NAPE Rising Star Award

Purpose: To honor a person with 10 years or less of work experience, who has demonstrated exemplary leadership traits at an early career point to promote access, equity, and/or diversity in education and/or the workforce.

Eligibility:  Any person from government, industry, nonprofit, or education/academia who is in the beginning career stages.  They must be a NAPE member or from an organization that has served as a collaborative partner with NAPE.

Number Given:  1

Ideal Candidate: The ideal candidate has distinguished themselves from peers by promoting access, equity, and diversity in the workplace or community and has demonstrated through actions that they embrace the NAPE belief that access to diverse human brain power will help to solve global challenges.

Selection Criteria:  Candidates will be determined based on their embodiment of these NAPE values:

Collaborative, Diverse

  • Has undertaken significant tasks that promote equity, access, and diversity at local, state or national levels
  • Has a record of inclusion: ensures diversity in program advisement, planning, and organization of programs
  • Participates in the larger equity community
  • Develops future leaders in his or her profession and/or community
  • Provides a vital service to his or her community demonstrating character in alignment with the values and mission of NAPE
  • Demonstrates leadership skills with the ability to operate effectively in a team or unassisted, contributing positively to organization operations and working relationships

Innovative, Agile

  • Brings value to NAPE by offering new ideas, programs, or mechanisms to foster NAPE’s mission and values
  • Challenges the status quo
  • Has made a contribution to the workplace by showing innovation in planning and implementing a successful project

Outcome Driven

  • Demonstrates ability to create and implement programs and procedures to improve educational equity
  • What has the candidate done to separate him or herself from peers?
  • Is the candidate a risk taker?
  • Is the candidate willing to advocate for others less fortunate or less in a position to advocate for themselves?
  • Has the candidate participated in the larger equity community?  If so, how?
  • Has the nominee challenged the status quo?

If you have any feedback on the awards website or process, please contact Award Committee Chair, Randall Butt at

Snehal Bhakta

Congratulations to the 2019 Rising Star—Snehal Bhakta

Past Winners: Chelsea Chee (2018), Lauren Jones (2016), Annissa Langworthy (2015),  Lisa Bowman-Perrott (2014), Lakshmi Mahadevan (2013), Yvonne Perez (2012)