News

Student of the Year

By Michael Padilla

Photography By Michael Padilla

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Former Army ranger honored by Sandia and Livermore Chamber of Commerce

Former Army ranger honored by Sandia and Livermore Chamber of Commerce

Las Positas College President Barry Russell, left, and Sandia/California community relations officer Madeline Burchard present Damon Alcorn with the Sandia National Laboratories-Livermore Chamber of Commerce Student of the Year Award. (Photo by Michael Padilla)

Former Army ranger Damon Alcorn has received the Sandia National Laboratories-Livermore Chamber of Commerce Student of the Year Award. Presented at the chamber’s State of the City Luncheon on June 23, the annual award highlights a Las Positas College student who demonstrates 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’s in history. That same year Alcorn enlisted in the US 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 received a master’s in liberal arts from California State University, Sacramento. Upon graduation he worked in the private sector 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.

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 hired as a student employee by the lab’s Institute for Scientific Computing Research. Simultaneously, he participated in NASA’s National Community College Aerospace Scholars program at the Armstrong Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base.

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

Madeline Burchard (8524), community relations officer for Sandia/California who helped present the award to Alcorn, says education in science, technology, engineering, and math fields is a key element of Sandia’s mission.

“Since Sandia National Labs’ inception, we have invested in education,” Madeline says. “It is part of our culture to give back and it’s a value that we have carried over the past 66 years. We want to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers.”