New Class of NPA IMPACT Fellows Announced: Six outstanding postdocs hailing from underrepresented communities form third IMPACT class

ROCKVILLE, Md., Sept. 11, 2023 (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE) — The National Postdoctoral Association (NPA) today announced the members of its third class of scholars in its signature program designed to advance diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) in the postdoctoral community and beyond. The six fellows in the NPA’s 2023-2024 IMPACT Fellowship Program (“IMPACT”) are postdoctoral researchers representing diverse backgrounds, disciplines, and geographies.

National Postdoctoral Association - 20 Years

Image Caption: National Postdoctoral Association – 20 Years.

“We are thrilled to welcome this cohort of remarkable individuals who are not only striving to reach their full potential but committed to lift up one another along the way,” commented Thomas P. Kimbis, J.D., executive director and chief executive officer of the NPA. “By strengthening themselves through the IMPACT program, they position themselves as leaders within their fields, their communities, and our society.”

IMPACT was launched in 2021 to empower postdoctoral scholars from underrepresented backgrounds to build skills, understand strengths and develop networks. Competition for seats in the third year of the program grew dramatically, with nearly one hundred applicants from across the globe for only six positions. This year’s selectees are early-career professionals in fields ranging from molecular biology and neuroscience to chemical engineering and education.

Fellows begin today on a 16-month program that allows them to recognize and build upon their own strengths, learn from their peers, network with experts, connect with IMPACT alums who have already completed the program, and gain additional mentors, allowing them to advance confidently in their careers. IMPACT Fellows also use the knowledge, tools and resources they gain from the program to implement innovative activities or initiatives at their institutions that amplify the impact of the fellowship as they contribute back to home communities.

“We are just beginning to grasp the full reach and impact this program has on both IMPACT Fellows and their communities,” said Caleb McKinney, Ph.D., MPS, chair of the NPA board of directors. “In the right environment, a small cohort of diverse leaders like this one builds capacity to positively affect thousands.”

NPA IMPACT Fellows, Class of 2023-24:

  • Angela Crumdy, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania
  • Lisa Eshun-Wilson, Ph.D., The Scripps Research Institute
  • Pierre Kawak, Ph.D., University of South Florida
  • Nicole Maphis, Ph.D., University of New Mexico
  • Islamiat Raji, Ph.D., Queen’s University
  • Henkel Valentine, Ph.D., Fox Chase Cancer Center

IMPACT is made possible through the generosity of its sponsors, who have included the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Charles River Laboratories, Columbia University, Gallagher Insurance, LS-PAC MODELS Center, the University of Illinois Chicago, the University of Chicago, and the National Science Foundation.

Learn more:

The NPA is seeking additional sponsors to support underrepresented communities of scholars, promote their own diversity goals, and advance discussion and action in areas needing critical attention.

Academic institutions, companies, and nonprofit funders wishing to engage with the NPA can read more about available sponsorship opportunities:

About National Postdoctoral Association:

The NPA is a national charitable and educational nonprofit association headquartered in Rockville, Maryland, that seeks to improve the postdoctoral experience by supporting a culture of inclusive connection. Individuals seeking to support NPA and its charitable mission, please visit


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