Newswise — WASHINGTON - The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) announced that eight faculty members from Minority Serving Institutions (MSI) across the United States were recently selected to receive funding awards totaling $373,000 to continue their 2019 Summer Research Team (SRT) Program for Minority Serving Institutions research projects at several DHS S&T Centers of Excellence (COE). 

The SRT Program, administered by S&T’s Office of University Programs, engages early career faculty, undergraduate, and graduate students in research at the COEs, providing opportunities to better understand DHS mission and research needs and make advances in DHS research areas.

“Our nation’s MSIs serve as incubators for ideas, growth, and conduits through which students and researchers can support the homeland security mission. Our MSI partners go through an intensive initial research stage with our leading DHS COEs and have successfully demonstrated their ability to conduct high-impact research,” said Matthew Coats, S&T’s Director of University Programs. “We are really excited about the continuation of the 2019 teams’ research projects. It’s a great opportunity. Through these types of programs, S&T is able to influence skill development, and put innovative and diverse budding professionals into environments where they can excel.”  

The 2019 award winners, their projects and associated COEs include:

Borders, Trade & Immigration Institute (BTI)

  • Dr. Nursen Zanca, University of the Incarnate Word
    Project: Regional Terrorism Index: An Empirical Model for Metropolitan Areas in the United States.

Center for Accelerated Operational Efficiency (CAOE)

  • Dr. Adan Vela, University of Central Florida
    Project: Forecasting and Estimating the Impact of Severe Weather on Power Distribution Systems

Coastal Resilience Center (CRC)

  • Dr. Michelle Dovil, Florida A&M University
    Project: The Place We Call Home: A Critical Analysis of the Risk Perceptions and Place Attachments of Coastal Communities at Risk for Sea Level Rise in North Carolina
  • Dr. Kulwinder Kaur, Elizabeth City State University
    Project: An Examination of Mental Health Effects of Hurricanes in Coastal North Carolina to Strengthen the Efforts of Resilience

Criminal Investigations and Network Analysis (CINA)

  • Dr. Omar Camarillo, Eastern New Mexico University
    Project: Content Analysis of Borderland Beat
  • Dr. Vernon Scott, Trinity Washington University
    Project: Guilty By Association: How Community Characteristics Impact Officer Engagement

Critical Infrastructure Resilience Institute (CIRI)

  • Dr. Radian Belu, Southern University and A&M College
    Project: Using Microgrids to Improve the Grid Resilience and to Provide Emergency Service in the Aftermath of Extreme Events           
  • Dr. Sybil Rosado, Benedict College
    Project: Strengthening the Resilience of our Nation's Critical Infrastructure by Teaching Small Business to Build a Human Firewall           

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