Profiles of Excellence, in their own words...

Phillip Hayes Jr.

Posted: February 18th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: students | Tags: , , , | No Comments »
What year did you graduate?
2008
Where are you from?
Danville, VA
What was your major?
Computer Science and Mathematics(Dual)
Do you have any advanced degrees?
Pursuing a Masters in Computer Science with a specialization in databases and security at
Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN. Tentative graduation December 2011.
What are you currently doing (professionally)?
Now, I am working part-time with Purdue’s Information Technology at Purdue Computer
Services and Purdue’s School Newspaper(The Exponent) as an online desk member while
pursuing my Masters in Computer Science. My focus is to work in industry upon graduation.
How would you describe DNIMAS to someone who doesn’t know about the program?
It is a program geared towards students who are passionate and have the desire to learn in the
hard science fields. It is a program that challenges students to be well rounded in all the areas
of science such as computational, natural, and engineering. It is an intense yet worthwhile
program that help students excel after their undergraduate career. It helps students gain
collaborative learning skills, build research and presentation skills, and sharing academic
knowledge to serving the Norfolk State community.
How did DNIMAS help you get to where you are?
Research – the ability to talk in front of people and present work in my particular area and
Networking – connected with people that are in my similar interest field and given me advice.
How did DNIMAS help you non academically/professionally?
It taught me that everyone is not your friend, and sometimes you have to survive on your own.
What activities did you participate in when you weren’t studying?
Association for Computer Machinery, IEEE, National Society of Black Engineers, Math Club,
and DNIMAS Student Association, GRACE Campus Ministries
What was your favorite DNIMAS memory?
When two of the coolest roommates of the 2007 class, Douglas Jones and Kelvin Turner, let me
borrow their dorm room to celebrate me and Brittany Stintson’s 21st birthday party. So much
evidence caught on film but the best time I ever had.
What did you least like about DNIMAS?
Staying in Tier 3!!!!! It will always be one class that I will get a C in or my gpa during midterms
was always falling below a 3.0 average to end up with 2 or 3 nights of study session. Waste of
time because the social events were happening on campus during study session time.
What do you think would be different about your life if you weren’t in DNIMAS?
I would have been working at the grocery store paying my way through college, as it was my initial plan.  I might have spent more time with social organization instead of focusing on my studies.  I might have decided to do I co-op to be guaranteed a job after I graduate. I would have not meet the goal-driven students like myself, and built a strong relationship of networking and helping each other to succeed. I was thinking about transferring to Old Dominion University after my experiences in the Twin Towers freshmen year.
Do you still keep in contact with people from DNIMAS?
Always!!!! Even though, I am in Indiana for graduate school, I call some people on the phone,
Facebook, Twitter, when I have school breaks, or visit who I can at that time.  Absorb as much knowledge and connected with so many people now because after undergraduate you will be out in the real world (industry, education, or graduate school) and everyone will not help you and see you succeed in life. These people in the program are your extended brothers and sisters that will look out for you whenever you need them.

Mindy L. Mayes

Posted: November 10th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: students | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

What year did you graduate?
2007
Where are you from?
Emporia, VA
What was your major?
Biology Pre Professional, Chemistry Minor
Do you have any advanced degrees?
Yes, Master of Pubilc Health (Go IU)
What are you currently doing (professionally)?
Well for some odd reason I believe I have a little nerd in me. I am back in school working on
a Master of Divinity. Prior to this degree I was a project assistant for the Monroe County Long Term Recovery Committee, a project of the United Way of Monroe County. In this position I was able to give literally millions of dollars to people in the Bloomington, IN area who were affected by the 2008 June floods and Sept hurricanes that devastated Monroe County and the State of Indiana.
How would you describe DNIMAS to someone who doesn’t know about the program?
DNIMAS is the Dozoretz National Institute for Mathematics and Sciences. It is a full 4 year
scholarship that provides room, board, books and tuition (that’s right it’s all free!) for those
interested in majoring in a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) related areas. There are many majors to choose from, Physics, Biology, Biology Pre Professional, Mathematics, Optical engineering just to name a few. To get accepted in the program you have to have excelled in high school, been active in your local community as well as do well on the SAT and/or ACT. Now I am sure that we have all heard that nothing in life is free. And that is correct. As a DNIMAS student you will be expected to excel in your coursework at Norfolk State, complete summer internships, volunteer in the local community, and once done at NSU go on to enroll in and complete a graduate degree program. The program is strenuous, but trust me it really does equip you for graduate level work.
How did DNIMAS help you get to where you are?
I’m pretty sure I just answered this question above. DNIMAS has prepared me to reach the
places that I am today. I learned valuable skills from people like Dr. McClain and Mr. Parker.
Neither let me get away with anything. They pushed me, and that pushing has made me a
better person today. I have learned how to manage my time, how to not “burn bridges”, I have also learned that DNIMAS is a community. I know that I can turn to any of my fellow DNIMAS Alum for anything within life. Lastly, I have learned that you don’t pay to go to school. All three of my degrees have been paid for!!!
How did DNIMAS help you non academically/professionally?
DNIMAS has really helped with my time management. When in DNIMAS I knew there were
many requirements that had to be fulfilled. To name a few we had to keep a 3.0 (wasn’t it
boosted to 3.3…there were so many changes during my tenure), attend the mandatory study sessions and even volunteer a certain number of hours a week. I’m sure there was much more but can’t remember all now. I wanted a life outside of DNIMAS and studying, so I had to manage my time wisely.
What activities did you participate in when you weren’t studying?
I was always doing something. I was a member and officer of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.,
involved in student government, tutor for ACCESS tutorial center and even helped with the
tutoring program at Gethsemane Community Fellowship Baptist Church.
What was your favorite DNIMAS memory?
Sorry Ervin, but when Alfonzo dressed up as you for Halloween. I will never forget that. Who
would have known that the two of you would end up pledging Iota together, that you two would become line brothers. I just have to say lol.
What did you least like about DNIMAS?
Hmmm. Now although in the long run I appreciate these things now, the mandatory study
sessions, begin forced to volunteer (Voluntold as Sharday would say), all the changes Dr.
McClain made when she became the director. I was already doing some of these things. Plus, one of the study session dates conflicted with the sweat box (perspiration cubes for the nerds). Conflicting with the sweat box is not an option.
What do you think would be different about your life if you weren’t in DNIMAS?
I’d be broke and not a proud alum of Norfolk State University (Go Spartans!). All of my friends who have been to school and had to pay for it are paying student loans out the wazoo. I do have a few student loans, but they were minimal and from my masters degree. I don’t expect my payments to be too large. Also, the full scholarship solidified my attending Norfolk State. Truthfully at first I had no desire to attend NSU. Both my brothers went there and I wanted to be different.
Do you still keep in contact with people from DNIMAS?
Of course, DNIMAS is a family and families stick together.
What advice could you pass on to current DNIMAS scholars?
Read any and everything that I have said above. Dr. McClain is serious about what she says, so listen to her. She is wise and she really does care about what is best for the DNIMAS students. Also, I think we sometimes forget but being in DNIMAS is a privilege, not a right. As with most privileges there are things one has to do to keep them (i.e. follow the rules, trust me in the long run you see they are really not that bad).


Sharon Reynolds Banks

Posted: October 22nd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: students | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

What year did you graduate?
1994
Where are you from?
Halifax Virginia
What was your major?
Chemistry: Pre-Med
Do you have any advanced degrees?
Yes, MS in Biomedical Sciences from UT Houston
What are you currently doing (professionally)?
High School Biology Teacher
How would you describe DNIMAS to someone who doesn’t know about the program?
DNIMAS is a very challenging program for students who want careers in math and science. This program exposes students to math and science by coursework, seminars and opportunities for summer internships.
How did DNIMAS help you get to where you are?
DNIMAS gave me the opportunity to get an education, exposure to summer internships, and a jump start on graduate school
How did DNIMAS help you non academically/professionally?
DNIMAS helped me to learn in an environment that was accepting of me.
What activities did you participate in when you weren’t studying?
I participated in NSU student ambassadors and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
What was your favorite DNIMAS memory?
Graduation! What a relief!
What did you least like about DNIMAS?
I did not like living in the dorm with a lot of females – too much estrogen.
What do you think would be different about your life if you weren’t in DNIMAS?
I would not have the connection to Norfolk State University that I do.
Do you still keep in contact with people from DNIMAS?
Yes
What advice could you pass on to current DNIMAS scholars?
Study hard, take every opportunity to expose yourself to new things, and make the most of your experience there.


Thoughts on the 25th Anniversary Celebration

Posted: September 22nd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: announcements | Tags: | No Comments »

Many people have been asking me how the Anniversary turned out. Here are my thoughts.

It was really really nice. Lets start from the beginning, the ceremonies kicked off with a cheese and wine mixer in the New Student Union building. The new union is really nice. I suggest everyone make a trip back to the school so that they can see it. It’s 100x better than the old one. The mixer was ok (the spicy cheese was nasty), it was a chance for everyone to mix and mingle. Mostly in here you were able to get reacquainted with classmates and other DNIMAS Alumni. If I wasn’t shy i would’ve made more of this event. It wasn’t much of an ice breaker, but it was good for catching up with people before the banquet.

The banquet was setup really nicely. The meal for the night was baked chicken, greens, mashed potatoes, with salad and sweet potato pie and chocolate cake (which was really good). The keynote speaker for the night was Howard Adams. Dr. Adams reminded us why we need to give back and support our institutions. He also reminded us that we can overcome any challenges we put our minds to. We got to hear from former school president Dr. Harrison B. Wilson about how the program came to be. Next, each Alumni member who was present was announced and received an award.

The 2nd day’s events consisted of students presenting research that they were currently doing or had completed over the past summer. The presentations made me feel really old, because for most of the presentations I listened to, I had no idea what the students were talking about. I wonder if this is how most people felt after listening to my presentations when I was in still in school. After the presentations we had a panel discussion with students and Alumni members. The students asked questions and received good advice and information from the panelists and other Alumni members in the crowd. After Alumni hung around a little longer to help answer any lingering questions the students had.  After the panel we enjoyed hamburgers, hot dogs, and barbecue chicken in the pre-game tailgate, before watching the NSU football team stomp Virginia State 51-28.

Overall all of the events of the weekend were really nice. There were about 40-50 Alumni present. Most were from the earlier DNIMAS classes. Their continued support of the program is an example for all to follow. I would’ve like to have had more time to mix and mingle with both the Alumni and the current students. I was able to do some networking, but it would’ve been nice to have more opportunities.

I hope we don’t wait 25 years to do this again. It was a good experience and one that will definitely bring a boost to the program.


Whitney Osborne

Posted: September 17th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: students | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

What year did you graduate?
2008
What was your major?
Chemistry (Pre-med)
Do you have any advanced degrees?
Master’s in Public Health with a concentration in Epidemiology from George Washington University
What are you currently doing (professionally)?
I am working on a research project for the District of Columbia Department of Health and I recently participated in a fellowship at the National Cancer Institute
How would you describe DNIMAS to someone who doesn’t know about the program?
DNIMAS is an honors program for students interested in math and sciences. Through DNIMAS students are exposed to several career options as well as graduate and professional education programs.
How did DNIMAS help you get to where you are?
DNIMAS helped me realize my potential and understand the importance of networking.
How did DNIMAS help you non academically/professionally?
I met several wonderful and intelligent students through DNIMAS. I also made some life-long friendships.
What activities did you participate in when you weren’t studying?
I tutored students at NSU, at my church, and at various Virginia Beach Public Schools. I also mentored three students, worked in my church’s nursery, and sang in the choir.
What was your favorite DNIMAS memory?
The family bond between the DNIMAS students.
What did you least like about DNIMAS?
The weekly paperwork I had to fill out, but that was not a big deal.
What do you think would be different about your life if you weren’t in DNIMAS?
I would not have had a chance to participate in some opportunities of a lifetime and I would be paying back loans right now.
Do you still keep in contact with people from DNIMAS?
Yes
What advice could you pass on to current DNIMAS scholars?
Take advantage of every opportunity you are given and never give up! Not many students are awarded full scholarships so be grateful for what you have.