Behind the Scenes

Lori at work in KITP’s Kohn Hall
Photo credit: SUSIE GROVES

Lori Staggs, KITP’s Financial Assistant, joined KITP in 2013 from the UCSB Business & Financial Services Department, where she worked for three years. Prior to that, she had worked for 34 years at Santa Barbara Bank & Trust in their commercial leasing department.

At KITP Lori handles travel and reimbursements for employees and visitors, including program and conference participants, and KITP’s graduate fellows. She especially enjoys helping scientists and their families get the financial assistance they need to ensure a productive stay, maximizing their opportunity to focus on science while at KITP. She explains, “I want to make the financial process as easy as possible so they can concentrate on the real reason they’re here: science.”

Lori loves meeting international visitors and hearing the music of myriad foreign languages in our hallways. She has many fond memories of meeting distinguished physicists, and is proud to support KITP’s mission of facilitating productive and sustained scientific collaboration.

Lori is an enthusiastic team member, and wears many hats in support of her fellow staff. She often pitches in during conferences when KITP’s Conference Coordinator Claudia Gutierrez needs an extra hand, and she also helps our Visitor Services Assistant Bibi Rojas to welcome guests, distribute espresso pods, and set up afternoon cookie breaks. Lori is also in charge of our celebrated KITP barbecues at Goleta Beach, which bring together program visitors, KITP faculty, postdocs, grad fellows and staff twice a year for good food and a friendly soccer competition refereed by the whistle-blowing KITP Director.

Outside of worktime, Lori keeps busy with her extensive family, most of whom live locally. She grew up in Goleta, which is where her family landed from Minnesota when her father took a job as a UCSB police officer. “Our first home here was on Trigo Road in Isla Vista,” She tells me of her childhood, “And we used to build campfires on the beach and spend the night there under the stars.”

Lori attended Dos Pueblos High School, where she met Jim Staggs, her high school sweetheart and husband of 46 years. In addition to a son, two daughters, and ten grandkids, they welcomed their first great grandchild into the world this May! Lori’s avocations include gardening, cooking, reading, spending time at the beach, and enjoying her grandchildren. KITP is proud to have Lori as a valued member of our team.


- Susie Groves, Assistant to the Director, KITP

KITP Newsletter, Fall 2020