Wendy Wayne Ethics Award


Wendy Wayne Recipient Family PhotoAlong with our partners, Kaiser Permanente and Adventist Health Bakersfield, KIE sponsors and organizes the Wendy Wayne Ethics Awards. Wendy Wayne was a dedicated volunteer and ethical leader in the Bakersfield community and beyond. The Wendy Wayne Ethics Awards were dedicated in her honor upon her death in 2012 and sustain her legacy and commitment to service and ethics by recognizing individuals whose behavior embodies these values. Each year, nominations are accepted by the Kegley Institute in a youth category and in an adult category recognizing a lifetime commitment to ethics.

Please submit a nomination for a Wendy Wayne awardee by clicking the appropriate tab above that corresponds with the nominee’s age. For the purposes of the Wendy Wayne Ethics Award we define Youths as 24 and younger and Adults as 25 and older. Candidates must be from the Metro-Bakersfield region. Adults may be awarded either for a lifetime’s achievement or to honor a specific set of actions over a relatively short period.

For additional information, or if you have any questions, please fill out the form on our Contact Page

2019 Awardees

Judy Snyder, Adult Recipient
Judy Snyder has served the Kern County community quietly and consistently, without seeking the limelight, for nearly five decades. Snyder has lived most of her life in Bakersfield, graduating from Bakersfield High School, Bakersfield College, and California State University, Bakersfield. She was a charter member of Kern County’s first chapter of National Organization for Women (NOW) and co-founded Kern County’s original Rape Hotline. This hotline evolved into the Alliance Against Family Violence and Sexual Assault, which works to end domestic violence and sexual assault in our community through crisis intervention, emergency services, and supportive programs to help those who have been victimized.

Daryl Thiesen, Adult Recipient
Daryl Thiesen has served students, teachers and families in Kern County for over 20 years. As the Prevention Programs Coordinator in the School-Community Partnerships Department at the Kern County Superintendent of Schools Office, Thiesen coordinates programs focused on social- emotional learning, restorative practices, substance use prevention, and truancy reduction. Thiesen works to ensure positive outcomes for students and families, especially those who are disadvantaged and at-risk. He co-founded the Leaders in Life Youth Conference and also serves on the California School Resource Officers Association (CSROA) State Board.

Yvette Flores, Youth Recipient
Yvette Flores is a student at California State University, Bakersfield, who is known by her peers and teachers for her civic commitment and altruism. She demonstrates these traits in her daily life through her outreach to other CSUB students, high school students, adult volunteers, and the voting population in general. Flores believes that facilitating voting is an ethical responsibility in order to promote a representative government that is responsive and represents the needs of the community. Prior to her first year at CSUB, she demonstrated this commitment in working as an intern for the Kern County Voter Engagement Project. Between August 2017 and January 2018, she assisted in registering over 1400 new voters, the majority of them high school seniors.

Special Recognition:

We will also be giving special recognition to Mr. Louis Gill, Executive Director of the Bakersfield Homeless Center and the Alliance Against Family Violence and Sexual Assault; Ms. Maria Teresa Herrera, a long standing parent-volunteer for Bakersfield City School District’s Migrant Education Program and Kern High School District’s English Learner Advisory Committee (among other programs); Ms. Ryan Starr, a former student and ethical leader at Bakersfield High School and current Nursing student at Belmont College; and Ms. Abigail Rodela, one who, at a young age, exemplifies the traits of altruism and care through providing music lessons to low-income families and organizing health services for the homeless.

Award History and Criteria

Originally started in 2012 as the Kegley Institute of Ethics Community Ethics Award, the award name was changed to honor Wendy Wayne, after her untimely passing. In addition to being revered in the community for all her good works, she was one of KIE’s early advisors and strongest supporters; she was instrumental, in fact, in helping us set up the original version of the award.

There are two award categories: an adult (age 25 and older) and a youth (24 and younger). Candidates must be from the Metro-Bakersfield region. Adults may be awarded either for a lifetime’s achievement or to honor a specific set of actions over a relatively short period. Criteria provided below.

Adult recipients, by year:

  • 2012, Ms. Collen McGauley, Executive Director of CASA of Kern County
  • 2013, Ms. Wendy Wayne, presented posthumously
  • 2014, Mr. Lance McCullah, assistant football coach, Bakersfield High School
  • 2015, Ms. Jan Hefner, Mercy and Memorial Healthcare
  • 2016, Ms. Karen Goh, President, Garden Pathways
  • 2017, Dr. Thomas Larwood, presented posthumously
  • 2018, Pastor Manuel Carrizalez, Stay Focused Ministries
  • 2019, Ms. Judy Snyder, Alliance Against Family Violence and Sexual Assault
  • 2019, Mr. Daryl Thiesen, Kern County Superintendent of Schools Office

Youth recipients, by year:

  • 2013, Ms. Victoria Scoggan
  • 2014, Ms. Elizabeth Pelzer, North High School
  • 2015, Mr. Joseph Constantine, Frontier High School
  • 2016, Ms. Carly Riddle, North High School
  • 2017, Ms. Yoceline Aguilar, South High School
  • 2018, Ms. Navjyot Gill, Golden Valley High School and UC Irvine
  • 2019, Ms. Yvette Flores, Kern County Voter Engagement Project and CSUB

Award Criteria

The Awards recognize individuals who possess core character traits that result in a commitment to virtuous action beyond their personal interests. These individuals have internal virtuous dispositions, but also act on them, striving to make the world a better place. Further, they do it simply because it’s right, not because they seek some fame or fortune. In fact, in nearly all cases there will be some degree of self-sacrifice: e.g., challenging a status quo in a way that causes personal and professional hardship or hindrance; acting on behalf of a vulnerable person, knowing that doing so will mean the loss of friends; or giving up on a lucrative career path, so as to instead try to improve the lives of those worse off.

Some will devote a life to these pursuits; others will become immersed in correcting a particular injustice: hence our two adult categories — “lifetime achievement” and “specific action(s).” To date, our youth awards have gone to people who are in the process of developing that lifetime commitment, as revealed in multiple actions over a significant period of time, but one can also imagine a courageous specific intervention on an injustice.

Examples of Virtuous Dispositions Include:

  • Courage: Persons of courage display a quality of spirit that enables them to face danger or pain without succumbing to fear.
  • Other regarding: Other-regarding persons extend beyond themselves, often through great effort, to better others.
  • Diligence in the face of adversity: Diligent persons engage in the hard work needed to face and overcome a challenge, including overcoming one’s own and others’ apathy.
  • Consistency: Connected to the idea that the actions in question are part of one’s core nature, persons of consistent character manifest the commendable behavior over some period of time.
  • Impact: The commendable behavior brings positive change to the community.
  • Humility: Humble persons demonstrate the commendable behavior in a quiet and unassuming manner. S/he does not seek associated recognition or self-promotion.
  • Gratitude: Grateful persons recognize that whatever gifts they have are due, at least in part, to the efforts of others; s/he thus strives to give back in thankfulness.
  • Fidelity: Persons of fidelity can be trusted to be honest and to honor commitments.

Some Highlights:

Ms. Hefner (2015) was chosen for her tireless efforts, across several decades, to provide support for Bakersfield area LGTBQ citizens, with such efforts ultimately resulting in the creation of the Bakersfield Gay and Lesbian Center. When AIDS first hit our community, there were very few medical resources and even less understanding of the disease and its impact, particularly on gay men. Ms. Hefner tirelessly worked to secure more effective healthcare and to provide an emotional support system for those stricken with the disease and their loved ones. She singlehandedly changed the way our community perceives AIDS and LGTBQ persons.

Ms. Carly Riddle (2016) was chosen for the courage and perseverance she shows in helping others, even while managing her own struggles with Asperger’s Syndrome and having grown up in extreme poverty. Even while her peers sometimes tried to make her feel lesser for being intelligent and lacking the financial resources to fit in socially, she topped them all by having the biggest heart in the room and consistently helping others to succeed, academically and socially. Ms. Riddle refuses to let her disability define her: She has grown into an incredible human being, one who continues to overcome adversity and make a positive difference in the world around her.

Youth Application

Application Due Date: November 29, 2019

I. Nominator Info
II. Nominee Info
III. Testimonial
In the area below provide testimonial as to the nominee's character and achievements. Explain how the nominee reveals ethical courage and/or how the nominee demonstrates ethical leadership. Provide specific examples of his or her ethical leadership, ethical stand, or intervention on a challenging issue. Please be specific. Please limit testimonials to no more than 500 words in length

Adult Application

Application Due Date: November 29, 2019

I. Nominator Info
II. Nominee Info
III. Nomination Category
Please select one of the two categories below for the Adult Award
For the lifetime category, explain how the nominee has served as an ethical role model for others, how she or he has committed a life to ethically exemplary behavior. Please give specific examples that reveal the nominee's character and achievements. For the specific action category, explain what actions the nominee has taken that reveal his or her commitment to ethical choices, perhaps in the face of strong pressures to do otherwise. Please give specific examples. Please limit testimonials to no more than 500 words in length