May 5, 2022

Congratulations to third year Honors Physics student Gabby Gelinas

TRIUMF welcomes to the lab Gabby Gelinas, one of the inaugural recipients of the Richard E. Azuma Undergraduate Summer Fellowship.

Gabby is a third year Honors Physics student minoring in Mathematics at the University of Calgary. She is the President of the University’s Physics and Astronomy Students’ Association, and a prominent member of several departmental committees focused on student advocacy, curriculum development, and equity, diversity, and inclusion.

Starting May 1st, Gelinas will join Dr. Ania Kwiatkowski and the TITAN team to work on experiments of precision mass measurements of exotic nuclei.

“I’m excited for the opportunity within this position to see new scientific developments happening in real time, and to explore a field I do not have the chance to study in-depth in my undergraduate classes,” said Gelinas. “I’m hoping to use my time at TRIUMF to make full use of the world-class facilities and experience hands-on work to expand my experimental skillset. I am also torn on whether I would like to pursue nuclear or particle physics for graduate studies, so I am hoping to use this term to help me make that decision.”

The Richard E. Azuma Fellowship commemorates renowned TRIUMF and University of Toronto physicist Dr. Dick Azuma, who was instrumental in establishing the field of experimental nuclear astrophysics in Canada. Dick played an integral role in advancing Canadian nuclear physics for all and contributed to many topics and initiatives, including the well-known "Red Giant" experiment, which laid the foundation for TRIUMF’s ISAC and ARIEL facilities and rare-isotope science program. In addition to his leadership for Canadian science, Dick was a passionate educator, a fierce defender against prejudice and discrimination, and a valued mentor to a generation of emerging science leaders. The Fellowship seeks to honour his legacy and support promising Canadian undergraduate students with diverse backgrounds who are considering a career in research fields associated with TRIUMF science.

“Our family is thrilled that the Azuma Fellowship's first recipient is Gabby Gelinas!” said Katie Azuma (Dick's daughter), who has been working with TRIUMF to open Azuma Fellowship “We know Dick would be completely astonished that there is an award in his honour in the first place, and absolutely delighted that it is going to such a deserving student as Gabby. We're enormously grateful to everyone at TRIUMF, and Marcello Pavan and Chris Ruiz in particular, for establishing the Azuma Fellowship and ensuring Dick's passion for mentoring the next generation of physicists in Canada carries on. We wish Gabby much success in her summer at TRIUMF and hope that she loves TRIUMF as much as Dick did.”

For Gelinas, the opportunity to work at TRIUMF is an important step towards defining her career as a scientist – and possibly as a mentor and educator, too.

“I was drawn to TRIUMF because of the immense learning opportunities available to me here, both accessing increased technical and analytical experience and in exploring the wide variety of fields studied at TRIUMF through discussions with fellow summer students and faculty members. After my undergraduate degree I want to continue in experimental physics. I’m still deciding between particle and nuclear physics, but I know that I would like to do a Master’s degree in collaboration with TRIUMF. My long-term goal is to have a teaching-focused career in physics.”

When she’s not at the lab? “Outside of the lab, I love spending time with my dog, Alister, and have recently started learning how to knit!”

We’ll sharing photos of Gabby’s first week at TRIUMF via our social media channels (@TRIUMFLab) so stay tuned to learn more about Gabby and her work with TITAN.

The Azuma Fellowship is awarded annually to two students attending one of TRIUMF’s member universities. TRIUMF’s second Azuma Fellow, McMaster University’s Julia Azzi, will be joining Dr. Kate Pachal and the DarkLight experimental team at TRIUMF in September 2022. We’ll be following up with Julia when she arrives, so stay tuned!

Congratulations and welcome to TRIUMF, Gabby!