Employment Opportunity and Civil Rights Awards Announced
By Sharon Durham
February 12, 2003
BELTSVILLE, Md., Feb.
12Microbiologist Peter S. Holt of Athens, Ga., and research biologist
Michael E. Hume of College Station, Texas, are the winners of the
Agricultural Research Services
2002 Administrators Equal Employment Opportunity and Civil Rights Awards.
The Agricultural Research Service (ARS) is the chief scientific research agency
of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Holt and Hume will be recognized along with other award-winning ARS
employees at a ceremony Feb. 12 at the agencys Henry A. Wallace
Beltsville (Md.) Agricultural Research
Center. Holt works at the ARS Southeast Poultry Research Laboratory at
Athens, and Hume is at the agencys Food
and Feed Safety Research Unit at College Station.
Drs. Holt and Hume epitomize the spirit and dedication required in
promoting equal employment opportunity and civil rights in the workplace,
said Edward B. Knipling, acting ARS administrator. They have shown a
commitment to workforce diversity through their numerous activities that exceed
the responsibilities of their positions or assignments in ARS.
Holt is being recognized for his contributions to enhanced cultural
diversity within ARS and heightened awareness of the contributions and special
needs of individuals with disabilities. Holt has collaborated with scientists
from Tuskegee University in Tuskegee, Ala.,
for more than seven years to establish an institutional collaboration between
the Southeast Poultry Research Laboratory and the
Tuskegee University School of Veterinary
Medicine. The collaboration matches scientific expertise between two
institutions to foster possible research cooperative studies, training of
students and scientists, and maximizing resources.
Holt also hired a person diagnosed with clinically documented
reading/expression disability to serve in a technician position. The disability
limited the employees capacity to understand many written instructions
and record research results. Holt made accommodations in the laboratory to
compensate for the disability, enabling the employee to successfully perform
Hume has served since 1989 in an ongoing capacity as
a member of the College Station research units Location Reach-Out
Committee and, as a direct result of his commitment to and accomplishments in
that program, is currently serving as Committee Chair.
He has been a mentor to eight elementary, middle and high school science
teachers through the First Step Program co-sponsored by ARS and the Texas
Alliance for Science, Technology and Mathematics Education of Texas A&M
University. Hume has also been successful in recruiting several
African-American university students as student laboratory workers. He serves
on the graduate research committees of three African American students at
Prairie View A&M University, a historically black university in Prairie