Early Career Plant Scientists Section

American Society of Plant Biologists


Council Meeting, December 18, 2020; 8:00 am PST
Via Zoom



Rishi R. Masalia, Chair, ECR Mem Comm, ASPB Council

Alexander Meyers, Vice-Chair

Helen Liu, Head of External Communications

Ashley Cannon, Head of Internal Communications and ECR Ed Comm

Craig Schenck, Treasurer and ECR Pub Comm

Asia HIghtower, ECR EDIC

Katie Murphy, ECR WiPB Comm

Katie McIntyre, Chair of Ambassador Alliance, ASPB Council

Laura Klasek, ECR Pro Comm

Patrick Thomas, Head of EDI 

Steph Klein, Head of Culture and ECR on  EEPP Comm



Katie Rogers, ASPB Community Engagement Administrator


  1. A Membership Model Proposal was submitted to the Membership Committee. 

  2. Plant Biology 2021 events ECPS is either sponsoring, co-sponsoring, supporting with people power, or supporting with social only. Note: the proposals went in, the programming committee has to select which ones will go. 

    1. Grad. School Q+A Session

    2. ECPS Town Hall

    3. Careers Outside Academia

    4. Careers in the BioEconomy

    5. Surviving Academia and Industry (ECPS is not sponsoring this workshop)

  3. 3 Min. Thesis updates. We are approved for 3MT! 

    1. There will be prize money for winners.

    2. Logistics: Top 5 chosen will receive a travel award to attend and present at Plant Biology 2021 or if the meeting is virtual, ASPB/ECPS will help them make a production quality video. 

    3. In the future, we hope to get a sponsor for this competition. 

  4. Update on WiPB efforts RE: sexual harassment and parental leave 

    1. WiPB Committee updated the ASPB sexual harassment policy and it is with the lawyers

    2. Parental leave policies is a new issue in focus for the committee and ASPB - keep an eye out for content  

  5. Head of Culture - Steph Klein - Issue in Focus updates

    1. Example of Proposed White Paper: https://www.nature.com/article...

    2. Steph is making a Google Form to collect information for Humans of Plant Science (HOPS)  

    3. Ambassadors are working on content about the same topic - could be a potential collaboration

  6. Head of ECPS - EDI Subcommittee - Patrick Thomas - updates 

    1. Short term goals: 

      1. Podcast

      2. Diversity Statement Workshop 

    2. Long term goals: 

      1. White Paper

      2. EDI Certification Process: Will review programs and make sure that they are inclusive and respectful of diversity

  7. Recruitment efforts update (Craig)

    1. Idea - Tweet a bunch during upcoming conferences and contact people to let them know that ASPB + ECPS exists 

    2. Make a presentation that can be given for recruitment

  8. Website updates (Rishi)

    1. New look to the website (https://earlycareer.aspb.org/) - would love feedback, particularly things you want added or changed. 

    2. Approval to have "One-Stop-Shop links on the site" - Collaboration with Katie Rogers - through her ASPB role - (so this is for all of ASPB, with a focus on ECRs, spearheaded by ECPS).  

  9. Organization updates:

    1. Al and Rishi are working on creating a brand book, and guide for position transitions (will be ready for view by March). We will be emailing specific people to contribute sections/information.

  10.  Still on the hunt for a Head of Content -- we need this position our content is announced, but we are all collectively slow to deliver. A dedicated person can help with this. Ideas for finding a person?