Tammy Campbell

Visible Spectrum is a series to spotlight talented and dedicated women employees across the Lab

March 25, 2024

With over four decades of dedicated service at Berkeley Lab, Tammera (Tammy) Campbell, Group Lead for IT Support Services, embodies a deep commitment to excellence and inclusion. Beginning as a student intern, her journey has been deeply intertwined with the Lab's history and values, which has shaped her sense of purpose and passion for her work. Beyond overseeing a 40+ person group which addresses employee needs with computer help desk questions, accounts, desktops, laptops, tablets and servers, her true pride lies in fostering the next generation of IT professionals through mentorship and outreach initiatives. Her efforts extend beyond her role, as she also advocates for diversity and equity in STEM and actively engages with community organizations to promote civic participation.

Outside of the Lab, Tammy enjoys traveling and spending time with her grandsons and family, going to the movies (she’s a superhero and sci-fi fan), sports events such as the 49ers, A’s, Sharks and Quakes games, and wine tasting in Napa/Sonoma and the Central Coast. She also enjoys supporting local organizations that advance participation in local government, as she says: “A healthy democracy depends on it.”

What inspired you to work at Berkeley Lab? 

I started over 40 years ago as a student intern in the Lab’s library, doing the first internet searches while I was going to school full-time at UC Berkeley. But you can call me a Lab brat because my dad worked at the Lab, and I used to roam the hallways in my diapers. I was literally raised here. I love the Lab and what it stands for. That may sound corny, but I believe in what people do here. It is an incredibly inspiring institution, given its history and the many people I have met over the years. In my various roles over my 40+ year history, I have been able to serve many Nobel laureates and Medal of Science recipients. Where else can you work and really be able to say: “I have supported people who have changed the world”? Where else can you have a person like James Harris mentor you and tell you to “always strive for more and never let anyone hold you down”? Where else can you work where you have a Lab Director who cares about IDEA and walks the walk? Plus, the view is awesome.

What have you been most proud of accomplishing at the Lab?

I am proud of the second-grade IT outreach program the IT Division does yearly for local elementary school students. Teaching the concept of computer hardware, software, programming, and networking to second graders may ignite the spark in them to pursue STEM careers in the future. The survival of this country depends on education and exposure to science and technology. Though teaching the next generation of IT workers takes time, we need to prioritize it and make the time. People on my team believe in the concept of “Pay IT Forward” because they demonstrate the idea daily in how they perform. After all, a lot of them were once interns themselves. Someone showed them the way, so it is only right to provide that opportunity to someone else. 

Employee resource groups (ERGs) like the Women’s Support and Empowerment Council and the IDEA Office provide that sense of belonging and the ability to be just who you are to make a difference. When you can come to work and be your authentic self, and people embrace you, then you can accomplish anything. The people I have worked with and met at the Lab have incredibly impacted my life. I have built a group of friends over the years that I cherish and will value even after I retire. 


Do you have tips you'd recommend for someone looking to enter and/or succeed in your field of work?

Master the “power skills” of effective communication in writing, speech, and presentation, organizational skills, time management, project management, and admitting you don’t know what you don’t know. Any manager will snap up a person with these skills because they are a value-add to any organization.


How can our community engage more women, girls, and other underrepresented groups in STEM?
We must make the time to open the door for the next generation of scientists and staff supporting science. As schmaltzy as this sounds, the health of the United States is dependent on viable education for all people. And I am proud to be a part of an institution whose scientific discoveries really do make a positive impact on mankind. As a path forward, I encourage everyone to actively engage with these three key Lab organizations:

These three offices represent the avenues and programs we should support to engage more women, girls, and underrepresented groups in STEM.

Above: Tammy at her son's wedding in Italy (left) and enjoying a San Francisco 49ers game (right)