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Ivanoff heads west for new adventures

By Eddy Ball
September 2010

Ginny Ivanoff, left, chatting with Steve Kleeberger, Ph.D.
As people began to filter into the party, Ivanoff, left, chatted with Acting Deputy Director Steve Kleeberger, Ph.D. (Photo by Eddy Ball)

well-wishers socializing and enjoying the refreshments
The atmosphere was congenial and the refreshments abundant, as well-wishers socialized and enjoyed the food. (Photo by Eddy Ball)

Ivanoff cutting her cake
As she cut her cake, Ivanoff joked, "Do I need to cut a piece for everyone?" (Photo by Eddy Ball)

Brad Collins, left, presenting Ivanoff with mementos and presents
Speaking for his colleagues on the Diversity Council, chair Brad Collins, left, thanked Ivanoff for her dedication to equal opportunity and diversity at NIEHS. He also presented her with several presents and mementos from her colleagues. (Photo courtesy of Steve McCaw)

At the end of August, NIH Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Specialist Ginny Ivanoff left her position at NIEHS for a new job in Little Rock, Ark., after living in the Raleigh-Durham area for the past 13 years. Ivanoff, who will lead the Army Corps of Engineers EEO program there, joined friends and colleagues for an informal going-away party Aug. 20 in the observation suite in the Keystone Building.

Along with food and best wishes from individuals, the event featured a running narrative by the wild-mannered Ivanoff about her plans to pursue new adventures in the nation's heartland. She sets out to build an EEO program there and the kind of employee-driven diversity program that she helped implement at NIEHS.

Surrounded by her many well-wishers, Ivanoff talked about her years stationed at NIEHS and reflected on the irony of her return to the Corps, which riffed her from a previous job in Wilmington. "So why am I going back to them?" she joked. "I don't know. ... I'm actually taking a pay cut for the first four months because I'm going off the Raleigh-Durham pay chart."

On a more serious note, Ivanoff described all the positive things about her new job in Little Rock, including the cultural opportunities there, the state's natural beauty, and a Tai Chi studio literally a block from her office. And, she said, "The cost of living is much lower [and] real estate is a steal."

"Everything I could ask for is literally falling into my lap with this job," she said. In addition to the cultural attractions of Little Rock, Ivanoff said she'll enjoy exploring the lower-brow aspect of the state's culture and joked about the name of the small town of Toad Suck, near Conway in central Arkansas. She added that she also looks forward to site visits to Corps offices throughout her district.

As Ivanoff talked about her tenure at NIEHS, she recalled her long and productive relationship with the NIEHS Diversity Council, many of whose members were at the party.

"I took my job seriously, even though it seemed as though I never took anything seriously," Ivanoff said at one point. "Maybe that was the secret of my success."

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