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Classified Ready Employee Workforce Program


The mission of the CREW program is to develop a diverse pool of classified-ready professionals with the necessary technical, professional, and interpersonal skills required to pursue successful careers in support of national security.  

Students selected for the program, participate in a series of national security and classification seminars, and are employed through cooperative education experiences in national security research and emerging technology innovation and application.



CREW Instructor


Joshua L. Moon 

Director of Air and Missile Defense Testing

Fort Bliss

Colonel, U.S. Army


Joshua L. Moon is a seasoned educator with a track record of over 15 years in higher education. Presently, he serves as the position of Director of Air and Missile Defense Testing at Fort Bliss, Texas. In addition to his role as director, he continues to teach history and political science as an adjunct instructor at Hawaii Pacific University and Southern New Hampshire University. He has also served as an Assistant Professor of History at West Point. 

Dr. Moon has continued to serve in our nation’s Army for the past 29-years. Throughout his service, he has undertaken numerous operational assignments, including deployments in roles supporting both Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. His previous posting was as the Defense Coordinating Officer for FEMA Region IX (Pacific), where he led multigovernmental agency planning and disaster response operations for Hawaii and across the Pacific Ocean. 

Dr. Moon holds a Ph.D. in History from Florida State University and a master’s degree in National Security and Strategic Studies from the US Naval War College. Notably, he’s authored “Wellington’s Two-Front War: The Peninsular Campaigns, at Home and Abroad 1808-1814” (University of Oklahoma Press) which won the International Napoleonic Society Literary Award in 2011. Outside of work and education, he is a father of four adult children and a Labrador Retriever. He loves the outdoors and is an avid college football fan, where you can find him cheering on the Army Football Team on Saturday afternoons! 


Program Overview

  • NMSU students are hired by employer sponsors to complete co-ops during the academic semesters of Fall, Spring and Summer. During the Fall and Spring semesters, CREW students are able to work up to 20 hours a week. During academic breaks and summer sessions they can work up to 40 hours per week.  
  • CREW employer sponsors can hire students directly or through a negotiated contract with PSL. PSL utilizes Handshake to find and hire qualified NMSU students with the skills and experience needed by employer sponsors.   
  • During the Fall and Spring semesters, CREW students also participate in the CREW national security seminar series which meets for 90 minutes every other week.
  • PSL initiates CREW student’s national security clearance upon hiring by the CREW employer sponsor. Though it can vary, most CREW students are cleared by the end of the Fall semester.


Become a CREW Co-Op Sponsor

Strengthen your cleared workforce pipeline; partner with New Mexico State University and sponsor a CREW Co-Op. We work with your team to match qualified students with your Co-op on the NMSU campus at the Physical Science Laboratory in Anderson Hall, a cleared contractor facility.

The deadline for employers to participate in the 2023-2024 program has been extended to August 4, 2023.


Contact Marcella Shelby at mshelby@psl.nmsu.edu or 575-646-9201.

Employer Flyer


Program Cost

  • Program cost per student includes the student’s co-op wage and a program fee. 
  • An individual or company wishing to partner with PSL, can make a contribution through the NMSU Foundation or negotiate a contract with PSL.
  • The program cost for individuals or companies able to use philanthropic funds is $27,000 per student.  
  • For entities unable to use philanthropic funds, a contract between the company and PSL is required.  Under the terms of a contract the program cost per student for FY23/24 CREW Program is $38,000 per student. 

PSL’s contract with DoD Chief Digital AI Office in support of the National Security Academic Regional Recruiting Prototype (NSARRP) contract provides funds for a cost share/match for defense industrial base companies.  Please contact Marcella Shelby to learn more. ( mshelby@psl.nmsu.edu, 575-646-9201)

Note: A contract with PSL includes fringe and other indirect rates that are reviewed and approved by NMSU’s cognizant federal agency annually (Effective July 1).  


BlackSky Technology
Jason Miller - Electrical Engineering, Computer Science
Los Alamos National Laboratory
Nicholas Hall - Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Marina Espinosa - Mechanical Engineering
Manuel Serrano - Mechanical Engineering
PSL Facility Security
Diego P. Montoya - Electrical Engineering
PSL Information Security Operations Center
Kurt Lyell - Computer Science
PSL Information Science and Security Systems Division
Andres Marquez- Computer Science
PSL Information Technology
Ryan Mastin - Business Computer Information Systems
PSL Telemetry and Missile Systems
Arash Badr - Electrical Engineering
Tyler Brooks - Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
PSL Telemetry and Missile Systems- In Partnership with General Dynamics
Benjamin Weber - Computer Science
Bella Zamora - Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Mayra Tarango - Electrical Engineering
PSL Telemetry and Missile Systems- In Partnership with Leidos
Rafael Arturo Calleros Delgado - Mechanical Engineering
Clayton Mason - Mechanical Engineering

2021-2022 CREW Members and Co-op Placements


Los Alamos National Laboratory
Micah Cheng-Guajardo - Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering
Mason Curtin - Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering
PSL Facility Security
Irene Richter - Human Resource Management
PSL Information Security Operations Center
Kaia Garley - Information and Communication Science
PSL Information Science and Security Systems Division
Stephen Moreno- Computer Science
PSL Quality Assurance
 Gabriela Salas - Industrial Engineering
PSL Telemetry and Missile Systems Division
Robert Armendariz - Electrical Engineering
Queztal Soto - Electrical Engineering
Sandia National Laboratories
George Sandoval - Computer Science
X-Bow Systems
Scott Komar - Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering

Inaugural CREW Members and Co-op Placements


PSL Information Security Operations Center
Tommy Abeyta-Sosa
Gabriella Garcia, Graduated December 2020
PSL Quality Assurance
Christian Apodaca
Adam Flores, Graduated May 2020
Brandon Gama
PSL Telemetry and Missile Systems
Dawson Drake
Erika Tanuz
Thomas Wilkinson
General Dynamics
Jorge Ortiz Jr.
Terrell Stewart
Los Alamos National Laboratory
Alex Binder
Hunter Sedillo
Northrop Grumman
Ash Fried
Jaime Gomez, Graduated May 2020
Karen Black, Graduated May 2020
Samuel Jacintho

Special thanks to our program partners and co-op supervisors

Program Highlights

As a Minority Serving Institution (MSI), who is military and veteran friendly, we are proud of the diversity of our 41 CREW students (2020-2023):  

  • 27 are from diverse racial/ethnic Backgrounds-Hispanic (25), African-American (1),Native American (1)
  • 3 Veterans (U.S. Army)
  • 12 Women
  • 9 first-generation college students
  • Range in age from 20-37 years’ old
  • 1 graduate student
  • Represent the following majors:
    • Aerospace, Electrical, Industrial, Mechanical Engineering
    • Computer Science
    • Engineering Physics
    • Information and Communication Technology
    • Business Management and Human Resources
  • Clearance initiated at onset of program. Interim clearance within 2-4 weeks and fully cleared by end of first semester. Today, nearly 100% of students have DoD Secret clearance. 4 were initiated at Top Secret level by their employer sponsor.

CREW Student Feedback

PSL is invested in the experience of our students and has included internal assessment throughout the program. Below is a sampling of the feedback we have received:

Supporting the National Security Workforce of the Future

The CREW Program was developed by PSL with the guidance of an Advisory Council composed of former PSL student employees and NMSU Alumni that are leaders in the national security, defense and research fields.  Our notable Advisory Council members see first-hand the looming workforce pipeline crisis ahead, and know that the CREW Program and graduating NMSU students represent a solution that can serve as a national workforce development model.


CREW Advisory Council
Christopher Long, General Dynamics
Manny Mora, General Dynamics
Steve Omick, Riverside Research
Linnea Sands, Sandia National Laboratories
Mike Steinzig, Los Alamos National Laboratory
Allyson Yarbrough, Aerospace Corporation

CREW Program Fund



The CREW Program Fund was founded by the generous support of former PSL student employee and distinguished NMSU Alumni, Manny Mora the VP and General Manager of Space and Intelligence Systems for General Dynamics Mission Systems.  

INVEST in the CREW Program and CREW Students by contacting Marcella Shelby, Strategic Initiatives Officer at PSL at mshelby@psl.nmsu.edu or 575-646-9201


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