Hispanic Latino Club Officers

PRESIDENT – Michael Kaminski

I was born in the Chicagoland area where my father lived and mother emigrated from Mexico.  I went to the University of Illinois in Urbana where I graduated with my Ph.D. in nuclear engineering in 1998. Immediately upon completion of my dissertation, I came to

Mike Kaminski, President

Argonne as a Post-Doctoral Fellow in the former Chemical Technology Division. In 2002, I was promoted to junior staff.  From 2003 to 2006 I was Leader of the Nanoscale Engineering Group, which has now been combined into a larger group in the Chemical Sciences and Engineering Division. In 2009, I was promoted to Principal Materials Engineer.  I have approximately 50 publications, more than 50 presentations, 20 inventions, 2 patents, and 3 patent applications.

My research interest has involved developing magnetic particles for radionuclide and heavy metals separations in the field of waste management. I have also been developing magnetic particles for drug delivery applications in medicine with the University of Chicago. In addition, I have developed radioactive decontamination technologies for several applications and a radionuclide sensor for rapid analysis of radioactive debris. I also maintain a research position with the nuclear energy programs and currently, I am developing host materials for nuclear wastes produced in advanced fuel cycles.

In my spare time, I like to spend time with my wife Julie, my sons Mikey, Nate and Benjamin, the rest of my family, and friends.


Jerry Baudino Photo

Jerry Baudino, Vice President

My immediate family have lived and worked in Chicago’s far southwestern suburbs of Rockdale, Coal City, and the south side of Joliet.  I was born in Joliet and grew up in Lockport with my younger brother.  My dad is a retired iron worker/welder with 50 years of experience.  My mom was a housewife who stayed at home to raise their two sons.  She returned to the work force full time when I was a senior at Lockport Township High School.

I went on to receive my Associate’s Degree in Liberal Arts & Sciences from Joliet Junior College, and my Bachelor of Science Degree in Environmental Health Sciences/Chemistry from Illinois State University.  Shortly after graduating from ISU, I joined Argonne National Laboratory in September 1987 as a Scientific Assistant within the Organic Analysis Group of the Analytical Chemistry Laboratory (ACL).  In February of 1992 I moved to New Mexico and worked for governmental agencies such as the State of New Mexico Scientific Laboratory Division, Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), and the NASA Johnson Space Center White Sands Test Facility (WSTF).  I rejoined Argonne in late June 2008 as a Quality Assurance Coordinator within the Environment, Safety & Quality Assurance Division’s Environmental & Analytical Services Group.  We provide onsite support in the following disciplines:  environmental monitoring and surveillance activities; industrial hygiene and chemical analysis; radiochemistry; radiobioassay; and data management.  The industrial hygiene and chemistry laboratory (IHCL) is accredited by the American Industrial Hygiene Association Laboratory Accreditation Program (AIHA-LAP, LLC) to ISO 17025.  The radiobioassay laboratory is accredited by the Department of Energy Laboratory Accreditation Program (DOELAP) for Direct (in vivo) and indirect (in vitro) Radiobioassay.  My current role is group leader of Environmental Monitoring & Surveillance and Quality Assurance.

During my free time, I enjoy spending time with family and friends, vacationing in New Mexico, reading, hiking, bicycling, downhill skiing, jogging, fine dining and cooking, architecture, and art appreciation (music, painting and drawing, opera, and film).

TREASURER – Lupe Franchini

I have been working at Argonne for 35 years, most recently as the Executive Assistant to the Laboratory Director, Peter Littlewood.

Lupe Franchini, Treasurer

Lupe Franchini, Treasurer

My family came to Joliet, Illinois from Guanajuato, Mexico when I was 9 years old.  I often go back to Mexico to visit relatives and friends.

I am married and have two daughters; Yvonne and Natalie.  Both of them are fluent in reading and speaking Spanish.  I am now working on Stanley (the dog), he only understands Spanish, I want him to be bilingual too.  Although I am not crazy about cooking, everyone in the family thinks I am a good cook and most of the time I get stuck doing the planning and cooking for all our gatherings.

I have an Associates Degree in Business from Joliet Junior College.

SECRETARY – Debbie Bush

I have worked for Argonne now for 13 years.  For the last nine years I have worked in the Nuclear & Waste Management (NWM) Division.  I started as an Administrative Secretary, but now have been promoted to a SB/M&TE Technician.  I received my Bachelor’s degree three years ago.

Debbie Bush photo

Debbie Bush, Secretary

I started working as a temp in FMS, was hired as a Senior Secretary and then was promoted to Administrative Secretary when I came over to NWM.  I love my job and everyone I work for – this is a great place to work!  I became a Member of the Hispanic-Latino Club about four years ago.  I love helping out with the tamale sale fundraisers and attending the social gatherings — the food is awesome!  I look forward to helping this year as the Secretary.  Mary Nunez has done such an excellent job and I know she will be missed.

I have 5 children, 17 grandchildren and one great grandson.  I love spending time with them especially out at the camper.  We have a camper in Marseilles, IL and from April to November we are there every weekend.  It is nice to get away and yet we are not that far from home.

ADVISER – Frank Gines

I have over 30 years of Federal experience in the Dept. of Defense (DOD) and the Dept. of Energy (DOE) managing facilities and infrastructure. After graduating from the University of Puerto Rico as an Electrical Engineer, I entered the U.S. Air Force and began an

Frank Gines, Advisor

Frank Gines, Adviser

engineering career as a Construction Manager and later as a Design Engineer. From the field to a command position as a Computer Software/Information Systems Analyst, I was responsible for the installations of the Engineering Work Management System at six military bases. After nine years of active military duty, I transferred into the Air Force Reserves and continued serving until retiring in 2012. After active military duty, I joined DOE at Argonne and continued managing facility and infrastructure. My initial DOE assignments include a Facility Maintenance Manager and later a Program/Project Manager for the facility, energy, and pollution prevention programs. Since 2002, I have been a Federal Project Director for science related projects such as the Center for Nanoscale Materials (CNM) project, three Argonne Leadership Computing Facility (ALCF) Upgrade projects, the Dynamic Compression Sector (DCS) beamline project, and currently Deputy Federal Project Director of the Advanced Photo Source Upgrade (APS-U) project.


ADVISER – Vanessa Mendez

I have worked at Argonne for 34 years. I worked in Argonne’s Analytical Chemistry Laboratory for 15 years, 2 years in Chemical Technology’s Budget Office, and 9 years in

Vanessa Photo for HLC

Vanessa Mendez, Adviser

ANL’s Sponsored Research Office. Currently, I am a Budget-Resource Administrator working in the Computing, Environment and Life Sciences (CELS) ALD Directorate.

My job consists of administering a wide variety of activities (joint appointments, human resources, budget/accounting, and procurement) to the Computation Institute (CI); the Northwestern Argonne Institute of Science and Engineering (NAISE); the Biosciences Division (BIO); and some support to the CELS Directorate Office.

I was born and raised in Joliet, IL. I am married to my hard-working husband Joe, and have two boys, Adam (20 yrs. old) and Alex (17 yrs. old). My father was born in Ixtlan, Michoacan, and my mother in Ransom, IL. My mother’s parents were also from Ixtlan, Michoacan until they came to the United States to start their family. Both of my parents are deceased, and I miss them very much!!  I love the warm and friendly culture of Mexico, and hope to retire there someday!

I graduated in May 2005 with an Associates Degree in Marketing Management from Joliet Junior College.

ADVISER – Mary Nunez

My name is Mary Nunez and I work in the CSE/Chemical Sciences and Engineering Division in Bldg. 205. I have been in CSE for a little over 2 years but have been at the laboratory for 30 years. Little did I know I would graduate from East Chicago, IN, in June 1980 and start working here in July and be here ever since. I have been in a couple divisions here at Argonne but have finally found the position that I love and division that I call home. My plans are to be here until I retire.


Mary Nunez, Adviser

I am also the Adviser for the Argonne Hispanic Latino Club and contribute my time & help whenever I can. The people at Argonne are like family and I have grown up with them over my 30 years of service. My job is stressful at times but I enjoy the interaction with my co-workers and look forward to each day. The atmosphere, the benefits, and the people are one of a kind and I am very lucky to work here. I enjoy biking, walking, cooking/eating, and being with my family & friends which includes my 3 year old golden lab Willie, and my 2 year old beagle Rico!