CCCC graduate moves into new role in California
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David Pope has gone cross-country in starting his career following his recent graduation from Central ... (more)
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David Pope [center] has gone cross-country in starting his career following his recent graduation ... (more)
LILLINGTON - David Leroy Pope III has gone cross-country in starting his career following his recent graduation from Central Carolina Community College's Laser & Photonics Technology program.
Pope is working with the prestigious Lawrence Livermore National Labs (LLNL) in California. Gary Beasley, CCCC Laser & Photonics Technology Lead Instructor, notes that LLNL "is the 'pinnacle of technical settings' for working with cutting-edge technology."
"The lab was established by the University of California in 1952 and is known as the home of the world's biggest and most powerful laser," said Pope. "The lab also works on many other areas of research such as global security, chemistry, life science, materials science, and computer science, just to name a few. I am working there as a Laser Electro-Optic Technician (LEOT) on a laser research project called a DPAL (Diode Pumped Alkali Laser)."
Beasley said Pope was highly motivated coming into the CCCC program, working very hard to prepare well for a career in lasers. "David not only graduated top of his class -- graduating with the most Outstanding Student Award, but during his two years at CCCC, he was also very active with extracurricular activities, which also shaped his future," said Beasley. "David was in the CCCC Ambassador program. He also worked as a Laser program part-time recruiter, visiting area high schools conducting presentations to students about the Laser program. On top of that, he was always helping out with extra class and lab projects, in addition to helping and tutoring other Laser students."
Constance Boahn, CCCC Department Chair of Engineering and Computer Information Technologies, said, "David was really a perfect example of where hard work and determination can get someone. He now gets to move from one coast to another and pursue his dreams."
Pope noted that his time as a student in the Laser program was both enlightening and personally enriching. "It taught me that I could excel at something if I put my mind to it and was a great way to develop my leadership skills," he said. "I really enjoyed learning what I needed to know as a professional in the field of Photonics and came out of the program with newfound confidence and ability. Mr. Beasley, Mr. [John] LaVere [CCCC Electronics Engineering Technology Instructor), Mrs. Boahn and the other faculty involved in the Laser program are such great educators and have worked for years to build a network that provides their students with great opportunities. I will always be extremely grateful for what they've done. Enrolling in the Laser & Photonics program was one of the best decisions I have made in my life!"
Pope said that the most enjoyable part of being a student at CCCC was that it felt like learning with a small family. "I really enjoyed getting up every day and seeing everyone; the faculty was always warm and happy to volunteer their time to anyone that needed help and the other students were great as well," said Pope. "Even though the material was difficult at times, it's not hard to learn when it doesn't feel like something that I have to do, but something I want to!"
Though Pope grew up in Charlotte, he has strong roots in Dunn. David's parents, David Pope Jr., son of Beulah and the late David Pope Sr., of Dunn, and Vickie Wright Pope, daughter of Bobby and Julia Wright, of Dunn, were both raised in Dunn.
Pope becomes the fourth CCCC Laser & Photonics Technology graduate to join LLNL. Ron Darbee, LLNL Director of Laser Systems, is a member of the CCCC Laser & Photonics Technology program advisory committee. "He not only attends the annual advisory committee meeting, but also encourages the CCCC Laser program students to tour the LLNL NIF (National Ignition Facility) complex during their annual San Francisco trip to the Photonics West convention in February," said Beasley.
What would Pope tell prospective students who may be considering the CCCC Laser & Photonics program?
"I would tell them that they should definitely do it if they have interests in math, science, and technology," said Pope. "It is an unbelievable chance to work with great people, develop their skills, and to join a rapidly advancing field that will only get bigger and better as we move into the future. In years I will look back fondly on my time at CCCC and remember it as a place that completely changed my life and taught me to live up to my potential!"
For information about the CCCC Laser & Photonics Technology program, contact Gary Beasley 910-814-8828, or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on Central Carolina Community College, visit www.cccc.edu.
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