Bette Cessna

Title: Administrative Assistant.

Duties: Providing administrative support to investigators Floyd Romesberg, Albert Eschenmoser, and Ram Krishnamurthy.

Philosophy of Job: "If I can take care of something, I take care of it. Principal investigators have enough on their plate. It's my job to free them up to concentrate on the science."

Favorite Parts of Job: "We have a great group. I love to be part of the Department of Chemistry and to contribute to creating an environment where everyone feels comfortable. I believe a happy lab is a productive lab. I also like to learn about all the different aspects of the science—physical chemistry, cancer research, laser projects, antibody research.... The topics are diverse and exciting."

Started at TSRI: 1991

Background: Grew up on a farm in Ramona with her mother, father, and nine siblings. Her first job out of high school was at The Salk Institute. After a brief stint at Baylor College in Houston, she returned to San Deigo, where she began working for investigator Martin Schwartz at TSRI. She held that position for 11 years before starting the job with the Romesberg lab last year.

TSRI Sports: Cessna is currently commissioner of the TSRI Softball League and the TSRI Bowling League. "One of my favorite aspects of the sports leagues is meeting the people I know from e-mail and phone calls," Cessna says. "It's great to get to know them in person."

Cessna's involvement in softball started when she put together a team to participate in the Biotech Softball league in the early '90s. TSRI participation grew until there were enough teams to support a separate league. "As soon as we started playing together, it was clear to me that creating a separate TSRI league was a good move," Cessna says. "Our league philosophy is clear: it's all about having fun." The TSRI league now consists of 14 teams and about 300 employees and family members who play at the North Clairemont Recreation Center from June through September. "Two of our participants married and had babies—that's what I consider a success," Cessna says.

At about the same time she started playing softball with TSRI, Cessna got involved in bowling. Now composed of 12 teams and about 50 people, the TSRI bowling league meets every Thursday at Sunset Bowl in Clairemont from late May to late August. "Because it's a handicap league, even less experienced players have a chance to win," Cessna notes.

Other Extracurriculars: Cessna is partner in a company that is developing instruments for alcohol research. She also likes to spend time with her fiance, Tony (whom she met at TSRI), rollerblading, going to the movies, and remodeling their condo in Ocean Beach.



"Principal investigators have enough on their plate," says Administrative Assistant Bette Cessna. "It's my job to free them up to concentrate on the science." Photo by Kevin Fung.