Tufts Is Named a Top Fellowship Campus by Team IMPACT

The nonprofit, which matches children with chronic or serious illness with college athletic teams, recognizes the university’s student-athletes for their efforts

Team IMPACT, an organization that matches children facing serious illness and disability with college sports teams, has named Tufts University its 2024 Division III Team IMPACT Fellowship Campus of the Year. 

“Tufts has always been special to Team IMPACT, as eight of our founders met as students at Tufts, and 13 years later we are proud that the dedication, passion, and drive to further Team IMPACT’s mission is stronger than ever within the Jumbos community,” said Team Impact CEO Joe Daniels. 

Tufts Athletics began working with Team IMPACT in 2011, when Team IMPACT was founded. That year women’s soccer welcomed Joli to the team, and since then 28 Team IMPACT teammates have joined Jumbos rosters. Seven Jumbo teams currently have Team IMPACT teammates on their roster as of 2023-24.

“We are proud and honored to have been selected the Team IMPACT Fellowship Campus of the Year,” said Alexis Mastronardi, deputy director of athletics. “We are incredibly grateful for the bonds that have been formed between our matches, families, student-athletes, coaches, and staff. To now have our Team IMPACT fellowship program recognized on a national level speaks to the tremendous work of our student-athletes, who care so deeply about this program.”

Since 2019, 14 Tufts student-athletes have joined the Team IMPACT Fellowship program. Last year, Tufts fellows included Stephen Michaels, A24, and Shane Reiner, A24, from football, Mikayla Paquette, A25, and Samantha Sousa, A24, from women’s basketball, Christine Audette, E24, from volleyball and John Fritz, A24, of the baseball squad. The current Tufts fellows include women’s basketball players Paquette and Sarah Crossett, A26, women’s lacrosse and basketball dual sport athlete Annie Aspesi, A26, volleyball’s Akpevwe Akpoigbe, A27, and Emma Norman, A26, and baseball’s Nick Goldberg, A27. 

In collaboration with the athletics department, the fellows were able to plan Team IMPACT awareness games, table at many community events, present at board meetings, and attend different donor events to continue to share the word about Team IMPACT.

The award will be formally presented during a networking event at this year’s Fellowship Summit, on July 18 at the Trustee Center on Boston University’s campus. 

This coming academic year, the Team IMPACT Fellowship Program will include nationally more than 250 student-athletes from more than 130 campuses. As fellows, they will represent Team IMPACT on their campuses and collaborate with the athletic department and greater campus community to raise awareness and increase program participation. 

Team IMPACT will provide opportunities for fellows to build their skills in leadership, community engagement, public speaking, and professional/career development, preparing them to be leaders in the workforce and beyond.

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