Profiles of Excellence, in their own words...

Carolyn Smith

Posted: November 16th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: students | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »
Where are you from?
Newport News, VA
Where are you now?
Glen Burnie, MD
What year did you graduate?
2008
What was your major?
Computer Science and Mathematics (dual major)
Do you have any advanced degrees?
I am currently one class away from a M.S. in Computer Science with an emphasis in Networking and Telecommunications from John Hopkins :)
What are you currently doing(professionally)?
In addition to working on my degree part-time, I work as a Penetration Tester for a contracting company.
How would you describe DNIMAS to someone who doesn’t know about the program?
DNIMAS is a four year scholarship program for students interested in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics).  It starts out with a bridging program to access your math and science skills and quickly moves to fours years packed with developing your skills in your field of study as well as developing a breadth of knowledge in general studies.  DNIMAS encourages internships every summer as well as volunteer work in the community.  The best part about DNIMAS was that there was an extremely dedicated staff behind you.
How did DNIMAS helped you get to where you are?  
DNIMAS really helped me to push myself for something greater. The speakers from APS offered different definitions of success and why all of them were built on hard work and sacrifice.
How did DNIMAS help me non academically/professionally?
Through the volunteer portion of the program, I learned the importance of giving back to the community which I probably wouldn’t have done if I hadn’t been in this program.  This experience is part of the reason I participated in several recruiting efforts (career fairs, doing classroom talks, etc.) aimed at recruiting NSU scholars.
What activities did you participate in when you weren’t studying?  
Some of the activates I participated in were Spartan Calvary, Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), ACCESS tutor, volunteering for the Red Cross, volunteering at Booker T. Washington High School, volunteering for a local boy’s basketball team doing web site maintenance, and volunteering for the C.L.E.A.N. program.
What was your favorite DNIMAS memory?
There are so many..probably going to the Sweat Box as a freshman and my friend and I leaving each other ridiculous notes on the whiteboards outside our dorm room doors.
Least liked:  I would have to say the mandatory study session were my least favorite.  I preferred to study in front of the television ;)
What do you think would be different about your life if you weren’t in DNIMAS?
I would have some student loans.  I wouldn’t have pursued any additional degrees or certifications because I wouldn’t have really known my potential or would have been too far in debt to consider it.  I probably would have a different outlook on the world as well.
Do you still keep in contact with people from DNIMAS?
Yes
What advice could you pass on to current DNIMAS scholars?
It is really important to take the time to get to know your DNIMAS family and the NSU faculty.  You might be surprised to find out just how many of them you will run into/need to network with once you graduate from NSU.  Never be afraid to ask for help.  Most importantly, take the scholarship seriously – enjoy your time as a college student but don’t forget why you are in the DNIMAS program.

Angelitta Britt

Posted: April 27th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: students | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

Where are you from?
Chesapeake, VA
Where are you currently?
Lafayette, IN
What year did you graduate?
2008
What was your major?
Applied Mathematics
Do you have any advanced degrees?
Applied Statistics, M.S., Purdue University (Expected 2011)
What are you currently doing (professionally)?
Graduate Student
How would you describe DNIMAS to someone who doesn’t know about the program?
DNIMAS is a full academic 4 year scholarship that covers all expenses (room & board, fees & tuition, & book allowance). It is a rigorous program geared towards students pursuing a degree in one of the the STEM fields. Recipients of this prestigious scholarship are active members in their community, positive role models amongst their peers, and have demonstrated academic excellence. Once admitted into the program you are required to mentor, tutor, volunteer, participate in summer internships, and excel in your coursework.
How did DNIMAS help you get to where you are?
It put me in a community amongst individuals with similar goals and mindsets and positioned me in an optimal networking environment. It provided me with the exposure, opportunities, and resources necessary to enhance myself academically, professionally, socially, and personally. Everything that I needed to be successful was always within reach. I was given mentors (faculty, staff, and upperclassmen) to assist in my growth and I was provided with information to excel and expand outside of NSU (weekly seminars & talks).
How did DNIMAS help you non academically/professionally?
It taught me that good enough is not satisfactory and beyond better there’s always best. DNIMAS showed me how to set goals and never give up on what you want. I learned to embrace my strengths and how to use and overcome my weakness. Through the program I realized my potential, learned to optimize my time and strategize, and most importantly how to accept failure and use setbacks as stepping stones to main goals.
What activities did you participate in when you weren’t studying?
Mentoring, Tutoring, Math Club, DNIMAS Student Association, STARS, research, and GRACE Campus Ministries.
What was your favorite DNIMAS memory?
One was during my senior year when a group of us went out to the Beach. We had the time of our lives. Also, I always enjoyed celebrating birthdays and holidays with my peers. We always tried to make them extra special since most of them were away from home. I cannot reveal the madness that occurred.
What did you least like about DNIMAS?
Although being placed in a prestigious learning environment with individuals pursuing similar goals to you is a plus, it sometimes is also a downfall. Sometimes you don’t get the chance to get the full college experience because you are always grouped together. You have to constantly strive to stand out and to expose yourself to the various other opportunities that are available around campus. It keeps you focused, but it can also make you isolated. Be sure to step outside of your comfort zone but to remember to prioritize.
What do you think would be different about your life if you weren’t in DNIMAS?
Without the mentoring and opportunities provided to me through DNIMAS I would not be as successful, focused, driven, and ahead as I am.
Do you still keep in contact with people from DNIMAS?
Everyday. I have created an abundance of life-long friends through the program.
What advice could you pass on to current DNIMAS scholars?
Never give up. Work hard and when you think you can’t work anymore…..work harder. Acknowledge and utilize the wealth of resources, opportunities, and diversity placed right in front of you. Don’t take it for granted. Open your minds to think outside the box. Nothing is impossible. Listen to your mentors and faculty advisors. Take heed to correction and suggestions to improve. & most importantly, reach back and help someone else.

Cheree Armstrong

Posted: April 27th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: students | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

 

Where are you from?
Chesapeake, VA
Where are you currently?
Chesapeake, VA
What year did you graduate?
2008
What was your major?
Optical Engineering
Do you have any advanced degrees?
No
What are you currently doing (professionally)?
Nuclear Engineering at Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Portsmouth, VA
How would you describe DNIMAS to someone who doesn’t know about the program?
DNIMAS is a program that encourages success amongst is students.  It provides the resources and support necessary to successfully complete a degree in a major in the field of science and technology.
How did DNIMAS help you get to where you are?
It provided me with a solid foundation and work ethic to succeed in the field of engineering.
How did DNIMAS help you non academically/professionally?
DNIMAS gave me the confidence to know that I have the ability to achieve anything that I pursue in life.  It also afforded me the opportunity to network with professional graduates of the DNIMAS program.
What activities did you participate in when you weren’t studying?
While in college I tutored in the ACCESS tutorial center and participated in various organizational programs.
What was your favorite DNIMAS memory?
Hanging out and spending time with my classmates.
What did you least like about DNIMAS?
Nothing :)
What do you think would be different about your life if you weren’t in DNIMAS?
I would not have developed into the well rounded individual that I am today.
Do you still keep in contact with people from DNIMAS?
Yes
What advice could you pass on to current DNIMAS scholars?
Maintain a good work ethic and a good relationship with professors and classmates.

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.

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.