Luz Jaquez - a guiding force for Particle Physics Division
Luz Jaquez works tirelessly to ensure the professional needs of the Particle Physics Division's 400 employees are taken care of.
Jaquez, division administrator for the PPD, interfaces with scientists, the Travel Office and Human Resources on behalf of the division. Managing such a fluid group, with its constant influx and outflow of users, requires cheerful patience and an ability to handle all the variables that come with the territory. Jaquez has both in spades.
"Every week is a crisis around here, if not every day," said Mike Lindgren, PPD's acting division head. "The people who are really great are the ones who make the difficult seem routine. Luz just handles everything. She's unflappable."
Born and raised in Chicago, Jaquez first came to Fermilab in June 1991 as an on-call administrative employee working in the Computing Division. Days after she was hired, she was asked to work full-time for the Particle Physics Division (then called the Research Division). While employed as an administrative support assistant, she enrolled in college-level office administration and computer courses.
Her initiative paid off: Two years ago she was promoted to division administrator.
The gratification she derives from both assisting people over daily hurdles and seeing a task to its conclusion drives her as she operates as a hub in the PPD, expediting payroll, performance reviews and visas and passports.
"I just like helping people, and I figured an administrator is the best position to be in," Jaquez said. "It's very rewarding when a project is completed or a problem solved."
As to the crises that crop up from time to time, Jaquez said, "Yes, there are problems; yes, there are emergencies. But there's always a solution to a problem. That's the way I see it."
Jaquez makes sure to balance her career with a rich home life. When she isn't scrapbooking and putting together family albums, she joins her husband and three sons in cheering on the Cubs at Wrigley Field.
-- Leah Hesla