SPC Presidents Message

Hello Students, Postdocs, and Epi Trainees! By the time you read this, we’ll be just days away from the SER Annual Meeting in Portland, Oregon. Buckle up, there’s a lot to cover.

First, navigating Portland on a budget. Trimet (https://trimet.org/home/) is the local public bus/streetcar/lightrail train system. At a minimum, it will take you directly from the airport to downtown near the conference hotel for just a few dollars. Portland public transit is used by everybody from business executives to high school students (who use public transit in lieu of school buses). Portland city planning intentionally discourages private vehicle use in favor of lower carbon options, so Trimet, bikeshare (https://biketownpdx.com/), or walking will often get you somewhere faster and always cheaper than a car. For cheap and delicious food in Portland, you want to google “food carts” or “food cart pods.” Trust me, eat all the delicious things. A final word on getting out and about in town, Portland is an incredibly dynamic and eclectic city. Expect to see people who move through the world differently than you’re used to. If someone is in crisis, call 911 and ask for Portland Street Response (https://www.portland.gov/streetresponse). Otherwise, the local ethos is to let folks be.

Alright, on to actual meeting things. New this year we have the conference app (https://epiresearch.org/annual-meeting/2023-meeting/). Download and start playing with it ahead of time. Given SER’s current absence from Twitter, the conference app is the best place to connect with folks at the conference. It has the schedule as well as messaging, additional how-to resources, and an SPC-specific Q&A section which we will be actively monitoring during the meeting. And remember, this year has a virtual attendance option, so virtual attendees may reach out to you through the app. If you prefer in-person connection, come check out the SPC Table. We your SPC Committee will be staffing the table during all the major sessions. Come say hi, meet some other trainees, ask for directions, run us through a practice presentation, whatever you need! SPC also hosts a WIDE range of SPC-specific events, see the full list here (https://epiresearch.org/annual-meeting/2023-meeting/conference-program/student-and-postdoc-meeting-events/). Probably the largest one is the SPC Social Event at 7:30pm on Thursday. It’s “open house” style, so stop by whenever you’re free and stay for as long or as short a time as you can.

Finally, some SPC Board updates. This is my last message as President. After the Annual Meeting, I’ll be rotating on to Past-President, and the extraordinary Nedghie Adrien will be taking over. A very hearty shout out to the other SPC Board members who will be leaving us. In no particular order – John Pamplin II (Past President), Ginna Doss (Media), Claire Adam (Internal Affairs), Rachael Ross (Program), and Andreas Teferra (Education). You all have been fantastic collaborators and have done so much to support other SER trainees. And never fear, we have another list of folks ready to take over their positions, but I’ll leave it to Nedghie to introduce them all in her first SPC President’s Message.

Happy Conferencing All!

Sharia M Ahmed
SER SPC President