Women of Color Awards Showcase Navy's Commitment to STEM, Diversity

Story Number: NNS101102-08Release Date: 11/2/2010 2:32:00 PM
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By Lt. Laura K. Stegherr, Diversity Directorate Public Affairs

DALLAS (NNS) -- Sixteen uniformed and civilian Navy women were honored during the National Women of Color (WOC) Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Conference in Dallas Oct. 29-30.

Sponsored by Career Communications Group (CCG) Inc., the 15th anniversary conference drew more than 1,200 participants, ranging from distinguished scientists and engineers to senior executives from industry, academia and government.

"Minority women are playing an increasingly responsible role in shaping our technology today," said Tyrone D. Taborn, CCG Inc. chairman and CEO. "This conference is designed to provide long-overdue recognition of some of America's most distinguished women in technology and business, who just happen to be women of color."

The conference also included several award ceremonies which honored women who demonstrate excellence in the STEM fields, leadership in the workplace and the community, work as role models and mentors and commitment to recruiting and retaining minorities in the nation's scientific and technical enterprises.

The Navy Medicine Support Command commander and director of the Navy's Medical Service Corps, Rear Adm. Eleanor Valentin, received the WOC's top award of Technologist of the Year at the awards gala Oct. 30.

"While I'm honored and thankful [to receive this award], I am getting credit for the work of the people of Navy Medicine Support Command," said Valentin. "The 4,300 professionals I am privileged to lead work day and night to help ensure the health and readiness of our war fighters who serve in harm's way to defend our freedom."

Also honored at the gala with the Managerial Leadership Award was Capt. Pat Williams, Ph.D., director of admissions for the U.S. Naval Academy, who was recognized for leading the academy's efforts in recruiting the most racially, ethnically and geographically diverse class in its history.

Other Navy members awarded for their professional achievement and leadership in STEM fields included Capt. Joan Queen, executive assistant to the Navy's deputy surgeon general, who won a Special Recognition Award; Janie Mines, senior advisor of business processes to the Secretary of the Navy, who was recognized with a Business Achievement Award; and Student Leadership Award winner Ensign Natalya Aoki, a Naval Academy graduate, who was awarded for her efforts in inspiring young people to pursue careers in STEM.

Six Navy members were recipients of WOC's 2010 Technology All-Star Awards, which recognized women who excelled professionally and demonstrated leadership in the workplace. Awardees included Katrina Mansfield, CH-53K Heavy Lift Helicopter Data, Displays and Cockpit Avionics systems project engineer at Naval Air Systems Command; Burvis Robinson, supervisory management analyst at Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC); Andrea Freeman, command information officer at NAVFAC Far East; Voka Stokes, management analyst and training officer at Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command Atlantic; Chief Hospital Corpsman Colleen Ramsay; and Chief Musician Amy K. Jarjoura, of the Naval Academy.

Winners of the Technology Rising Star Awards, recognized for their efforts in shaping technology for the future, included Diana Pang, electronics engineer with Naval Sea Systems Command's (NAVSEA) Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division Newport, R.I.; Amanda DuRant, NAVSEA's deputy assistant program manager for Dual Band Radar Program in the Program Executive Officer for Integrated Weapons Systems, Above Water Sensors directorate; Jennapher Howard, electronic acquisition specialist at NAVFAC; and Naval Academy Midshipmen 1st Class Kelsey Cellon and Andrea "Ebony" Pierre.

CCG is an organization that aims to promote significant minority achievement in engineering, science and technology through such events as the WOC awards, the Black Engineer of the Year Awards (BEYA) and the Minorities in Research Science Awards.

The Navy has maintained a sustained relationship with CCG and with the annual BEYA Awards for the last 20 years. Additionally, in 2008, the Department of the Navy signed an agreement with CCG to promote further Navy participation in CCG events in an effort to reach a diverse workforce.

For more news from Chief of Naval Personnel - Diversity Directorate, visit www.navy.mil/local/cnp-diversity/.

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