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People: Theresa Wong Shares a Smile

(Photo - Theresa Wong)
 (Photo courtesy Theresa Wong.)

If staff members or visitors at the Linac Coherent Light Source have a request, chances are that Theresa Wong will help them. And she'll do it all with her radiant smile.

Wong is one of four administrative assistants at the LCLS who do everything from processing daily facilities requests to coordinating major meetings and events.

"If it's something we can do, we'll do it," she said, referring to herself and fellow LCLS administrative assistants Siony Manti, Araceli Zapata and Irene Hu. "We're here to make everyone's lives a little easier."

Since arriving at SLAC in March, Wong has increasingly taken on more responsibilities. One of her major roles is to arrange travel for LCLS visitors whose expenses are paid for by SLAC. She is also the point of contact for any LCLS-related events, including three major meetings held twice a year.

Most recently, she supported the LCLS Scientific Advisory Committee meeting in October and the Proposal Review Panel gathering in September. Her tasks ranged from managing key logistics such as air travel, car rentals and lodging for the guests to handling a slew of smaller details such as creating name tags, booking conference rooms and simply greeting guests as they walked into the building.

She also serves as the directorate conference coordinator, securing the appropriate approvals for any LCLS staff member who wants to attend an event outside the lab. Finally, she helps coordinate tours for LCLS and is in charge of getting approvals to access areas from the Beam Transport Hall to the Far Experimental Hall.

"Irene will always try to find new projects for me to work on too," Wong said of Hu, her supervisor. "She's interested in my future and growth, which is nice." Wong added that she enjoys the company of her coworkers, and looks forward to coming to work every day despite a commute from San Bruno.

All her hard work certainly does not go unnoticed. "Jo [Stohr] and Uwe [Bergmann] always thank us," she said. Since the relocation from Building 280, Wong also finds herself helping Building 901 staff who are matrixed from the Accelerator Directorate and Particle Physics and Astrophysics, and whose designated administrative assistants are in another part of the laboratory. She is happy to help them set up meetings or order office supplies.

"I try to just help people as quickly as I can," Wong said. "I pick up things that other people don't normally do, and if no one knows the answer to something I'll track it down for them."

Wong said she tries to chat with everyone who passes by the reception desk in Building 901, where she sits. "I'll at least say hello, especially if someone looks stressed. I'm always smiling, too, because I feel like it makes others happier."

—Lauren Rugani
SLAC Today, November 10, 2010