Aqualia (Shauna) Nelson, MA, REHS/RS, Receives the 2021 Dr. Bailus Walker, Jr. Diversity and Inclusion Awareness Award
The National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) is pleased to announce that Aqualia (Shauna) Nelson, MA, REHS/RS, is the recipient of the 2021 Dr. Bailus Walker, Jr. Diversity and Inclusion Awareness Award. NEHA introduced this award in 2020 and Nelson is the first recipient. Going forward, the award will be given annually to recognize an individual or group who has made significant achievements in the development or enhancement of a more culturally diverse, inclusive, and competent environment.
Nelson serves as a consumer safety officer for the Food and Drug Administration where she conducts activities to regulate the manufacturing, distribution, and marketing of tobacco products to enforce regulations and ultimately support proposed product standards to reduce tobacco addiction, curb deaths, and address health disparities among those disproportionately affected such as youths, underrepresented groups, low-income populations, and LGBTQ+ individuals. As a Registered Environmental Health Specialist/Registered Sanitarian (REHS/RS), Nelson works to cultivate healthier relationships between humans and the environment by providing direction on issues impacting air quality and pollution, healthy homes, water, food safety, hazardous waste management and disposal, and environmental justice.
Throughout her career, Nelson has been an avid champion for promoting environmental stewardship to create healthy platforms inclusive to all. From conducting investigations into environmental and public health hazards and natural disasters in diverse communities to serving on environmental and public health task forces addressing ways of lessening health disparities in under-resourced or minority communities, Nelson continuously advocates for positive change. Her dedication to public service is embodied through a level of care and genuine empathy for others that is showcased in all she does. She believes the best work relationships are those that are reflective of people from diverse backgrounds, value differences, support mutual respect, embrace inclusivity, and provide opportunities for all to thrive to reach their maximum potential. The NEHA staff, board, and award selection committee are proud to award Shauna Nelson with the first annual Dr. Bailus Walker, Jr. Diversity and Inclusion Awareness Award.
We will honor Shauna Nelson during the closing session of the NEHA 2021 Annual Educational Conference & Exhibition Three-Part Virtual Series.