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Upcoming Wendy Wayne Ethics Award Ceremony 2018

California State University, Bakersfield’s Kegley Institute of Ethics will honor 2018 Wendy Wayne Ethics Award recipients Pastor Manuel Carrizalez and Navjyot Gill on Wednesday, March 21, at the Stockdale Country Club. Tickets for the event are still available and can be obtained on the registration page at

KIE Director Dr. Michael Burroughs said, “Our 2018 awardees provide incredible examples of ethics and integrity in our community. They also honor the legacy of Wendy Wayne. We are proud to honor our awardees, and Wendy, at our ceremony and going forward.”

The annual awards recognize one youth and one adult whose ethical character have had a profound impact on the lives of individuals from Bakersfield and Kern County. This year’s recipients are:

Pastor Manuel Carrizalez

Having led a rough and violent childhood, Manuel Carrizalez found a new path while in prison. He returned to Bakersfield in 1991 and dedicated his life to helping our community’s youth find a better path. He founded Stay Focused Ministries, which inspires, equips and mobilizes the community through hope and the belief that they can improve their quality of life.

Stay Focused offers alternative solutions to those who have become imprisoned as a product of their environment and circumstances.  The ministry’s staff and volunteers serve youth through mentoring in schools, school assemblies and weekly neighborhood outreach programs in high risk areas. Thousands have been positively impacted by this work, many of whom have returned as hard-working members of society. Fractured families have been and continue to be restored and are prospering through the ministry’s encouragement and the resources they provide.

Pastor Carrizalez also is a member of the Bakersfield Police Department Chaplain Program, through which he regularly responds to the scene of violent crimes to support victims and family members.

Ms. Navjyot Gill

When Navjyot Gill was a sophomore at Golden Valley High School, she attended a Leaders in Life Youth Conference Fundraising Banquet where she heard Wendy Wayne give the keynote speech to an audience of several hundred students, parents and community members. Those words changed the trajectory of her life and inspired her to stand up for underserved people and those facing ethnic or religious discrimination.

Shortly thereafter, Navjyot became the founder and President for Golden Valley’s AWARE Club -- a group focused on raising student engagement to address community issues around discrimination and intolerance.  She also was a leader in the Safe School Ambassadors program, helping to address bullying, mistreatment and intolerance, and later served as the Regional President for the California Association of Student Councils. At UC Berkeley, she co-founded Cal’s “Get Healthy” Campaign, founded the school’s Sikh Anti-Bullying Campaign, and became the Social Justice Director for the Associated Students of the University of California. Gill is currently a doctoral candidate of Philosophy, Criminology, Law, and Society at UC Irvine. Her future is unlimited due to her passion, outstanding character, and integrity.

The Wendy Wayne Ethics Award Ceremony also will give special recognition to Sandra Larson, long-standing community advocate and valley fever prevention activist; Jeannie Parent, founder of KWESI, committed to advocating for the 400 persons detained at Mesa Verde Immigrant Detention Center; and Zane Smith, executive director of The Boys and Girls Club of Kern County. In the youth category, the ceremony also will honor Monica Torres, advocate for immigrant students at CSUB; Sidney Ferris, a senior at Bakersfield Christian High School; and Tate Turner, a junior at Bakersfield High School.

Wendy Wayne, a CSUB alumna, was a key member of the organizing group that founded the awards in 2011.  The awards were renamed in her honor upon her death in 2012. They are now dedicated to recognizing those persons whose behavior and character sustain her legacy and commitment to service and to exemplary ethical behavior.

The event is co-sponsored by Kaiser Permanente and Adventist Health Bakersfield. Information about the 2018 awardees can be found at For additional event information, please contact Ellie Fergon at 661.654.3977 or

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