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Contest Winner, Wendy Avalos, on Staying Alert on Lab Roadways


Of the 14 “Share the Road” Safety Image Contest entries, Wendy Avalos’ illustration, which pictures the many unpredictable road users at Berkeley Lab, was selected by employee voters as the winner of the $100 prize. Below, Wendi talks more about her inspiration for the winning image and her experience using multiple commute modes to get to work at Berkeley Lab.


What work do you do at Berkeley Lab?

I am currently an intern in the Workstation Support group at the lab. I have been learning so much from the team and feel very fortunate for this opportunity.

How many years have you worked here?

This June marks my 1st year at the laboratory.

Your winning image required creativity and skills. What is your background in graphic arts?

I enjoy enhancing my photography for friends and family from time to time in good humor. So I used the same method to work on my "share the road" image. I took a photo of the lab from building 65 and juxtaposed everything I have seen around the lab.

Tell me more about how you came up with the idea for this image.

I have commuted to lab in various ways during my time here. From driving my car for during onboarding orientation, to taking the Rockridge shuttle. So I wanted to include the things that I have encountered during my commute to the lab. Some mornings, I have been greeted by our Turkeys standing in the middle of the road, other mornings I'd admire the concentration on cyclist pedaling their way up a hill. Each morning is a little different.

Is one of the characters in the image you? How do you commute to the lab and what is your experience on the roads?

I currently commute to the lab on my motorcycle, which is probably why I decided to include a female rider on my image. As a motorcyclist, I feel I can appreciate the "share the road" ethos of the lab on different level as I am more vulnerable to external elements on my bike. It's good to be reminded that I am not the only one on the road, and as I hope that other commuters will watch out for me, I know I have to look out for others.