Longenecker & Associates Award Two NNMC Students $5,000 Scholarships

Pictured at the presentation of the Longenecker & Associates $10,000 check are from left, Ruby Rincon, L&A Project Analyst, Lindsay Wallace, L&A Manager, New Mexico Projects, John Longenecker, L&A President, Judith Pepper, NNMC Major Gifts Officer and Ricky Bajarano, former NNMC Vice President for Finance and Administration. Photo Courtesy Longenecker & Associates


Longenecker & Associates (L&A), a subcontractor of Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) and the Los Alamos Legacy Cleanup Contract, has established a scholarship fund to help Northern New Mexico College students prepare for careers in the Department of Energy nuclear weapons complex, national laboratories and environmental cleanup sites.

L&A will donate $10,000 annually to the Northern New Mexico College Foundation to fund two scholarships and/or related expenses for students interested in a career in a field that supports Longenecker’s mission at LANL, including project management, business and support functions, with the objective of graduating students who are better prepared to practice their craft. Recipients are eligible to have the scholarship extended a second year provided they continue to meet eligibility requirements.

L&A will also designate intern positions based on students’ qualifications related to their field of study and provide career mentoring by senior staff or board members.

“We are excited to establish this partnership with Northern New Mexico College and work together to develop the next generation of leaders for the DOE complex,” said L&A CEO Bonnie Longenecker. “Investing in Northern New Mexico is a key priority for L&A and we are proud to support our first two scholarship recipients.”

The first two recipients are Marissa Armijo, a junior pursuing her Bachelor of Business Administration in Project Management and Chris Mae Palalon, a sophomore working toward a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science. Both were nominated by their department chairs.

Marissa Armijo is a junior pursuing her Bachelor of Business Administration in Project Management at NNMC. Courtesy photo

Armijo is a resident of Española, N.M., who hopes to pursue a master’s in business administration after completing her bachelor’s degree. Armijo is grateful for the financial assistance but is especially excited about the opportunity to apply for an internship, which would move her closer to her career goals of working for LANL or a subcontractor such as Longenecker. She has been pursuing apprenticeships or undergraduate employment at LANL.

“I’m really happy to be the recipient of this scholarship. It’s way more than I expected and I’m very grateful that I have this opportunity not only to receive the money but potentially have a position as an intern at Longenecker & Associates. That’s what I value most,” Armijo said.

Chris Mae Palalon is an NNMC sophomore working toward a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science. Courtesy photo

Chris Mae Palalon, also from Española, holds an Associate of Science in Pre-professional Health Sciences from the University of New Mexico – Los Alamos. Her goals are to protect and prevent environmental problems. Palalon would also like to pursue an internship at LANL. Regardless of whether she achieves that goal, she plans on applying to LANL after graduation.

“I feel honored that I’m one of the luckiest students to get this scholarship. It will make a huge impact,” Palalon said. “First, it will help me with paying for my tuition as well as books and supplies and perhaps a new computer. It will also help me to graduate with my bachelor’s degree and have access to mentors and internships and maybe access to LANL as well.”

This new scholarship furthers NNMC’s mission of ensuring student success by providing access to affordable, community-based learning opportunities that meet the educational, cultural and economic needs of the region.

“The Northern community is grateful to Longenecker & Associates for their generous support,” said NNMC’s Interim President, Dr. Barbara Medina. “We know that education is a critical component of our community’s effort to provide our students pathways to their futures.”

About Northern:

Northern New Mexico College has served the rural communities of Northern New Mexico for over a century. Since opening in 1909 as the Spanish American Normal School in El Rito, NM, the College has provided affordable access to quality academic programs that meet the changing educational, economic and cultural needs of the region.

Northern is an open-admissions institution offering the most affordable bachelor’s programs in the Southwest. Now one of the state’s four regional comprehensive institutions, with its main campus in Española, Northern offers more than 50 bachelor’s, associate, and certificate programs in arts & human sciences, film & digital media, STEM programs, business, education, liberal arts, and nursing. The College has reintroduced technical trades in partnership with two local unions and five public school districts through its new co-located Branch Community College, the first of its kind in the state’s history.  Northern is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and has earned prestigious national accreditations for its engineering, nursing, education, and business programs.Learn more at https://nnmc.edu/.

About Longenecker & Associates:

Founded in 1989, Longenecker & Associates leverages more than 30 years of experience throughout the nuclear security and cleanup enterprise to improve mission performance, deliver capital asset projects to schedule and budget, implement effective governance approaches and develop targeted business strategies for both large and small businesses. L&A places a strong emphasis on community and educational giving, providing more than $1.5 million over the last decade in undergraduate and graduate scholarships, STEM programs and community assistance.