LOS ALAMOS, N.M.—Three area students have received this year’s Danny Nichols and Dennis Huddleston Memorial Scholarship, sponsored by Newport News Nuclear BWXT (N3B), the legacy cleanup contractor at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL).

The scholarship winners include Amber Ferree, a student at University of New Mexico-Los Alamos (UNM-LA) and Jade Madrid and Felicia Rodriguez, both students at Northern New Mexico College (NNMC). Each scholarship winner will receive $9,000 to advance their studies in degrees that can support the important legacy cleanup mission at LANL.

The three were recognized at an awards luncheon on March 12 in Phoenix at this year’s Waste Management Symposia, an international conference addressing radioactive waste management and related topics. N3B leaders were on hand as well as representatives from N3B’s parent companies BWXT and HII Nuclear.

“We’re so proud of these students,” N3B President and General Manager Brad Smith said. “Their accomplishments are impressive and their goals are truly inspiring. It’s our privilege to support their education and career journey.”

Scholarship winners

Ferree is a first-year student in the Pre-Professional Health program at UNM-LA. “This scholarship will help me achieve my goal of becoming an occupational health nurse,” Ferree said. “I’m interested in providing care and developing safety protocols for workers who are potentially exposed to hazardous materials doing this important cleanup work.”

Madrid is a junior at NNMC pursuing her bachelor’s degree in biology. “I’m working toward my biology degree because I want to support my community,” Madrid said. “This scholarship gives me the opportunity to move even further down that path.”

Rodriguez is working on her associate degree in applied radiology/radiation protection at NNMC. “Even as a young girl I was aware of the historical hazardous waste affecting the water and soil at the lab in Los Alamos,” said Rodriguez. “I want to learn about these materials and how to safely deal with them so I can be part of the solution.”

Scholarship details

The Danny Nichols and Dennis Huddleston Memorial Scholarship is sponsored by N3B each year to honor the lives of longtime environmental professionals Danny Nichols and Dennis Huddleston. Both had distinguished careers working at Department of Energy Environmental Management sites across the U.S., including LANL.

Qualified students at UNM-LA and NNMC interested in applying for the 2025 scholarship should watch for information from their school’s financial aid office this fall.

The scholarship is intended to support students pursuing STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) degrees at UNM-LA and NNMC. Applicants must have successfully completed at least 15 credit hours and have a minimum GPA of 3.3. Qualified applicants will need to submit brief essays about their background and interests.


Newport News Nuclear BWXT Los Alamos (N3B) is a limited liability company owned by HII Nuclear and BWX Technologies. N3B manages the $2.1 billion, 10-year Los Alamos Legacy Cleanup Contract for the U.S. Department of Energy Environmental Management Los Alamos Field Office.



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Caption: Scholarship winners (left to right) Amber Ferree, Jade Madrid and Felicia Rodriguez visited the booth of N3B parent company BWXT following their recognition at an awards luncheon at the WM2024 Symposia in Phoenix on April 12.