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A gathering of SLAC IT people

October 26, 2022

A gathering of SLAC IT people

Back in April, Jon Russell our Chief Information Officer, decided with many of our IT staff on hybrid and remote work schedules, it was time to get the band back together. With that he announced, “On October 11 and 12, we’re going to try to bring everyone back to the lab for an in-person visit at the same time. There will be an all-hands meeting, a social get-together, and ample times for your individual teams to meet in person.”  This event would be the first time in over two years we in IT have had an in-person all-hands gathering. 

An IT Reunion committee was formed to plan an agenda as well as arrange travel and lodging for our remote team members, some coming from as far away as Connecticut and Virginia. The reunion committee; Bobbi Woody-Mistriel, Soledad Merlo, Uy Chu, Amanda Sosa, Josh Swaringen, Erik Chavez and Andy Deshmukh put together an amazing agenda. The two days of IT togetherness were highlighted by IT-related presentations, team-building exercises, lightning talks, and team meetings. There were also wonderful presentations by Mike Dunne on the LCLS-II project and a panel discussion led by Richard Dubois with Hannah Polleck, Mark Foster and Wei Yang on the Rubin Observatory Project. Since there were quite a few new IT staff members brought on board during the past couple of years, SLAC Tours were arranged to show them the world-class facilities where amazing science happens. Morning meet and greets and an after-work happy hour social at Tacolicious in Palo Alto allowed us to reconnect with old colleagues and meet new colleagues in a more social setting.

We sometimes take for granted the times we were all on-site working in person together. This was a reminder of how special that was. All in all, it was a great few days. Jon plans to continue these all-hands reunions and has scheduled another for next spring. Many thanks to the IT Reunion Committee and SLAC IT leadership for making this happen. The reunion was a lot of hard work, a lot of fun, and very rewarding. 


Some pictures of the gathering:

Jon Russell addressing the audience

Jon Russell discussing the IT strategic goals (Jacqueline Ramsayer Orrell/SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory)


Mike Dunne addressing the audience

Dunne sharing an update on LCLS (Jacqueline Ramsayer Orrell/SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory)


Team building a marshmallow tower

Team building exercise (Jacqueline Ramsayer Orrell/SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory)


SLAC team posing for a picture

Happy Hour at Tacolicious (Photo courtesy of a kind passerby)