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Civilian Awards

Congratulations to thE
2021 Civilian Award Winners!

To recognize individuals who have made significant contributions to the advancement of Asian Americans and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities and promote diversity and inclusion among the Federal and District of Columbia government work forces.

The award is presented during the FAPAC National Leadership Training Program (NLTP). The NLTP is held each year in the month of May to coincide with Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.

Point of Contact: awards@fapac.org

Award Categories

One winner will be selected per category, per grade cluster (GS 1-12, GS 13-15, and Senior Executive Service) for a total of nine (9) awards.
  1. Outstanding Individual Leadership: Individual has shown bold leadership and innovative ways to promote Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO), Affirmative Action, and Diversity.
  2. Excellence in Individual Achievement: Individual has made significant contributions toward AAPI representation at all levels .
  3. Diversity Excellence: Individual has shown a remarkable contribution towards diversity and inclusion through collaboration and against all odds.

OUTSTANDING INDIVIDUAL LEADERSHIP

Larry K. Mack is Deputy Director of the Office of Human Resources at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) in Huntsville, AL. In this position, he has played a pivotal role in cultivating a well-rounded and representative workforce by partnering with Marshall’s Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity (ODEO) to create a unique program called the Blueprint to Reinforce Inclusivity & Diversity to Gain Equity (BRIDGE). This program focuses on providing a holistic approach to prevent and eradicate challenges that could negatively impact the workforce as it relates to equity, diversity, and inclusion. Further, through collaborative partnerships, Mr. Mack crafts innovative recruitment strategies to support his organization’s motto of “People First, Mission Always.” His proudest accomplishment is serving as a mentor in exposing elementary, middle and high school students to various opportunities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) to ensure our future leaders are prepared to make a difference in the world.  Mr. Mack was instrumental in helping facilitate the City of Huntsville serving as the host for the 2019 FAPAC National Leadership Training Program.

Linh Le graduated from University of South Florida with a Mechanical Engineering Degree. She started her civil service career in 2017 as an intern and has been working as a Systems Engineer at NAWCTSD, Orlando for the past four years. Her experiences are working on Flight and Maintenance trainers for USMC Aviation Training Systems including V-22 and AV-8B platforms to support their acquisition processes. Her AV-8B team successfully delivered the first Deployable Flight trainers (Deployable Mission Rehearsal Trainer – DMRT) for the USMC in 2020. Since 2018, She lead the proposal effort and received full amounts of funding for NAWCTSD employees and interns’ training and travel purposes. With this funding, they were able to promote and support their teammates in their continuous learning/training at NAWCTSD, Orlando.
Le is also an active member of AAPI since joining NAWCTSD and has assisted in numerous multicultural AAPI events throughout the years. She was a co-lead for New Employee Engaging, Devoting, and Streamlining Team (NEEDS), which is a supplemental group that was formed by AAPI Orlando to assist, welcome new employees, and help with their transition into NAWCTSD. She was also co-lead for AAPI Orlando in 2019 and 2020 before becoming the AAPI lead in 2021. Her team is working to promote diversity and inclusion among the workforce. 

EXCELLENCE IN INDIVIDUAL ACHIEVEMENT

Emma Chen is a Registered Architect and Technical Expert for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and has actively promoted exceptional knowledge and growth among the AAPI workforce. She has developed and delivered numerous training workshops in construction schedule management. Her interest in AAPI culture, her aspiration to support the USACE mission in Asia, and her desire to help Local Nationals working on USACE projects in Asia led her to travel to USACE offices located in Japan and South Korea to teach courses to the AAPI workforce. Through USACE, she has taken the initiative to mentor numerous interns and to develop STEM activities for school-age children as part of her passion to diversify the future engineering workforce. Ms. Chen has consistently demonstrated excellence in her career and fostered strong awareness of AAPI capabilities and expertise through her professional achievements.

Mary Tran is the Co-Lead for AAPI at Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division (NAWCTSD). She volunteered to serve and lead AAPI in addition to being the lead for AAPI sub-team NEEDS (New Employee Engaging, Devoting, and Streamlining (NEEDS) Team. This team was created with the focus of welcoming new members to NAWCTSD and assuring their inclusion into the workforce while promoting awareness for the AAPI affinity group. NEEDS serves as an additional resource to help onboarding members with any issues they encounter as they transition into becoming NAWCTSD team members. In the community, Mary was invited to speak to local science clubs to increase interest in STEM fields from students in middle and high school.

DIVERSITY EXCELLENCE

Kelly Sewell is a Human Capital Communications Analyst in the Department of the Interior’s Office of Human Capital (OHC) in Washington, DC. Kelly manages OHC digital communications, coordinates outreach campaigns to increase employee engagement and retention, and works to brand the Department as an “Employer of Choice.”
Prior to this role, Kelly coordinated a national AmeriCorps and internship program as the Youth Program Manager with the DOI Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE). She has over twelve years of experience in community engagement, managing programs, and event coordination for local government, museums, and non-profits. Kelly is passionate about increasing diversity and engaging young people in public service.
Kelly is a lifetime FAPAC member and previously served as FAPAC’s Conference Chair and Program Chair. Kelly also serves as a Member of the Cal State DC Scholars Advisory Board, Cal State DC Alumni Network, and California State Society. Kelly received a B.A. in Public Administration from California State University Fullerton.

Lena Chang was born and raised in southern California and identifies as Korean American with an additionally rich Japanese cultural influence from family members who were born and raised there.  Her early background is in special education and wildlife rehabilitation, specializing in birds of prey. Inspired by conservation, she went back to school to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Biology before being hired by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 2008 as a Fish and Wildlife Biologist.  Lena spent nearly 13 years working with State, Federal, and private partners toward conservation of threatened and endangered species in coastal southern California with the Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office in Ventura, California.  Recently, she transitioned to a position for Headquarters serving on the FWS COVID-19 Sustained Response Team and the Office of Emergency Management & Physical Security and will continue to be based in southern California. Lena served as FAPAC-DOI Executive Secretary (now Vice President of Outreach) in FY2019.

FAPAC is a 501 (c)(3) nonpartisan, nonprofit organization representing the civilian and military Asian Pacific American (APA) employees in the Federal and District of Columbia governments.
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