University of Colorado Boulder
I am a postdoctoral Associate at the University of Colorado Boulder, working on the CMS experiment. I joined the Fermilab community in the summer of 2009 as an undergraduate researcher working on the CDF experiment. After a brief stint away from the lab I returned as a Texas A&M University graduate student and have called Fermilab home ever since. I think we can all remember our first experience going to a large laboratory for work. It can be intimidating, especially for young students. But it’s also a great place for collaborative research, to meet new people, and to gain lifelong skills. We meet people who will shape our lives in ways we can’t predict and have experiences which are unmatched in any other institutional setting. It’s important that the lab community be setup to support a positive experience for our new colleagues. That’s why, as a member of the CMS experiment, I help to facilitate the Data Analysis School, the Hands-On Advanced Tutorials (HATS), the LPC Physics Analysis Discussions, and many of the other activities hosted each year at the LHC Physics Center (LPC). The UEC has a similar mission, to create an inclusive, fair, multicultural, multi-generational environment and ensuring that no one feels left behind. I think it’s really important that we are not isolated into our separate divisions, but instead continue to foster and improve our Fermilab community bonds. We know that our scientific endeavors are that much more creative, that much more impactful when people with different backgrounds and specialties collaborate. This type of cooperative, interdisciplinary work does not happen without the support of both the lab and the user community.
I also think it’s important that the Fermilab community actively participates in outreach and science communication. Not only do we get to play a role in shaping the next generation of scientists, which is a gift in and of itself, but we are better able to do our work when the community is as enthusiastic about it as we are. The lab has many incredible internships, outreach programs, and community engagement activities. For the last two seasons I’ve been helping out as an on-site coordinator for the Saturday Morning Physics program, bringing the wonders of science to high school students. I’m also a qualified tour guide for the D0 experiment and for the CMS Remote Operations Center, often during the Fermilab Open House. For the past two years I have also accompanied the UEC delegation on its annual trip to Washington DC to lobby the US Congress for increased funding for high energy physics, an activity critical to further the scientific mission of Fermilab and the HEP community within the US. I really love sharing my passion for science, whether that’s with our neighboring communities, with our fellow users, or with our elected leaders.
Each member of the UEC leaves their mark, contributing to the mission of the committee over their tenure. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve on the UEC and to further its goals and the needs of the Fermilab users’ community. I hope you will give me the chance to do so.