Three Aspiring Nurses In Los Alamos Awarded Stoddard Nursing Scholarship

From left, Divine Fellers, Shannon Irwin and Melina Burnside, recipients of the Stoddard Nursing Scholarship. Courtesy/Jessica Booton Photography,



Each year Los Alamos resident Barbara Stoddard generously sponsors up to three scholarships for aspiring teachers and nurses who are graduating from high school in Los Alamos. This year it was three students planning to pursue nursing degrees who received the award: Melina Burnside, Divine Fellers and Shannon Irwin.

The Stoddard Scholarships for Nursing and Education were the result of Steve Stoddard’s work on the Board of the Caldera National Preserve, where he helped decide the future of the unique and beautiful area of Northern New Mexico. Stoddard was paid a stipend for his work, and the money accumulated during his years of service.

The late Steve Stoddard, along with his wife Barbara, recognized the need for more quality teachers and nurses and thus formed this scholarship which is awarded to an outstanding Los Alamos graduate planning to major in Nursing or Education at an accredited New Mexico college or university. 

Melina Burnside is the daughter of Nathan and Patricia Burnside. She plans to attend New Mexico State University in the fall. Burnside, who intends to also major in communications and minor in Spanish, stated, “there are times when language can be a barrier in the medical field. I want to be able to nurse people back to health, while also eliminating the barrier of language.”

Devine Fellers is the daughter of Elgin and Nicole Fellers. She will study nursing at the University of New Mexico. Fellers has experienced first-hand the impact that nurses can have on their patients. She stated, “Becoming a nurse is a way that I feel I can pay forward what nurses have done for me. I want to be able to help people through traumatic times, and even the not so traumatic times.”

Shannon Irwin is the daughter of Tim and Roberta Irwin. She will attend New Mexico State University this fall. Irwin, who wishes to specialize in anesthesia said, “I find the specific field absolutely fascinating since a nurse anesthetist works with surgeons, anesthesiologists, dentists and other qualified health care professionals in administering anesthesia as well as monitoring patients from start to finish during their procedure.”

Funds for the Stoddard Scholarships are managed by the Los Alamos Public Schools Foundation, an independent organization that supports, challenges, and invests in a successful.

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