About the SMP Team


Contact the Fermilab Saturday Morning Physics team.

It takes a lot of people to do Saturday Morning Physics at Fermilab. Our fantastic team is …


Sowjanya Gollapinni, University of Tennessee (Knoxville) – Co-Chair

Dr. Gollapinni is an Assistant Professor of Physics at UTK, but works at Fermilab about one-third of the year. Prior to that, she worked at Fermilab as a post-doc, through Kansas State University, full time. She received her PhD in physics from Wayne State University and did her undergraduate work in India at Sri Venkateswara University, which is in the eastern coastal province of Andhra Pradesh.

Also, Sowjanya is on the Fermilab Users’ Executive Committee, where she focuses on issues of diversity and inclusion in STEM, particularly at Fermilab and at universities in the southern US.  Find out more about Sowjanya.  And here is a video about a recent interaction she had with one of our students..


Elliott McCrory, Fermilab – Co-Chair

Dr. McCrory is a Senior Scientist at Fermilab and has worked here since 1986. He received his PhD in particle physics from Duke University where he split his time among experiments at Fermilab, at SLAC and at Brookhaven Lab. He studied physics and engineering (and was in the Beelzebubs) as an undergraduate at Tufts University.

Elliott went to high school at A. C. Flora in Columbia, SC, where he was the yearbook photographer and an “All-State” tenor in the Concert Choir.

Find out more about Elliott.


Bob Bernstein, Fermilab – Senior advisor

Dr. Bernstein is also a Senior Scientist at Fermilab. He did his undergraduate studies at MIT and received his PhD in physics from the University of Chicago, during which time he spent most of his time at Fermilab. He was a Research Associate at Columbia University after than, and came to Fermilab for good in 1990.

Additionally, Bob earned an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth Business School in 2006.

Find out more about Bob.




Sandra Charles, Fermilab – Program Manager

Ms. Charles is the head of Fermilab’s Talent Acquisition, Diversity and Inclusion department . She holds a Master of Public Administration (MPA) from the University of South Florida (Tampa). She received her BA from Concordia University (Montreal, Quebec) in Literature and Education.


Rosa Foote, Fermilab – Program assistant

Ms. Foote is the SMP administrative assistant, within the Talent Acquisition, Diversity and Inclusion department.  She has worked at Fermilab for more than ten years, and prior to that worked at nearby Argonne National Laboratory.




Ting Li, Fermilab – On-site coordinator

Dr. Li the Leon Lederman Fellow at the Fermilab Center for Particle Astrophysics.  She received her PhD from Texas A&M University, where she worked in the Munnerlyn Astronomical Instrumentation Lab. She was undergraduate at Fudan University in Shanghai, China, with a major in Physics and a minor in Diplomacy.

Dr. Li is an observational astronomer as well as an instrument builder with scientific interests that include near-field cosmology, Galactic archaeology and metal-poor stars. Her current main work is to study the Milky Way halo substructures, including the stellar streams and dwarf galaxies.

Find out more about Ting.



Adam Anderson, Fermilab – On-site coordinator

Dr. Anderson is also a Leon Lederman Fellow at the Fermilab Center for Particle Astrophysics.  He received his PhD from The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). His focus is the search for dark matter in the universe. This work takes him to the South Pole to work on the telescope from time to time.

Find out more about Adam.


Javier Duarte, Fermilab – On-site coordinator

Dr. Duarte is a Lederman postdoctoral fellow in experimental high energy physics at Fermilab and a member of the CMS Collaboration at CERN. His research interests include using topologically-interesting variables and alternative analysis techniques to search for supersymmetric particles in LHC data, and developing detectors for the next generation of collider experiments. Javier received his PhD from Cal Tech and his bachelor’s degree from MIT.

You can read Javier’s thesis.

Kirsty Duffy, Fermilab – On-site coordinator

Dr. Duffy is also a Leon Lederman Fellow who studies neutrino physics at Fermilab. Her research interests include neutrino oscillation, neutrino interactions, and statistics. Kirsty received her PhD in 2016 from the University of Oxford, where she studied the difference between matter and antimatter in neutrino oscillation. She is now studying neutrino interactions in the MicroBooNE experiment as well as working on a prototype detector for DUNE, Fermilab’s next-generation flagship experiment.

Read more about Kirsty’s PhD thesis results in these news articles. Kirsty’s thesis was also published as part of the Springer Theses series.


Learn about the evolution of the Fermilab Saturday Morning Physics Program.