Today, the National Organization of Gay and Lesbian Scientists and Technical Professionals (NOGLSTP) is proud to announce the winners of its 2018 recognition awards for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) professionals in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). The NOGLSTP Recognition Awards will be presented during the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Annual Meeting in Austin, TX on Feb. 18. NOGLSTP is an affiliate of AAAS and will organize events, including the awards ceremony, to advocate for LGBTQ in STEM at the AAAS Annual Meeting.
Dr. Biswajit “Bish” Paul is NOGLSTP’s 2018 LGBTQ+ Educator of the Year. While completing doctoral research in molecular biology at the University of Washington. Paul invested time and effort to create new opportunities and improve the climate for his fellow undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral researchers. He worked with University of Washington organizations, state government officials and national scientific societies to increase the visibility of under-represented communities. Notably, he spearheaded and secured $300,000 of funding per year from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center to fund under-represented minority scientists conducting cancer research. Paul approached this, and all of his work, by combining his scientific talents with his personal identity as a gay, immigrant, scientist of color with a commitment to support his multiple communities. Paul has employed non-traditional avenues of public education throughout his career, including creating documentary films for national festivals and building exhibits on Gene Therapy for the Pacific Science Center. Most recently Paul was a Science Fellow at the California State Legislature sponsored by the California Council on Science & Technology (CCST). As a CCST Fellow, he served as a Policy Analyst in the Assembly’s Elections Committee and helped in the creation of evidence-based policies. “I am an immigrant, from a family that was not allowed to vote. I am a person of color, from a community where
engagement is very low. I can write and study from the lens of communities that are usually left behind in these policies,” Paul said.
Paul plans to continue working on issues of scientific policy and advocacy. His experiences have taught him that scientists can have significant impact on government policy and, therefore, on people’s lives in California and around the world. “The point of educating is to teach people who don’t understand the topic and who might disagree with you,” Paul said.
Dr. Danelle Tanner is NOGLSTP’s 2018 LGBTQ+ Scientist of the Year. Tanner’s research career began at Texas A&M where she was a graduate student at the Cyclotron Institute studying nuclear physics. She then took a position at Sandia National Laboratories to conduct radiation effects testing during underground nuclear weapons tests. She then changed fields, and her next position at Sandia led to career-long, and ongoing, research in reliability physics. “I always want to know why so I have kept my reliability focus on the fundamental, science-based, physics of failure approach,” Tanner said. Tanners work spans multiple fields: microelectronics, Micro-Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS), capacitors, and nuclear weapon components. Tanner’s work has led to recognition by national scientific organizations, requests to be a featured speaker and editorial advisor, and to her appointment as a
Distinguished Member of the Technical Staff at Sandia. When Tanner started college in the 1970s, the two paths she saw presented to women were nursing and teaching. She initially expected to teach math, but her first physics course exposed a pure love of science, a love of understanding the world at a fundamental
level. She now takes advantage of her decades of technical experience at Sandia to train and mentor fellow staff members. Both formally and informally, she educates staff to improve their technical and teaming skills in order to solve complex problems. Tanner is a founding member of Sandia’s LGBT employee networking
group, a role she uses to advocate on behalf of LGBT lab employees for pay and benefits equity. Tanner met her wife through this networking group.
David Taubenheim is NOGLSTP’s 2018 LGBTQ+ Engineer of the Year. Taubenheim’s work in signal processing and radio
communications has led to 15 patented inventions and his current position as the Manager of the National Intelligence Community Program Are at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab (APL). In this role, Taubenheim is responsible for providing technical, financial, and strategic leadership for APL in support of the U.S. Intelligence Community they support. Taubenheim’s work has involved both software and electronic hardware developments, such as application-specific integrated circuits, to advance communications capabilities. Taubenheim is a married, gay man and encourages other people to be out at work. He wants STEM
students and professionals to know that LGBTQ people can advance and succeed in STEM careers. He has found engineers and
technology professionals to be welcoming, more focused on the problems to be solved than anything else. However, Taubenheim’s experience is that technical expertise is only one component to a strong team. “My work involves lots of teams. I’ve seen, first hand, that diversity is not just a tag line. It makes for higher energy, better teams, with better results,” Taubenheim said.
“The Recognition Awards were established in 2005 as a means to document and honor the contributions of outstanding LGBTQ science, engineering and technology professionals and to also honor corporations, academic institutions and businesses that support LGBTQ professionals so that advancements can be made in those fields”, stated Rochelle Diamond, chair of the NOGLSTP Board of Directors. Additional information on past awards are available at http://www.noglstp.org/programs-projects/recognition-awards/.
For more information about the awards, contact the recognition awards chair, TJ Ronningen, at tj.ronningen at NOGLSTP dot org. For more information about NOGLSTP, contact Rochelle Diamond, NOGLSTP chair, at chair at NOGLSTP dot org.