Rep. Christine Chandler, left, speaks with University of California president Janet Napolitano Thursday morning at the Hilton Buffalo Thunder Hotel. Photo by Maire O’Neill/losalamosreporter.com
LANL Foundation board members accept Triad’s grant of $599,600 to the Foundation Thursday morning. The grant will fund additional needs-based scholarships and help prepare and retain qualified teachers. Pictured are left to right, LANL director Thom Mason; New Mexico Lt. Gov. Howie Morales; LANL Foundation President and CEO Jenny Parks; LANL Foundation board members Bill Wadt, Denise Thronas and Billie Blair; UC President Janet Napolitano; LANL Foundation board members Elmer Torres, Nan Sauer and Wilmer Chavarria; California Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis; LANL Foundation Board Members Hervey Juris and Tania Sanchez. Photo by Maire O’Neill/losalamosreporter.com
Representing Los Alamos Public Schools at Thursday morning’s event are, from left, Supt. Kurt Steinhaus, Los Alamos High School principal Carter Payne and Topper Freshmen Academy principal Jill Gonzales. Photo by Maire O’Neill/losalamosreporter.com
Regional Development Corporation board members pose with University of California president Janet Napolitano Thursday after she announced a $200,000 grant to the Corporation from Triad National Security, LLC. Photo by Maire O’Neill/losalamosreporter.com
Los Alamos County Councilor Pete Sheehey and Sylvan Argo of the LANL Foundation chat at Thursday’s LANL event. Photo by Maire O’Neill/losalamosreporter.com
University of California president Janet Napolitano and Lt. Gov. Howie Morales chat at Thursday’s the LANL education-focused community event at the Hilton Buffalo Thunder event. Photo by Maire O’Neill/losalamosreporter.com
BY MAIRE O’NEILL
Former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, two-term governor of Arizona and 20th president of the University of the California Janet Napolitano announced Thursday morning $800,000 in grants to the LANL Foundation and the Regional Development Corporation.
Napolitano, speaking at an education-focused community event hosted by Los Alamos National Laboratory at the Hilton Buffalo Thunder Hotel.
Started out by saying she was raised in New Mexico and graduated from Sandia High School in Albuquerque.
“I always feel that New Mexico is ‘coming home’. It’s a very special place. There’s something about that land of enchantment – I don’t know about the black license plates though,” she said.
Napolitano said the UC has deep ties here.
“We have been involved in the management of Los Alamos National Lab since its founding. For more than 75 years, our partnership has bolstered our nation’s security and brought cutting edge science and technical expertise to bear on the most urgent issues of our times,” she said. “Today the university is honored to continue our management of the Lab as a cofounder of the Triad Consortium along with Texas A&M University and Battelle Memorial Institute.”
She said UC’s involvement at Los Alamos is a matter of deep pride for the university and reflects its longstanding commitment to carrying out world-class science and research in service of the public good.
“Throughout our long affiliation with Los Alamos, the University of California and our partners have always recognized the importance of giving back to the communities surrounding the Lab. After all, vibrant, thriving and resilient communities and workers are essential to the Lab’s future work and success,” she said.
UC and the Triad team also recognize the education and workforce issues facing Northern New Mexico from challenges in generating and maintaining college graduates and high skill workers to shortages of teachers and health professionals Napolitano said.
“These challenges are not unique to New Mexico and in this environment, institutions of education and their partners can and must play a critical role in supporting social mobility, fueling local and state economies and providing communities, students and workers with the skills they need to be successful and resilient,” she said.
“First, we need to make sure that more people have access to a college education and the life-long benefits that a college degree provides. That means ensuring that students of all backgrounds get a high-quality K through 12 education and it means growing the pipeline of college ready students,” Napolitano said.
She said it also means expanding capacity at the nation’s colleges and universities and providing the support students need to succeed at the college level and to be able to graduate and graduate on time.
“Second, we need to adapt what and how we teach our students so they are well-prepared for today’s jobs and able to adapt to the jobs of tomorrow. At the University of California we stress to our students that the learning process will not begin or end with a college degree. They must be become life-long learners who are open to educational opportunities throughout their careers so they can remain employable and successful through the technological and social shifts that we can see coming,” Napolitano said.
“Third, we also have to help workers and adult learners upgrade their skills to advance their careers and find opportunities in new industries,” she said.
“Today I am very proud to announce two new grants that reflect the UC and Triad commitment to education and workforce development and to building a thriving and resilient community for all,” Napolitano said. “On behalf of the Triad partners I am pleased to announce a $600,000 award to the LANL Foundation to invest in K through 12 and college-bound students as well as their teachers.”
She said the LANL Foundation has provided robust education and learning opportunities in Northern New Mexico for more than 20 years.
“Their focus on expanding K though 12 STEM education, building the leadership capacity of local teachers, advocating for excellence in schools and supporting college access for New Mexico students remains a vital asset to this community. This grant to the LANL Foundation will jumpstart the creation of a Northern New Mexico STEM hub that will boost collaboration between local and statewide programs while increasing access to STEM opportunities for local K through 12 students. The funds will also support efforts to prepare and retain qualified teachers in classrooms throughout the region.”
She said the Foundation will use the funds to help more students apply for and succeed in college through the longstanding and successful LANL Scholars Program.
Napolitano also announced a new investment of $200,000 in the RDC to be used to suppport workforce development programs at six regional colleges and universities in Northern New Mexico: University of New Mexico – Taos, UNM-Los Alamos, Luna Community College, New Mexico – Highlands, Northern New Mexico College and Santa Fe Community College.
“Through professional development workshops, accelerated learning programs, paid internships and other services the RDC is working to build a robust pipeline of local workers who are ready to take on high-demand jobs including jobs at Los Alamos National Laboratory. These efforts are essential for building economic resilience in communities and with families across the region. We are thrilled to work alongsite the LANL Foundation and the RDC to support students, educators, workers and families in the greater Los Alamos community,” Napolitano concluded.