Meet the 2020 Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Award Recipients

New in 2020, the Excellence in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Staff Awards recognize key contributors who demonstrates leadership qualities that exemplify the ideals of inclusion, diversity, and equity into practical action. The recipients are:

  • Debbie Bauer, Environmental Protection Division
  • Juanita McKinney, Information Technology Division
  • Mary Rogers, Procurement & Property Management Division

Shirley Kendall of the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Office, received the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Pioneer Award. This award recognizes individuals who have inspired others with breakthrough approaches in the areas of diversity, equity and inclusion. It differs in that it shows how the recipient taught and lead sustained advancement and left an indelible mark within this field.

All four honorees' citations are included below:

Debbie Bauer, Environmental Protection Division

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Debbie Bauer

Debbie Bauer has been an environmental professional and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) champion at Brookhaven National Laboratory for more than 20 years.

Soon after starting at the Lab in 1998, Bauer joined the new Gay, Lesbian, or Bisexual Employee (GLOBE) Club. She became president of GLOBE in 2002 and held the position for five years. As president of the recently revitalized Pride Alliance employee resource group, Bauer has increased membership and mentors early career employees to prepare them for leadership roles.

In 2020, Bauer worked tirelessly to execute a virtual Pride Month celebration during the COVID-19 pandemic. The month-long celebration was a success, and a great example of an initiative to increase employees' understanding of LGBTQ+ culture and promote DEI at the Lab.

Every day, Bauer has been a champion for a work environment that is welcoming, supportive, and nurturing of cultural, ethnic, racial, class, gender, sexual orientation, language, and other differences.

Juanita McKinney, Information Technology Division

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Juanita McKinney

For more than 40 years, Juanita McKinney has strived to make Brookhaven Lab welcoming and supportive for people representing diverse backgrounds and traits.

For three years, she was vice president of the Lab’s African American Advancement Group (AAAG), as the group saw a resurgence of activity and relevance. Today she is president. With McKinney’s leadership, the AAAG’s activity has become a template for other growing ERGs, partnering for events, and engaging with Lab leadership about issues related to the communities they represent.

McKinney s dedication to the AAAG’s scholarship fund has inspired a growing number of colleagues to support the AAAG and other employee resource groups.  McKinney also helps organize and lead the reading of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

McKinney’s commitment to the Lab mission—and to the success of all her colleagues—goes well beyond her DEI activities. This award for her work to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion is most deserved.

Mary Rogers, Procurement & Property Management Division

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Mary Rogers

Mary Rogers is a champion for Brookhaven Lab’s commitment to inclusion, diversity, and equity.

As Small Business Liaison Officer, she actively works to form new relationships with minority and women-owned businesses. She also dedicated a tremendous amount of her time, emotion, and energy toward inclusion in her former role as president of the Lab’s African American Advancement Group (AAAG) and now as the group's president emeritus.

Rogers helped distinguish the AAAG a well-recognized and well-respected employee resource group. She updated the AAAG mission, positioning it to be a more strategic resource aimed at hiring, retention, education, mentorship, and career advancement of African American talent at all levels. The AAAG has grown its annual scholarships awards program for high school seniors pursuing STEM studies in college. In collaboration with Susan Pepper of the Nonproliferation & National Security Department and Noel Blackburn of the Office of Educational Programs, Rogers helped build a pilot 2020 AAAG summer internship program.

In distressing times, Rogers took on a pivotal role as conduit, translator, and ally to help foster open and honest conversations about inclusion, diversity, and equity in the context of the killing of George Floyd.

Shirley Kendall of the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Office

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Shirley Kendall

Shirley Kendall received the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Pioneer Award.

Kendall has made significant impact on Brookhaven's strategies, initiatives, and goals to make the Laboratory more diverse, equitable, and inclusive (DEI).

Kendall consistently led Lab staff and leadership to be more inclusive of those with perspectives and experiences different from our own. She has been a champion to enhance diversity efforts for recruitment, retention, and compensation. She ensured that we held ourselves accountable for living our commitment to DEI.

Kendall provided leadership for the Laboratory to implement a new governance for DEI, which included the formation of a diversity external advisory board. She hired people of backgrounds underrepresented at Brookhaven and provided them mentorship and guidance to advance in their careers.

Kendall introduced programs to expand the pool of qualified minority students and post-docs. She strengthened connections with professional organizations for minorities in science and engineering. And she expanded and reinvigorated employee resource groups at the Laboratory.

Shirley has left a lasting mark on Brookhaven and this Laboratory is all the better for it.

Meet all 314 staff members at Brookhaven Lab recognized for distinguished contributions to the Laboratory's mission and milestone anniversaries in 2020.

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