Meet Jose Sierra, who provides IT support for the Joint Genome Institute and has worked at the Lab for six years. Among the things he enjoys most about working at the Lab are being able to contribute and participate in motivational talks to high school and college students, and promoting STEM careers to minority students.
As part of Hispanic Heritage Month, Sierra answers three questions for Elements:
What was your journey to Berkeley Lab like?
I attended a summer workshop hosted by the Computational Research Division (CRD) in 2011. I kept in touch with Jon Bashor (now retired) and a couple years later, he let me know about a job as a student assistant for the CRD IT team. I worked in that capacity while I earned my engineering degree at San Francisco State. I then moved over NERSC, and after that the Joint Genome Institute, where I currently work.
Can you tell us about your family heritage?
My family and I were born in Guatemala. My parents decided to come to the U.S in the year 2000. Leaving everything behind was the most difficult decision they ever made, but they did it to provide my siblings and me a better future. I strive to never forget where I came from, to never forget my life experiences, and to never forget the sacrifices that my parents made in order for me to be here.
Is there any part of your culture you draw from to inform your work at the Lab?
As a first generation person in America, I’ve shared my journey and life experiences with my Lab colleagues. Some are shocked by these stories as they have never experienced similar kinds of situations. I try to widen their points of views on certain topics, and demonstrate that I am able to work and deliver as well as anyone else.