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BSPPA Events

BSPPA organizes social and informational gatherings throughout the year. These range from informal meet-ups at local parks to invited speakers on campus to day-long excursions.  

Our regular BSPPA Networking meeting is typically the second Thursday of every month from 11:30 am to 1 pm (location and topic varies, so please check the calendar for details).

We are always welcoming new members, so please stop by our monthly Board Meeting if you want to contribute to the BSPPA community. Check the calendar for the location and time.


Upcoming events: 

BSPPA Excursion to the UC Berkeley Botanical Gardens,  Wednesday May 2nd, 2:00 PM

Enjoy the beautiful botanical gardens with fellow BSPPA Members. Admission is free on this day. Meet at the main entrance on Centennial Drive. You can get up the hill using the UCB H line. Please contact Mercedes at for more information.


BPA/BSPPA Spring Potluck Picnic, Saturday May 5th, 12:30 to 3:30, Live Oak Park Picnic Site #1, Berryman Street and Shattuck Avenue in Berkeley
You and your family are invited to join us for the BPA/BSPPA Spring Potluck Picnic, which will be held at Live Oak Park.  The site of several community festivals, Live Oak Park offers a range of recreational opportunities, with basketball and tennis courts, a recreation center, and tot and school-age play areas. The tot play area features an accessible tot climber; (animal spring toys, and swings are not disabled-accessible). The school-age play area features an accessible large climber with 12' high slide and swings. The picnic site is adjacent to a little creek, so bring a second set of clothes or a swim suit for your kids if they want to get in. While mosquitoes are not usually an issue, the entire park is set in an Oak Grove, so insect repellent may be needed. 

This event will be potluck. We will provide all the ingredients for sandwiches and bagels, but please bring along a salad, side dish, or dessert to share.  We encourage you to bring a dish that reflects your culture so potluck attendees can experience something new! We will also provide coffee, soft drinks, juices, and all the cups, plates, utensils, and napkins. Please use this Eventbrite link to register.


Course Announcement: Designing your life in the United States, May 22nd to June 28th (various dates, see flyer for more details), Home Room of the UC Berkeley International House

An eight-session course offered by the Berkeley Spouses, Partners and Parents Association (BSPPA). This course will be a fun and engaging way for VSPA affiliates (postdocs, visiting scholars and visiting student researchers as well as their registered partners and spouses) to learn information and tools to build a successful life in the United States. Participants will learn to understand American values, build skills and confidence to respond to culture shock and develop stronger coping strategies for the stresses of being here. They will also receive tips on best networking practices, learn about volunteering opportunities and rebuild their sense of identity in this new land. This is a unique opportunity to come together with other people going through a similar experience, learn from and share with each other, and take active steps toward creating a more fulfilling life here. Please see this flyer for more information.


Past events:

BSPPA Networking Meeting, Thursday April 5th, 2018

Bay Area Scientists in Schools (BASIS) joined with BSPPA for a special kids program. BASIS is a campus organization that connects graduate students and postdocs with elementary school students through fun and engaging hands-on STEM activities.  Kids created chromatography butterflies, took an aluminum boat challenge, and made a cloud in a bottle.

BSPPA Networking Meeting,  Thursday March 8th, 2018

The BSPPA Board discussed adult educational and volunteer opportunities in the East Bay. Topics included courses at the Berkeley Adult School, Berkeley Community College, and the public library and how to get involved in area community projects and at local schools. Please find all the resources about volunteering and adult education in our area here!

BSPPA Networking Meeting,  Thursday February 8th, 2018

Jessica Lee gave an overview of your legal rights as a parent and services that UC Berkeley. Jessica is a Staff Attorney at the Center for WorkLife Law at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law and leads The Pregnant Scholar initiative, developing and implementing best practices to ensure Title IX’s mandate prohibiting pregnancy discrimination in higher education.

BSPPA Networking Meeting,  Thursday January 18th

Rita Brown led a dicussion on understanding the American culture and taugh steps on how to minimize culture shock. Her workshop provided practical tips and resources to more creatively engage in your new life here supporting your partner and children.

Holiday Craft and Dessert Party, Thursday December 14th

 We celebrated the diversity of the BSPPA community with special treats, desserts and a lot of good conversations. 

Berkeley Postdoctoral Association Holiday Party, Wednesday December 6th

Once again, a wonderful event hosted by the BPA with plenty of food, drinks, and general merryment. For the little ones, there were glow bracelets, ballon animals, art activities, and a some cartoons playing on the big screen. 

BSPPA Networking Meeting,  Thursday November 9th

Marion Song lead a great discussion on career advice for the international community. Her workshop was a hands-on opportunity to go through the key elements of your job search and addressed some of the challenges you might face when starting exploring the U.S. market place. She led several short exercises on topics such as: how to start a job search, tips on how to prepare, importance of creating connections, and how to give an elevator pitch.

BSPPA Excursion to Discovery Day at AT&T Park, Saturday November 11th

An exciting day with colleagues and their families. Official information can be found here.

BSPPA Potluck, Sunday November 12th

Everyone had a fun day at Tilden Regional Park with a potluck lunch and walking tour of the Botanical Garden.

BSPPA Networking Meeting,  Thursday October 12th

Steve Johnson from Garnett & Powers was presenting. We navigated through the UC Berkeley health care system. We went through a few real life situations when you need health care. Steve talked about emergency situations, your primary care physician, urgent care procedures for after hours, referrals, and reimbursements. Here is his presentation and summary sheet.

BSPPA Mini Excursion to the Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive , Sunday September 17th,

Five families meet up for a day at BAMPFA. As you can tell, they had a lot of fun.

BSPPA Networking Meeting,  Thursday September 14th

Our guest speaker was Dr. Traci Grzymala from the berkeley-based Community Resources for Science (CRS). She discussed local family-friendly science and engineering events and explored ways to become involved with local elementary science teaching. Please see these handouts on local science events and organizations.

BSPPA Networking Meeting,  Thursday August 17th

Our guest speaker was Dinorah Meyer from the UC Berkeley Career Center.  Dinorah provided guidance for exploring career options via informational interviewing and for networking in a job search.  She also facilitated an activity that gave participants an opportunity to practice with each other and gain confidence using these skills. Please click here, here, and here for the handouts.

Family Excursion to the Lawrence Hall of Science, July 22, 2017

Sixty postdocs, visiting scholars, and their families spent a day at the Lawrence Hall of Science. Everybody had a great time and many new friends were made! We look forward to planning more events like this in the future.

BSPPA Networking Meeting, Thursday, July 20, 2017

We discussed the role of the Chancellor's Advisory Committee on Work and Family (CACWF) as an advocate for postdocs with dependents and solicited input on shaping the priorities of the CACWF moving forward (presentation).

BSPPA Networking Meeting, Thursday, June 8, 2017

Guest speakers Abby Kroken and Anke Schennink from the Postdoc Union led an information session on insurance (see handout here).

BSPPA Networking Meeting, Thursday, May 11, 2017
Guest speakers Veronica Ufoegbune, Executive Director of the Early Childhood Education Program at UCB (ECEP); Megan Burmeister, ECEP Admin Assistant; and Marina Moreida, ECEP Subsidized Enrollment discussed on- and off-campus resources for childcare. (see handout here).

Spring Potluck Picnic, Saturday April 29, 2017 at Live Oak Park.
Co-sponsored with the Berkeley Postdoc Association

BSPPA Networking Meeting, Thursday, April 13, 2017
The BSPPA board led a discussion on inexpensive local activities for children (see the Leisure Activities section on the Resources page)

BSPPA Networking Meeting,  Thursday, March 7, 2017
BSPPA Launch!

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