Early Career Liaison to the Executive Committee

*This page has not yet been updated for the 2025 application cycle.

The Early Career Liaison to the Executive Committee (formerly Early Career Mentee) was created in 2012 to expand the vision of the AABA and to ensure a future of effective and dedicated officers. The position is an opportunity for early career members of AABA to involve themselves with the governance of our association. A central responsibility of the Early Career Liaison is to recognize issues of interest and concern to early career members of AABA, and to bring these issues to the attention of the Executive Committee. The Liaison will typically shadow a member of the Executive Committee or the Chair of a standing committee while enjoying wide latitude to develop and advance new initiatives with the goal of improving the AABA.

Eligibility and Term: Term: The successful candidate must 1) be a member (in good standing) of the AABA at the time of application and for the duration of their tenure in the position, and 2) have received their PhD or other terminal doctoral degree within 4 years of the date of application. The position is for one year but it includes an obligation to attend the two AABA Annual meetings and the Executive Committee meetings at the beginning and end of the tenure.

Role: The successful candidate will: 1) bring to the President and Executive Committee issues of interest or concern to members in their early careers; 2) shadow and assist a member of the Executive Committee or a Chair of a standing committee during consecutive meetings; 3) work closely with the Student Liaison to the Executive Committee to foster communication at the meetings between students and early career scientists.

Support: For each of the two meetings during the one-year term, the Early Career Liaison will receive a complementary hotel room for the Tuesday evening of the AABA meetings to enable attendance at the Executive Committee meeting on Wednesday. They will also receive $500 towards travel costs associated with each meeting.

Application Process: Please provide the following:

  • A CV 
  • A cover letter that contains a short essay (of 500 words or fewer) on why you wish to serve in this capacity, and the Executive Committee position you would most like to shadow and why. 
  • A completed Professional Conduct Disclosure Form.

Applications must be received no later than October 23, 2023. E-mail your application packet as a SINGLE pdf to: Dr. Lauren Schroeder.

Evaluation and Decisions: Applications will be reviewed and ranked by a subcommittee of the AABA Executive Committee Chaired by the Career Development Committee Chair. Decisions of the committee will be confirmed by the entire AABA Executive Committee. The successful applicant is expected to attend, and will be recognized at the ensuing AABA Business Meeting.


Nicole Torres-Tamayo, University of Zürich


Justin Lund, University of Oklahoma.


Katherine Kinkopf, Cal Poly, Pomona.


Jeanelle Uy, California State University-Long Beach.


Melanie Beasley, Purdue University. Dr. Beasley will shadow the Chair of the Committee on Career Development, Shara Bailey, and liaise closely with the Committee on Diversity and the Committee on Media & Communication. She will develop programming tailored specifically to the needs of early career members of AAPA in the form of an ad hoc committee of early career members.


Kevin Hatala, Chatham University. Dr. Hatala is shadowing Nate Dominy, Chair of Career Development. He is focusing his efforts on developing new annual meeting programming for early career members, particularly those making transitions between early career stages. This work includes new collaborations between Career Development and sections of the Committee on Diversity.


Kimberly Congdon, Touro University. Dr. Congdon shadowed Cristina Torres-Rouff, the Student Programs Chair. She focused her efforts on increasing diversity and representation of minority scientists at the annual meeting. She worked to improve minority science representation both in the scientific program of the meeting, and in overall meeting attendance


Felicia Gomez, Washington University School of Medicine. Dr. Gomez shadowed the President (Susan Antón) and worked closely with Agustín Fuentes and Ripan Malhi, the co-chairs of IDEAS, a program for Increasing Diversity in Evolutionary Anthropological Sciences. In addition to her work with the Committee on Diversity (COD), she focused her efforts on increasing programs, funding mechanisms, and events in support of early career members of AAPA.


Nikki Burt, Cleveland Museum of Natural History. Dr. Burt shadowed the President (Susan Antón). She focused her efforts on supporting early career members of AAPA, particularly postdocs, adjuncts, and other early career members of AAPA in non-traditional positions.


Ashley Hammond, American Museum of Natural History. Dr. Hammond shadowed the President (Susan Antón). She focused her efforts on harassment and other professional barriers to junior female scientists. She served on the steering committee of the Presidential Panel on Harassment and worked closely with the Student Liaison to the Executive Committee (Melanie Beasley) to establish the Student Meet and Greet. This annual event (now known as the early career mixer) is an informal setting for student conference attendees to meet early career scientists.


Jonathan Bethard, University of South Florida. Dr. Bethard shadowed the Vice President and program chair (Annie Katzenberg). He focused his efforts on better understanding the ways in which the Annual Meeting is organized and how on-the-ground logistics the week of the conference are handled. He also learned more about the importance of the AAPA Auction as a fundraiser for the Pollitizer Travel Awards.


Laurie Reitsema, University of Georgia. Dr. Reitsema shadowed the President (Lorena Madrigal). She focused her efforts on representing some of the experiences, challenges, and views of early career researchers. Discussions at that time (2012-2013) revolved around three core issues: 1) offering childcare at the AAPA meetings; 2) the shift of AJPA toward becoming an online journal; and, 3) improving support for non-tenure-track members of AAPA.