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  1. Science and Technology Directorate
  2. News Room
  3. S&T Awards 18 Faculty Members at Minority Serving Institutions to Further Summer Research Team Program Projects

News Release: DHS S&T Awards Nearly $1.8M to 18 Faculty Members at Minority Serving Institutions to Further Summer Research Team Program Projects

Release Date: October 23, 2023

S&T Public Affairs, 202-254-2385

WASHINGTON - The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) announced the recipients of nearly $1.8 million in follow-on funding for 18 project teams from Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs). This funding will go towards supporting these 18 project teams in extending their 2023 Summer Research Team (SRT) Program projects, which operate in collaboration with DHS S&T Centers of Excellence (COE).

“We are thrilled to support these teams as they continue their vital contributions to homeland security,” said Rebecca Medina, director of the Office of University Programs. “DHS takes pride in investing in research capacity development at MSIs.”

SRT follow-on funding is overseen by S&T’s Office of University Programs (OUP) and offers summer research opportunities to research teams comprised of students and early career faculty members affiliated with MSIs in the United States and its territories.

Each team was chosen based on their excellence in research, innovative ideas, leadership qualities and dedication to advancing homeland security-focused research. Faculty and students at these institutions collaborated with S&T-supported Centers of Excellence to create Homeland Security course content and actively participated in research addressing the complex challenges confronting DHS.

The 2023 SRT Teams, include:

Arizona State University, Cross-Border Threat Screening and Supply Chain Defense (CBTS)
Chemical and Biological Defense: Detecting, Protecting Against, Responding to, and Recovering from Chemical and Biological Incidents
Dr. Kenan Song

Elizabeth City State University, Coastal Resilience Center (CRC)
How the Technology of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS’s) Can Best be Utilized Toward Creating More Resilient Communities
Dr. Kevin Kupietz

John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Cross-Border Threat Screening and Supply Chain Defense (CBTS)
Evaluating Feasibility of Enforcing ESG compliance Using Verifiable Credentials
Dr. Shweta Jain

Morgan State University, Criminal Investigations and Network Analysis (CINA)
Enhancing Decision-Making for Combatting Sex Trafficking: A Markov Decision Process Approach
Dr. Isabella Kemajou-Brown

New York City College of Technology, The City University of New York, Center for Accelerated Operational Efficiency (CAOE)
Economical Impact of COVID-19 and Optimal Vaccination Distribution at County Level in the U.S
Dr. Huseyin Yuce

North Carolina Central University, Soft Target Engineering to Neutralize the Threat Reality (SENTRY)
Development of Numerical Analysis for Physics of Nano-sensing and Chemistry of Nitrate Esters
Dr. Igor Filikhin

Prairie View A&M, Cross-Border Threat Screening and Supply Chain Defense (CBTS)
Development of a High Sensitivity Low-Cost Assay for the Efficient Detection of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) in Imported Seafood
Dr. Harshica Fernando

Southern University and A&M College, Critical Infrastructure Resilience Institute (CIRI)
Using Modular Microgrids and DC Nanogrids to Provide Emergency Service in the Aftermath of Extreme Events
Dr. Radian Belu

Tennessee State University, Soft Target Engineering to Neutralize the Threat Reality (SENTRY)
Modeling Stochastic Event Detection and Quantization for Catastrophe Prevention
Dr. Mohammad Habibi

Texas A&M University-Kingsville, Criminal Investigations and Network Analysis (CINA)
Scaleup Material Allied to Research and Training in Latent Fingerprint using Artificial Intelligence Tutor/Assistant (SMART LIFT)
Dr. Sajid Liu

Texas Tech University, Center for Accelerated Operational Efficiency (CAOE)
Personal Drone-Assisted Privacy Preserving Strategies for Enhancing Cyber-Aerial Security and Border Protection
Dr. Sunho Lim

University of Central Florida, National Counterterrorism Innovation, Technology and Education Center (NCITE)
Characterization of Violent Speech in Online Discourse
Dr. Adan Vela

University of New Mexico, Criminal Investigations and Network Analysis (CINA)
Reconstructing Criminal Networks from Data
Dr. Francesco Sorrentino

University of North Carolina at Pembroke, Center for Accelerated Operational Efficiency (CAOE)
Towards Equitable Privacy-Preserving Machine Learning Algorithms
Dr. Selvarajah Mohanarajah

University of North Texas, Criminal Investigations and Network Analysis (CINA)        
Exploring the Relative Risk Severity of Phishing Techniques on Individual Phishing Susceptibility: A Mixed Approach
Dr. Dan Kim

University of North Texas, Cross-Border Threat Screening and Supply Chain Defense (CBTS)
Applying Game Theory for Improving and Optimizing the US Political Asylum Process
Dr. Michel Fathi

University of North Texas, Critical Infrastructure Resilience Institute (CIRI)
Exploiting Machine Learning for Cybersecurity Tasks to Talent Mapping and Exploring Credentialing Ecosystem
Dr. Dipakkumar Pravin

University of Texas at El Paso, Coastal Resilience Center (CRC)
Influence of Climate Change Augmented with Extreme Weather Events on Coastal Resilience of Transportation Infrastructure
Dr. Vivek Tandon

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

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

Information on the DHS COEs can be found at:


Last Updated: 10/23/2023
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