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U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Funds Scholarships for NMJC Students

8/2/2013 11:01:03 a.m. - Hobbs, NM. HOBBS -- A $150,000 grant from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for New Mexico Junior College students pursuing associate’s degrees in nuclear and radiation technology will be available for the fall semester, it was announced August 1.

Announcement of the NRC grant was received by Philip Roybal, newly appointed interim Vice President of Student Services and the director of the college’s energy programs. U.S. Senator Tom Udall (D-N.M.) made the announcement that $150,000 would be available for student scholarships in NMJC energy training programs. NMJC received similar grants in prior years but had to apply for new funding this year.

“We have had many students successfully get through our energy program with the NRC grant,” Roybal said, “so we applied again. Having had all these students succeed with this grant made it easier for us to make a successful application for new funding.”

Students who make use of the grant funding and earn a degree in NMJC’s nuclear energy program can expect to go to work locally as a nuclear or radiation technician, and might find employment locally at the URENCO facility, or the WIPP site in Carlsbad or Waste Control Specialists across the Texas border. Students with degrees in this field also commonly go on to pursue four-year degrees at colleges with which NMJC has articulation agreements, including Eastern New Mexico University, Thomas Edison State College in New Jersey (an online program), and others with energy programs. Job choices may vary widely, from plant technician for a facility such as URENCO, to careers in nuclear medicine, to waste disposal.

Although students can get the energy program online at NMJC, there are plans to add a simulation system for hands-on instruction starting in the fall, Roybal said. A partnership between Lockheed Martin, an international aerospace, defense and security company, and NMJC will make this possible.

Further, the college is also working toward making national certification by the Nuclear Uniform Curriculum Program possible for nuclear energy students. Membership in this and other major organizations in the nuclear field, including the Nuclear Education Institute, helps to keep the college current with industry developments, specifically regarding what careers NMJC needs to be training students for.

For more information, contact Roybal at 575.492.2761 or PRoybal@nmjc.edu .

NMJC is a comprehensive community college located in Hobbs.

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