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News & Press: Leadership

NPA Welcomes New Diversity Officers

Tuesday, February 25, 2020  
Posted by: Amy Wilson
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Februuary 25, 2020

The National Postdoctoral Association (NPA) Board of Directors has appointed Matthew Aguirre, Ph.D., and Vipul Sharma, Ph.D., as Diversity Officers. The Diversity Officers serve as the public faces of diversity postdoc issues for the NPA, and as primary advisors for the Board of Directors, staff, and committees. They take over the duties of Claire Horner-Devine, Ph.D. and Caleb McKinney, Ph.D. The NPA thanks them for their service as Diversity Officers.

Aguirre is the director of postdoctoral affairs, graduate recruitment, and diversity initiatives for the Graduate School at the University of Nevada, Reno. He is responsible for designing and implementing Graduate School initiatives such as professional development for postdoctoral scholars and graduate students, graduate student recruitment, and diversity. He provides strategic direction to identify, recruit, and support diverse graduate students. He works alongside the graduate student association to further provide resources and support for graduate students and postdoctoral scholars. Before his position with the Graduate School, he worked in the Office of Diversity Initiatives as a graduate assistant and was a lecturer for the College of Education. He received his doctoral degree from the University of Nevada, Reno in education with an emphasis in equity and diversity.

Sharma is a staff scientist at Washington University in St. Louis. He received his doctoral degree in cardiovascular developmental genetics from the Institute of Genetic Medicine, Newcastle University, UK and did his postdoctoral work in Washington University in St. Louis. He is interested in understanding heart development and how it relates to congenital heart defects or cardiovascular diseases. During his postdoc he served as outreach director and executive council member of the campus’ PDA. He also collaborated with the university’ Office of Postdoctoral Affairs and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Office on projects championing postdocs. He is passionate about graduate and postdoctoral affairs like mentorship, advocacy, policy making, and increasing representation and diversity. In his free time he enjoys spending time with his cats.