National Nuclear Security Administration

Former Army Ranger wins Sandia-sponsored student of the year award

July 25, 2016

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Las Positas College student Damon Alcorn receives the Chamber/Sandia Student of the Year Award. From left,  Las Positas College President Barry Russell, Damon Alcorn, and Sandia/California Community Relations Officer Madeline Burchard.

Former Army Ranger Damon Alcorn recently received the Sandia National Laboratories-Livermore Chamber of Commerce Student of the Year Award. Presented at the Chamber’s State of the City Luncheon last month, the annual award highlights a Las Positas College student with exemplary academic achievements and leadership.

Born and raised in the Bay Area, Alcorn graduated cum laude from California State University, East Bay in 2004 with a bachelor of arts in history. That same year Alcorn enlisted in the U.S. Army. After completing infantry training, airborne school, and the Ranger Indoctrination Program, he was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment.

After his military service, Alcorn earned a master of arts in liberal arts from California State University, Sacramento. Following graduation he entered the private sector, working in corporate communications and public relations.

In 2012, he enrolled at Las Positas College where he studied computer science and network security and administration. This spring, Alcorn received an associate of science in engineering technology from Los Positas College.

In the fall of 2014, Alcorn joined the Engineering Technology Program at Las Positas, a collaboration between the college and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). In the summer of 2015, Alcorn interned at LLNL’s National Ignition Facility and was that fall hired as a student employee by the LLNL’s Institute for Scientific Computing Research. Simultaneously, he participated in NASA’s National Community College Aerospace Scholars program at the Armstrong Flight Research Center.

Next month he will begin pursuing a master of science in computer science at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey.

Madeline Burchard, community relations officer for Sandia/California, who helped present the award to Alcorn, said education and specifically science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) are core to Sandia.

“Since Sandia National Lab’s inception, we have invested in education,” Burchard said. “It is part of our culture to give back and it’s a value that we have carried over the last 60 years. We want to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers.”