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MSU Students Travel to Purdue for Summer Research Internship

Interdisciplinary Group to Study Data Visualization Through Homeland Security Grant

Fifteen Morgan State students have been selected to go to Purdue University this June to study data visualization under a grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The interdisciplinary group will be trained and conduct research during an internship at Purdue’s VACCINE center from June 12-24. VACCINE stands for Visual Analytics for Command, Control, and Interoperability Environments.

The Morgan students slated to participate in the 12-day program are an interdisciplinary group composed of biology, chemistry, engineering, history, physical therapy and psychology majors.

“This is an intensive program from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. each day,” says Timothy A. Akers, Ph.D., Morgan’s associate dean for graduate studies research. “And the students will be working on data and ideas from researchers at Morgan.”

Data visualization is a hot area of research in which scientists and others seek to communicate information effectively in graphical form. The goal of VACCINE is “to help this nation’s 2.3 million extended homeland security personnel, including first-responders, perform their jobs more effectively by turning mass amounts of data into manageable information.” VACCINE is one of the Department of Homeland Security’s Centers of Excellence.

Kendric Squire is an electrical engineering junior from Forestville, Md. The VACCINE program will be his first internship.

“I’m expecting to get some better teamwork skills, and also I’m expecting to get a better understanding of computer programming that I can apply to my current project and to my field,” Squire says. “Right now, I’m going over and refreshing myself on all the different types of math that I believe we’ll be dealing with at Purdue.”

VACCINE will be a first internship for junior Raechelle Floyd also.

“…That’s one reason why I’m excited,” says Floyd, from Baltimore, who is majoring in physical therapy. “Purdue is one of the top engineering schools, so they expect a lot from us. It will be a strenuous course, so I’m thinking it’ll teach me more discipline.”

Eliane Quintana, an electrical and computer engineering major, has worked as an intern at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – Europe District, and NASA Kennedy Space Center during her three years at Morgan State. But the senior from Santa Cruz, Bolivia, is looking forward to the challenge at Purdue, as well.

“This internship will help with my senior design project for the Department of Homeland Security,” she explains. “My project is to design an ultraband transceiver.”

“I’ve never been in an internship that has been compressed into two weeks,” says Quintana, who plans to work for NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and pursue a master’s degree after her graduation from Morgan. “This will help me prepare for the real world, because out there when I start working, it’s going to be compressed. Everything’s going to be done quickly. So I think it’s going to be fun.”

Morgan’s 2011 Purdue VACCINE Interns

Dalyn Allen, Psychology (Graduated May 2011)
Chance Brown, Senior, Biology
Vladimir Celestin, Senior, Biology
Travis Clement, Senior, Chemistry
Anthony A. Davis, Senior, History
Tonya Doram, Senior, Industrial Engineering
Raechelle Floyd, Junior, Physical Therapy
Jeffrey Haley, Junior, Industrial Engineering
Corey Harper, Junior, Civil Engineering
Ashley A. Jones, Senior, Transportation Systems Engineering
Eliane Quintana, Senior, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Nathan T. Scott, Senior, Computer Science
Kristen Seals, Senior, Electrical Engineering
Kendric Squire, Junior, Electrical Engineering
Lauren Williams, Senior, Psychology


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