UEC Nominee for 2019-2021 Term: Yuanyuan Zhang

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Yuanyuan Zhang


I am a postdoctoral fellow at the Fermilab AstroParticle Department, working on the Dark Energy Survey experiment. I first heard about the Fermilab Users Executive Committee (UEC) while being a graduate student visitor in 2014. Having benefited from many policies and improvements initiated by the UEC (including joining the Washington trip once!), it can’t be more honoring to be nominated to run for this committee myself.

With an astrophysics background, and sometimes a physicist+astronomer mind, I hope I can contribute some unique perspectives to the Fermilab UEC in the coming two years.

The Fermilab users community is in the middle of many diversity and inclusion implementations. Having undertaken service roles as a graduate student at the University of Michigan — on the physics graduate student council, communicating between the student and faculty bodies — and in the Dark Energy Survey experiment as an early career scientist representative and later science team leaders, I hold dear-to-heart the privilege to do service works that can help people speaking up and participating in their community. In big institutions or experiments, effective participation from every member is crucial to a healthy culture and fruitful collaborations, yet requires a lot of conscious efforts, mutual respects, and patience to achieve. I hope to serve on the UEC with a focus of helping more people’s voices being heard and respected, regardless of their background and social status.

Having organized the Fermilab AstroParticle seminar series and hosted visitors from various institutions, as well as having been a visitor myself, continuing to improve the scholarly visiting experience at Fermilab is another thing that I care deeply about. Fermilab opens arms to many short- and long-term visitors every year. These visits often play a fundamental and lasting role in the visitor’s career development, and is pivotal to the Fermilab culture. If elected to the UEC, I hope to continue to draw attention to perfecting the Fermilab visiting experience for all international and domestic visitors, to make them feel welcomed and comfortable at joining the Fermilab family.