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  1. Science and Technology Directorate
  2. News Room
  3. S&T Awards Funding to Minority Serving Institutions to Advance Summer Research Projects

News Release: DHS S&T Awards Funding to Minority Serving Institutions to Advance Summer Research Projects

Release Date: February 28, 2022

S&T Public Affairs, 202-254-2385

WASHINGTON The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) announces 17 faculty members from Minority Serving Institutions (MSI) are selected to receive a total of $824,234 in funding to advance their research projects. The S&T Office of University Programs (OUP) awarded the funds as part of the 2021 Summer Research Team (SRT) program. The additional funding allows the MSI teams to continue collaborating with several DHS S&T Centers of Excellence (COE) on research projects. 

“Students and faculty can keep moving forward with research that is relevant to the complex challenges to the Homeland Security mission,” said S&T OUP Director Rebecca Medina. “The SRT Program provides early-career faculty, undergraduate, and graduate students with 10-weeks of research experience and integrates the intellectual resources of the MSI community with DHS’ scientific leadership to enhance and inspire the next generation of homeland security thought leaders.”

Participants develop research projects focused on DHS mission and research needs. The teams collaborate and conduct their studies at the COEs, which partner each SRT project with a university or college lead. Follow-on funding is awarded to projects that show superior merit, have academic benefits and demonstrate the research is relevant to DHS missions. 

The 2021 award winners receiving additional funding for their projects and associated COEs are:

Arctic Domain Awareness Center (ADAC)
Led by University of Alaska

Dr. Yong Gan, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
Project: Composite Nanofiber Mat Loaded with Porous Carbon for Spilled-oil Cleaning

Dr. Kevin Kupietz, Elizabeth City State University
Project: A Delphi Study of Safety of Responders in Austere Environments

Dr. Yuming Wen, University of Guam
Project: Impacts of Fine-scale Precipitation on Salinity Levels in Finegayan, Guam

Dr. Jing Zhang, North Carolina A&T University
Project: Toward Improved Weather Forecast for the Arctic

Center for Accelerated Operational Efficiency (CAOE)
Led by Arizona State University

Dr. Jiang Guo, California State University, Los Angeles
Project: Improvement and Visualization of Passenger Forecasting at TSA Checkpoints

Dr. Samar Swaid, Philander Smith College
Project: The Deceptiveness of Deceptive Visualization and its Relation to Visualization Literacy Level of the Information Consumers: An Empirical Analysis

Cross-Border Threat Screening and Supply Chain Defense (CBTS)
Led by Texas A&M University

Dr. Michael Pravica, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Project: Development of a Hybrid Spectroscopic System Strategy for the Rapid and Efficient Detection of Biological Threats at the Border

Coastal Resilience Center (CRC)
Led by The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in partnership with Jackson State University

Dr. Pat Fitzpatrick, Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi
Project: Development of a universal suite of outer-core tropical cyclone parametric winds

Criminal Investigations and Network Analysis (CINA)
Led by George Mason University

Dr. Consandra McNeil, Jackson State University
Project: Developing a Crime Analysis Certificate Program at Jackson State University

Dr. Obi Ogbanufe, University of North Texas
Project: Predicting Criminal Activities in Darknet Markets: Advancing Knowledge and Tools for Activities Monitoring

Dr. Urmi Ghosh-Dastidar, The City University of New York
Project: Connectance, Robustness, and Strategic Analysis of Criminal Networks

Critical Infrastructure Resilience Institute (CIRI)
Led by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Dr. Dan Kim, University of North Texas
Project: Enhancing Cybersecurity TKSs (Tasks, Knowledge, and Skills) for Cybersecurity Education and Workforce Development

Dr. Dan Tamir, Texas State University
Project: Harnessing Distributed Ledger Technology for the U.S. Coast Guard Mission and Operations Support

Dr. Dipakkumar Pravin, University of North Texas
Project: Enhancing Techniques for Ontologies Mapping for the Cybersecurity Workforce Development Applications

Dr. Chun-Hsing, Northern Arizona University
Project: Leverage Vibration Data to Improve Highway Infrastructure Ridability and Roughness

Maritime Security Center (MSC)
Led by Stevens Institute of Technology

Dr. MaryAnn Hoppa, Norfolk State University
Project: Understanding Cybersecurity Risk in Offshore Wind Farms

Dr. Rakesh Malhotra, North Carolina Central University
Project: Risk Management and Analytics Dashboard

For more information on S&T Office of University Programs, visit:

For more information on the SRT for Minority Serving Institutions, visit


Last Updated: 03/08/2022
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