The OPA Board of Directors is an elected, volunteer group consisting of executive members and committee chairs.

We meet once a month to discuss various updates and needs related to our mission. All meetings are open to the postdoctoral community. Please stop by!

Our 2016-2017 BOD members are


Lisa Oakley

Lisa Oakley, Ph.D., MPH, Postdoc/Research Associate, College of Public Health and Human Sciences.

Lisa’s work centers broadly in the field of sexual and reproductive health. She has special interests in the intersection of age, race, and gender on behavior and the individual, interpersonal, social, and structural effects on behavioral outcomes. Lisa obtained her MPH at Oregon State University in 2009. She comes back to OSU after completing her Ph.D. at Emory University to work on projects focused on at-risk young adults in Los Angeles and women of reproductive age on Medicaid in Oregon. After serving for a year a Secretary, she is excited to lead the board this year as President to help develop a stronger Postdoc community and support Postdocs in the social sciences.


Vice President

Cassandra Glaspie, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Scholar, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, College of Agricultural Sciences.

Cassie’s research integrates modeling, laboratory, and field approaches to address the question: How do anthropogenic changes to marine environments alter interactions between members of an ecological community, and what are the implications for humanity? She is currently examining habitat loss for fish in the Gulf of Mexico using bioenergetic models. She earned her Ph.D. in Marine Science at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, part of the College of William and Mary. She is excited to work towards making the postdoctoral experience at OSU even more productive and supportive for all members.


Neelam Redekar

Neelam Redekar, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Scholar, Department of Crop and Soil Science, College of Agricultural Sciences.

Neelam is currently studying the diversity of water-borne plant pathogens in California and Oregon nurseries. She received her Ph.D. in Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences from Virginia Tech in 2015. Before joining OSU in July 2016, she was a postdoc at Virginia Tech and studied soybean-pathogen interactions. She is excited to be a part of the OPA Board and help put a great year of events for the postdoc community.


Ying Cao

Ying Cao,  Ph.D. Postdoctoral Scholar, School of Chemical, Biological, and environmental Engineering, College of Engineering.

Ying does educational research in STEM disciplines. She is interested in student learning and teaching professional development. Lately, organizational change studies were added to her interests. Qualitative research methods are her favorite. Currently, Ying is working on three projects at OSU: ESTEME@OSU, the Concept Warehouse, and Interactive Virtual Laboratories. She looks forward to keeping OPP financial sound while still offering services and support to the community.

Professional Development Coordinator

Courtney Roper

Courtney Roper, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Environmental and Molecular Toxicology, College of Agricultural Sciences.

Courtney’s research incorporates environmental chemistry, toxicology, and epidemiology in order to better understand the associations between human health effects and air pollution. Specifically, she is investigating the health effects of components of ambient fine particulate matter (PM2.5) using zebrafish embryos as a model organism. She is new to the West Coast and is excited to get to know more members of the OPA to ensure that appropriate professional development opportunities are available.

Industry Exploration Program Coordinator

Sharon Bywater-Reyes

Sharon Bywater-Reyes, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Scholar, Department of Forest Engineering, Resources, and Management, College of Forestry.

Sharon is an Earth scientist who specializes in geomorphology and sediment transport processes. As a postdoctoral scholar in the Department of Forest Engineering, Resources & Management (FERM), she is quantifying water quality and sediment dynamics in managed forested watersheds to inform policy and management. She has a Ph.D. from University of Montana, M.S. from University of Wyoming, and B.S. from Southern Oregon University. She is excited to foster industry-academic connections for research and career opportunities for herself and fellow postdocs.

Membership Coordinator

Cory Perkins

Cory Perkins, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Scholar, Center for Sustainable Materials Chemistry, College of Science.

Cory creates and characterizes new materials for use in electronic devices such as smartphones. He earned his Ph.D. from Oklahoma State after graduating from Western Oregon University. He is a member of the American Chemical Society, the National Postdoctoral Association and is an OMSI Science Communication Fellow. He looks forward to meeting new members of the OSU post-doctoral community and integrating them into the fabric of OSU life.

Networking and Social Events Coordinator

Nicole Pitterson

Nicole Pitterson, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Scholar, School of Civil and Construction Engineering, College of Engineering.

Nicole studies engineering education issues among undergraduate students. Two of her most current projects at OSU are investigating engineering students’ in- and out-of-class cognitive and social engagement with course materials and their peers, and teaching evaluation practices in engineering departments. Her personal research interest is eliciting conceptual understanding of complex circuit concepts using active engagement instructional strategies. Nicole, a Jamaican native, earned her Ph.D. in Engineering Education from Purdue University and has other degrees in Manufacturing and Electrical/Electronic Engineering.

Webmaster and Public Relations Coordinator

Richard Rodrigues

Richard Rodrigues, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Scholar, College of Pharmacy.

Richard is a bioinformatician and works on multiple projects related to cancer and diabetes. He earned his MS from Rochester Institute of Technology and Ph.D. from Virginia Tech. He has served as the Treasurer and Director of Finance of the Graduate Student Assembly at Virginia Tech for over 2 years. He was named as '2016 Graduate Student of the Year' for his accomplishments and service to the graduate students at Virginia Tech. He is excited to make the most of his postdoc and work with the 2016 OPA Board of Directors to help all postdocs have a great experience.