Sibby Anderson-Thompkins, Director
Sibby serves as Director of Postdoctoral Affairs in the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research. In her role, she oversees the UNC Postdoctoral Policies and Grievance Procedures, the Postdoctoral Research Awards for Excellence, and the Carolina Postdoctoral Program for Faculty Diversity. In addition, she is available for individual consultations with postdoctoral scholars and faculty mentors. She also coordinates several of the professional development programs and special initiatives for OPA.
Sibby brings more than 15 years experience in higher education administration. Her expertise is in serving and supporting the success of international, women and underrepresented minority students and postdoctoral scholars. Previously, Sibby served as Assistant Dean of Students and Assistant Dean in the Office of Student Academic Counseling here at Carolina. In addition, she served as an associate dean of student affairs at Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts. Prior to her return to Carolina, she served as a clinical faculty member in education and dean of advising at Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia. Sibby has been an active member of the National Postdoctoral Association (NPA) serving on the Diversity Committee and as the NPA’s first Diversity Officer. Presently, she serves on the Advisory Group for the NPA ADVANCE Project (From Postdoc to Faculty: Transition Issues for Women Scientists) and a committee on Science, Engineering and Public Policy of the National Academies charged with reporting the State of the Postdoctoral Experience for Scientists and Engineers Revisited.
Sibby completed her Ph.D. in Educational Policy Studies at Georgia State University. Additionally, Sibby holds a B.A. and a M.A. in Communication Studies from Carolina and a M.S. in Educational Research (Ethnography and Qualitative Methods) from GSU.
Dara Wilson-Grant, Associate Director
With over ten years experience providing career management education and training, Dara’s mission is to help individuals develop a framework for sound decision-making and career planning while also helping them to develop the skills required for a lifetime of professional success. In her role at OPA, Dara provides individual career counseling and coaching to postdoctoral scholars. She also designs, presents, and coordinates an array of career and professional development programs.
Dara holds a Master’s degree in Counseling from Fordham University and a BA in Business Administration from Goucher College. She is also a National Certified Counselor and a Certified Human Resource Recruitment Specialist. Prior to joining OPA in July of 2006, Dara was the Assistant Director at UNC’s career center and an instructor at UNC’s School of Education. Throughout her career, Dara has worked with students and professionals in a wide range of disciplines and career fields. However, her specialty is working with postdoctoral scholars and mid-career professionals in transition.
Jennifer Pruitt, Program Coordinator
Jennifer is the rejoining the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs as the new Program Coordinator. Jennifer is the contact for the Carolina Postdoctoral Program for Faculty Diversity, managing the recruitment, selecting, and onboarding for underrepresented postdoctoral scholars coming to Carolina to prepare for tenure-track faculty positions. In addition, she oversees the logistics for the career and professional development programs, workshops, and specials events for the office. She has more than six years of experience working at the university under the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research as the assistant to the Associate Vice Chancellor for Research.
Jennifer is an alumna of Meredith College in Raleigh, NC.
Alan Farber, Career Counselor
Alan joins Postdoctoral Affairs following 27 years as a university career development specialist. Prior to arriving at UNC, he was the Associate Director of Career Services at the University of San Diego, and the Assistant Director of Career Services at Northern Illinois University (NIU). He has taught graduate career development courses at NIU and the Illinois School of Professional Psychology.
Alan is a freelance career coach and contributing writer and editor for educational publisher Woodburn Press. Alan has helped thousands of students and seasoned professionals to explore their options and realize their professional dreams. He has conducted many professional presentations, and written numerous articles, guides, and book chapters on career-related topics.
Alan completed his Ph.D. in Counseling at Michigan State University. He has a Master’s degree in Counseling from Ball State University in Indiana, and a B.A. in Psychology from Marietta College in Ohio.
Suzanne Bodeen, Administrative Support Specialist
Ashley Mattheis, Funding and Research Development Consultant
Ashley has over seven years of experience working in Research Development and funding for academic research. She has supported many successful projects ranging from individual grants and fellowships to large-scale multi, inter, and transdisciplinary research centers. Ashley has a firm belief that the true secret to successful funding is a research-centered approach to identifying funding opportunities and developing short, mid, and long term research funding plans. Her focus then, is supporting researchers in developing, planning, and implementing their research visions through translating funding trends, creatively matching funding opportunities to proposed research, and developing researcher skills in engaging with research funding paradigms.
In the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs, Ashley will support the development and delivery of funding related programming for postdocs at Carolina. General funding related programs include one-on-one or team-based research project development and funding support as well as classes on finding funding and using funding resources and tools. Ashley is also working on developing discipline area specific programming including: K-Award Resources for Success and Strategies for Postdoc Funding in the Humanities.
Ashley holds a B.A. in Women’s and Gender Studies and an M.A. in Communication, both from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Ashley is also currently an advanced PhD Student in Communication at Carolina.
UNC Postdoctoral Readiness to Obtain Professorial Success (UNC-PROPS) Program Coordinator
Noelle Romero Noelle-Erin Romero received her B.S from Ursinus College, Collegeville, PA in biochemistry and molecular biology. She received her Ph.D. from the curriculum of genetics and molecular biology (GMB) in 2016 from UNC-Chapel Hill. Her research focused on the Drosophila melanogaster DNA repair protein Fancm. While in her Ph.D. program, Noelle was a graduate program assistant for the Initiative for Minority Excellence (IME), a participant in the Initiative for Maximizing Student Diversity (IMSD), and earned research fellowships and training grants through IMSD, GMB, the National Science Foundation, and The Royster Society at The Graduate School at UNC-CH.