Incoming FSPA officers are here to help

The 2013-14 Fermilab Student and Postdoc Association officers began their year-long terms this month. Top row, from left: David Martinez, Centro Brasileiro de Pesquisas Fisicas; Michelle Medeiros, Universidade Federal de Goias; Anne Norrick, College of William and Mary. Bottom row, from left: Jesus Orduna, Rice University; Louise Suter, Argonne National Laboratory.

Although it’s a love of physics that brings scientists to Fermilab, their interests often extend beyond research.

The new Fermilab Student and Postdoc Association officers, who began their year-long terms this month, are eager to help improve the quality of life for early-career scientists at the lab, both at and outside of work. There’s more to laboratory life, they said, than chasing data and publishing papers.

“We want students and postdocs not to always have to be talking about physics,” said Michelle Medeiros, one of the newly elected officers. One of the FSPA’s goals is to bring the young-scientist community closer together through social events, with support and funding from FRA. Another is to make itself fully available to listen to concerns that students and postdocs have about their research and non-work environments.

The new officers — David Martinez, Michelle Medeiros, Anne Norrick, Jesus Orduna and Louise Suter — are a diverse bunch. Four of the officers hail from outside the United States, and together the group represents five experiments. This year they will also represent Fermilab’s younger generation of scientists by continuing FSPA’s work at the monthly Users Executive Committee meetings and in the annual trip to Washington, D.C., advocating for particle physics research on behalf of the community.

“We all know how important an association like this is for the students and postdocs,” said Orduna, who acknowledges the instrumental work performed by last year’s FSPA. “We want to thank Carrie, Leonidas, Vladimir, Anthony and Jason for all the great work they did over the last year.”

A favorite FSPA event — and a perfect time to greet and get to know the incoming guard — is this year’s Halloween party. It takes place Friday, Nov. 1, at 6:30 p.m. in Kuhn Barn. Pizza, snacks and beverages will be provided. There will also be a costume and pumpkin-carving contest. All are welcome to join the party.

Those who want to be notified about FSPA events are invited to subscribe to the association’s email list.

“The officers are very much engaged in laboratory life,” Medeiros said. “I think we’re going to accomplish a lot this year.”

Leah Hesla

The FSPA Halloween party takes place Friday evening in Kuhn Barn.