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Environmental Factor, March 2014

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NIEHS awards ceremony honors 2013 achievements

By Allison Eason

Linda Birnbaum, Cynthia Radford and Joellen Austin

Cynthia Radford, center, a 14-year veteran of NIEHS, accepts an Unsung Hero Award for her outstanding coordination of the NIEHS Training Program, from Birnbaum, left, and Joellen Austin, NIEHS associate director for management. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

Linda Birnbaum, Shannon Duncan and Darryl Zeldin

Shannon Duncan, center, accepts an Unsung Hero Award for exemplary integrity, efficiency, and professionalism in administering the Laboratory of Structural Biology office, from Birnbaum, left, and Darryl Zeldin, M.D., NIEHS scientific director . (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

Property Recovery Team poses with Linda Birnbaum

The Property Recovery team poses with Birnbaum, left, and Austin, right, as they receive a Merit Award for the coordination and accounting of more than 500 information technology components, allowing for a successful contractor transition. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

Strategic Plan implementation team poses with Linda Birnbaum

Strategic Plan implementation team leaders pose with Birnbaum, left, as they accept their Merit Award. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

NIEHS staff gathered to give their colleagues well-deserved recognition at the Feb. 11 annual awards ceremony in Rodbell Auditorium. The event was hosted by NIEHS and NTP Director Linda Birnbaum, Ph.D., and emceed by Stavros Garantziotis, M.D., medical director of the NIEHS Clinical Research Unit and head of the Matrix Biology Group in the Laboratory of Respiratory Biology.

Birnbaum welcomed the audience with a message to both employees and contractors. “From a budget and planning standpoint, I don’t remember a year with more challenges,” she said. “But, even when the craziness resulted in a government shutdown, you were unshaken and remained committed to our mission.”

Garantziotis kept the audience entertained, as he introduced the awardees.

NIEHS Awardees

Unsung Hero Awards: Beth Bowden, Shannon Duncan, Essie Jones, Jacqueline Locklear, Molly Puente, Cynthia Radford

Peer Recognition Awards: Gary Bird, Jennifer Collins, Mitzie Walker

Individual Merit Awards: Joel Abramowitz, Michelle Campbell, Mary Grant, Patrick Mastin, Sheila Newton

Divisional Group Merit Awards

Division of the National Toxicology Program: Patrick Barbour, Veronica Robinson, Bradley Collins, Suramya Waidyanatha

Office of Management: Rhonda Carroll, Rob Levine, Ron Faison, Mike Merrick, Jack Field, Anthony Patterson, John Grovenstein, Roy Reter, Sharon Hite, Mike Tyson, Robin Jones, Vernee Wilson, Ed Kang, Ellen Moul, Dona McNeill

Division of Extramural Research and Training: Kathy Ahlmark, Ted Outwater, Sharon Beard, Jim Remington, Pamela Clark, Jonathan Rosen, Donald Ellis, Deborah Weinstock, Chip Hughes

Office of the Director: Rebecca Boyles, Stephanie Holmgren, Allen Dearry

Cross Divisional Group Merit Awards

For the design and implementation of a high-functioning Inventory Management System: Vernee Morgan, April Parker, Andrea Glass, Sharon Hite, Kecia Jacobs, Robert Lockett, Kelly Powell, Nancy Powell, Frances Primm, Kent Stone, Amanda Weaver, Kenneth Webb

For exemplary teamwork and successful creation of the NIEHS responsive website for mobile devices: Beth Bowden, Joseph Poccia, Cheryl Thompson, Sharon Hite

For the development of the first NIEHS Scholars Connect Program boot camp that supports the next generation of environmental health scientists: Aleksandra Adomas, Miranda Bernhardt, Elena Braithwaite, Qing Cheng, Jackson Hoffman, Huei-Chen Lao, Sabrina Robertson, Misty Thomas, Joy Winuthayanon

For exemplary engagement and participation in the Data Science and Information Technology Working Group: Perry Blackshear, Cindy Lawler, Rebecca Boyles, Leping Li, Matthew Burr, Claire Long, Pierre Bushel, Kent Stone, David Fargo, Paul Wade, Stavros Garantziotis, Mitch Williams, Michelle Hooth, Leroy Worth, Chip Hughes

For exemplary leadership of interdivisional planning teams in support of the NIEHS Strategic Plan: Janice Allen, Frederick Miller, Trevor Archer, Heather Nicholas, John Balbus, Daniel Shaughnessy, David Balshaw, Claudia Thompson, Allen Dearry, Raymond Tice, Christine Flowers, Frederick Tyson, Christopher Long, Michael Waalkes, Scott Masten, Paul Wade

For outstanding participation and service to the Interagency Breast Cancer and Environmental Research Coordinating Committee: Gwen Collman, Ed Kang, Jennifer Collins, Kate Ryan, Suzanne Fenton, Dale Sandler, Christine Flowers

For leadership and facilitation of the DERT reorganization: Ellen Moul, Angela Sanders, Nicole Popovich

Fellows’ Awards for Research Excellence (FARE)

Christopher Campos, Senthilkumar Cinghu, Huaixin Dang, Neal Englert, Bret Freudenthal, George Fromm Jr., Bonnie Joubert, Mahita Kadmiel, Nevzat Kazgan, YuanYuan Li, Kristin Lichti-Kaiser, Ngome Makia, Stela Palii, Sabrina Robertson, Lindsay Smith, Erica Ungewitter, Qingshan Wang, Jeremy Weaver, Gary ZeRuth

Following the ceremony, employees enjoyed refreshments in the cafeteria and celebrated with their colleagues, friends, and family.

(Allison Eason is a program specialist in the NIEHS Office of Communications and Public Liaison.)

Linda Birnbaum, Mary Grant and Darryl Zeldin

Birnbaum, left, and Zeldin, right, pose with Mary Grant, V.M.D., center, as she receives a Merit Award for her selfless dedication to the NIEHS mission and stellar leadership as interim branch chief of the Comparative Medicine Branch. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

2013 FARE winners

2013 Fellows Award for Research Excellence (FARE) winners each received a $1,000 stipened to attend a scientific meeting of their choice, to present their research. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

2013 NIEHS Highlights:

  • 15-year anniversary of the NIEHS/EPA Children’s Environmental Health and Disease Prevention Research Centers (see story).
  • Publication of the Interagency Breast Cancer and Environmental Research Coordinating Committee report, Breast Cancer and the Environment: Prioritizing Prevention (see story).
  • NIEHS Clinical Research Unit partnered with NIEHS labs to begin new studies, including the study on BPA exposure from cash register receipts.
  • NIEHS obtained division status for the National Toxicology Program (NTP).
  • A court decision supported the NTP listing of styrene in the Report on Carcinogens.
  • NIEHS completed the implementation planning for the 2012-2017 Strategic Plan.(
  • The NIEHS Scholars Connect Program continues to introduce local college students to the Institute and to a career in environmental health research.

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