Hokanson, Peterson & Williams Clayton Win 2024 Top Postdoctoral Awards

SEATTLE, Wash. — During its annual conference, the National Postdoctoral Association (NPA) announced that Sarah Hokanson, Ph.D., Karen Peterson, Ph.D., and Sade Williams Clayton, Ph.D., are the 2024 winners of the organization’s three most prestigious awards.

“These three awards represent the top honors that the NPA can bestow on individuals,” said Caleb M. McKinney, Ph.D., M.P.S., chair of the NPA board. “We should all pause to reflect on this trio of excellence in mentorship, distinguished service to the postdoctoral community, and impeccable leadership while in one’s postdoc position.”

The NPA Gallagher Mentor Award recognizes the very best of mentors across the nation who advocate for postdoctoral scholars, celebrate diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB) values, and empower their postdoc scholars to succeed. The NPA is dedicated to both recognizing champions and serving as a model for greater DEIB across the postdoctoral community.

Dr. Sarah Hokanson was selected as the 2024 Gallagher Mentor of the Year today to a field of applauding peers. “Mentoring is my most important, fulfilling, and joyful responsibility,” she explained. “I am so grateful to be in collaborative learning relationships with such outstanding postdoctoral scholars and to have the opportunity to support them to make an impact through our work.” Hokanson is assistant vice president and assistant provost of research development for Ph.D. and postdoctoral affairs at Boston University.

The NPA Distinguished Service Award recognizes the highest appreciation for an individual who has demonstrated a profound, sustained, or leadership contribution to improving the postdoctoral experience. Today, that honor was bestowed on Dr. Karen Peterson, an early advocate and former board member of the NPA.

“I’m very honored to receive this award from the NPA,” commented Peterson, “which is leading the way to improve the lives of postdoctoral fellows and has been instrumental to my own career development over the past two decades.” Peterson is the scientific ombudsman and director of the Office of Scientific Career Development at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

This year, the NPA presented its first Postdoc of the Year Award, bestowing that honor on Sade Williams Clayton, Ph.D., a postdoctoral research fellow at Washington University in St. Louis. The award recognizes a postdoc who has advanced the postdoctoral community in an exceptional manner beyond their work duties and in alignment with the NPA mission and core values.

“I am so humbled by this recognition,” said Williams Clayton. “I applaud the National Postdoctoral Association for providing this award as a platform to uplift the hard work that postdocs provide at and away from the bench to better the academic community.”

“I’m thrilled that we are able to celebrate the incredible achievements of Dr. Williams Clayton beyond those of her day job,” said Tom Kimbis, executive director and chief executive officer of the NPA. “The launch of the NPA Postdoc of the Year Award sends another strong signal that the NPA recognizes the irreplaceable role of postdocs in the greater research environment.”

Individuals and organizations can follow the work of Drs. Hokanson, Peterson, and Williams Clayton online while also collaborating with the NPA, which is committed to advancing the skills and careers of our nation’s hard-working postdoctoral scholars.

About the National Postdoctoral Association:

The National Postdoctoral Association (NPA) is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) charitable and educational association headquartered in Bethesda, MD. Founded in 2003, the NPA envisions an inclusive community where all postdocs are empowered, valued, recognized, and supported in their current and future endeavors. The NPA serves the entire postdoctoral community, including its 20,000 individual and 250 organizational members.

Learn more: https://www.nationalpostdoc.org/

NPA Annual Conference 2024:

Learn more: https://www.nationalpostdoc.org/events/eventdetails.aspx?id=1779542

Related link: https://www.nationalpostdoc.org/

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