Stewart Neifert, A&S '20 (MS), worked at Johns Hopkins University for nine years as a senior research specialist and lab manager within the Institute for Cell Engineering, performing experiments and contributing to multiple peer-reviewed papers on Parkinson's disease. But for the 2021–22 academic year, Neifert has traded his lab coat for a blazer.
As a Presidential Management Fellow, Neifert is working with Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures to help build an innovation ecosystem in Maryland, manage JHTV's Commercialization Academy, and bolster diverse faculty engagement in entrepreneurship.
"I have been able to work on high-priority projects with university leadership, significantly extend my network, and learn new skills, which make me better suited for leadership positions," Neifert says. "I feel that the fellowship has provided me the opportunity to pivot into a new role that suits my interests and skills and has high growth potential."
Neifert is one of eight fellows in yearlong, full-time, salaried jobs in advisory and management roles across university administration. The highly selective program offers career training and mentorship to new and soon-t0-be alums.
"We created the Presidential Management Fellows program to allow recent graduates to deepen their connection to the university and to the city of Baltimore while learning how decisions at complex institutions like ours are made," JHU President Ron Daniels says. "By working closely with Johns Hopkins staff and being embedded with senior leadership, these fellows are bringing invaluable insights to Hopkins while honing skills and gaining experience that will help them fulfill their highest professional aspirations."
Maningbè Keita Fakeye, A&S '14, SPH '21 (PhD), the fellow in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, is working on JHU's Roadmap on Diversity and Inclusion, the Vivien Thomas Scholars Initiative, and the Faculty Diversity Initiative.
"As a student, I was mainly on the receiving end of the decision-making process, and now it's very meaningful that I'm able to participate at a more executive level in problem-solving, innovation, and the overall steward¬ship of resources," Fakeye says. "My exposure to university administration through this fellowship is in itself a step toward structural equity."
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