The Cal State Bakersfield Kegley Institute of Ethics has announced the recipients of its 2020 Wendy Wayne Ethics Awards.

L. Dee Slade, Samantha DeLaCruz and Nikolas Lopez will be honored at a dinner ceremony at 5:45 p.m. March 25 at 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 Michael Burroughs, director of the Kegley Institute of Ethics.

L. Dee Slade

L. Dee Slade


L. Dee Slade is a continuing advocate for positive change in Kern County. She is director for the African American Network of Kern County, a business and professional organization that promotes higher learning by creating educational programs designed to empower the next generations. She also leads the “Each One Teach One” Partners in Progress Buffalo Soldiers Program that encourages youth to be good citizens and to strive for excellence in academics, self-respect, honor, diversity, citizenship and ethical behavior towards others. Slade also serves 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


Samantha DeLaCruz is a CSUB student and president of CSUB’s Club 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. She has led efforts to establish a Trans Awareness Week, opened Jai’s Library (a resource for gender-nonconforming students named in honor of Jai Bornstein, a former Club GEN member who took her own life) and formed a campuswide committee focused on creating institutional policies and practices that support gender-nonconforming students. Last spring, DeLaCruz received a scholarship to attend the CARE National Conference in Washington, D.C., one of the largest and oldest humanitarian aid organizations focused on fighting global poverty, and has become a CARE Citizen Advocate.


Nikolas Lopez


Nikolas Lopez is a senior at Liberty High School. He has been a Boy Scout since the age of 6 and, in this role, has organized Bakersfield park improvement projects and serves as an astronomy guide and teacher at the Boy Scout summer camp. When Lopez learned how students in the Gay Straight Alliance Club at Frontier High School were allegedly harassed by fellow classmates, he stepped forward to help. He played a key role in the formation of the Equity and Inclusion Student Advisory Council. Lopez currently serves on the committee as a representative for Liberty High School.

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 longtime 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.

For more information about the awards, contact Burroughs at or call 661-654-6263.

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Congratulations to you all! Hard work is paying off!

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