The Community Internship Collaboration (CIC) recently celebrated its fourth successful semester of matching UNM-Los Alamos (UNM-LA) and Los Alamos High School (LAHS) students with local business mentors.

Thirteen student participants gathered in the UNM-LA lecture hall to talk about their experiences with parents and other community members. With display boards presenting photographs, maps, graphs or other representations of their work as interns, the students enthusiastically talked about what they had done and what they learned from the experience.

List of Spring 2017 CIC Graduates:

Gabriela Baca, Research Assistant, Bathtub Row Press
Guendalyn Brennan, Welding & Machine Shop Intern, UNM-LA Welding Department
Kurt Benner, Organizational Assistant, UNM-LA Robotics Department
Amber Cline, Welding & Machine Shop Intern, UNM-LA Welding Department
Alyssa Chacon, Research Assistant, Bathtub Row Press
Bendt Dahl, Production Assistant, PAC 8
Carina Echave, Mathematics Review Sets (MARS) Intern, UNM-LA Math Department
Ryan Guenther, Marketing Coordinator, Los Alamos County Economic Development Division
Lauren Johnson, Legal Clerk, Dabney and Griffith Law Office
Ethan Rickards, Statistical Intern, Buffalo Tours
James Ro, Inventory Management Researcher, Desert Disc Golf
Niamh Short, Marketing Assistant, Los Alamos County Library System
Hannah Whittaker, Wildlife Intern, Valles Caldera

Laura Loy attended the event as the CIC Coordinator for the last time, as she has accepted a new position. For her, this made the graduation bittersweet. As the program coordinator, Loy met with the students weekly, teaching them different business skills from developing a resume to workplace etiquette.

“I really feel the CIC is becoming an integral part of the community,” said Loy. “I frequently meet former interns and mentors and they always recall how much they enjoyed the experience and how much they learned.”

Many of the mentors were at the graduation. Los Alamos County Library System Program Specialist Katy Korkos mentored Niamh Short.

“Working with Niamh Short as my marketing intern for the library was a fabulous experience for me,” Korkos said. “I enjoyed working with such an intelligent and enthusiastic young person. She was a great help with the many events we put on at the library during the semester and really took the library’s mission to heart.”

Korkos added, “I think the real-world experience was valuable for Niamh as well, because she got to filter her ideas through the matrix of actual constraints, budgets and deadlines.”

CIC is a partnership of involving UNM-Los Alamos, Los Alamos High School, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Security, LLC, and the UNM-Los Alamos Small Business Development Center. It was established to fill an employment gap in the community and expand partnerships between the Laboratory, small business owners and schools.

The program’s goals are to provide meaningful work experiences for students, meet area workforce needs and to develop the future workforce for the local community, the region and the Laboratory.

UNM-Los Alamos is committed to continuing the CIC program next fall. To learn more about the program, visit the UNM-LA website