DHS S&T Selects 2021 Minority-Serving Institutions Summer Research Teams

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News – WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Science and Technology (S&T) Directorate today announced the selection of 18 teams from various Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) across the United States to participate in the 2021 program. Summer Research Team (SRT).

The DHS SRT program, administered by the Office of Academic S&T Programs, is a summer internship that provides quality research experiences for MSI students and faculty in the United States and all 16 U.S. territories.

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

“Developing a diverse homeland security workforce is a critical part of OUP’s mission and engagement with the nation’s MSIs is one of our top priorities,” said Rebecca Medina. , director of S&T OUP. “We are excited to see how this year’s attendees will engage with our COE network and are confident they will provide essential insights to help strengthen the Department’s research efforts.”

The 2021 teams, their projects and their host centers of excellence include:

Arctic Domain Awareness Center (ADAC) – four teams

  • Dr. Kevin Kupietz, Elizabeth City State University, and students, Patrick Martin and Kevon Price
    Project: Review 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 oil spill cleanup
  • 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 Prediction (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 Disinformation
  • Dr. Jiang Guo, California State University, and student, Jorge Sanchez
    Project: Machine learning-based prediction of passenger arrival

Center for Cross-Border Threat Testing and 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 searches 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 Activity in Darknet Markets: Advancing Knowledge and Tools for Monitoring Activities
  • Dr. Urmi Ghosh-dastidar, New York City College of Technology – CUNY, and student, Katie Salas
    Project: A graph-theoretic approach for crime 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 Program in Homeland Security at JSU

Critical Infrastructure Resilience Institute (CIRI) – Four teams

  • Dr. Ho, Chun-Hsing, Northern Arizona University, and students, Jimmie Devany and Manuel Lopez
    Project: Integrating Vehicle-Based Sensing and Vehicle Dynamic Modeling into Road Infrastructure Resilience Assessment
  • Dr Dipakkumar Pravin, University of North Texas, and students, Ana Robinson and Jarod Costello
    Project: Assessing Ontologies for Cybersecurity Workforce Development Applications
  • Dr. Dan Tamir, Texas State University, and students, Maria Elise Tomasso and Kian O’Ryan
    Project: Blockchain: Leveraging the Linked Distributed Ledger
  • Dr. Dan Kim, University of North Texas, and students, Peter Douglas and Jordan Bernot
    Project: Improving Cybersecurity KSA (Knowledge, Skills and Capabilities) 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 for radial winds of outer core tropical cyclones

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 risks in offshore wind farms
  • Dr. Malhotra, Rakesh, Central University of North Carolina, and student, Isabel Gutierrez
    Project: Securing ports against cohorts of extremism (SPACE)

In addition to conducting research at one of the COEs, teams are invited to participate in the annual DHS COE Summit to be held 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 showcase current and emerging solutions to homeland security threats and challenges.

For more information on SRTs, visit https://www.orau.gov/dhseducation/faculty/

Information about DHS COEs is available at: https://www.dhs.gov/science-and-technology/centers-excellence

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