The National Institute of Standards and Technology has presented the institute's Safety Award to Lester A. Slaback, Jr., of Gaithersburg, Md. The award, presented for the first time in 1979, recognizes unusually significant contributions to the NIST Occupational Safety and Health program activities.
Also, the NIST Equal Employment Opportunity Award, initiated in 1977, was given to Katharine B. Gebbie of Bethesda, Md., and Willie E. May of Gaithersburg, Md.
Slaback, a supervisory health physicist in the Office of the Director of Administration, leads the health physics group at the NIST research reactor. This group ensures that all regulations relating to radiation exposure of NIST staff, visitors and the general public are met. Through his actions and leadership, he has made the NIST program a model for the nation and has been instrumental in the success of the NIST Cold Neutron Research Facility.
Gebbie, director of the Physics Laboratory, chaired an ad hoc Affirmative Employment Committee for Female Scientists and Engineers. May, chief of the Organic Analytical Research Division in the Chemical Science and Technology Laboratory, chaired the African American Affirmative Employment Committee.
They are honored for addressing concerns regarding the under-representation of women and minorities in certain career paths at NIST. Together, their leadership was essential in providing a credible, useful assessment of the current status of female scientists and engineers, as well as all minorities. Their work is vital to NIST's current efforts to increase diversity in its staff.
A non-regulatory agency of the Commerce Department's Technology Administration, NIST promotes U.S. economic growth by working with industry to develop and apply technology, measurements, and standards.