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In this issue:
SLAC's ILC RF Design Effort Moves Forward
Profile Today: John Trapsi
Healthcare Plan Options Changing, Along with New Benefits and Rules
Vantage Point: University Offers Competitive Benefits and Salaries

SLAC Today

Wednesday - September 20, 2006

SLAC's ILC RF Design Effort Moves Forward

(Photo - Richard Swent)
Richard Swent

Rich Swent parts the thick plastic strips hanging from the doorframe and enters End Station B. He heads through the cavernous room, past spools of cables and under foot-thick cooling pipes, coming to a stop at a table. Currently cluttered with squirt bottles and tools, the aluminum surface will soon serve as the test stand for cutting-edge components made by SLAC for the International Linear Collider (ILC).

End Station B these days is the site of the largest ILC R&D effort at SLAC, the development of the L-band (1.3 GHz) radio frequency (RF) power source. This includes everything between the wall plug and the superconducting RF cavities: the modulators, klystrons, RF distribution, and fundamental mode couplers. Read more...

(Weekly Column - Profile)

John Trapsi: R&B Lyricist and Producer

(Image - John Trapsi)
John Trapsi in his studio. (Click on image for larger version.)

You may not be aware of it when you call the Help Desk, but the guy at the other end of the line could work on a completely different kind of keyboard in his off-time.

Computer Resources Associate John Trapsi, who will celebrate his 6th anniversary at SLAC in October, is a long time R&B singer, writer, and producer. His former group members even had a nickname for him. "They called me Chairman of the Boards, because I ran the keyboard and the mixing board," he says with a grin.

A native of the Excelsior district of San Francisco, Trapsi grew up around music. He still remembers the first time he put his fingers to the keyboard. "I was five and I was watching my dad play Stairway to Heaven on the piano. Then he left the room, and I sat right down and started to play it." He found he picked up music quickly, a talent which is very handy in the music studio, where Trapsi both writes lyrics and produces.

For ten years Trapsi sang and produced in the Bay-area R&B quartet IF. The all-Filipino group performed all over California, developing a loyal following. In 2003, they performed at the SLAC Juneteenth festival.

Although IF broke up in 2004, Trapsi is still heavily involved in music. He maintains a studio in his home, where he often produces music in short order from small snippets of melody he makes up or hears people hum. It's a second full-time job. "I'm at SLAC from 8 to 5. And from 6 until 3 in the morning, I'm in the studio. All my rest is done on the weekend, and even then I'm dealing with music."

Trapsi also manages and produces music for a quartet of college women called 4 Corners. The group plays culture nights at many local universities and festivals throughout California. This Saturday they will return to play at the grammar school where they all met. "R&B is passion…It's heart and soul music," he explains. For Trapsi, it's a life-long investment.

Healthcare Plan Options Changing, Along with New Benefits and Rules

Only@Stanford, 3-Choice Health Plan and Lumenos will be discontinued as medical plan choices this year, and two Blue Shield preferred-provider plans will be offered as new health-care options for the 2007 calendar year. The change was prompted largely by feedback from staff surveyed by the Benefits Department, according to Leslie Schlaegel, director of benefits.

"We surveyed employees last year and the response was clear," Schlaegel said. "Employees want medical plans that are easier to understand and use, so these changes for 2007 move us toward that goal."

The two new medical plans are the Blue Shield PPO Plan and the Blue Shield High Deductible PPO Plan. Open Enrollment will take place Oct. 26 to Nov. 15, and Blue Shield and Lumenos participants will receive letters before then urging them to log on to the BenefitSU website and make new medical coverage choices during Open Enrollment. If they don't, their coverage will default to the Blue Shield PPO Plan for 2007. Read more...

Vantage Point: University Offers Competitive Benefits and Salaries

You will soon be receiving information from the Benefits Department about our 2007 healthcare plans. This is the time of year, referred to as open enrollment, when employees are asked to review their healthcare needs and determine if they want to make changes for the upcoming year. While the information you will be receiving relates to our health plans, there are many other benefit plans that make up our total package.

Stanford's benefits package is one of the best offered by any Bay Area employer—a claim that was confirmed by a third-party survey conducted earlier this year by Towers Perrin. That review, commissioned by the Benefits Department, compared our benefits to those offered by 20 large Bay Area employers, including Cisco, eBay, Apple, Yahoo, Oracle and Genentech. It found that Stanford ranked in the top quartile, even before taking into account unique programs such as the Tuition Grant Program, which helps employees offset their children's secondary education costs. Read more...

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