Ninety-five New Mexico Students Receive Los Alamos Employees’ Scholarship Fund Scholarships

From left, 2016 LAESF gold-level $20,000 scholarship recipients Katherine Wang, Solomon Sindelar and Arasely Rodriguez. Courtesy/LANL Foundation


  • Thirty-four percent increase in dollar value of scholarships awarded from last year

Katherine Wang of Los Alamos High School, Arasely Rodriguez of Taos High School and Solomon Sindelar of New Mexico Military Institute are recipients of the 2016 Los Alamos Employees’ Scholarship Fund Gold scholarships.

They are among the 95 students from seven Northern New Mexico counties receiving LAESF scholarships, which are funded through pledges from Los Alamos National Laboratory employees and a $250,000 matching amount from Los Alamos National Security, LLC.

“These scholarships are awarded to deserving students who excel in academic achievement, whose leadership potential is highlighted by their dedication to community service and extracurricular activities, and whose career goals reflect the future needs of our Laboratory and communities,” said Steven Girrens, the Laboratory’s associate director for Engineering Sciences and champion of Los Alamos’ 2016 LAESF campaign.

“We’re very pleased that the number of LAESF recipients this year are from diverse communities and backgrounds and represent all the seven counties surrounding the Laboratory,” said Kathy Keith, director of the Laboratory Community Relations and Partnerships group.

The Los Alamos Employees’ Scholarship Fund is integral to attracting potential future employees to the Laboratory; several past LAESF recipients are now fulltime staff members.

The Gold scholarship provides $5,000 a year in financial assistance for four years.

Six students received $2,500 annual, four-year Silver scholarships:

  • EliseAnne Koskelo, Los Alamos High School;
  • Devon McCleskey, Los Alamos High School;
  • Harsh Bhundiya, Santa Fe Preparatory School;
  • Francis Castillo de Mulert, Santa Fe Preparatory School;
  • Maria Juarez, Española Valley High School; and
  • Jackson Miller, Santa Fe High School.

Seven students received $2,500 annual four-year Domenici scholarships named after former U.S. Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M.,:

  • Seung Heon (Victor) Kim, Los Alamos High School;
  • Cade Cannedy, Taos High School;
  • Phoebe DeVos-Cole, Moreno Valley High School;
  • Shawn Fernandez, Peñasco High School;
  • Kylea Garcia, Santa Fe Indian School;
  • Amador Gonzales, Las Vegas Robertson High School; and
  • Tavi Zeir, Monte del Sol Charter School.

Five students received $2,500 annual four-year John & Marti Browne Endowed Leadership scholarships named for the former Los Alamos National Laboratory director and his wife: Shaefer Bennett, Santa Fe Waldorf School; Veronica Hutchison, Academy for Technology and the Classics; Autumn Meskimen, Jemez Valley High School; Zia Pollis, Armand Hammer United World College; and Hayden Randall, Taos High School. Shayna Naranjo of Santa Fe Indian School and Augusta Skoog of New Mexico School for the Deaf received the Susan Herrera scholarship, named after founding LANL Foundation executive director, which also provides $2,500 a year in financial assistance for four years.

“Each year, I’m reminded of how many talented, well-rounded students we have in Northern New Mexico,” said Tony Fox, Los Alamos National Laboratory Foundation vice president of Institutional Advancement and Scholarships. “The LAESF donors, the advisory committee and LANL Foundation are proud to have provided a meaningful investment in the lives of over 1,100 students in the last 18 years who continue to make a positive impact in their schools, communities and careers.”

The full list of 2016 scholarship recipients is on the LANL Foundation website at

The Los Alamos Employees’ Scholarship Fund encourages Los Alamos National Laboratory employees, retirees and subcontractor personnel to donate to a fund that awards college scholarships to Northern New Mexico students. Contributions from businesses and individuals outside the laboratory also are welcomed.

The Laboratory’s 2016 scholarship drive begins May 16. Pledges to the fund will be used to award scholarships in 2017.

The Los Alamos Employees’ Scholarship Fund program began in 1998 and is administered for the Laboratory by the Los Alamos National Laboratory Foundation. Since its inception, more than 1,100 scholarships have been awarded totaling $5.5 million. Laboratory employees have donated $3.7 million to the fund.