Featured Weingarten Ambassadors


Jacoby “Niko” Simpkins, Class of 2022

Jacoby “Niko” Simpkins is an undergraduate engineering student. Niko has served several roles in the National Society of Black Engineers, NSBE; works closely with the staff at the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, ODEI, in Penn Engineering; and serves as the President of the Underrepresented Student Advisory Board in Engineering, USABE. He is also one of our introductory Weingarten Ambassadors! Learn about his reasons for joining below!

Why I’m a Weingarten Ambassador: Weingarten has played a critical role in my academic and holistic success at the University. In fact, I never could’ve anticipated the extent of enrichment that has come from the relationships I’ve built here. Similarly, beyond the stigma implying successful people don’t need help, a handful of students (namely, those of underprivileged or underrepresented backgrounds) have no similar experiences to gauge the difference a resource like the Weingarten Center can make.

What I’m Doing: My advocacy focuses on creating opportunities through workshops and informal/low-stakes engagements that introduce students to the valuable resources that the Weingarten Center offers.


Hoang Anh Phan, Class of 2023

Hoang Anh Phan, a doctoral student in the chemistry department at Penn and an international student.Hoang Anh Phan is a third-year Ph.D. candidate at Penn Chemistry, pursuing her interests in the interfaces of Chemistry, Biology, and Medicine. Hoang Anh is a member of the Professional Advancement Committee of Penn Women in Chemistry, the International Affairs Committee of GAPSA, and has been an Ambassador since her second year of graduate school!

Why I’m a Weingarten Ambassador: I strive to connect graduate and undergraduate students at the departmental and school-wide levels. As an aspiring educator, I am passionate about fostering engaging and nurturing spaces where healthy mentoring relationships among faculty, teaching assistants, and students exist. I also want to advocate for women, international students, and underrepresented groups in academia and everyday life settings.

What I’m Doing: Exploring meaningful ways to connect Penn undergraduates with graduate students.