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Civil Rights

Vision of Civil Rights and Diversity from Maryland NRCS State Conservationist

A commitment to Civil Rights and diversity that demonstrates exceptional employer and Government service where diversity is so deeply imbedded in our employees that it is part of our NRCS culture; invisible, unconscious and ever present yet clear and apparent to our customers.

The Maryland Civil Rights Advisory Committee is an advisory body to the State Conservationist (STC) which promotes and assists in meaningful and effective affirmative action consistent with the goals and objectives set forth by management.  The Committee:

  • provides feedback on the performance of the civil rights program.

  • makes recommendations for improvement.

  • identifies emerging areas needing special attention by the STC and Management Team.

  • makes recommendations to the STC regarding policy, practices, and procedures as they affect civil rights state-wide.

Maryland Civil Rights Advisory Committee

Civil Rights Advisory Committee Members


NRCS at Large

Bianca Soto, Chair
Charlotte Brewster, Vice-Chair
Sabrina Albright, Secretary
Steve Strano, At-Large
Jessica Aronhalt, At-Large
Amy Albright, At-Large
Rachel Yeatman, At-Large
Sam Engler, Associate Member
Sharon Calisto, Associate Member
Partnership Members
Bryon Petrauskas, Maryland Department of Agriculture
Mike Scheffel, Maryland Department of Agriculture
Lisa C. Purnell, OSEC
Laura Pleasanton, Farm Service Agency
Cindy Greb, RC&D
Advisory Committee Members
Dr. Terron Hillsman, Deputy Civil Rights Officer
Odessa Armstrong, ASTC - Management & Strategy
Nora De La Rosa, Chair Emeritus
Buddy Bowling, Outreach Coordinator
Genevieve Lister, Public Affairs
Lydia Donovan, Business Services Specialist
Heydsha Cordero, Chair of Emerita

Special Emphasis Program Managers (SEPM)

Special Emphasis activities and support are an integral part of the Civil Rights Program at the Natural Resources Conservation Service. Within their respective programs, Special Emphasis Program Managers  insure that equal opportunity is present in all aspects of NRCS programs and services. This includes assisting the State Conservationist to identify under representation and ensure positive actions are being taken to address any such problem areas. Special Emphasis Program Managers provide advice and assistance to management officials in order to help them meet civil rights program goals and objectives. They also assist the State Conservationist  to insure effective communications among all persons and areas dealing with, or affected by, agency civil rights responsibilities.

Below are links to the national special emphasis programs websites and our Maryland contacts.

Program Name Program Manager
Federal Women's Program Sam Tyler
Black Emphasis Program Kimberly Whitmon
Hispanic Emphasis Program Christopher Townsend
American Indian/Alaskan Native Emphasis Program Teresa Kampmeyer
Disabilities Emphasis Program Shawn Belt
Asian American/Pacific Islander Emphasis Program Erik Hill
Veterans Emphasis Program Aaron McCann
Gay/Lesbian/Bi-Sexual/Transgender Emphasis Program James Brewer

Other Information

National Civil Rights Division

Required Posters and Information

Limited English Proficiency Handbook

Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Complaint Process

Professional and Employee Organizations