Dr. Nikea Pittman is a postdoctoral scholar iat the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (USA). She utilizes cryo-electron microscopy to visualize proteins by capturing snapshots of their three-dimensional structures. Her work focuses on an uncharacterized class of membrane proteins, which are involved in seemingly disparate functions among humans and bacteria. In addition, she uses these images to initiate conversations with early career college students and to recruit young minds to pursue science careers. Through effective mentoring, Nikea strives to help students overcome barriers that would leave otherwise marginalized groups on the outskirts of academia. Beginning in 2019 her efforts were recognized by selection for a fellowship through the Seeding Postdoctoral Innovators in Research and Education program to support her goal of equipping undergraduates to effectively learn biochemistry. She continues to strengthen her research and teaching practices, while also tackling the challenges of being a first-time mom, learning how to crochet, and striving to beat her husband at board games.