March 11, 2020

LOS ALAMOS, N.M.—Three Northern New Mexico students have received the Danny Nichols Memorial Scholarship, which was established to attract talented college students into the environmental and radioactive waste management industry.

Andrew Ortiz and Aaliyah Sandoval from the University of New Mexico-Los Alamos and Reyes Roybal from Northern New Mexico College each received an $8,000 scholarship plus an all-expense-paid trip to the Waste Management Symposia in Phoenix to receive the award and connect with industry leaders.

Andrew Ortiz is pursuing an associate degree in pre-engineering at UNM-LA and a bachelor’s degree in engineering at UNM Albuquerque. He plans to use his degree to focus on waste and the environment.

Aaliyah Sandoval is working on her associate degree in science at UNM-LA. She plans to use her degree to pursue a career in energy, environmental science, or waste management in Los Alamos.

Reyes Roybal completed his associate degree in pre-science at UNM-Taos. He is close to completing his bachelor’s degree in environmental science at NNMC and wants to work in that field.

They were selected from among applicants who had completed at least 15 credit hours and had a minimum GPA of 3.3.

The program was established to honor the memory of Danny Nichols, who died unexpectedly in 2019. He was manager of the Contact-handled Transuranic Waste program at Newport News Nuclear BWXT Los Alamos (N3B) at the time of his death. He had more than 30 years of government and commercial experience in safely and compliantly managing hazardous and radioactive waste operations.

The scholarships are funded by N3B, Huntington Ingalls Industries, BWX Technologies, Longenecker & Associates and Tetra Tech.

N3B manages the 10-year, $1.4 billion Los Alamos Legacy Cleanup Contract for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Environmental Management Los Alamos Field Office. N3B is owned by HII Nuclear, a subsidiary of Huntington Ingalls Industries, and BWX Technologies. Longenecker and Tetra Tech are key subcontractors to N3B.

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For questions or a high-resolution version of the photo below, please contact: Todd Nelson at (505) 695-4201.

UNM-LA Chancellor Cindy Rooney (far left) and NNMC President Rick Bailey (far right) pose with recipients of the Danny Nichols Memorial Scholarship at the 2020 Waste Management Symposia in Phoenix. Recipients pictured left to right are Aaliyah Sandoval, Andrew Ortiz and Reyes Roybal.