Depot Employee Garners National Diversity Award
October 25, 2012
TOBYHANNA ARMY DEPOT, Pa. -- One of Tobyhanna Army Depot's own has just received national recognition for her contributions to our national defense.
Tamara Kappel, an equal employment opportunity specialist, was recognized Oct. 12 with a national diversity award by the Hispanic Engineers National Achievement Awards Corporation (HENAAC) at Disney's Coronado Spring Resort, Lake Buena Vista, Fla., for her successful school outreach, mentoring and awareness programs for the depot.
Kappel was selected in July by the HENAAC Selection Committee which is comprised of representatives from industry, government, military and academic institutions.
"I am fortunate that I have a career that allows me to make a difference," she said. "To be able spread the message that our differences are not a drawback, but instead, can actually make our country stronger."
Kappel's accomplishments include spearheading active outreach to the Hispanic community among the school districts of Monroe, Lackawanna and Luzerne Counties in northeastern Pennsylvania. Along with coordinating speaking engagements, subject matter experts and depot tours, her Shadow program allows students of diverse cultures to follow, or shadow, depot employees and experience the various trades and opportunities available within the depot. In addition, she has also expressed her creativity through the design, editing and publishing of employee bulletins that clarify Equal Employment law making it understandable to a broader audience.
"In my twenty years of working in the EEO field, I have never seen an EEO Specialist who possesses all the various skills, characteristics and traits like Mrs. Kappel does," said John Sutkowsky, Tobyhanna's EEO Manager. "She is a role model not only due to her work ethic and dedication, but also because she is a person of deep honesty and integrity."
"My interest in the importance of diversity started with my parents, both of whom are deaf." Kappel added. "Even as a young child, I saw how society failed to provide them equal access to services or give them the same opportunities that hearing people take for granted."
For 24 years, HENAAC has recognized the achievements of America's best and brightest engineers and scientists within the Hispanic community.
"Mrs. Kappel has distinguished herself through her inventiveness, determination, and willpower," said Col. Charles Gibson, former depot commander. "I am continually amazed by the new EEO products that she creates and distributes to the Tobyhanna workforce." Gibson is now the chief of staff of the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command (CECOM).
"Every day, I go to work and do the best job that I can," Kappel said. "I don't really expect anything in return, especially not a prestigious award such as the Santiago Rodriguez Diversity Award."
Tobyhanna is part of CECOM, which is responsible for providing Soldiers with communications--electronics equipment. Tobyhanna Army Depot is the Defense Department's largest center for the repair, overhaul and fabrication of a wide variety of electronics systems and components, from tactical field radios and sensors to the ground terminals for the defense satellite communications network. Tobyhanna's missions support all branches of the Armed Forces.