U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Government Website

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Safely connect using HTTPS

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock () or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.


  1. Science and Technology Directorate
  2. News Room
  3. News Release: DHS Selects 2019 Summer Research Teams

News Release: DHS Selects 2019 Participants for Minority Serving Institutions Summer Research Teams Program

Release Date: April 16, 2019

For Immediate Release:
DHS S&T: John Verrico, (202) 254-2385

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) announced today the selection of nine teams from different Minority Serving Institutions across the United States to participate in the 2019 Summer Research Team (SRT) program.

The DHS SRT program, administered by S&T’s Office of University Programs, is a summer internship that provides quality research experiences to early career faculty members and students attending a Minority Serving Institution in the United States and the five U.S. territories.

The teams selected today are comprised of nine early career faculty members and 15 graduate and undergraduate students who will spend 10 weeks at a DHS Center of Excellence (COE) or partnering institutions across the country. The SRT program fosters relationships for long-term projects and enhances scientific leadership at MSIs in DHS-relevant research areas.

The 2019 teams, their projects, and their host COEs include:

Arctic Domain Awareness Center (ADAC)

  • Dr. Dahwei Chang, Arizona Western College, and student Shannon Draper
    Project: Thermodynamic Drivers to Predicting Sea Ice Growth/Melt and Optimization Algorithm for Arctic ICECON Calculation 

Borders, Trade & Immigration Institute (BTI)

  • Dr. Nursen Zanca, University of the Incarnate Word, and student Randol Nicholas
    Project: The Global Terrorism Index (GTI): Methodology and Meaning

Center for Accelerated Operational Efficiency (CAOE)

  • Dr. Adan Vela, University of Central Florida, and student Gabriela Coccaro
    Project: Data-enabled Proactive Emergency Response

Coastal Resilience Center (CRC) - Two teams

  • Dr. Michelle Dovil, Florida A&M University, and students: Tenesha Washington and Tia Maxwell
    Project: The Place We Call Home: the Risk Perceptions and Place Attachments of Coastal Communities at Risk for Sea Level Rise in North Carolina
  • Dr. Kulwinder Kaur, Elizabeth City State University, and students Jaida Ellis and Genesis McClain
    Project: An Examination of Mental Health Effects of Hurricanes on Vulnerable Populations in Coastal North Carolina and Implications for Resilience

Criminal Investigations and Network Analysis (CINA)- Two teams

  • Dr. Omar Camarillo, Eastern New Mexico University, and students Cecilia Torres and Xandra James
    Project: Content Analysis of Twitter: Gangs, Cartels and Tweets
  • Dr. Vernon Scott, Trinity Washington University, and student Diana Gomez
    Project: Guilty by Association: How Minority Status and Community Characteristics Contribute to the Race Crime Proxy

Critical Infrastructure Resilience Institute (CIRI)- Two teams

  • Dr. Radian Belu, Southern University and A&M College, and students Trinity Reed and Deshon Swafford
    Project: Improving the Resilience and Emergency Service Restoration in the Aftermath of an Extreme Event by Microgrids
  • Dr. Sybil Rosado, Benedict College, and students Kwanza Ross and Aiyande McGill
    Project: Changing the Culture of Cybersecurity Awareness Among Small Businesses

In addition to conducting research at one of the COEs, the teams will participate in the annual DHS COE Summit to be held in Arlington, VA, in July. The DHS COE Summit is a unique opportunity for SRT faculty and students to connect with DHS components; federal, state, and local stakeholders; and industry partners to present current and emerging solutions to threats and homeland security challenges.

For more information about SRTs, visit https://www.orau.gov/.

Information on the DHS Centers of Excellence can be found at:



Last Updated: 11/17/2023
Was this page helpful?
This page was not helpful because the content