The Pine Bluff Arsenal recently presented Barbara Abraham with the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Humanitarian Award.
Abraham is an industrial hygienist with the Arsenal’s U.S. Army Occupational Health Clinic. She received the award in a ceremony Jan. 17, according to a news release.
“It was overwhelming,” Abraham said about receiving the award. “I don’t think what I’ve done is that great. It is just what I do. I firmly believe in doing unto others as you would have them do unto you. That is how I try to live.”
Abraham began her government career at the National Center for Toxicological Research (NCTR) at Jefferson in 1985 as a stay-in-school student. She was hired in 1988 as a chemist with the Arsenal’s Product Assurance Laboratory. She worked as a chemist for five years before transferring to the U.S. Army Occupational Health Clinic in 1993.
With more than 30 years of government service, Abraham continues her job at the clinic, and was appointed in 2016 to serve as the installation’s Black Employment Program Manager.
Pine Bluff Arsenal’s MLK Humanitarian Award is presented every year to a nominated employee for exceptional community service. The award, presented by the Arsenal’s Equal Employment Opportunity office, is in honor of Dr. King’s commitment to the spirit of equality and the commitment towards making the world a better place through volunteering time and talents.
A native of Pine Bluff, Abraham is a 1980 graduate of Watson Chapel High School and holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.
She has been an active board member of the Arkansas Mentoring and Networking Association, which helps identify women and minority students with an interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers.
She has an extensive background in laboratory research, and willingly shares her knowledge of scientific industry with aspiring students in science and mathematics, according to the release.
Abraham has also been a part of the Go Forward Pine Bluff initiative.
“I signed up for this in 2015, and stayed with it until the special (Go Forward) tax proposal was accepted by voters,” she said. “I am still an avid supporter of the initiative and really see it as a leap of faith towards something positive.”
Abraham resides in Pine Bluff and has a daughter and son.