Today at Berkeley Lab

10 Questions for Workforce Development & Education’s Laleh Coté

lalehCoté runs the undergraduate research internships and has worked at the Lab for six and half years.

Q: What is your proudest moment on the job?
A: I really love connecting with our interns each term, and supporting them as they develop themselves professionally. I’m proud to work with such a diverse group of future scientists and leaders.

Q: What do you enjoy most about working the Lab?
A: The wide variety of research efforts taking place side-by-side. Ernest Lawrence founded the Lab with collaboration in mind, and the Lab’s interdisciplinary approach to solving “big” problems reflects this original vision.

Q: Why do you like science?
A: As a biology student in college, I learned to ask questions in a productive way and to distinguish between “knowing” and “believing,” both of which have important roles in the human experience.

Q: Who is your science hero?
A: Jay Keasling, who was named the Scientist of the Year in 2006 by Discover Magazine, inspired me to apply to undergraduate research internships that year. My other hero is Rey Morales at Gavilan College, the teacher that gave me the confidence to apply.

Q: Where were you born and/or raised?
A: I was born in San Francisco, and raised in the Mountain View-Los Altos area.

Q: What is your cultural heritage?
A: Persian American

Q How do you connect with your cultural heritage?
A: Cooking traditional Persian stews (always with rice), and celebrating Nowruz with my family.

Q: Do you possess any unique talents?
A: I’ve been singing my entire life. I also love learning new languages.

Q: Who/what inspires you?
A: My newborn son inspires me to be the best version of myself. Good food from our local farmers’ markets also inspires me.

Q: How are you involved with your community?
A: Currently I volunteer with organizations that focus on increasing access to careers in STEM fields: Level The Playing Field Institute, Biotech Partners, TechWomen, and Black Girls Code.

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