The Career Impact Award

PHutures established the Career Impact Award in 2021 to celebrate individuals at JHU who are not career development professionals but who go above and beyond to share expertise, networks and support to trainees as they deepen and develop their disciplinary knowledge while exploring diverse and meaningful professional opportunities.

2022 Nominations are now open! Deadline to nominate your choice for Career Impact Award recipient is September 30, 2022. Career Impact Award recipients are:
  • Effective mentors: They reveal hidden forms of knowledge that improve conditions for success, support trainees with honest but respectfully shared feedback, and offer connections with professionally relevant and supportive contacts.
  • Academic allies: Whether or not they share similar fields, they support trainees’ evolving intellectual interests and help them chart paths toward achieving academic goals while articulating and leveraging their competencies into meaningful opportunities.
  • Co-explorers: They encourage career curiosity and exploration as trainees design and re-design their lives by normalizing failure and celebrating multiple destinations.
  • Safe and supportive colleagues: They create visibility and space while providing support for trainees of varied backgrounds leading diverse and multidimensional lives.
Recipients of the Career Impact Award are acknowledged in an awards ceremony that accompanies the annual Horizons by Hopkins conference. Read more about the Career Impact Award in the JHU Hub!
Meet the Inaugural Career Impact Award Winners!
TERESA BROCKIE, PHD, MSN, RN Assistant Professor, Johns Hopkins School of Nursing
[Dr. Brockie] helps make Johns Hopkins a more welcoming environment, particularly for scholars from diverse backgrounds. Her wish is for everyone to feel safe, welcome, and able to bring their whole selves to their education, so that everyone is prepared to help communities, achieve health equity, and make the world a greater place.
THOMAS KEMPA, PHD Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry
Tom’s passion for science and research is evident. Every single conversation I have with him exudes with a curiosity and passion for learning that I can’t say I’ve seen matched in anyone else. Tom’s goal is to help us find and foster our OWN passions in an effort to achieve academic AND personal goals.
SIMON LEONARD, PHD Assistant Research Professor, Department of Computer Science
Confused about what to do, it was Simon that got me on my feet. ‘It is okay to make the wrong choice.’ He told me. ‘It’s what you do after making that choice that matters.’ Those words were so simple, but they have always stuck with me. It was the first time a mentor had ever normalized failure for me.
W. TAYLOR COTTLE Ph.D. Student, Department of Biophysics and Biophysical Chemistry
Taylor is no stranger to connecting with people in various aspects of their lives and is positive and welcoming environment for trainees to grow. Taylor works very hard to make sure that every member of the Hopkins Biotech Network (HBN) feels supported and excited about their role in the group.
GIAN C. MOLINA-CASTRO Ph.D. Student, Department of Neuroscience
Gian is generally a wonderful teacher of career development event planning . . . [and he has] further has been an incredible expert in supporting not just exposure to and acceptance of different ideas, but also developing skills and resilience to handle setbacks and failure and to improve communication skills for all.
VARSHINI VARADARAJ, MD, MPH Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Wilmer Eye Institute
As a 1st generation immigrant and woman, Dr. Varadaraj understands the distinct challenges that students from unique backgrounds face and has made mentorship a priority . . . She is committed to helping her mentees attain their career goals while pressing them to develop into reflective and independent thinkers, making her a supportive academic ally.
KELLY CLARK Associate Director of Center for Educational Resources, Teaching Academy
The impact that Kelly’s knowledge, support and enthusiasm has had not only on my career but also on other trainees at JHU is evident from the fact that in the past 5 years alone, she has organized and offered 230 training workshops, totaling nearly 550 training hours in which over 6,000 graduate students and post-doctoral fellows participated.
RENEE EASTWOOD Director for Graduate Academic Affairs, KSAS
Regardless of her interaction with faculty, students, or peers, Renee’s interactions show that she is someone on your side. She binds opposing constituents to act together and protect one another. She is a great listener and I will mention . . . her empathetic nature to have students and mentors act together to protect each other.
DANA FERRARIS, PHD Chair, Department of Chemistry, McDaniel College | JHU ‘99, ‘09
Not only by being an excellent role model himself, Dr. Ferraris is also always available for his students as a mentor . . . He listens attentively and respectfully – makes you feel heard. His comments or suggestions are insightful and he always follows through on promises to share resources, put people in contact, or even come to students’ personal events! He’s the kind of person you know always has your back.
ERIN GUINN-VILLAREAL, PHD Analyst, Government Accountability Office | JHU ‘12, ‘18
Providing support for trainees of varied background has been the keynote of Dr. Guinn-Villareal’s mentorship . . . It is not an exaggeration to say that Dr. Guinn-Villareal has exhibited deep respect and a high level of empathy for her international trainees, although not being an international person herself. Dr. Erin Guinn-Villareal is also well-known for her dedication to supporting trainees from underrepresented groups.

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