Noise-Con 2022 was my first in-person conference since COVID, and it did not disappoint! Thanks to Institute of Noise Control Engineering – USA for putting on such a great conference in Lexington. Stimulating sessions, a full exhibit hall, and lots of reconnecting with friends. As a Board Member and chair of the DEI committee, I was happy to present our first report with action items. I was also the proud recipient of the Lang Award for Distinguished Noise Control Engineer! I want to share my acceptance speech for those of you who couldn’t attend.
I am so honored to be this year’s winner of the Lang award, and even more so humbled to be the first woman to win it. I want to thank the west coast women in acoustics group for nominating me – Melinda Miller, Deborah Jue, Cristina Miyar, and Valerie Smith. When they emailed me about the nomination – they wanted to put up a woman for it – I was absolutely floored. My first thought was really, me? After the initial shock wore off I thought, well why not me.
When I was elected to the INCE Board of Directors last year, the president Mike Bahtiarian and I were chatting on the phone, and he was looking at my extensive bio and asking where I had been for so long without serving on national boards. Simple answer, I was growing a company and raising two sons. Although I regularly participated at ASA and INCE conferences as well as did a lot of mentoring at the local level and local chapter activities, I turned down national nominations since I didn’t feel I could stretch myself that thin. By the way, it was a great choice.
As an organization, we have to recognize and nurture all the different experiences and paths that people take in their careers, and embrace that diversity. There’s not one right way to get to the pinnacle, there are many ways. One aspect that I feel is common among the leaders of our field is that we never shy away from a challenge, and in fact, that excites me.
Again, I am so honored to accept this award, not just for me but on behalf of all the women in noise control engineering coming up behind me. Accept the challenges in your career and face them head on. I promise you I will pay it forward and help you as much as I can. As Tony Nash from Salter said to me while he was writing up his supporting letter – it’s about time a woman wins this award. I am excited and honored to be that woman. Thank you all!