Johns Hopkins Honors APL Staff Members for Contributions to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Each year, the Johns Hopkins Diversity Leadership Council announces its Diversity Recognition Awards, recognizing individuals and groups across all divisions of the university for their efforts to make their workplaces more inclusive. This year, four awards — two individual and two group — went to recipients from the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Maryland.

Individual Awards

Alana Crockett, a senior national security analyst, was recognized for developing LGBTQ+ training for APL supervisors. She developed a practical 15- to 20-minute training that provides supervisors with guidance on responsibilities and navigating situations, including ways in which they can leverage their authority to mold the APL culture. The content was informed by scholarly research into workplace LGBTQ+ issues as well as the personal experiences of APL leaders and staff members. Crockett’s training was briefed to groups and teams across the Laboratory, as well as to executive leaders.

Derrick Pope, a cyber analyst, was recognized for his contributions to his sector’s diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) team. He first volunteered as a DEI group representative, helping to grow enthusiasm for the meetings his group hosted and the topics they covered. Later, he stepped into the broader role of co-lead of the sector’s DEI team, proposing initiatives to make the workspace more inclusive and serving as a sounding board for people with specific concerns. Colleagues said Pope has built a reputation as an ally and trusted resource.

Group Awards

A team from APL’s Advocates for Diverse Abilities affinity group collaborated with high school interns from the Lab’s ASPIRE program to lay the foundation for an interactive APL accessibility map to ensure that everyone, including staff members with seen and unseen disabilities, can navigate APL’s campus with ease. Recognizing the need for all staff members to be able to move freely across the large and complicated campus in order to collaborate and innovate, they mentored the interns as they conducted interviews and gathered requirements for the map, surveyed the campus, and documented and prioritized accessibility challenges.

The team — Hannah Kowpak, David Diaz Marquez, Teresa Johnson, Robin Qualls, Ron Ostrenga and Krista Rand — came up with requirements that will help developers shape a groundbreaking, dynamic map that will enable everyone to navigate APL’s Main Campus.

Finally, three members of the Laboratory’s Fostering Unity and Staff Empowerment (FUSE) team were recognized for creating and implementing the APL DEI Ambassadors Program. Award recipients Jen Benzing, Sylvie DeLaHunt and Erin Richardson emphasized that other FUSE members, as well as DEI officer Raquel Hunter and designer Meghan Cully, were instrumental in this effort to support APL’s strategic goal of being a model organization for DEI. Also critical to developing the online learning module for the effort were Meghan Beam and Beth Snyder.

The team worked with liaisons across APL to stand up a cohesive program that embeds ambassadors throughout the organization, ultimately reaching a larger group of people beyond those who have typically leaned into DEI events and activities at the Lab. The program has established a Lab-wide community of informed advocates to expand awareness of and engagement with DEI topics and resources at APL and has received strong support from Lab executive leadership.

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