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CCCC student fulfills his dream

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Click to enlarge,  Al DeLong and his wife Megan are pictured overlooking San Francisco Bay after their move to California. DeLong, a student in Central Carolina Community College's Laser and Photonics Technology program, has now gotten a job at the prestigious Lawrence Livermore National Labs.

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Al DeLong and his wife Megan are pictured overlooking San Francisco Bay after their move to California. ... (more)

03.06.2015College & CommunityCollege GeneralCurriculum ProgramsStudents/Graduates

LILLINGTON - Al DeLong has been attracted to science since he was young. It was a natural that he became a teacher and taught science.

DeLong took his students on a tour of Central Carolina Community College, where he became enthralled with the Laser and Photonics Technology (LPT) program. He finished his year as a teacher, enrolled in the LPT program, and has now gotten a job at the prestigious Lawrence Livermore National Labs as an Injection Laser System Operator.

"I feel very excited," said DeLong of his new job. "My preparations have paid off and my dedication and abilities have provided me the opportunity. I am glad the company chose to hire me."

Gary Beasley, CCCC Laser & Photonics Technology Lead Instructor, speaks highly of his student. "Lawrence Livermore National Labs (LLNL) is the 'pinnacle of technical settings' for working with cutting-edge technology," said Beasley. "When Al toured the National Ignition Facility (NIF) of LLNL last year during a field trip, he said, 'Mr. Beasley, this is where I want to work!' So, this was a dream come true for Al. "

Beasley notes that DeLong was not just a super student, but helpful in many other ways. "He was always available to help struggling students, while not even charging for any tutoring services. In addition, as the part-time recruiter for the laser program, Al enjoyed visiting with middle and high school students to discuss all the career opportunities in technical fields," said Beasley. "Al also served in the Ambassador program for CCCC, and as president of our student-chapter of the SPIE professional photonics society."

While teacher had praise for student, student also had praise for teacher. "Our professor, Mr. Beasley, is the most dedicated and knowledgeable instructor you will find as related to the laser industry," said DeLong. "I am glad he chose the route of teaching so that I could learn from him."

DeLong said he enjoyed his experience while at Central Carolina Community College. "I've definitely enjoyed the personal relationships I made in my tenure at CCCC, both with my classmates and my professors," said DeLong. "It's really something when a group of people can be unified by a single mission - to be enveloped in all things lasers."

DeLong noted that he's always wanted to help people as best he can. "I was a teacher, a tutor, a lab instructor, and so naturally I became an Ambassador to the school. It was just the next step in my evolution. The experience has been amazing. I have met a lot of different people and was able to help many more," said DeLong.

DeLong also was president of the CCCC student chapter of the Optical Society of America. He also served as a member of Phi Beta Lambda.

What advice would he give for prospective students of CCCC's Laser & Photonics Technology program? "Get with the program! If you like problem solving, this is the industry to be in," said DeLong. "You won't have a better opportunity elsewhere."

To learn more about Central Carolina Community College's Laser & Photonics Technology program, contact Beasley at (910) 814-8828 or by email at