How did you learn about Fermilab?
I met Sandra Charles, who manages the lab’s diversity and inclusion efforts, during a conference I attended while I was an undergraduate student. She then told the director of a research program I was in that I should apply for a Fermilab internship. I said, “No, only smart people go to Fermilab.” The director of my research program made me pinky promise that I would apply. I ended up doing two internships at SIST and then two GEM fellowships before coming back to work here full time.
Do you have any advice for today’s Fermilab interns?
Write stuff down. I write a lot of notes because sometimes things won’t make sense, but they will later when you review your notes. And definitely ask questions. Supervisors are really cool about helping and explaining things to you.
What are you working on now?
I work in the Detector Electronics Group, designing, programming, testing, and troubleshooting circuit boards and helping my supervisor test various other boards. I’m working on a couple of my own circuit boards, doing PCB design and FPGA design. One is for the NOvA experiment and the other is for the Mu2e experiment.
What do you like most about working at Fermilab?
I can wear whatever I want! I know some people have to wear uniforms or have a dress code, but it’s pretty laid back here.
What is your role on the Executive Board of the Fermilab Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers?
I am the communications chair, so I handle social media, calendars, emails, and making sure that everyone is welcomed to all the events we put on.
Why is fSHPE important to Fermilab and the broader community?
I think this organization helps with Fermilab’s push for diversity and inclusion. Personally, it’s been really nice for me that I can come to work and also be part of my culture and heritage. It’s also important for people in the community to know that there are Latino engineers and that we play a role in experiments at Fermilab.
How can people get involved in fSHPE?
It’s called the Fermilab Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, but you don’t have to be Hispanic to get involved – you just have to support Hispanic people in STEM. We have monthly meetings and do outreach activities that people can get involved with. The Executive Board also gets together each month to discuss things while drinking coffee from different countries. Anyone at the lab who wants to come can get a cup of coffee and talk with us.
Why is it important to you to incorporate discussions about diversity and inclusion into those about science and technology?
It’s important to talk about diversity and inclusion in any field where you work with people from different places. We’re working with all kinds of people from different backgrounds and different countries on different projects, and I think it’s important to make sure that we make everyone feel welcome and included.
What is something about you that might surprise other Fermilab employees?
I went to EVO, a Las Vegas video game convention, this past August. I played in a national Super Smash Bros Tournament and placed in the top third.
Anyone who wants to get involved in fSHPE or participate in fSHPE events should visit the fSHPE events page.