Intern housing shortage continues to tax resources on Hill

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Hundreds of college students work at LANL in the summer

By Carol A. Clark

Hundreds of college students from across the country flood the local community each summer to intern at Los Alamos National Laboratory. LANL interns often encounter a lack of student housing and this year is no exception.

Betsey Suarzo has been the housing coordinator of UNM-LA’s 64 efficiency apartments on 9th Street for eight years.

“I’m getting a lot of e-mails and phone calls from lab students interested in renting apartments in UNM-LA housing and I’m telling them to send me their information and I’ll put them on the waiting list,” Suarzo said.

Jeanne Bridge of Plateau Property Management, which owns and manages three local apartment complexes and a mobile home park describes a similar shortage of available housing.

“We are receiving five to six calls from students every day and we don’t have any vacancies,” Bridge said.

Brian Kiedrowski interned at LANL for several summers before graduating from the University of Wisconsin at Madison with a doctorate degree in nuclear engineering in 2009. He is now a Technical Staff Member.

Last year, he created a website designed to help students and landlords find each other.

Recent posts include three PhD students from Santa Cruz, Calif., seeking a fully or partially furnished, three-bedroom house or apartment from June 1 to Aug. 31.

A student who hails from the University of California at Santa Barbara is hoping to find a room in a shared house or apartment during June and July.

Another student looking for housing attends the University of West Georgia. He will intern at LANL May 16 to Aug. 10. In his website post he states, “I am currently finishing up my undergraduate degree and will be attending the University of Alabama at Birmingham for my PhD studies in the fall. I am a polite, relaxed but well kept individual. I use to share a bathroom with two sisters so cleanliness has been engraved since a very young age …”

The Undergraduate Student (UGS) Program at LANL offers summer, part-time and full-time appointments for undergraduate students. The program provides students with relevant research experience while they are pursuing an undergraduate degree.

This educational program is designed to complement the students’ education with work experience related to their chosen field of study. There are appointments in both the technical and administrative fields.

Appointments are available for 90-day summer internships with the option to continue working part-time during the academic year. Maximum years in the program are six  years for those pursuing a bachelor’s degree and three years for those pursuing an associate’s degree.

Community members with available rooms can post their offerings by clicking here.