Kennedy Space Center, Fla.
Daytona Native McKinney Receives NASA Distinguished Service Medal
Roslyn McKinney, assistant manager of the Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Fla., recently received one of the agency's highest awards, the Distinguished Service Medal. She earned the award for identifying and promoting opportunities for KSC's diverse and talented work force.
The award is given to any federal service employee who, by distinguished service, ability or courage, has personally made a contribution representing substantial progress to the NASA mission.
"I have always felt a sense of duty to mentor and coach students and protégés, to afford them opportunities to excel in their careers and to enjoy their careers with NASA-KSC as I have," said McKinney, who received the award in May at NASA Headquarters in Washington.
McKinney works with her manager, Tara Gillam, and the office staff to ensure KSC is a diverse workplace that abides by equal opportunity laws, regulations and policy. Equal opportunity specialists are integrated into each KSC organization to provide coaching and counseling, and McKinney represents five of those directorates.
"We do extremely valuable work here at KSC and it's imperative that each and every employee be able to work in an environment that is free from discrimination and harassment," she said. "It’s equally important that each employee is valued for the diversity and uniqueness that they bring to KSC."
McKinney joined NASA in 1972 as a co-op student and joined her current office in 1998 after working in other directorates. Since joining the office, she also has been the disability program manager for KSC. She's particularly knowledgeable and passionate about this role; her 31-year-old son, Kevin, was born with cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair.
"Not a day of (McKinney's) career has been idly spent. She exemplifies the integrity, character and work ethic that all public servants should strive for," said Gillam, who nominated her.
McKinney enjoys spending time with her husband, Mack, who retired from KSC in January, as well as their children, Kevin and Michelle, and Michelle's son, Kendrick. She also travels, takes piano lessons, leads a women's investment club she founded, and mentors her church's youth.
Her other accomplishments include receiving the NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal and the Space Flight Awareness Leadership Recognition Award, which was presented to her by former KSC Director Jim Kennedy aboard a NASA airplane. McKinney, a Bethune-Cookman University magna cum laude graduate, received the school's Distinguished Alumni Award.
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