DHS Selects 18 University Research Teams for Summer Research Program
Tuesday, May 18, 2021 | Comments

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) selected 18 teams from different minority serving institutions (MSIs) across the U.S. to participate in the 2021 Summer Research Team (SRT) program.

The DHS SRT program, administered by S&T’s Office of University Programs (OUP), is a summer internship providing quality research experiences to students and faculty of an MSI in the U.S. 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 pursuing interests related to critical communications include:

Criminal Investigations and Network Analysis (CINA)
• 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 students Tiffany Hoard- Aaron and Lauren Izegbu. Project: “Developing a Convergent Graduate Certificate in Homeland Security Program at JSU”

Critical Infrastructure Resilience Institute (CIRI)
• 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”
In addition to conducting research at one of the COEs, the teams are invited to participate in the annual DHS COE Summit being held May 19-20. 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.

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