'Sharing our legacy: Reflections from consortium leaders'

New interview series highlights DPC programs and projects

By Melissa Simon

October 2, 2023

A legacy is the long-lasting impact of one’s work. 

For the Diversity Program Consortium (DPC), that legacy will include its contributions to science, technology, engineering, math and medicine (STEMM) and the efforts of its members who strive to provide better opportunities for future generations of researchers.

During the 2023 DPC Annual Grantees Conference in June, various principal investigators were interviewed about their work for a new DPC series called “Sharing our legacy: Reflections from consortium leaders.”

The DPC is an initiative funded by the National Institutes of Health that focuses on implementing strategies to enhance the training and mentoring of students and faculty, while also expanding the research capacity of institutions. 


This work is done through programs like Building Infrastructure Leading to Diversity (BUILD), DPC Dissemination and Translational Awards (DaTA), Sponsored Programs Administration Development (SPAD) and the National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN).

Interviews will be released monthly through the spring of 2024. 

Read about the featured DPC leaders below. 

‘The thrill of innovation’ — Akshay Sood, MD, helps underrepresented faculty succeed 

Akshay Sood, MD, MPH, an NRMN U01 principal investigator from the University of New Mexico, shares how his project explores innovative research mentor interventions for underrepresented faculty in the Southwest. 

“I like [being a] scientist because of the thrill of innovation. . . . We survive by innovation and science is the way to innovate and that's what I like the most about science.”

Read his Q&A and watch his interview, “The thrill of innovation.”

‘Truly transformational’ — Dorota Huizinga, PhD, talks about how funding can change the grant proposal landscape

Dorota Huizinga, PhD, is the principal investigator for Advancing Sponsored Program Infrastructure for Research Excellence (ASPIRE), an NIH-funded Sponsored Programs Administration Development (SPAD) grant at CSU San Bernardino that aims to reorganize grant proposal infrastructure and enhance research development. 

“This grant was truly transformational for us. [SPAD is] going to help us to continue [and] I already know a lot of things will be done, continued beyond this grant.”

Read her Q&A and watch her interview, “Truly transformational.”

‘Ever so present’ — Doris Rubio, PhD, hopes support for underrepresented groups in STEMM continues at institutions

Doris Rubio, PhD, principal investigator for an NRMN U01 research grant at the University of Pittsburgh, hopes to see more interventions focused on post-doctoral and junior faculty at various institutions to further diversity in science, technology, engineering, math and medicine (STEMM). 

“Legacy to me means something that is kind of legendary and historical. I don't want this to be historical; I want it to be ever so present at every university.”

Read her Q&A and watch her interview, “Ever so present.”

‘Making mentorship an important institutional initiative’ — Jamboor Vishwanatha, PhD, hopes the NRMN’s Resource Center will continue to expand

Jamboor “JK” Vishwanatha, PhD, the principal investigator for the NRMN’s Resource Center, shares how mentorship training, opportunities for networking, webinars and professional development activities have helped connect mentors and mentees across the nation. 

“We will see that this National Research Mentoring Network is a go-to place for mentees and mentors from around the country.”

Read his Q&A and watch his interview, “Making mentorship an important institutional initiative.”

‘The joy of teamwork’ — Kola Okuyemi, MD, MPH, says peer feedback makes work more meaningful

Kolawole S. Okuyemi, MD, MPH, shares how peer-to-peer feedback and a desire to participate in mentor training were key in his National Institutes of Health U01 research grant, affiliated with the DPC’s National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN).


“You see how eager folks are to contribute to each other's work, you know that's quite impressive.”  

Read his Q&A and watch his interview, “The joy of teamwork.”

‘Bridge builders and catalysts’ — Oluwatoyin Asojo, PhD, says faculty can support future researchers along the biomedical training pipeline

Oluwatoyin Asojo, PhD, principal investigator for a DPC DaTA at Hampton University discusses how efforts to improve chemistry curriculum, use undergraduate research experiences to develop student competency and develop leadership training for faculty has led to institutional change. 

“My hope is that we see ourselves as bridge builders and catalysts that enhance the chances and the opportunities for the next generation of students. I hope that the institutional transformation is sustained.”  

Read her Q&A and watch her interview, “Bridge builders and catalysts.”

Up next: Karsten Hueffer, DVM, PhD, principal investigator for a BUILD program at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

A dpc /_next/static/media/News-Icon.668db944.svg icon.

Recent News

A dpc /_next/static/media/Chat-Icon.d89f9794.svg icon.

Connect with us

(or ask us for help!)





















The Diversity Program Consortium Coordination and Evaluation Center at UCLA is supported by Office of the Director of the National Institutes of Health / National Institutes of General Medical Sciences under award number U54GM119024.

A dpc /_next/static/media/DPC-Tree.6d907ad5.svg icon.

Grow Together.