National Committees

For SACNAS to effectively and efficiently carry out its mission, it is necessary to have a streamlined committee structure that allows the engagement and input of the board, members, and volunteer experts. Committees provide organizational structure, and at the same time allow enough flexibility so the organization can adapt quickly to the changing demands of the environment.

SACNAS’ committee structure is broken into two main categories: Standing Committees and General Committees. Each committee is then supported by subcommittees and task forces/ad hoc committees.

There are five main functions that committees serve:

  1. Divide up the work of the organization
  2. Utilize the specific talents and knowledge of board members
  3. Make recommendations (via Chair) to the Board of Directors
  4. Convey high-level Board decisions (via Chair) to the Staff Liaison
  5. Shall provide an annual report to the Board

Expectations of Service

Committee Chairs can expect to contribute 12 – 15 hours annually.
General committee, subcommittee, advisory groups, and task force members can expect to contribute 10 – 12 hours annually.

Most committees meet every other month via video conference call. Each meeting lasts approximately 1 hour.
Additional meetings (phone or virtual) may be required to attend to other committee business.

Must be a Professional to participate.
 
 
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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Standing Committee?

Standing Committees are established on a permanent basis. These committees strategize and analyze issues within their areas of focus and make recommendations. A standing committee also monitors and evaluates the performance of the whole organization in relation to its responsibility.

A standing committee is chaired by a board member and is composed of the chairs of its corresponding subcommittees. A standing committee may have additional members, as needed and appointed.

What is a General Committee?

Standing Committees are established on a permanent basis. These committees strategize and analyze issues within their areas of focus and make recommendations. A standing committee also monitors and evaluates the performance of the whole organization in relation to its responsibility.

A standing committee is chaired by a board member and is composed of the chairs of its corresponding subcommittees. A standing committee may have additional members, as needed and appointed.

What is a Subcommittee?

A Subcommittee is tasked to strategize around targeted issues or campaigns that work in sync with the larger committee to which it reports. A subcommittee makes recommendations to the committee through the subcommittee chair, who is a member of the standing or general committee.

A subcommittee is chaired by a either a board member or volunteer/member and is composed of other members, volunteers, and experts, as needed and appointed.

What is a Task Force/Ad Hoc Committee?

A Task Force or Ad Hoc Committee is a temporary grouping of volunteers for the purpose of solving an issue and/or accomplishing a defined objective. A task force is not permanent and has a defined start and end date (e.g. 4 months). A task force, or its members, may always be reinstated if future relating objectives need to be accomplished.

Which Committee, Subcommittee, or Task Force is right for me?

Take a moment to read the descriptions below and then submit interest around which committee, subcommittee, or task force aligns best with your skill sets, expertise, and passion.

Standing Committees

Executive Committee

The Executive Committee plans the work of the board. The committee approves board meeting agendas and other guidelines for board actions. This committee also provides guidance for the organization between board meetings. When necessary, the Executive Committee assumes broader functions and makes key policy decisions and acts on behalf of the board and/or organization. The Executive Committee reports its actions to Board of Directors.

The Executive Committee is composed of the board officers, as specified by the bylaws. Members of the executive committee are limited to the President, Immediate Past President, President-Elect, Treasurer, and Secretary.

Chair, Board President – Pamela Padilla, PhD
Staff Liaison – Executive Director (vacant)

Members: Charla Lambert (President-Elect), Nazune Menka (Secretary), Martha Dávila-García (Treasurer), and Fabio Milner (Secretary-Elect)

Governance Committee

The Governance Committee oversees the identification, recruitment, orientation, training, and retention of board members. The committee oversees and evaluates general board governance. This committee looks for opportunities to strengthen and evolve the board’s effectiveness, build capacity, diversify composition, and enhance the ability to lead the organization into the future.

Chair, President-Elect – Charla Lambert, PhD
Staff Liaison – Executive Director (vacant)

Members: Pamela Padilla (President and Strategic Task Force Chair) and Roberta Pokphanh (Nominations Subcommittee Chair).

Board Nominations Subcommittee

The Board Nominations Subcommittee is composed of past SACNAS board members, founders, and/or elders. This subcommittee is charged with identifying and recruiting the next class of top-tier STEM leaders to serve on the board of directors. This subcommittee is charge with the develop of the slate of candidates and presentation to the board of directors for review and approval.

Co-Chairs – Roberta Pokphanh, PhD & Charla Lambert, PhD
Staff Liaisons, Executive Director (vacant), and Board Liaison – Marilu Chavez-Leyva

Members: Sonia Zarate, Aaron Velasco, Maria Elena Zavala, Austin Shelton, Martha Davila-Garcia, and Pamela Padilla, SACNAS current President (ex-officio member).

By-Laws Task Force (currently not active)

The By-Laws Task Force is a select group of SACNAS leaders, members, and volunteers that have expertise around nonprofit governance, especially by-laws and compliance (federal and state). This group of select individuals will be called into action, over a defined period of time, whenever a specific by-laws issue arises and to strategize, formulate, and/or submit future by-laws revisions.

Strategic Planning Task Force (currently not active)

Strategic planning is one of the board’s fiduciary responsibilities. The board provides the direction that sustains the organization for a period of time, usually 5 years. The Strategic Planning Taskforce assists the Board of Directors with its responsibilities for the organization’s mission, vision and strategic direction. The taskforce makes recommendations to the board regarding strategic initiatives, major programs and services and it identifies critical strategic issues facing the organization.

Finance Committee

The Finance Committee is led by the board treasurer to oversee the budget process, monitor and report on the financial status and activities of the agency, ensure the financial policies and practices are followed, and oversee investments.

Chair – Martha Davila-Garcia, PhD (Board Treasurer)
Staff Liaisons, Executive Director and Deputy Director – Joe Herrity and Aidee Farias

Members: Nazune Menka, Sonia Zarate, David Burgess, Ana Vergara, Esequiel Barrera, Pamela Padilla, Lydia Villa-Komaroff, Austin Shelton, Patricia Silveyra, and Allyn Kaufmann.

Audit Committee

The Audit Committee provides accountability for the organization’s independent audit. The committee is not involved in the nonprofit’s daily accounting functions, but instead oversees the independent audit process which often entails hiring and evaluating the independent auditor(s). Where applicable, the audit committee may also be accountable to make sure that recommendations made by the auditor (e.g. statements that appear in the auditor’s letter to management) are implemented.

Chair, External CPA – Henry O. Hernandez
Staff Liaisons, Executive Director and Deputy Director – Joe Herrity and Aidee Farias

Members: Healani Chang (Former Board Member), Esequiel Barrera (Board Member), Ana Vergara (Board Member), Dorthea Montoya & Pamela Padilla (Board President)

External Relations Committee

The External Relations Committee provides expertise and insight, around fundraising, marketing, communication, branding, and government relations to staff. The committee takes an active lead on raising funds, amplifying our national voice/branding, and evaluating legislation and policy (internal and external) all in relation to the organization’s mission, goals, and strategic plan.

Chair – Adan Colon-Carmona, PhD (Board Member)
Staff Liaison, Director of Organizational Advancement – Tia Abner

Members: all the members from the Grants and Development Subcommittee and the Government and Industry Relations, and Public Policy Subcommittee

Development Subcommittee

The Development Subcommittee works closely with staff to create and implement the resource development plan that will help guide organizational activities in seeking out and securing funding from diverse sources. This subcommittee also takes an active lead in cultivating new relationships, stewarding existing relationships, asking for money, and strategizing ways to increase existing revenue streams and create new revenue streams (e.g. annual campaign, earned revenue, planned giving, etc.)

Chair – David Carreon Bradley, PhD
Staff Liaison, Development Manager – Ashle Olivas

Members: Kevin Keys, Natalie Nevarez, Juan Carlos Ramos, Marc Velasco

Grants and Development Subcommittee

The Development Subcommittee works closely with staff to create and implement the resource development plan that will help guide organizational activities in seeking out and securing funding from diverse sources. This subcommittee also takes an active lead in cultivating new relationships, stewarding existing relationships, asking for money, and strategizing ways to increase existing revenue streams and create new revenue streams (e.g. annual campaign, earned revenue, planned giving, etc.)

Chair – Adan Colón-Carmona, PhD (Board Member)
Staff Liaison, Director of Organizational Advancement – Tia Abner

Members: Kevin Keys, Marc Velasco, Corey Welch, Ruben Michael Ceballos, Jani Ingram, Martha Davila-Garcia and Ivonne Vidal-Pizarro

Government and Industry Relations and Public Policy Subcommittee

The Government Relations Subcommittee works closely with the Executive Director on monitoring key legislation that could have positive or adverse effects on the organization’s ability to carry it its mission. This committee also advises the board of directors on which legislative and/or policy positions the organization should take. This committee takes an active role in cultivating and stewarding relationships with politicians and key political staffers at the federal and state levels.

Chair – Fabio Milner, PhD (Board Member)
Co-Chair – Ana Vergara, PhD (Board Member)
Staff Liaison, Director of Organizational Advancement – Tia Abner

Members: Stephen Jett, Ariel Vaughn, and Dena Smith-Nufio

STEM Policy Task Force

The STEM Policy Task Force is a select group of members and volunteers that have expertise around Science, Technology, Math, & Engineering policy or related issues. This group will remain active but select members or grouping of members will be called into action, over a defined period of time, to strategize, formulate, and/or make recommendations to the Government relations committee and/or Board of Directors on policy positions and statements. This committee looks at policy positions and not specific legislation.

Chair – OPEN
Staff Liaison, Executive Director – Stephania Herrera, DBA

Data Evaluation Task Force

The Data and Evaluation Task Force is a select group of members and volunteers that have expertise around data collection, composition, analysis, dissemination, and value (internal and external). This group will remain active but select members or groupings of members will be called into action, over a defined period of team, to strategize, analyze, and report on specific or collective, as needed or requested for a grant, funder, and/or partnership.

Chair – OPEN

Marketing & Communications Subcommittee

The Marketing & Communications Subcommittee works closely with staff to develop and implement a marketing/communications plan that articulates the primary audiences for the organization, how best to reach them, and what they most care about. The committee monitors the presentation of the organization’s brand, and ensures that the products, services, and programs of the organization remain relevant to the audience.

Chair – OPEN
Staff Liaison, Director of Marketing and Communications – TBD

Programs Committee

The Programs Committee is composed of STEM leader across all sectors. The committee provides expertise around cultural competency, assists the staff with brainstorming of program ideas and development of programs, including year-round and at the national conference, and provides insight on cross-sector programming. The committee takes and active lead on helping cultivate and steward relationship with programmatic partners.

Chair – Martha Davila-Garcia, PhD
Staff Liaison, Director of Programs – Eben Lindsey

Members: Shaimar Gonzalez (Chapters Subcommittee Chair), José M. Vargas-Muñiz (Student Presentations Subcommittee Chair), Kamuela Young (Conference Subcommittee Chair), Sonia Zárate (Leadership Initiatives Subcommittee), Nazune Menka (Native American Affairs Subcommittee Chair), and Nicole Trager, Community College Task Force

Chapters Subcommittee

The Chapters Subcommittee provides strategy, advice, and support to staff around year around chapter programs, including but not limited to chapter applications, chapter reviews, awards, and best practices/trainings, and chapter activities at the annual conference. This subcommittee will make recommendations to staff on which chapter applications should be approved for provisional status (first year). This subcommittee will make recommendations to the Board of Directors through the Programs Committee Chair on chapter applications that the board should consider for full approval.

Chair – Shaimar Gonzalez (Board Member)
Staff Liaison, National Chapters Manager – Antonio Bañuelos

Members: Adan Colon-Carmona, Joseph Hibdon Jr, Jose Antonio Cabrera, Brenda Andrade, Ana Vergara, Lauren Yowelunh McLester Davis (Board Member), Erik Menke, and Yadira Perez-Paramo

Student Presentations Subcommittee

The Student Presentations Subcommittee provides strategy, advice, and support to staff around on the student presentations program (graduate and undergraduate), supports in outreaching and ascertaining potential reviewers for student presentation abstracts and potential judges to evaluate student presentations, and advises on the rubric and criteria for scoring student presentations.

Chair – Jose Vargas-Muñiz, PhD
Staff Liaison, Student Programs Manager – Kateryna Poradiuk

Members: Rosa Leon Zayas, Alfredo Picado, Nana Ankrah, Jorge Ramos and Shaimar Gonzalez

Community College Taskforce

The Community College Taskforce is composed of a select group of SACNAS leaders, members, and volunteers that have expertise around the community college students’ needs.

Chair – Nicole Trager, PhD
Staff Liaison, Student Programs Manager – Kateryna Poradiuk

Members: Sharon Rivera, Yanet Garcia and Alberto (Beto) Vasquez

Conference Subcommittee

The Conference Subcommittee provides strategy, advice, and support to staff around the development of the annual conference, including but not limited to the conference agenda, recruitment and vetting of high-level speakers, and symposia and professional development breakout sessions. This committee also provides advice and strategy around the creation and sustainability of a regional conference model.

Chair – Kamuela Young, PhD
Staff Liaison, Director of Programs – Eben Lindsey

Members: Martha Davila-Garcia, Kevin Keys, Sharon Rivera, Yaihara Fortis-Santiago, Carlos Escalante, Healani Chang, Austin Shelton, and Ingrid Montes.

Distinguished Awards Task Force

The Distinguished Awards Subcommittee provides advice and counsel on the scope, requirements and rubric; outreaches to the community for the purpose of obtaining nominations in each award category;
uses their expertise as scientists/STEM leaders and SACNAS members to review and score nomination packages; and recommends award winners to SACNAS staff.

Chair – Martha Dávila-García, PhD
Staff Liaison, Associate Director of Membership – Daniela Bernal

Members: Daniel Lujan, Maytee Cruz-Aponte, Casey Dorr, Jose Vega-Guzman, Gabriel Montaño and Sam Silva

Leadership Initiatives Subcommittee

The Leadership Initiatives Subcommittee provides advice and support to staff around the current leadership initiatives (Linton-Poodry SACNAS Leadership Institute, Executive Leadership Institute, Chapter Leadership Institute (Chapter Officers Leadership Academy)), and the development of future leadership initiatives. This subcommittee also outreaches to the community for applications to participate in the institutes: uses their expertise as scientists/STEM professionals and SACNAS community members to review and score application packages; and as required, suggests speakers, mentors and other individuals to assist in the execution of the leadership initiatives.

Chair – Sonia Zárate, PhD
Staff Liaison, Leadership Initiatives Manager – Elizabeth Aguilera

Members: Corey Welch (Former Board Member), Donna Blancero, Clif Poodry, Ric Weibl, Roberta Pokphanh (Board Member), Dena Smith-Nufio (Board Member), Sara Del Valle, and Desiré Whitmore

STEM Subcommittee

The STEM Subcommittee uses their expertise and STEM professional and leaders to provide strategy, advice, and support to the SACNAS Programs Department and support to staff around the relevance of current STEM programs and/or initiatives. This committee helps SACNAS members with their STEM professional development across all sectors, disciplines, and specializations. This committee also outreaches to help cultivate new relationships with STEM companies, organizations agencies, and leaders/executives to develop new educational opportunities and trainings in STEM.

Chair – Martha Dávila-García
Staff Liaison – TBD

Native American/Indigenous Affairs Committee

The Native American/Indigenous Affairs Committee provides strategy, advice, and support to staff around the creation of programs and initiatives specifically for native and indigenous populations (e.g. Native American, Native Alaskan, Native Pacific Islanders) and native programming. Additionally, this committee serves in an advisory capacity to SACNAS around cultural competency and relevance in regard to native communities. This committee also outreaches to help cultivate new relationships with native communities, native owned businesses, Tribal colleges, etc. to develop new partnerships and revenue.

Chair – Nazune Menka, M.S., J.D (Board Member)
Staff Liaison, Associate Director, Mission Program and Native Initiatives– Darryl Monteau, EdD

Members: Agnes Attakai, Benjamin Clarke, Katrina Claw, David Burgess, Lee Bitsoi, Casey Dorr, Clif Poodry, Corey Welch, Lauren McLester Davis, Kristen Barnett, Mose Hern, and Jani Ingram

Membership Committee

The Membership Committee provides strategy, advice, and support to staff around aspects of membership, including new member acquisition, existing member retention, and education. This committee is charged with helping SACNAS grow its membership based. This committee also evaluates membership benefits and any potential changes to the membership model to make official recommendations to the Board of Directors.

Chair – Esequiel Barrera, PhD (Board Member)
Staff Liaison, Associate Director of Membership – Daniela Bernal

Members: John Augusto, Lelemia Irvine, Mayra Pastore, Kevin Keys, Mary Salcedo, Sam Goodfellow, Ana M. Porras, and Luma Melo.

Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Subcommittee (currently not active)

The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Subcommittee is responsible for ensuring continuing progress towards SACNAS’ vision of “Achieving True Diversity in STEM.” The subcommittee provides expertise and guidance in the design and implementation of suites of activities, programs, and resources: 1) to help SACNAS members gain the necessary resources to be competitive in an ever-changing environment and 2) to assist partners gain the necessary knowledge and access to resources and trainings to increase cultural competency and build environments of inclusiveness. This committee promotes respect for and acceptance of diverse individuals and promotes awareness of opportunities across all sectors for all underrepresented populations. This committee endorses a broad definition of diversity including but not limited to race, ethnicity, national original and indigenous heritage, gender and sexual orientation, professional discipline and setting, age and generational influences, religion and spiritual orientation, and disability.

Early Career Professionals Subcommittee (currently not active)

The Early Career Professionals Subcommittee provides strategy, advice, and support to staff around the creation of programs and initiatives specifically targeted towards early career professionals (under 40). This committee also strives to create networking opportunities of early career professionals within the SACNAS membership and with sector leaders and influencers.

Advisory Group(s)

Council of Senior Advisors (COSA)

The Council of Senior Advisors is a select group of SACNAS founders, elders, past board members, and leaders that provide strategy, counsel, and advice to the board of directors and executive director based on their history and institutional knowledge.

Co-Chairs, Sonia Zárate, PhD (Past-President) and Charla Lambert, PhD (President-Elect)
Staff Liaison, Executive Director – Joe Herrity

Members: Lino Gonzalez, David Burgess, Lydia Villa-Komaroff, Maria Elena Zavala, Gabriel Montano, Maggie Werner-Washburne, Clif Poodry and Marigold Linton

Conference Advisory Group (CAG)

The Conference Advisory Group is a group of SACNAS members who are local to the conference site who provide advice and guidance to the SACNAS staff in relation to planning the conference in that area. The CAG can connect SACNAS with potential partners, the city, local leaders and cultural groups, as well as provide cultural advice.

Chair – Local Market Leader

Co-chair – Local Market Leader

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