Biographies - 2017
Mike Walsh designs, assembles, and tests electronic and electromechanical instrumentation for Caltech's biological research groups. He assists these groups with instrumentation performance and correct application. Mike has worked with many groups in other departments on campus with equipment designs and repairs for the past 40-plus years and with Max Delbruck's group for five years prior to that. Mike enjoys the daily novelty of his job and seldom finds himself doing the "same old thing." He especially enjoys working with the graduate students and postdocs, whose approach to what can be done to succeed in their research seems boundless. Trying to keep up with that attitude has helped keep Mike's job exciting and fresh over the past 45 years. Mike says it has been interesting to watch the campus grow during his time at Caltech. When he started here, just a few months after the 1971 earthquake, Throop Hall was still standing. His wife, Kathy, would drop him off on San Pasqual (when it ran all the way through the campus) in front of the Church building where he worked, and he remembers looking up in awe at the "Impeach Nixon" sign at the top of Millikan Library in 1973, wondering how it had just appeared overnight. At that time, Mike knew nothing of Dabney House nor its inhabitants. Ditch Day, pumpkin drops, Rose Bowl scoreboards, and more were some of the "goings-on" that made it fun for Mike to be a part of the Caltech family. One Sunday morning in 1971, Mike received a phone call from an old friend at Pasadena City College, where he had gotten an AA in electronics. His friend told him that he was getting regular calls from someone at Caltech who needed a technician "as soon as possible." Could he recommend someone? Mike was given this person's name and phone number, and an appointment was made for the next morning to be interviewed by Ed Lipson in Max Delbruck's lab. The following day, Mike received a call from someone "at Caltech" offering him the position. This was when the Personnel Department (later to become our Human Resources department) was much smaller. Mike's time in the Delbruck lab was exciting and a blessing, because Mike needed flexible hours while finishing his bachelor's degree at Cal State Los Angeles. Getting the needed classes was a very competitive process and sometimes meant that Mike had to take morning and evening classes on the same day. Max and Ed were very kind and flexible with this schedule. Mike had a great time learning, building equipment, and helping with experiments. He did everything he was asked to do, including electronics assembly, machining, technical drawing, pipetting, and dishwashing. Under Ed's tutelage, Mike learned a great deal about electronics and instrument design. Those were very fast-paced years, and he loved it! After finishing his degree at Cal State Los Angeles, Mike was offered a position teaching electronics at La Cañada High School. At the same time, he was approached regarding a new position that was opening up in Caltech's biology division. The person in this position would be a resource for people to come to for advice, electronic equipment repair, and new instrument development. This seemed much riskier than accepting the teaching position, but Mike was reluctant to give up his membership as part of the Caltech family. With advice and encouragement from friends—and his No. 1 sounding board, his wife, Kathy—he applied for the position and was accepted. The rest has been a wonderful 40-plus-year roller coaster ride doing what he loves to do every day—and getting paid for it! Mike live in the South Hills area of West Covina and has been married to Kathy six months longer than he's been at Caltech. They have two beautiful children, Stacia and Matthew, and have been blessed with two grandchildren, Elijah and Isaac.
Dennis Wittman has been passionate about space and aviation since he was a young man, making it his goal to work at JPL when the Mariner 2 spacecraft made its flyby of Venus in the summer of 1962. After graduating from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a computer science degree, he first worked as a JPL contractor on the multi-mission simulation system that was used for the Viking, Helios, IRAS, Voyager, and Seasat missions. On the IRAS (Infrared Astronomical Satellite) mission, Dennis was initially the programmer for the input processor, later developing the systems software to control the processing sequence and data flow between all the Fortran and C applications processing the daily IRAS data. He left IRAS after the cryogen ran out to work on the Pilot Ocean Data System, only to return a year later when the call came to set up a data center for infrared astronomy at JPL. He moved with the IRAS team from JPL to the Caltech campus, where the data center IPAC (Infrared Processing and Analysis Center) was built and has flourished for 30-plus years. A dedicated family man who is passionate about everything he does, Dennis's skills and knowledge are highly sought after by his colleagues. Besides his wife, Lana Marie, and their grown children, Marialana and Neil, Dennis loves flying, helping friends build their race plane, and following all the latest developments in space exploration.
Pamela Albertson has worked at Caltech for 35 years, starting in Finance/General Budget/Gift Accounting for almost seven years and transferring to Engineering and Applied Science to work with Professors Brent Fultz, Thad Vreeland Jr., David Wood, and William L. Johnson, and the materials science option. Pamela currently works with Christy Jenstad, department administrator for applied physics and materials science, and Professor Johnson.
Teesa Chmielewski was hired in 1981 in the lockshop, as the first key clerk on campus. In her spare time, she began to get involved with other aspects of the shop and found she enjoyed the mechanical work. After a four-year apprenticeship, she made journeyman locksmith and later became master locksmith. She now supervises the lock and key department and its staff of three. With her many years on campus, Teesa has become an expert on the campus's hardware and key systems. She works closely on all new building construction and rehabs to obtain and maintain high campus hardware standards. She was one of the first recipients of the Thomas W. Schmitt Annual Staff Prize in 2008—a tremendous source of pride. Teesa's daughter, 20 years old is a Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising college graduate and the love of her life. She enjoys traveling and spending time with family.
Rochelle Diamond, member of the professional staff, has been the lab manager for Professor Ellen Rothenberg's developmental immunology group in the Division of Biology and Biological Engineering since 1982. Since 1984, she has also been facility managing director and applications specialist in Caltech's Flow Cytometry/Cell Sorting Facility. Notably, she was a member of the City of Hope/Genentech research team that cloned the human gene for insulin in 1978. She is co-editor of In Living Color: Protocols in Flow Cytometry and Cell Sorting (Springer, 2000). Outside of Caltech, Rochelle is chair of the board of directors of the National Organization of Gay and Lesbian Scientists and Technical Professionals (NOGLSTP). Awards include the Dr. Fred Shair Award for Program Diversity from the Caltech Center for Diversity, elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Lesbian and Bisexual Women Active in Community Empowerment Award from the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center, and the Walt Westman Volunteer of the Year Award from NOGLSTP. She is a member of the International Society for the Advancement of Cytometry as well as the American Chemical Society, and is a founding member and treasurer for the Southern California Flow Cytometry Association.
Kathleen Dutton: The love of gardening is a seed that once sown never dies.—Gertrude Jekyll
Vince Riley Sr. began his career at Caltech when he was just 15 years old as a participant in a summer program in 1978. Three years later, he began working at the Institute full time. In 1991, he became a senior building supervisor in the physical education and recreation division of the athletics department. Currently, he serves as a facilities and operations super lead and Caltech' athletics department ambassador, organizing the daily functions of the athletics department. In 2012, Vince was honored with Caltech's Thomas W. Schmitt Annual Staff Prize. The prize recognizes staff members within the Caltech community whose contributions embody the values and spirit that enable the Institute to achieve excellence in research and education. Riley was also a running back for the Caltech football team for 10 years, beginning in 1982.
Randy Rose is a native of Los Angeles and developed a love of nature and horses while attending a small high school in Ojai. After briefly attending MIT, he returned to sunny California and began working with British Land Rover. Along with other expedition-minded travelers with access to four-wheel-drive vehicles, Randy explored the off-road, out-of-the-way areas of California. Stocking and selling Land Rover parts gave him means to restore his 1957 Model 107 Land Rover station wagon, which continues to run and leak oil even to this very day. Randy currently owns three Land Rovers but has owned seven (or has it been eight?) over the years. Luckily, his garage is full of much-needed spare auto parts. Initially hired for a one-day job as a stagehand for Beckman Auditorium, Randy later joined the fledgling Audio Visual Services (AVS) department. He set about designing, building, fixing, and calibrating audio-visual equipment and projectors. He then mastered computer repair for the Zenith CPM machines that made their way into Caltech offices in the 1980s. He fondly remembers laying cable throughout the steam tunnels for Caltech's closed-captioned TV (Caltech was on channel 6; JPL-NASA Select was on channel 3) used campuswide during spacecraft flybys and Caltech courses. Randy built Caltech's first video-editing system with the Commodore's Amiga Video Toaster in the 1990s. A lot has changed since then and continues to do so at a rapid pace! Randy has been instrumental in transitioning AVS to the multimedia-focused Academic Media Technologies group. His expertise goes well beyond audio-visual systems, including high-definition video cameras, live webcasts, online collaboration tools, and new technologies for teaching. Randy's technical preparation and support for events including TEDxCaltech, commencement, spacecraft landing celebrations, and numerous other high-profile events have been crucial to their success. Randy is always ready to learn about new, challenging technologies and figure out how they can best support Caltech. When asked what has kept him at Caltech for all these years, he replied, "This job is constantly changing to keep up with the rapid pace of advancements in technology. Mastering new equipment has its challenges, but it improves what we do. I enjoy figuring it all out! Caltech is a place where I am constantly learning and trying new things. In many ways, I have had the freedom here to shape my position with my technical and problem-solving interests." His skills, knowledge, and dedication over these years have benefited the campus tremendously. Outside of work, Randy has helped develop and build a line of high-end ribbon microphones that are used in audio broadcasts and in recording film scores including the The Lord of the Rings. When not fixing something, he can be found tooling around California in his Land Rover, enjoying being out in nature, and hitting the books while pursuing a BS degree in physics at Cal State Los Angeles.
Hall Daily is the director for government relations in the Office of the President. He came to Caltech in 1987 as assistant director of public relations after a 15-year career in journalism. Prior to his association with Caltech, Hall graduated from Stanford and was an editor and reporter for The Associated Press, the San Jose Mercury News and the Pasadena Star-News. Hall is responsible for Caltech's monitoring of local, regional, state, and federal governmental activities as well as supporting Caltech officers and faculty in their contacts with legislative and executive branch officials. He has also served as a primary liaison between Caltech and its neighbors, and he shares responsibilities for representing Caltech among local, civic, and social organizations. Hall represents Caltech on the Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities and has served as treasurer of its executive committee for 25 years. He represents Caltech on the Council on Federal Relations of the American Association of Universities and has served on a number of nonprofit community organization boards, including Leadership Pasadena, El Centro de Accion Social, Day One, the Police Activities League, and the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator. He is also one of the founding organizers of Pasadena: City of Learning.
Alice Edel was born in Minneapolis and raised in California. She began her career working in the printing industry in the 1970s. She has seen firsthand the changes in print industry technology and is amazed by how much has dramatically changed—from the old heavy web printing press to today's digital presses and copier machines. Back then, double-sided printing, hole punching, and stapling required a lot more manual work. Today Alice operates rapid-duplicating multifunctional printers with advanced features and functions to produce prints and scans, and to make booklets. Before she joined Graphic Resources in 1987, Alice was a duplicator specialist at the JPL print department. She also provides bindery and billing service, and oversees Tech Express (the office for undergraduate mailbox services). Outside of work she enjoys family time with her husband, Eddie, daughter Geri, and "the kids"—as her pets are known. The dogs are Ella, Penny, Moose, Zippy, and Ralph. She also has a goat named Barney who weighs about 175 pounds. Alice spends lots of time in the yard playing with all of them. She has been a big supporter and advocate for Donate Life since her husband received a kidney transplant 13 years ago. She is a huge fan of her native Minnesota Vikings NFL team; she even traveled to Minnesota to see them play. Alice is also the undisputed No. 1 fan of the king...Elvis.
Siddharth Dasgupta is the managing director of the National Science Foundation (NSF) Center for Chemical Innovation: Solar Fuels at Caltech, with an annual budget of $4 million for a 14-university 21-investigator consortium working on novel catalysts and a membrane system for splitting water using solar energy. Prior to this position, he was associate director of industrial relations and technology transfer of the NSF Center for Neuromorphic Systems Engineering (CNSE), and associate director of the NSF Center for Science and Engineering of Materials (CSEM), where he oversaw collaborations with industry on multidisciplinary areas of intelligent autonomous machines, bandgap nanophotonics, amorphous metals, and soft biological materials. Prior to that he was a member of the Beckman Institute and was the director of simulations for the Materials and Process Simulation Center in the Beckman Institute. Siddharth was born and raised in Calcutta in the eastern part of India. After high school, he studied chemistry at the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur. He got his PhD in chemistry from Princeton University in 1986. His thesis work was on time-resolved resonance Raman spectroscopy of heme proteins. He was a joint postdoctoral scholar at AT&T Bell Labs in Murray Hill, New Jersey, and Caltech, working on computational chemistry of a variety of biological and materials science problems. He has more than 50 publications in chemistry, and an h-index of 24. In 2000, he launched a high-tech startup in Pasadena to supply a new dry-etching tool to the semiconductor industry. At the same time, he completed his executive MBA degree at UCLA's Anderson School of Management, graduating in 2002. Siddharth was a member of an NSF panel that visited China, Korea, Germany, and Belgium in 2006 and Japan in 2007 to study the NSF's Engineering Research Centers programs. He is also a consultant to the NSF for its newer ERCs. As prime contractor with SRI International, Siddharth is the chief architect of the Saudi Arabian government-funded Technology Innovation Centers program for their universities. Siddharth's wife, Dr. Rati Verma, is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute senior scientist working on molecular biology at Caltech. Their daughter, Aditi, graduated from Princeton University in 2011 and medical school at Tulane in May 2017. She starts her residency at UC San Francisco in June 2017.
Richard Germond has been supplying gas, liquid nitrogen, and metal stock from the Central Warehouse to the campus for research for 30 years. His main interests are savoring his wonderful grandchildren, the rest of his family and friends, music, mountains, and wild waters.
As an avid non-emissions fancier, he still hopes never to buy a Caltech parking pass.
Chris Henderson started working at Caltech as a mail clerk in 1986. Working in Mail Services allowed him to meet many people in the campus community. In the subsequent years, he filled in various roles in the department and was promoted to supervisor and manager. In 2001, he took over managing the Graphic Resources department and now serves as director of Graphic Resources and Mail Services. He feels the key to his longevity at Caltech has been his passion for his work, having great co-workers, and having worked under great managers. Chris feels he is a good example of how Caltech's culture supports an employee to elevate from an entry-level position and grow to become a director. Interacting with the diverse campus community has sparked his passion to learn about other cultures of the world and keep up with current world issues. While working at Caltech, Chris earned a bachelor's degree in management and human resources from Cal Poly Pomona and an MBA from University of Redlands. He is an avid traveler and has been to various countries around the world. Outside of work, Chris and his wife, Lura, enjoy family outings and keep busy raising their four daughters, Christina, Kimaya, Kaylee, and Karina.
Tina M. Lowenthal has been director of procurement services at Caltech since December 2005. Tina oversees a team that supports the entire procurement process from "cradle to grave" and includes purchasing, accounts payable, Pcard/travel, and disbursements. She has been part of many changes at Caltech including the introduction of the Pcard as well as Caltech's e-procurement system with SciQuest, called TechMart, which was implemented in 2005. Prior to joining the ranks of Caltech, she began her career at JPL in 1986 as a Buyer I. Tina holds a bachelor's degree from Michigan State University, a professional certification in government contract management from UCLA, and an MBA from University of La Verne. Tina's outside community and board service includes membership with the National Association of Educational Procurement and the San Gabriel Valley Chapter of the National Contract Management Association. She is also a "White Suiter" volunteer with the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association. She has proudly helped put on the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl game for the past 14 years. Tina has been married to her college sweetheart, Marc, for 31 years, and they have two daughters, Hannah, who graduated from University of Oregon in 2015, and Sarah, who is a junior at Washington State University.
Alejo Sanchez has been married for 21 years and has two sons who are enrolled at California State University, Northridge.
Rene Stone was born and raised in Los Angeles and has been part of the Caltech family for 30 years. Rene graduated from Belmont High School and earned certificates in engine repair technology from Mt. San Antonio College. He began working at Caltech as an equipment operator and over the years has advanced to his current position as equipment mechanic. Rene has been married for 31 years to Dana, and they have two beautiful daughters, Danielle and Alexandria. Rene was also one of the few employees who had the opportunity to play on the Caltech Beavers football team. He enjoys camping and fishing with his family, and in his spare time restoring his classic car.
Michael Vega's current position is lead electrician for the Electric Shop. He oversees projects from design and construction to new installation requests from the campus. Michael has been lead electrician for five years, which has allowed him the privilege of meeting so many wonderful people who work at Caltech. When he was a journeyman electrician, Michael never had to interact with the campus community as a whole. The best thing about working at Caltech is seeing the science in action and how amazing the human mind is. One of the most memorable times Michael has had at Caltech involved he and Mike Anchondo spending the day talking and having lunch with Arnold Beckman at his home. "Let me tell you, he was one cool guy, very down to earth," he says. Michael has lived in California most of his life but spent his pre-teen and teenage years and part of his 20s in New Mexico. He came back to California in 1985, got hired at Caltech in 1987, and never looked back. He and his wife, Ruth, have five children, 13 grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren. God and family are two of the most important things in Michael's life. He also enjoys taking long motorcycle camping trips with Ruth to places like Sturgis, South Dakota, and New Mexico, and anywhere he has time to go.
Lorianne Bowers is a Southern California girl—born and raised! She started her career at Caltech in December 1991 as the administrative assistant to the assistant controller in Finance, with increasing responsibilities in Financial Services, leading her to the position of assistant to the associate vice president of Finance & Treasurer. She thoroughly enjoys her job and the interaction with her colleagues across campus and JPL. In her spare time, Lorianne enjoys spending time at Disneyland with her fiancé, Scott, her daughters Candace and Kassandra, and the absolute joy of her life, her 6-year-old granddaughter, Marianne. She also enjoys going to concerts and L.A. Galaxy soccer games
Kevin Cooper helps to keep things running smoothly in Amnon Yariv's group in applied physics/materials science. Kevin started at Caltech as an undergrad in electrical engineering, then went up to the Bay Area to develop software in the computer-gaming industry. He returned in 1989 to join Yariv's group, where he has worked as an associate engineer for an accumulated 25 years, building various gadgets for the Optical and Quantum Electronics Laboratory and maintaining equipment, troubleshooting problems, and supporting the IT needs of the group. On occasion, he also helps out with the computing needs of some of the other labs in the department. Kevin took a couple years off starting in 2001 to help build the labs of a startup company founded by Caltech professor Kerry Vahala, which developed innovative optical semiconductor components for communications. Kevin has also worked part time as a software engineer for the Caltech Submillimeter Observatory, developing test hardware and software with Jacob Kooi to characterize a new receiver for the telescope. Kevin enjoys working in the stimulating research environment and creative culture at Caltech. Outside of work, Kevin enjoys travel, keeping up with friends, and occasionally skydiving.
David Felt: electronics (plasma physics), photographer, system administrator (computer science and biology), SCE retiree, engineer eastern district, radio, training, AIX system administrator. Been Fun!
Chi Ma is a member of the professional staff and director of the Analytical Facility in the Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences. He came to Caltech in 1997 as a postdoctoral fellow after graduating from Australian National University with a PhD in mineralogy. He has been a staff scientist in charge of the GPS analytical scanning electron microscope and electron microprobe facility since 1998. His research interests are nanomineralogy and discovery of new minerals representing extreme conditions. While working on an ongoing nanomineralogy investigation of Earth and planetary materials (mainly meteorites) at Caltech since 2006, Chi and his collaborators have discovered more than 40 new minerals, including refractory minerals, some first solid materials formed in the solar systems, and high-pressure phases like bridgmanite (MgSiO3-perovskite, the most abundant mineral in Earth). Such new minerals reveal distinctive forming environments, providing new insights into our understanding of the evolution of the early solar system. Mineral rocks!
A passion for learning brought Caz Scislowicz to Caltech 25 years ago. Why Caltech?
He was attracted by the excellence of the research community and the fact that research institutions such as Caltech are a vital part of our society. Participation allows an individual to contribute, in a small way, and be part of something bigger than oneself. Over the past two and one-half decades, Caz has seen many changes at the Institute as well as in his department, Environment, Health, and Safety (EHS). The nature and type of scientific questions being asked by our researchers and the increased complexity of the regulatory environment has been a challenge. Equally pressing are the needs of staff members who support the science and campus operations. By working together with the scientists and staff, EHS has achieved added value by contributing to a safe and productive campus community. Caz continues to enjoy the cross-disciplinary functions in EHS, and the superb and focused EHS team that positively impacts the entire campus community, faculty, students, and staff. While dedicated to work, Caz understands the need for balance in his life. As a volunteer coach for the Arcadia High School cross country team, he has been able to combine his love for running and mentoring of young athletes. The same drive for excellence in his work life carried over to his coaching, resulting in winning multiple state and national cross country championships. Thankfully, Caz's wife, Kathleen, and his two adult children understand his need to lace up his running shoes and cover distances in his cherished San Gabriel wilderness. What has he been up to lately? How about a new sport? Driving—not by car but by horse and carriage! Caz welcomed his adorable buckskin mare, Auri, to the family and now spends his weekends driving across the hills of the Santa Rosa Plateau.
Stacey Scoville joined the Caltech staff in 1991, providing administrative, grants management, and publications support in the Kellogg Radiation Laboratory. Since 1995, she has provided general administrative support for the Provost's Office. She credits her successes at Caltech to having worked for and learned from three uniquely exceptional provosts and alongside numerous talented and knowledgeable people across campus. Stacey finds great satisfaction in having played a small part in helping Caltech faculty achieve their goals. The beauty of the campus and the collegiality of the faculty, staff, postdocs, and students makes her 30-mile daily commute worthwhile. Along with her husband of 29 years, Dean, Stacey enjoys spending time outdoors and volunteering for her son's school and scouting activities.
Lisa Soltero joined Caltech in November 1991 as a part-time temporary clerk. A year later, she became a permanent full-time employee as an information services coordinator. In 1999, she was a member of the implementation team for Development and Institute Relations' administrative process engineering project; her extensive knowledge of Caltech business processes ensured that the Development and Institute Relations module of the project was successfully implemented. Afterwards, she was promoted to an associate database manager, overseeing Caltech's fundraising processes. In October 2008, Lisa transferred to the IMSS Institute Business Systems group, supporting fundraising systems. She enjoys report development and design. Lisa and her husband, Jesse, are the proud parents of two daughters and one son: Jasmine is a registered nurse; Samantha is a recent graduate from Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, with a degree in criminal justice; and Adam is an Airman First Class in the United States Air Force, stationed at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, and will soon relocate to Aviano Air Base in Italy. As much as Lisa is devoted to Caltech, she is also a U.S. Air Force reservist. She holds the grade of E-8 as an air terminal operations superintendent. In a few months, she approaches 20 years of distinguished military service and plans to retire. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling and has been all over the world.
Joan Sullivan began her career at Caltech in September 1991 working as an accounting assistant in the Gift Accounting Department. In 2000, she transferred to the Office of Public Relations, serving as office and budget manager. With the merger of Development and Public Relations/Communications in 2009, her role was refined to budget and personnel manager. In 2011, Sullivan was hired as department administrator for applied physics and materials science in EAS. In 2015, she transferred to BBE to her current role as business operations manager for the division. Joan is a native Californian, born and raised with 11 brothers and sisters in Monrovia, where she now lives with her spouse, Sean, sons Jack (21) and Sam (14), and dogs Charlie (6) and Murphy (2). She has been a member of her book club, The Cross-Talking Betties, since 2000 and is always ready to recommend her favorite books. Playing with her dogs, a weekly yoga class, and hiking are fun diversions to Joan's hectic life. As the mother of an adult with autism, Joan is always looking for ways to encourage awareness and acceptance of people with different abilities. Joan thanks all of her colleagues for their friendship and support over the years, and looks forward to (not too many) more years of work!
Hiroaki Yamamoto has been a member of the professional staff in the LIGO Laboratory since 1994. He has led the development of simulation tools for the opto-mechanical systems of the LIGO interferometers. He uses those tools for trade studies of subsystem designs and for the specifications and acceptance tests of optics components. He has been with LIGO since the construction started. It has been an immensely enjoyable experience for him participating in this large and complex project to complete Einstein's homework by discovering gravitational waves. It was unbelievable to finally see the detection of the first gravitational wave signal on September 14, 2015, 100 years after Einstein published the general theory of relativity. Interaction with so many talented researchers and engineers to achieve this daunting challenge has been an honorable experience. Hiro received his PhD in physics from the University of Tokyo, and moved to the then Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory to work on the PEP4 electron-positron collider experiment at SLAC. After this experiment ended in 1991, he joined the group at Caltech designing the GEM detector for the Superconducting Super Collider, until he moved to LIGO.
James Achedafty is the guy you see maintaining all exterior campus building and walkway lighting—including parking lots, pools, and fountains. He also provides temporary power for campus events and takes service calls. His free time is spent with his wife, Julie, and their two cats in Arcadia, and his hobbies include golf, music, and camping in the desert. He loves to spend time in his yard, where he tends to a variety of fruit trees he's planted, some of which came from Icaria, Greece.
RuthAnne Bevier came to Caltech in 1996 from the Huntington Library after getting acquainted with Caltech's Campus Computing Organization (CCO) while helping to form SMNet, an early shared Internet access collaboration between the Huntington, the city of San Marino, and the San Marino Unified School District. At Caltech, she moved from general IT work to network and systems security in 1999 and has led the Information Security group at Caltech since 2006. In the meantime, CCO became ITS, and ITS merged with ATC to become IMSS. RuthAnne lives nearby and can often be seen walking across campus, sometimes in the company of her husband of 26 years, Richard Murray. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, traveling, cooking, and thinking of new ways to keep hackers at bay.
Dawn Boyd started work at Caltech in October 1997, as part of the Project Office for the APE (Y2K) Project. She later supervised the Telephone Office, then managed the voice networks group, and today is the director of networks and operations in IMSS. Her responsibilities include voice networks, data networks, data center operations, and the administrative coordinators for IMSS. She is frequently impressed but never surprised by the dedication and hard work her team puts in to support the Caltech community. Dawn has been married to Walter Boyd for more than 30 years. They have three grown children who, due to the relentless support of their parents, are educated and employed. More importantly, they are involved, caring, compassionate adults, each doing their best to make a difference in the world.
Julian Bunn is a principal computational scientist in the Center for Data-Driven Discovery in the Division of Physics, Math and Astronomy. He was a short double Americano early adopter at the Red Door Cafe.
Hernan Granados es salvadoreño. Con 44 años de casado, Hernan y su esposa tienen tres hijos— un hombre y dos mujeres—y cinco nietos. Ha trabajado en Caltech durante los últimos 20 años.
Mark Lucas is an almost 20-year veteran in IT at Caltech. Starting as one of three IT support staff in Institute Relations, Mark played a key role in bringing the department's IT services, rooted in circa 1990, into the 21st century. He has supported the President's Office under David Baltimore and currently cares for campuswide systems as lead system administrator in IMSS. During his tenure, his technical skills have grown to include multiple products from Microsoft, Cisco, VMware and Amazon Web Services. A five-year member of Toastmasters International, Mark recently earned his Distinguished Toastmaster award and is program quality director-elect of the newly formed District 100. Last year, Mark began his master's of information security management at the SANS Technology Institute. In his spare time, he follows his passion for space exploration by functioning as IT liaison for Yuri's Night, an annual party under the space shuttle Endeavourthat brings together astronauts, engineers, scientists, and space enthusiasts worldwide. Mark and his wife, Karen, attempt to keep up with their children, Xavier and Emily, as they follow in their father's footsteps hacking Minecraft and their mother's, traveling and hiking to new locations in search of rare Pokémon.
Fred Niblock is a library support associate in document delivery in the Sherman Fairchild Library. He enjoys being part of a great teaching environment at Caltech that includes discoveries, breakthroughs, and inventions. He appreciates the great sense of teamwork that runs through Caltech as well.
Bradley Smith is senior project manager/architect in design and construction in Facilities, and has worked on the following Caltech projects: Winnett rehabilitation, Dabney Hall rehabilitation, the south undergraduate houses rehabilitation, Annenberg construction, Linde + Robinson rehabilitation, and the new Bechtel residence.
Maria Solorzano started working for the Caltech Telephone Office on June 25, 1997. She started working as a temporary PBX campus operator. Then in November of the same year, she was offered a permanent full-time position in that same job, where she worked for approximately five years. Currently, Maria is a telecom office billing clerk, where she processes a very high volume of monthly invoices. She also submits billing batches to IMSS operations for billing processing on a monthly basis. Maria also processes a lot of international requests for on-campus staff members as well as for many professors. What Maria has enjoyed the most about working for Caltech and about her job throughout these 20 years of service is that she has learned so much and has met so many nice people. Providing excellent customer service for these people all of these years has been very rewarding for her. Maria has three children: Ana Jessica, and Jesus—who also work for the Caltech family—and Cecilia Ericka, who will be graduating from UC Irvine this coming June. Maria also has six beautiful grandchildren whom she loves dearly and whom she spends a lot of time with: Alyssa Izabella (Bella), 7; Nathaniel, 3; Anabelle (almost 2 this coming June 17); Enrique, 1; Jose, 10; and Giselle, 2.
Mike Tyszka is the associate director of the Caltech Brain Imaging Center, a position he's held since 2008. He is responsible for day-to-day operations, technology development, and physics support for brain research in the center. He has felt for a long time that Caltech is utterly unique and couldn't imagine working anywhere else. Nothing beats scanning a provost's brain. Before joining Caltech full time, he worked for more than 10 years as a clinical research scientist at USC, Cedars-Sinai and City of Hope medical centers. He was born in England, studied physics at University of Cambridge, and currently lives in South Pasadena with his lovely wife, Miho, kids Hana and Matt, two cats and a dog. For fun, he builds cabinets.
Chris Yoder, business systems analyst and application architect for IMSS, has been prowling the depths of the fundraising database since 1997, first working for Institute Relations and then transferring to IMSS in 2009. He spends his time slinging SQL, creating Crystal Reports formats, and generally making the fundraising database stand on its head to support the smooth running of the system to support the fundraisers. Since coming to work at the Institute, he has been intimately involved in two fundraising database conversion/upgrade projects. Both Chris and his wife of 28 years, Sandy Kapteyn, share a passion for electric vehicles (they have had at least one since 1991), alternative energy (they have been generating electricity with solar PV since 2003), and their kids (a daughter who is a junior in high school and a son in fifth grade.)