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News Release: DHS S&T Selects 2021 Minority Serving Institutions Summer Research Teams

News Release: DHS S&T Selects 2021 Minority Serving Institutions Summer Research Teams

Release Date: 
May 17, 2021

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
S&T Public Affairs, 202-254-2385

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) announced today the selection of 18 teams from different Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) across the United States to participate in the 2021 Summer Research Team (SRT) program.

The DHS SRT program, administered by S&T’s Office of University Programs, is a summer internship providing quality research experiences to students and faculty of an MSI in the United States and the 16 U.S. territories.

The teams selected are comprised of 18 early career faculty members and 31 graduate and undergraduate students who will spend 10 weeks virtually at a DHS Center of Excellence (COE) or a partnering institution across the country. The SRT program fosters relationships for long-term projects and enhances scientific leadership at MSIs in DHS-relevant research areas.

“Developing a diverse Homeland Security workforce is a vital component of OUP’s mission and engagement with the Nation’s MSIs is one of our top priorities” said S&T OUP Director Rebecca Medina. “We are excited to see how this year’s participants will engage with our COE network and are certain they will bring critical insight to help bolster the Department’s research efforts.”

The 2021 teams, their projects, and their host COEs include:

Arctic Domain Awareness Center (ADAC) – Four Teams

  • Dr. Kevin Kupietz, Elizabeth City State University, and students, Patrick Martin and Kevon Price
    Project: Examination of Responder Safety in Austere Conditions
  • Dr. Yong Gan, Cal Poly University Pomona, and students, Ali Arjan and Jimmy Yik
    Project: Processing and Characterization of a Photosensitive Composite Nanofiber for Spilled Oil Cleaning
  • Dr. Yuming Wen, University of Guam, and student, Natalie Bravo
    Project: Impacts of Precipitation on Salinity Levels in Finegayan, Guam
  • Dr. Jing Zhang, North Carolina A&T State University, and student, Mariah Bush
    Project: High-resolution Arctic Weather Forecasting (HAWF) System for USCG Arctic Operation

Center for Accelerated Operational Efficiency (CAOE) - Two Teams

  • Dr. Samar Swaid, Philander Smith College, and students, Kamron Reed and Malik Tye
    Project: Visual-Based Disinformation
  • Dr. Jiang Guo, California State University, and student, Jorge Sanchez
    Project: Machine Learning Based Prediction of Passenger Arrival

Center for Cross-Border Threat Screening & Supply Chain Defense (CBTS) - Two Teams

  • Dr. Michael Pravica, University of Nevada-Las Vegas, and students, Drake Joseph and Nicholas Pudar
    Project: Evaluation and Development of Spectroscopic Means to Detect Biological Threats
  • Dr. Baraka Mapp, Bethune Cookman University, and students, Angel Prince and Isis Bouie
    Project: Geospatial Data Investigations for Food Supply Chain Solutions

Criminal Investigations and Network Analysis (CINA) - Three teams

  • Dr. Obiageli Ogbanufe, University of North Texas, and students, Fallon Baucum and Jasmine Benjamin
    Project: Predicting Criminal Activities in Darknet Markets: Advancing Knowledge and Tools for Activities Monitoring
  • Dr. Urmi Ghosh-dastidar, New York City College of Technology - CUNY, and student, Katie Salas
    Project: A Graph Theoretic Approach for Criminal Investigation and Network Analysis
  • Dr. ConSandra McNeil, Jackson State University (JSU), and student, Tiffany Hoard- Aaron and Lauren Izegbu
    Project: Developing a Convergent Graduate Certificate in Homeland Security Program at JSU

Critical Infrastructure Resilience Institute (CIRI)- Four teams

  • Dr. Ho, Chun-Hsing, Northern Arizona University, and students, Jimmie Devany and Manuel Lopez
    Project: Integration of Vehicle Based Sensing and Vehicle Dynamic Model in Evaluating Resilience of Highway Infrastructure
  • Dr. Dipakkumar Pravin, University of North Texas, and students, Ana Robinson and Jarod Costello
    Project: Evaluating Ontologies for Cybersecurity Workforce Development Applications
  • Dr. Dan Tamir, Texas State University, and students, Maria Elise Tomasso and Kian O’Ryan
    Project: Blockchain: Harnessing Linked Distributed Ledger
  • Dr. Dan Kim, University of North Texas, and students, Peter Douglas and Jordan Bernot
    Project:  Enhancing Cybersecurity KSA (Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities) for Cybersecurity Education and Workforce Development

Coastal Resilience Center (CRC) - One team

  • Dr. Patrick Fitzpatrick, Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi, and students, Stephen Michalec and Emily Rawlins
    Project: Parametric Equations of Outer-core Tropical Cyclone Radial Winds

Maritime Security Center (MSC) - Two teams

  • Dr. Mary Hoppa, Norfolk State University, and students, Tricia Camaya and Zaid Abdul-Kaudeyr
    Project: Hacking the Wind–Understanding Cybersecurity Risk in Offshore Wind Farms
  • Dr. Malhotra, Rakesh, North Carolina Central University, and student, Isabel Gutierrez
    Project: Securing Ports Against Cohorts of Extremism (SPACE)

In addition to conducting research at one of the COEs, the teams are invited to participate in the annual DHS COE Summit being held on May 19-20, 2021. 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/dhseducation/faculty/

Information on DHS COEs can be found at: https://www.dhs.gov/science-and-technology/centers-excellence

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