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In this issue:
People: Marco Ajello Explores New Worlds
There's a Whole New Spot Award Program on the Horizon
Unauthorized Commitments and Ratifications
Seen around SLAC: Giving Trees and Food Barrels

SLAC Today

Wednesday - December 8, 2010

People: Marco Ajello Explores New Worlds

Ajello poses on his bike at Streets of Willow Spring, where he was attending the California Superbike School. (He wore a helmet and other protective gear for the actual riding).
(Photo courtesy Marco Ajello.)

Marco Ajello can easily avoid boredom; he has a long list of unanswered questions handy. Since coming to SLAC two years ago, the KIPAC astrophysicist has studied mysteries related to galaxy clusters, black hole-powered active galactic nuclei and high-energy plasma jets.

Recently Ajello worked on a team that used the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope to analyze the gamma-ray emissions from sources outside our galaxy. The team found that jets from active galaxies, a known source of gamma-ray emissions, could account for less than one-third of the total emissions. The origin of the other two-thirds remains a mystery, and a perfect source of more unanswered questions for Ajello's list.  Read more...

There's a Whole New Spot Award Program on the Horizon

In response to Pause input, the SLAC leadership team has been working on ways to give our employees immediate recognition and appreciation for exceptional work.

Together, SLAC management and the Human Resources department have come up with a revised Spot Award program that provides a simple and expedient way to immediately recognize and reward employees for performance, behavior or accomplishments that contribute to achieving the vision, mission and values at SLAC. Managers and supervisors throughout the lab will be awarding Spot Awards redeemable for $25 gift cards to Target, the Stanford Bookstore or Cinemark Movie Theatre. Managers can award up to 2 gift cards at one time.  Read more...

Unauthorized Commitments and Ratifications

Here at SLAC there has been a recent spike in what are called "unauthorized commitments"—written or oral commitments to buy goods or services, made by someone who lacks procurement authority to commit SLAC funds. As a reminder, SLAC procurement specialists are the only individuals who may commit Department of Energy funds at SLAC. Commitments made by individuals without delegated authority to commit DOE funds will be subject to the Unauthorized Commitment Ratification process to determine whether they would otherwise have been proper and in the best interest of the SLAC. In the event that the commitment is not ratified (that is, approved), the person who created the unauthorized commitment may be held personally liable for vendor payment.  Read more...

 (Photo by Lori Ann White.)

Seen around SLAC: Giving Trees and Food Barrels

SLAC's annual holiday food and toy drives are winding down, but there are still a few days left to help spread the holiday cheer.

The Family Giving Tree campaign officially ends on December 10. Find a tag on a tree near you to give a child in need a holiday gift. If you've taken a tag, please bring in your gift by Friday.

The Second Harvest Food Bank drive ends at end-of-day December 15. Several half-empty barrels are located around the SLAC campus (see link for locations). Please add your donations of non-perishables so that half-empty barrels become full barrels, which lead to full tummies at Christmas.

You can also donate used, clean coats and jackets until December 17. Drop them off with Kay Ganapathi in Building 280, Room 132 or call extension 4157 for more information.

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