Working to Form a More Perfect Union: Honoring Women in Public Service and Government, ARL workforce encouraged to make a difference

April 01, 2016

By Tracie R. Dean, ARL Public Affairs

Story Highlights

  • In recognition of National Women's History Month, the U.S. Army Research Laboratory recently welcomed Dr. Lenora Peters Gant, senior STEM advisor at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency.
  • Gant began her talk by honoring historical women of leadership, both within and outside of government, who each made an impact through their consistent displays of courage, resilience and determination. She characterized these women by four distinct categories; early pioneers, trendsetters, bold leaders and transformers.
  • In keeping with the month's theme, Gant gave special recognition to ARL's Dr. Laurel Allender, Ms. Cindy Bedell and Ms. Theresa Kines and recent retiree Dr. Alma Wickenden for their dedicated service and contributions to the organization.

In recognition of National Women's History Month, the U.S. Army Research Laboratory welcomed Dr. Lenora Peters Gant, senior Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, or STEM, advisor at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency at an observance held recently at Adelphi Laboratory Center.

Gant provided the ARL workforce with an insightful message highlighting the 2016 Women's History Month theme - Working to Form a More Perfect Union: Honoring Women in Public Service and Government.

In his welcoming remarks, ARL director Dr. Thomas P. Russell pointed out how Gant is uniquely qualified to speak to this year's theme.

"Dr. Gant is a fantastic civilian public servant in the government and, through her experiences she represent the epitome of this year's women's history month topic," Russell said.

Gant began her talk by honoring historical women of leadership, both within and outside of government, who each made an impact through their consistent displays of courage, resilience and determination. She characterized these women by four distinct categories; early pioneers, trendsetters, bold leaders and transformers.

Early pioneers highlighted during Gant's talk were activists like Susan B. Anthony who played a pivotal role in the women's suffrage movement and Alicia Dickerson Montemayor, a Latin American feminist, artist and civil rights activist who fought for the inclusion of girls and women into Latin American activism.

Gant described how the unyielding dedication of so many women led to the development of several prominent organizations like the Nannie Helen Burroughs School in Washington, D.C., formerly known as the National Training School for Women and Girls and Bethune-Cookman University in Florida founded and later developed by civil rights activist Mary McLeod Bethune.

And, like their predecessors, trendsetters in politics and social change such as Gloria Steinem, Shirley Chisolm and Betty Friedan, founder of the National Organization for Women, Gant explained that they were instrumental in influencing hundreds of campaigns with outcomes that led to the Declaration of Rights and Sentiments, the Thirteenth Amendment and the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote.

In keeping with the month's theme, Gant gave special recognition to ARL's Dr. Laurel Allender, Cindy Bedell, Theresa Kines and recent retiree Dr. Alma Wickenden for their dedicated service and contributions to the organization.

"These women are innovators who have given a large part of their careers to advance the mission. They are engaged in advancing methodologies and techniques in the sciences and have transitioned technologies for the advancement of the ARL mission," Gant said.

During closing remarks, an audience member inquired as how to best address the noticeable drop-off in the attention of middle-school girls when it comes to STEM.

"Parental input can change that. It's important for parents to encourage their girls to get involved in STEM fields, and that includes exposure to STEM-related programs. The key thing to remember is that intervention and performing STEM-related activities at the early stages of development will help cultivate students," Gant said.

With a career that spans more than 25 years, Gant has served in multiple departments of the government both stateside and abroad to include the Department of the Navy, Marine Corps, the U.S. Air Force in England and multiple assignments in Okinawa, Japan.

Kelly Foster, associate director for the executive staff, described how meeting Gant early in her professional career helped better prepare and put her on a path to success.

"One statement that remains in the forefront of my mind from Dr. Gant's presentation years ago was her assertion that as employees, we are being watched and talked about, therefore we should always be professional, perform for the job that we want, and do more than is expected," said Foster.


The U.S. Army Research Laboratory is part of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, which has the mission to ensure decisive overmatch for unified land operations to empower the Army, the joint warfighter and our nation. RDECOM is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Materiel Command.

For more information, visit www.arl.army.mil, follow @ArmyResearchLab on Twitter and follow the lab on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ArmyResearchLaboratory.

 

Last Update / Reviewed: April 1, 2016