Upton, NY- Victoria McLane, a physics associate at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory and an active advocate for women's rights in the workplace, has won this year's "Outstanding Woman Scientist Award" from the Metropolitan New York Chapter of the Association for Women in Science.
Along with three other recipients, McLane was honored for her scientific contributions, and especially for her support and encouragement of women in the sciences, at a ceremony held in Manhattan on November 13.
McLane said, "I am proud to receive this honor, and besides thanking the Association for Women in Science, I'd like to thank the many women and men at Brookhaven Lab with whom I have worked to respond to the needs of women employees. From starting a child care center for children of employees to establishing a mentoring program at Brookhaven, I believe we have accomplished a great deal together."
McLane earned a B.A. in physics from Adelphi University in 1961. Employed at Brookhaven since 1962, she now oversees the compilation and evaluation of neutron reaction data at the National Nuclear Data Center, which publishes reference books and maintains an on-line database for 2,000 users. Researchers use these data for a variety of projects, from conducting basic physics experiments on the nature or matter to dating art objects using a technique called neutron activation analysis.
In 1979, McLane cofounded Brookhaven Women in Science (BWIS), and she has since been an active member and officer of that nonprofit advocacy group. In 1981, she initiated the Renate W. Chasman Scholarship for Women, an award given by BWIS annually to a Long Island woman who has returned to college to study science after her schooling was interrupted.
McLane was also Brookhaven Lab's Women's Program Coordinator from 1993-96, and she co-chaired the committee sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy to promote women in the workplace. She also chaired the Brookhaven National Laboratory Planning Committee for the Fifth Review of Laboratory Programs for Women.
McLane also helped to set up a pilot mentoring program at the Laboratory. Said McLane, "Minorities and women are usually less visible in the workplace, and the mentoring relationship could provide them with more visibility and networking opportunities. By starting this program, which now involves four mentor-mentee pairs, I believe we are boosting employees' morale and helping them to develop important business skills and relationships."
Brookhaven National Laboratory carries out basic and applied research in the physical, biomedical and environmental sciences and in selected energy technologies. Brookhaven is operated by Associated Universities, Inc., a nonprofit research management organization, under contract with the U.S. Department of Energy.