Civil Rights Awards Announced
By Jim Core
February 2, 2004
BELTSVILLE, Md., Feb.
2--Agricultural Research Service (ARS) chemist Shu-I Tu of Wyndmoor, Pa., and
members of the agency's Mid South Area Workforce Diversity Committee in
Stoneville, Miss., have won the 2003 ARS Administrator's Equal Employment
Opportunity and Civil Rights Awards. ARS is the U.S. Department of Agriculture's chief
scientific research agency.
Tu, a research leader at the agency's Eastern Regional Research Center (ERRC) in Wyndmoor, is being recognized
for outstanding leadership and contribution to the agency's EEO and civil
The Mid South Area Workforce Diversity Committee, headquartered in
Stoneville, Miss., is comprised of 19 agency employees. The committee is being
honored for establishing diversity in the workplace and fostering an
environment where all employees contribute creative ideas, seek challenges,
assume leadership and exceed at business and personal objectives.
Tu has used several career enhancement programs to develop underrepresented
employees' full potential and utilize their skills to the maximum. He takes
advantage of training opportunities to increase the skills of all ERRC workers.
He has developed and contributed to outreach programs in the area, including
hosting minority students from the area to allow them to observe ERRC
researchers and expose them to scientific career fields.
Tu established the ERRC's Asian Pacific American Heritage Observance in 1986
to foster employee awareness. The annual event includes lectures, cultural
exhibits, ethnic luncheons and art demonstrations. He also co-founded the
Philadelphia Chapter of the Asian
Pacific American Network in Agriculture in 1995 and served as president for
Edgar King, the Mid South Area (MSA) director in Stoneville, established the
Workforce Diversity Committee in 1998 to diversify ARS workforce locations in
Kentucky, Tennessee, Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi. King assembled a team
of MSA employees to serve on the committee. They were to follow the principle
that development of the most innovative, productive and efficient workforce
required incorporation of a philosophy among its fellow employees of fostering
a culture built on trust, respect, teamwork, communication, empowerment and
The committee took three courses of action to achieve diversity in the MSA
workplace: recruitment and outreach programs, retention through training and
development, and fostering a spirit of inclusion and assimilation.
In the area of hiring, the committee vigorously recruited targeted groups
for vacancies and built pools of potential candidates, including high school
students, for future employment. The committee also developed educational
materials for distribution and a web site to highlight employment opportunities
in agricultural sciences as well as administrative positions. Officials charged
with selecting employees at all locations in the area were required to submit
proof in writing that they made all reasonable efforts to consider individuals
from under-represented groups for open positions. This policy was later adopted