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Today at Berkeley Lab articles

See what the Human Resources and Workforce Diversity Office is up to - click the tab of the topic you're interested in to see the most recent Today at Berkeley Lab articles tagged with that topic.


    Aug. 1 Postdoc Workshop: Job Hunting in Academia
    Postdocs who want to learn more about jobs in academia can attend an Aug. 1 workshop, from 10:30 a.m. to noon in the Building 66 Auditorium. This is the first of a two-part presentation led by Bill Lindstaedt, who leads Career Advancement and International and Postdoctoral Services at UCSF. The first session will explore “Launching a Faculty Job Search and Preparing Application Materials.” Register here. More>
    June 13 Workshop on Informational Interviewing for Early Career Scientists
    The Lab’s Peter Fiske will host a new workshop on June 13 that offers tips on conducting an effective informational interview. He will review the progress made by 33 Lab postdocs who joined the Informational Interview Challenge in January. Hear their stories of discovering opportunities and new directions through informational interviewing. The workshop starts at noon in the Building 50 Auditorium. Register here.
    Interactive Live Theater Sessions Help Foster Harassment-Free Workplace
    The Lab is offering a live, interactive theater experience, with trained actors, to foster a harassment-free workplace. Staff are encouraged to attend as a way to increase diversity, inclusion, and positive behavior. Register for the June 13 session at Potter St., or the June 21 session at JBEI. Attendees will receive harassment-prevention training credit. More>
    Emotional Intelligence Workshops Coming Up in June, July, and August
    The workshops use group exercises and an interactive personality decoding method to help participants learn how to manage stress and emotions. Each workshop includes two sessions. Register for one of three workshops: June 7 and 21, July 6 and 20, or August 17 and 31. Registration instructions are here. Space is limited, so early registration is encouraged.
    Tell Your Story: May 31 Workshop on the ‘Art and Science’ of Communicating
    The Lab’s Peter Fiske will lead a new workshop on "The Art & Science of Communication: Telling Your Story" on Thursday, May 31, from noon to 1 p.m. in the Building 66 Auditorium. This workshop is recommended for graduate students, postdocs, and early career scientists. Register here (course code PDT 0117). Visit for more information. The workshop will also be livestreamed at
    Postdocs and Early Career Scientists Can Win Cash Prizes at Lab Research SLAM
    Researchers are invited to present their science at the Lab’s inaugural Research SLAM on Sept. 20. The event offers a chance to improve presentation skills and win a $3,000 first prize, $1,500 second prize, or $750 people’s choice award. Submit an intent to participate by June 15 to get first-priority registration for communications training with Jean-Luc Doumont. Go here for details.
    Safety, Security & Sustainability Fair Takes Place April 26
    The fair — 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the cafeteria parking lot — features info on hearing conservation, bicycle safety, and HR disability benefits, as well activities like simulated fire evacuations from the “Smokehouse,” and UC Berkeley’s bomb truck demos. The Bay View Café will offer a BBQ lunch, and attendees can enter a raffle to win an emergency backpack or radio. More>
    Livestream of April 13 ‘Communications and Presentation Skills’ Workshop
    HR is hosting a workshop for scientists and engineers who would like to improve their communication and presentation skills. The workshop, titled “The Three Laws of Communication,” will be led by Jean-Luc Doumont. Registration is closed for the physical meeting, but the event will be streamed live from 1 to 3 p.m. on Friday, April 13.
    UC’s WellBeing Initiative Offers Staff Assistance for Healthier Lives
    As part of the University of California’s WellBeing Initiative, employees have access to resources based on these four pillars: emotional, financial, nutritional, and physical. The initiative includes a variety of tools for staff, such as links to behavioral health providers, classes on budgeting, and access to diabetes-prevention programs, among other offerings. More>
    March 16 Presentation on ‘Preparing for Retirement’
    Meet retirement counselors from the UC Retirement Administration Service Center as they explain your UC retirement benefits and eligibility rules for retiree health, describe the steps you need to take when you're ready to retire, and answer your questions. The event takes place from 12:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. in the Building 50 Auditorium. Register here.
    UC Forms Working Group to Study Retiree Health Benefits
    The University of California has formed a Retiree Health Benefits Working Group to explore options that will ensure the long-term financial viability of the retiree health benefits program and the quality of the benefits offered. The project only pertains to retiree health benefits; it does not affect UC Retirement Plan (UCRP) pension benefits. More>
    Staff, Retirees Happy With Health Plans, Survey Shows
    Employees and retirees enrolled in UC-sponsored health plans are highly satisfied with their plans, according to surveys conducted last spring. The survey looked at enrollees’ satisfaction with their health care, health plan, access to care (including appointments with specialists), and customer service. More>
    Legal Plan Assistance for Employees Affected by Wildfires
    ARAG, UC’s legal plan, is offering free access to their “DIY Docs,” the Education Center, and the “Find-an-Attorney” tool. All impacted staff, even those not currently enrolled in ARAG, will have free access for six months. Eligible employees can visit the ARAG website and enter code “18323cfr.” Deadline for enrollment is Jan. 11, 2018. More>
    Open Enrollment Begins Oct. 26; Updates on Costs, Changes
    Open Enrollment begins at 8 a.m. on Oct. 26 and ends at 5 p.m. on Nov. 21. Booklets will be available starting the week of Oct. 23, with full details about options, costs, and changes for 2018. Most employees will see medical plan premium increases of less than $10 a month. More>
    Benefits Office Hosts Sept. 28 Seminar on Understanding Estate Planning
    The seminar will look at who needs estate planning, why and when estate planning should take place, the advantages and disadvantages of a will, what a living trust is, and controlling assets when incapacitated by accident or illness. The event — led by representatives from ARAG, the Lab’s legal benefit provider — takes place at noon in the Building 50 Auditorium.
    Deadline for UC Family Member Recertification Extended to June 1
    Due to delays in processing, Secova, project administrator of the recertification project, extended the deadline for employees who were asked to recertify family members to June 1. UC will not immediately de-enroll dependents on June 1, however the follow-up process will begin at that time. Contact Secova (888-926-5687) for more information. More>
    Career Planning Workshops on July 30
    Is your career headed in the right direction? At Berkeley Lab Learning Institute’s career planning workshops on July 30, you can clarify your career values and interests and develop an action plan to meet your goals. Taught by a career-counseling specialist, this session will help you develop a career action plan and provide tools and resources to support your efforts. Two workshops are offered: a postdoc and research assistant version (BLI0118) focusing on issues in scientific careers, and a non-scientific employee version (BLI0119) focusing on general career planning issues. Registration required. If the workshop is full, contact to be placed on a waiting list.
    Performance Review Discussion Workshops Start July 16
    Does the thought of an annual performance review discussion make you uncomfortable? If so, you’re not alone: supervisors and employees alike are often anxious about these conversations. But they actually can be a great chance to build stronger working relationships. Find out more by attending a Performance Review Discussion Workshop, conducted by Berkeley Lab Learning Institute. These sessions are relevant for both scientists and non-scientists. You’ll analyze video recordings of review conversations and learn useful communication techniques. Attend the supervisor workshop (BLI2019) on July 16 or 31, or the employee workshop (BLI2020) on July 18 or August 8. All run from 10 a.m. to noon. Registration required.
    Workshop on Communication and Personality Style Differences
    Are you struggling to communicate with someone at work? Could personality style differences be the reason? Attend BLI3003 Understanding Differences: Personality Styles on Wednesday, June 26, from 9 a.m. to noon, to learn how to enhance your interactions with others whose styles are different than your own. During this Berkeley Lab Learning Institute workshop, you’ll take a personality style assessment and work on case studies to identify solutions to common style-related communication issues. Registration required.
    Presentation Skills Workshop for English Language Learners
    Want to enhance your skills in preparing and making presentations in English? Attend Presentation Skills for English Language Learners (BLI1125), a Berkeley Lab Learning Institute (BLI) course open to scientific and operations staff members whose native language is not English. Conducted from 1 to 3 p.m. on Fridays, July 12 through Sept. 6, this course will help you clearly convey your message in English and increase your confidence through practice and individual feedback. Registration required. Obtain a Project ID Number from your supervisor to cover the course cost of $275. If the course is full, contact to be placed on a waiting list.
    Enhance Your Supervisory Skills at June 19 Workshop
    How do you manage a technically talented employee with poor communication skills? What can you do about a poor performer who’s coming back from medical leave? Find out the best approaches to these and other performance management challenges at Berkeley Lab Learning Institute’s Supervisor Scenario Workshop (BLI0122) on Wednesday, June 19, from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. This workshop is required for all new supervisors and a helpful refresher for those with more experience. Using a problem-solving model, you’ll work on a variety of case study scenarios, with Laboratory subject matter experts on hand to answer your questions. Registration required.
    June 4 Workshop on Understanding Cultural Differences
    Are you struggling to communicate with someone on your team? Could cultural differences be the reason? To get the most out of a multicultural team, it’s important to understand these differences and learn to collaborate effectively. Find out more at Understanding Differences for Better Team Performance: Cultural Differences (BLI3002), a Berkeley Lab Learning Institute workshop, on Tuesday, June 4. Participants will analyze their own cultural style, learn multicultural communication techniques, and create an action plan to enhance your team’s interactions. Registration required.
    ‘Job Hunting in Academia’ Workshop on May 2
    Are you organized for your academic job search? Join Cynthia Fuhrmann on Thursday, May 2, for Job Hunting in Academia Part I (BLI1063), a Berkeley Lab Learning Institute workshop, for tips on refining and tailoring your cover letter, CV, and research and teaching statements to help ensure they stand out from the pack. Fuhrmann, assistant dean of Career & Professional Development at the University of Massachusetts, has a Ph.D. in biochemistry and molecular biology from UCSF and a Bachelors degree in Chemistry from UC Davis. This session is part of BLI’s Career Development Workshop Series for postdocs and graduate students. Scientists are also welcome to attend. Registration required.
    Class on Archiving Files and Records on April 25
    Are you running out of space in your office, moving to a new office, or tasked with processing the records of retiring (or already retired) scientists? Learn more about files that need to be kept, which can be archived, which can be disposed of, and DOE and Lab compliance at a workshop (BLI0926) sponsored by the Archives and Records Office (ARO) and the Berkeley Lab Learning Institute (BLI) on Thursday, April 25, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. in Perseverance Hall. Registration is required. More>
    Help Reduce Blood Shortage by Participating in Aug. 16 Red Cross Blood Drive
    Due to a current blood shortage, staff are encouraged to donate at the Lab’s next blood drive on Thursday, Aug. 16. Donors will receive a $5 Amazon gift card via email. The Red Cross Bloodmobile will be in the cafeteria parking lot from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Go here to schedule an appointment (sponsor code “LBL”). Walk-ins are also welcome. Save time by using RapidPass.
    Free Outdoor Movie in Downtown Berkeley on Aug. 12
    The UC Berkeley Art Museum is screening “Step,” a documentary about an inner-city women’s step team, on Sunday, Aug. 12, at 4 p.m. The movie is free, but bring a lawn chair or blanket to sit on. The screen is located at the corner of Addison and Oxford streets. Food and beverages are available in the museum’s cafe. More>
    Two Staff Photos Show Smoky Skies Above the Lab
    While the California wildfires may seem distant, the effects are visible locally, with smoky conditions creating ominous skies overhead. Two employees captured this phenomenon in recent photos taken at the Lab. Do you have a Lab photo you’d like to share via the Lab’s social media channels? Upload to your Twitter account and tag @BerkeleyLab for a chance to have it shared.
    Winners Announced for Photo Club ‘Wild Animals’ Contest
    Stephen Czarnecki won first place, with Claude Lyneis and Czarnecki tied for second place, Randy Roig in third place, and Lyneis in fourth place. Go here to view the winning images and for more on the Lab’s Photo Club.
    Runaround T-Shirt Contest Launches
    Submit a one-color vector, PDF file that is 300 DPI or higher resolution, on white or light background. The design must include the Lab logo and the words “Berkeley Lab,” “41st Annual Runaround,” and “2018,” along with your division name, phone number, and description. The deadline for submissions is Aug. 22. Voting begins late August. Go here for more on the race, scheduled for Friday, Oct. 12.
    Judges Pick Top 10 Winners in Berkeley Lab Employee Photo Contest
    Jiannan Wang, a postdoctoral researcher in the Geophysics Department in the Earth and Environmental Sciences Area at Berkeley Lab, won first place in a Lab employee photo contest for an evening time-lapse photo showing the Advanced Light Source dome, and also had three other entries that placed in the top 10. Wang’s first-place photo also received the most online votes as the People’s Choice winner of the contest. More>
    Smogathon Looks for Best Air Pollution Solutions
    Smogathon is a global competition for the best air pollution solutions. Apply by August 12 to compete in the North American semifinal in Berkeley. Winners will travel to Poland for the final and will have a chance to win $15,000 in cash plus implementation funding. More>
    Jay Marx to Speak at EX-Ls Retirement Association Luncheon on Aug. 16
    Jay Marx, former executive director of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory at CalTech, will speak on “The Discovery of Gravitational Waves, a New Window on the Universe” at the next EX-Ls Retirement Association luncheon on Aug. 16 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel at the Berkeley Marina. The $40 registration fee includes lunch (with tax and tip) and parking. Register here.
    Take Steps to Relieve Stress for a Healthier Life
    Stress can be a part of our everyday lives, but too much can not only affect how you feel but have long-term health effects. Get tips on how to relieve stress from Sutter Health and the American Psychological Association. For additional help, contact the Employee Assistance Program or contact your behavioral health plan.
    Weight Watchers Informational Meeting on June 7
    Weight Watchers will return to the Lab with an informational meeting at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, June 7, in the Building 66 Auditorium. There are limited openings, so those interested in attending should contact Health Services (x6266) soon.
    Health Services Changes Location for Friday, June 1
    To accommodate work in Building 26, Health Services will provide walk-in service in Building 33-306 on Friday, June 1. Those who need to schedule a future appointment during the closure can leave a message at x6266. Messages will be returned the week of June 4. The Building 26 location should reopen by noon on Monday, June 4.
    Feel Better: JGI Hosts Annual Safety and Wellness Fair on May 30
    The Joint Genome Institute (JGI) is hosting its 12th Annual Safety and Wellness Fair from noon to 2 p.m. on May 30 at the JGI courtyard in Walnut Creek. Attendees from Berkeley Lab are welcome. The fair will be held Over 50 exhibitors will be participating, promoting safety, health, wellness, and sustainability. More>
    Get Healthy: Join Lab Colleagues for ‘UC Walks’ Event on June 15
    The Lab will join forces with UC Berkeley and the Lawrence Hall of Science for the June 15 event, part of the University of California’s WellBeing Initiative. The walk will take 30 minutes (other activities are planned for those unable to walk) and conclude with a wellness fair at the Lab. Go here to register. Watch TABL for more details as the date approaches.
    May 23 UC Webinar on Improving Mental Health Awareness
    In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, the University of California’s “Stigma-Free” webinar series will feature a discussion by award-winning speaker and author Ross Szabo on how to improve efforts to raise awareness of mental health. The webinar runs from 11 to 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, May 23. More>
    UC’s WellBeing Initiative Offers Staff Assistance for Healthier Lives
    As part of the University of California’s WellBeing Initiative, employees have access to resources based on these four pillars: emotional, financial, nutritional, and physical. The initiative includes a variety of tools for staff, such as links to behavioral health providers, classes on budgeting, and access to diabetes-prevention programs, among other offerings. More>
    Bike-to-Work Day is May 10; Tips and Resources for a Great Ride
    Considering biking to work on May 10? Get support along the way at one of 143 “energizer stations” that will pop up in Alameda and Contra Costa counties that day. Go here for a map of stations, as well as information on safe riding, the Lab’s shuttle buses and shower facilities, and the Bike Station located in downtown Berkeley.
    Meet Tess Smidt, ‘Atomic Architect’ and 2018 Luis Alvarez Fellow
    To nonscientists, Tess Smidt describes herself as an “atomic architect.” And as Berkeley Lab’s 2018 Luis W. Alvarez Fellow in Computing Sciences, she's designing a neural network that can automatically generate novel atomic crystal structures. This work is an extension of her graduate research at UC Berkeley, where she worked with Jeff Neaton’s group at the Lab's Molecular Foundry. More>
    Cyclotron Road Appoints New Executive-in-Residence
    While trying to commercialize some new battery materials that she invented, Danielle Applestone experienced firsthand the fundraising hurdles that face entrepreneurial scientists, among them the lack of connections to investors required to build a company. She’ll help Cyclotron Road researchers leap some of those hurdles in her new role as Executive-in-Residence. More>
    Gopal Discusses Electric Vehicles for India’s Increasing Transportation Demands
    In this Twitter video, Anand Gopal of the Energy Technologies Area discusses the rapid expansion of car ownership in India, the anticipated impact this will have on greenhouse gas emissions, and the country’s move toward electric vehicles.
    Asmita Patel Named New CUCSA Delegate for the Lab
    Asmita Patel of the Accelerator Technology & Applied Physics Division has been appointed to represent Berkeley Lab as the new delegate for the Council of UC Staff Assemblies (CUCSA). She joins current Lab CUCSA delegate Kat Wentworth. CUCSA seeks to maintain and enhance communication within the UC community on matters of interest to employees.
    Teresa Head-Gordon Named ACS Fellow
    The American Chemical Society has named Teresa Head-Gordon – a faculty staff scientist in the Lab’s Chemical Sciences Division and a professor of chemistry, bioengineering, and chemical and biomolecular engineering at UC Berkeley – as an ACS Fellow for 2018. The new ACS Fellows will be honored at the ACS national meeting in Boston this August. More>
    Former Lab Researcher Elected Mayor of Mexico City
    On July 1, former Lab researcher Claudia Sheinbaum Pardo became the first woman to be elected mayor of Mexico City. She won nearly 50% of the vote in a field of seven candidates. She will take office on Dec. 1. She worked at the Lab from 1991-1994 in the International Energy Studies Group. More>
    Lab’s Heather Gray Wins IUPAP Young Scientist Award
    The International Union of Pure and Applied Physics announced their Young Scientist Prize winners, and among recipients in the “Particle and Fields” section is ATLAS researcher Heather Gray. She was recognized for her “strong role in the searches and initial measurements of Higgs boson interactions with quarks.” More>
    Message From COO Michael Brandt on Retirement of CFO Kim Williams
    Chief Financial Officer Kim Williams has announced her retirement, effective Oct. 5. “Kim has built an impressive legacy of outstanding leadership during her career at Berkeley Lab, and she will be greatly missed as she moves on to the next exciting chapter in her life,” says Brandt. An acting CFO will be announced, and a national search is underway for her replacement. More>
    UC Forms Working Group to Study Retiree Health Benefits
    The University of California has formed a Retiree Health Benefits Working Group to explore options that will ensure the long-term financial viability of the retiree health benefits program and the quality of the benefits offered. The project only pertains to retiree health benefits; it does not affect UC Retirement Plan (UCRP) pension benefits. More>
    Glenn Kubiak, Retiring Feb. 16, Reflects on a Career in Support of Science
    Looking back on his tenure at the Lab, Kubiak says that it is the people who have really made his time here valuable: "Those thousands of interactions are a gift. The chance to interact with and be influenced by that many talented and dedicated people is amazing." A reception celebrating Kubiak's career will be held Friday, Feb. 9. More>
    UC Retirement Center Hosts Pre-Retirement Planning Course in February
    The course takes place on Wednesdays from Feb. 7 to 28, from 2 to 4:30 p.m. Go here for more information and to register. Additional workshops on retirement transition, finances, housing, estate and legal planning, and long-term care are also offered. Go here for more information and to register.
    UC Retirement Center Hosts Pre-Retirement Planning Programs
    The four-week course takes place on Wednesdays, Sept. 13 to Oct. 4, from 2 to 4:30 p.m. Go here for more information and here to register. The center is also offering a free "Resilient Aging Lab" workshop on Oct. 6., which explores the journey of retirement, including practical tools and support for planning your next chapter. Continental breakfast and lunch are included.
    Congratulations to the Lab’s 2017 Retirees
    This honor roll represents nearly 900 years of UC service. The top three with the most years of service include Denise Davis (OCFO) with 40.5 years, Sergio Rugar Rogoff (Engineering) with 39, and Rick Diamond (ETA) with 37. Best of luck to all of our retirees as they pursue endeavors beyond the Lab.
    June 23 Retirement Party for Chemical Sciences Division Director Ali Belkacem
    Employees are invited to attend a retirement celebration for Ali Belkacem on Friday, June 23, from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. in the cafeteria dining hall. Deadline to RSVP is Tuesday, June 20. Belkacem previously served as Chemical Sciences deputy director and acting director, assuming the directorship in 2013. He is also a principal investigator with the Ultrafast X-Ray Science Lab.
    Retiring in June? Add Your Name to the Lab Honor Roll
    The list is not only a tribute to staff and their careers, but also lets current employees know who among their colleagues is moving on. The list will be published in TABL in late June. To be included, submit your information here. If you know a retiree who’s already left, forward this article to them.
    May 31 Reception Honoring Recent and Past Retirees; Sign Up for Honor Roll
    A reception honoring recent and past retirees of the Lab will be held at the cafeteria on May 31 between 5:30 and 7 p.m. The event is organized in partnership with the Berkeley Lab EX-Ls and UC Berkeley Retirement Center. Go here to register. Submit your info here to be included in an honor roll recognizing 2017 retirees to be published in TABL in June.
    Bay View Cafe Hosts Hawaiian BBQ Tomorrow
    The charcoal grills will be fired up on the cafeteria patio from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 17, to prepare Hawaiian luau specialty items, including braised kalua pork, grilled chicken with macadamia nut relish, macaroni salad, citrus slaw, and pineapple agua fresca. Stop by and say, “Aloha!”
    Foundry User Meeting to Impact Cafeteria Seating and Parking in H-2 Lot
    The Molecular Foundry User Meeting on Aug. 15 and 16 will require the closure of the H-2 parking lot (next to Building 70) starting at 5 p.m. on Aug. 14 through Aug. 16. Carpool parking will be moved to the H-1 lot. The cafeteria will operate as usual, but tables in the dining hall will be cleared starting 2 p.m. on Aug. 15.
    Education Outreach Office Hosts Aug. 8 Summer Intern Poster Session
    The work of 75 interns in the BLUR, BLUFF Student, CCI, GEM, SULI, and VFP Student programs will be on display during a poster session on the Advanced Light Source patio, on Wednesday, Aug. 8, from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Workforce Development & Education interns work with world-class scientists and engineers on projects related to the Lab’s cutting-edge research programs.
    Personnel Accountability Drill on Aug. 9
    At 10 a.m. on Thursday, Aug. 9, all Lab employees, affiliates, and contractors will receive text and email messages, followed by a phone call, from the LabAlert system. Staff are asked to reply to at least one of these messages with their status and whereabouts. The system will continue to notify staff until their status is confirmed. Go here to register for LabAlert. More>
    Runaround T-Shirt Contest Launches
    Submit a one-color vector, PDF file that is 300 DPI or higher resolution, on white or light background. The design must include the Lab logo and the words “Berkeley Lab,” “41st Annual Runaround,” and “2018,” along with your division name, phone number, and description. The deadline for submissions is Aug. 22. Voting begins late August. Go here for more on the race, scheduled for Friday, Oct. 12.
    Postdoc Association Hosts ‘Meet & Greet’ on July 26
    Employees are invited to the July edition of the Postdoc Association’s monthly “Meet & Greet” gathering on Thursday, July 26, from 4 to 5 p.m. on the cafeteria patio. The food theme is “Summer Snacks,” so the gathering will feature chips and guacamole and carrots and hummus. The event is a great opportunity to meet and network with postdocs at the Lab.
    Hills Fire Danger Is Real: Learn What Lab Is Doing to Protect, Educate Staff
    It’s not a question of if, but when a fire will ignite upwind of the Lab, says Fire Marshal Todd LaBerge. To help protect employees, the Lab’s Fire Protection and Emergency Management groups are developing wildfire prevention and safety programs, which include a series of presentations this summer. The first is July 24. Go here for more, including a goat-grazing time-lapse video.
    Women@The Lab Awardees Honored at Special Event
    The Oscars-style celebration on June 9 filled the Building 50 Auditorium to capacity with family, friends, and colleagues who cheered as each awardee took center stage. Sixteen women were recognized for their professional accomplishments and contributions to STEM outreach. “The best science is done when you have diverse voices,” said Director Witherell at the ceremony. More>