faculty job in the Division of Epidemiology and Community Health at the University of Minnesota where my research focuses on quantitative bias analysis, Bayesian methods and applied research in substantive areas ranging from Native American health to cardiovascular research to HIV. I have been an active member of SER since I was a student at UNC, frequently presenting posters and talks. I have organized symposia containing embarrassingly bad puns, organized a pre-conference workshop on Bayesian methods, served as chair of the Education Committee from 2017-2019, and contributed to SERplaylists, SERdigital, and SERtalks. If elected as Member-at-Large, I will use my time in office to further the mission of SER. We’re living through times that are somewhat difficult to even wrap our heads around but SER has an important role to play in the current pandemic and the shape of public health after this passes. I will strive to increase the interaction between SER and state and local health departments. These departments serve as the backbone of the public’s health; however, they have never had a strong presence in SER. I propose that SER reach out to state and local health departments to collaborate on initiatives that will strengthen SER as an organization and the epidemiologic capacity of our health departments.
Serving as a member-at-large for SER would be a great honor. I am eager to be of service to SER. SER has been my disciplinary home for over a decade. I think I have attended every annual meeting for the last 15 or so years. I have participated in many of SER’s offerings, including the Student Dissertation Workshop, pre-conference workshops, poster sessions, and symposia. I have been an abstract reviewer, poster session judge, symposium organizer, and webinar attendee. SER has been a place of immense professional growth for me – I’ve made new colleagues and friends and learned new methods. I hope that I can serve as member-at-large and help provide such opportunities for others. Read more
I am a faculty member (senior investigator) at Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute; in this role, I conduct investigator-initiated grant-funded research outside of a typical academic environment. I work in a highly collaborative setting and much of my research occurs in large consortia and networks. As a result, I am very comfortable working in large teams and committees and listening to diverse perspectives. I believe these are important skills for representing SER members on the Executive Committee. In addition, I was the 2020 recipient of my institution’s Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award, reflecting my passion for helping others develop and fulfill professional and personal goals.
Areas in which I am particularly interested in seeing SER grow are mentorship, continuing education, and diversity. In addition to increasing opportunities for current members, I would like to help expand SER’s reach. I know many epidemiologists who do not consider SER their “home” and I would like to help change that – SER has so much to offer and epidemiologists who are not active SER participants can enrich our Society as well.
I appreciate your considering me for SER member-at-large.
I am excited about the chance to serve SER as Member-At-Large. I have been a member of SER since my doctoral training. I attended my first SER meeting in Chicago in 2008. During epidemiologic methods class, Tom Glass encouraged students to jump in a van and attend the SER annual meeting, so that’s what I did (except for the van). I volunteered at registration and shared a room with 3 other students. Since then, I have regularly attended SER annual meetings and view them as my professional home, where I have forged strong connections with colleagues, learned new epidemiologic methods, and developed papers and grant ideas with friends and colleagues. I have served SER on the Publications Committee and have assisted with the Epidemiology Counts podcast. Epidemiology Counts is instrumental in translating complex epidemiologic research to be accessible for the general public. Read more
My goals as Member-At-Large would be to serve the membership of the society and the society itself. My particular focus would be on extending opportunities for engagement to those who have been at the periphery of SER. This includes epidemiologists with a focus on practice, masters level epidemiologists, and those epidemiologists in departments outside schools of public health. Through these efforts, my goal is to strengthen and expand SER membership and to ensure that SER meeting attendance, whether virtual or in-person, is engaging and inclusive.
My research focuses on chemical exposures in relation to fertility, pregnancy, and women’s gynecologic health. My work seeks to address disparities, which may be derived from occupational and environmental factors. I have been faculty in the department of Global and Community Health at George Mason University since 2013, where I am now associate professor. As Member-at-Large, I would work diligently to expand the reach of SER in the US and abroad, ensure continued training and mentoring opportunities for students and trainees, and contribute to the SER executive committee. I am honored to be nominated and would be thrilled for the opportunity to contribute to SER as Member-at-Large.
Student and Postdoc – President Elect
My name is Spruha Joshi, and I am honored to be nominated as a candidate for President-Elect. I am currently a doctoral student at the University of Minnesota in the Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, defending this spring. While at the University of Minnesota, I have served as both the doctoral student meeting chair as well as the doctoral student representative to the Division’s Training Committee. Following the completion of my degree, I will join NYU Langone’s Center for Opioid Epidemiology and Policy as a postdoctoral fellow. I was lucky to attend my first SER annual meeting at an early stage in my career. The annual meeting and society at large have been an integral part of my professional trajectory, and I am thrilled at the chance to serve on the SPC board. Read more
As President-Elect, in addition to my primary duties, I aim to support my fellow students and postdocs, by primarily listening to what they need. I hope to use my position to give a voice and a seat at the table to those students and postdocs that may not have one otherwise. I hope to garner increased participation in SER from a diverse set of students and postdocs. I plan to do this by raising awareness of the various resources SER provides, in particular to students at institutions without a large SER membership. Students and postdocs are often working with limited funds, and SER provides a myriad of excellent resources through SERlibrary. Increasing knowledge about these resources may provide invaluable to those unable to attend the annual meeting. Also, ensuring members are aware of travel scholarships and volunteer opportunities to increase participation in the annual meeting for those that wish to attend. Additionally, I hope to continue the work of the current President and President-Elect aimed at increasing career services for all career paths (academia, government, industry).
As the President-Elect I’ll advocate for SER student and postdoc members, helping to make your SER membership works for you. Keeping in mind the student postdoc membership is diverse and has varying needs. Thank you for the opportunity to serve on the SPC board.
I am honored to have been nominated to run for President-Elect of the SER Student & Post-doc Committee (SPC). Currently, I am a PhD candidate at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, where I am a predoctoral fellow on the NIMH T32 training grant in Psychiatric Epidemiology. My research interests center around studying the consequences of racism on health, with a specific focus on mental health.
Over the last 5 years, SER has played an immense role in my development as an epidemiologist. Between the opportunities I’ve had to present work and develop relationships at the annual meetings, and the year-round events such as SERdigital and SERtalks, I can honestly say that SER, and the SPC in particular, have both played as important of a role in my development, as any other single component of my doctoral training. I, like many others, feel that SER has truly become an academic home for me. But as a trainee, I feel even more fortunate to have a home within that home. To me, serving as President-Elect of the SPC would be an opportunity to help make sure that the SER-SPC continues to be that home, and would be a chance to further the SPC’s reputation as a source of professional growth and community for all trainees. Read more
I have had the privilege of sitting on the SPC board previously, spending two years serving as a Program Committee co-chair. That experience allowed me to help shape the experiences of SPC members by planning and overseeing the number of SPC sponsored networking and professional development events that take place during the annual meeting. Through that position, I was able to see firsthand the planning and effort it takes to execute all that the SPC does in service of trainees and the larger SER community. More importantly, I was able to interact with many of our SPC members through hosting events, working the SPC table, and interacting with meeting volunteers. Through these interactions I was able to learn a lot about the things that SPC members are looking for out of their SER experience. These are the types of experiences and insight I plan to draw upon heavily, if elected.
Like many things, you get out of SER what you put into it, and I want to make sure that all SPC members are experiencing this great society’s full potential. To me, this means removing barriers from participation and expanding our reach. Some things I would do to achieve these goals are 1) work with senior SER members from government and industry to develop more career development programing for those thinking about non-academic careers; 2) help SPC members have more of a say in the conversations taking place at the annual meeting by developing SPC workshops on developing and submitting symposia; and 3) begin thinking of “networking” as not just with later-career members, but with each other, by developing initiatives to help SPC members create collaborative relationships through content-area “meet-ups”.
The annual meeting can be a daunting place for trainees, but especially when those folks have yet to find a community within the organization. I would like to build upon current partnerships with the SER Diversity & Inclusion committee, as well as forge possible new partnerships with groups like #BlackEpiMatters to develop new initiatives to ensure all trainees feel welcomed and can therefore make the most out of the annual meeting experience.
It was a great honor serving my fellow SPC members in the past, and I hope to have the opportunity to do so again as President-Elect. Thank you for your consideration.