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Richard Marquez Leadership and Service Award established at NNMC; Lab employees recognized for Mars Rover contribution; Connections survey feedback results.
November 1, 2012
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Richard Marquez Leadership and Service Award established at NNMC

Los Alamos National Laboratory Executive Director Richard Marquez is the namesake for a new leadership and service award at Northern New Mexico College (NNMC) in Española.

“I am honored and humbled by this recognition from Northern New Mexico College,” said Marquez. “I have been fortunate with regard to my education and career with opportunities and mentors. I believe in paying it forward and am optimistic that this award will shed light on all of the other people who donate time and resources to making Northern New Mexico a better place.”

The creation of the Richard Marquez Leadership and Service Award was announced by Northern New Mexico College President Nancy “Rusty” Barcelo at a recent NNMC Foundation dinner in Española. In addition to recognizing Marquez, the award will be conferred to others in future years for outstanding leadership and service.

Barcelo said Marquez has “…dedicated his career and personal life to the advancement of educational and economic opportunities for Northern New Mexico.” She also cited Marquez’ role in creating the Los Alamos National Laboratory Major Subcontractors Consortium, which resulted in an $11 million economic boost to Northern New Mexico cottage industries. In addition, he supports the board of directors of the NNMC Foundation and Los Alamos National Laboratory Foundation.

Lab employees recognized for Mars Rover contribution

While the world is rightly riveted on the contributions being made to Mars exploration by the ChemCam and ChemMin equipment developed in concert with Lab expertise, less attention has been paid to the rover’s power source. The importance of that power source, in the form of a Plutonium 238-fueled Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator, is that it not only provides the rover with the electricity it needs to perform its scientific feats, but also keeps its “vital organs” within the proper temperature range on the planet that can range from 71 degrees to -146 degrees Fahrenheit (22 degrees to -96 degrees Celsius).

Happily, the Department of Energy has recognized the LANL team’s power source efforts with the Secretary of Energy’s Achievement Award. Energy Secretary Steven Chu himself presented the award to Craig Van Pelt, Alejandro Enriquez, Diane Spengler, John Matonic, and David Armstrong. The team traveled to Washington D.C. last month to accept the award.

Connections survey feedback results

Last month, we asked readers to respond to a survey about Connections so that we could gather input for an upcoming redesign of the publication. Thank you to all who took the time to give us your feedback. It is greatly appreciated. Here is an overview of the results:

Number of responses: 85
Residence: Santa Fe: 34%, Los Alamos: 25%, Rio Arriba: 13%, and elsewhere in New Mexico: 25%
Sector: Business/Economic development: 36%, Education: 12%, Elected/Government official: 7%, Tribal member: 2 %, and 42% who identified themselves as "Other," (retirees, consultants, volunteers, etc.)
Age: 61-70: 35%, 51-60: 36%, 41-50: 19%
52% of respondents read a couple of stories, 40% scan the publication
92% of respondents think the length of articles is about right

After reading the publication, people have a better understanding of:
Laboratory partnerships in the community: 73%
Laboratory science and mission: 52%
Laboratory leaders and employees: 46%

Types of content of the most interest:
Economic development: 73%
Education: 47%
LANL/Community Partnerships: 47%
Lab Science News: 38%
Environment: 34%
Community Giving: 32%

Overall, when it came to satisfaction with the publication, on a scale of 1-5 (with 5 being “Like very much”), 48% rated it a 4, 32% rated it a 3, and 19% rated it a 5.


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