KIE Announces Recipients of the 2020 Wendy Wayne Ethics Awards

KIE Announces Recipients of the 2020 Wendy Wayne Ethics Awards

The Kegley Institute of Ethics (KIE) at California State University, Bakersfield is proud to announce L. Dee Slade, Samantha DeLaCruz and Nikolas Lopez as the 2020 Wendy Wayne Ethics Awards recipients. The recipients will be honored at a dinner ceremony at 5:45 p.m. on Wednesday, March 25 at the Seven Oaks Country Club.

“Our 2020 Wendy Wayne Ethics awardees demonstrate ethical leadership across numerous aspects of our community, from youth coaching, education, and journalism, to initiatives for greater racial and gender equity and inclusion in Bakersfield. They are an inspiring group and KIE looks forward to celebrating them with our community on March 25,” said Dr. Michael Burroughs, Director of the Kegley Institute of Ethics.

L. Dee Slade, Adult Recipient

Dee Slade is an inspiring leader and a continuing advocate for positive change in Kern County. She is Director for the African-American Network of Kern County (AANKC), a Business and Professional organization which promotes higher learning by creating educational programs designed to empower the next generations to be strong leaders in business and community development. She also leads the “Each One Teach One” Partners in Progress Buffalo Soldiers Program (EOTOPPBS) that encourages youth to be good citizens and to strive for excellence in academics, self-respect, honor, diversity, citizenship and ethical behavior towards others. Dee also serves in numerous other leadership roles in service of our community, including (but not limited to) as a CSUB President’s Community Ambassador; Vice-Chair of the CSUB Center for Social Justice; and as a member of the Kern County Housing & Opportunity Foundation Board. 

Samantha DeLaCruz, Youth Recipient 

Samantha DeLaCruz exhibits ethical courage and ethical leadership through her local activism, community organizing, and research activities. As a CSUB student and President of CSUB’s Club GEN (Gender Equality Now!), her primary areas of activism, organizing, and research involve advocating for the needs of women and girls living in poverty and trans-identified youth. Samantha has led efforts to establish a Trans Awareness Week, opened Jai’s Library (a resource for gender non-conforming students named in honor of Jai Bornstein, a former Club GEN member who took her own life), and formed a campus-wide committee focused on creating institutional policies and practices that support gender non-conforming students. In Spring 2018, Samantha received a scholarship to attend the CARE National Conference in Washington, D.C. (CARE is one of the largest and oldest humanitarian aid organizations focused on fighting global poverty) and has become a CARE Citizen Advocate, advocating locally and nationally for policies that affect women and girls in poverty and implementing tangible ways to help them cope and prosper. 

Nikolas Lopez, Youth Recipient 

Nikolas Lopez is a senior at Liberty High School. Nikolas has been a Boy Scout since the age of six and, in this role, has organized Bakersfield park improvement projects and serves as an astronomy guide and teacher at the Boy Scout summer camp. Nikolas is kind hearted and a strong leader who is not afraid to step forward to make a positive impact in the lives of others. When Nikolas learned how students in the Gay Straight Alliance Club at Frontier High School were harassed by fellow classmates, he stepped forward to help. He attended and spoke at a Kern High School District Board of Trustees Meeting about the incident and played a key role in the formation of the Equity and Inclusion Student Advisory Council. Nikolas was selected for and currently serves on the committee as a representative for Liberty High School, meeting with the committee and Liberty High School Principal to discuss ideas on how to make Kern County High School’s a better place.

In addition to the three recipients above, the Wendy Wayne Awards will also give special recognition to Randy Martin, founder of Covenant Coffee; Reyna Olaguez, Executive Director of South Kern Sol; Hernan Santiago, a long-time educator and basketball coach at Arvin High School; and Alejandra “Olly” Lopez Beltran, a CSUB student and Campus Programming leader for diversity and inclusion initiatives.

This event is co-sponsored by Kaiser Permanente and Adventist Health Bakersfield.

For sponsorship opportunities, please contact Lourdes Nilon, director, Corporate and Foundation Relations at or call (661) 654-6098.

For more information about the awards, contact KIE Director, Dr. Michael Burroughs at or call (661) 654-6263.