Profiles of Excellence, in their own words...

Erica Veal

Posted: December 8th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: students | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »


Where are you from?
Portsmouth, VA
Where are you currently?
Portsmouth, VA (I love this place!!!)
What was your major?
Applied Mathematics
When did you graduate from DNIMAS?
2004
Do you have any advanced degrees?
Masters in Optical Engineering and Computer Science, all from NSU.
What are you currently doing (professionally)?
Typing (tehehe…)  Maybe you mean what’s my job: I’m a Geometry Teacher turned Nuclear Engineer
How would you describe DNIMAS to someone who doesn’t know about the program?
DNIMAS is the best opportunity that you can ask for.  It allows you to make friends that will soon be pivotal people in your life as well as the world.  DNIMAS grants you a passage to worlds otherwise unknown.
How did DNIMAS help you get to where you are?
I wouldn’t have had a college education and learned about the world of education and opportunity.
How did DNIMAS help you non academically/professionally?
It gave me a whole host of friends that I proudly call my family.
What activities did you participate in when you weren’t studying?
Math Club, DNIMAS Student Association, NSBE, Society of Physics Students
What was your favorite DNIMAS memory?
Freshmen year…yes, the whole thing!
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 be working at Wendy’s …still
Do you still keep in contact with people from DNIMAS?
HELL’S YEAH
What advice could you pass on to current DNIMAS scholars?
Education is taking advantage of all the time, take advantage of this opportunity….Oh and APS really does help in the end…hehehehe

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.

Stephen A. Small

Posted: September 9th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: students | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment »
What year did you graduate?
2007
Where are you from?
Suffolk, VA
What was your major?
Applied Mathematics
Do you have any advanced degrees?
No
What are you currently doing (professionally)?
After 3 years of teaching high school math, I am now a teacher on the Portsmouth campus of Tidewater Community College.
How would you describe DNIMAS to someone who doesn’t know about the program?
DNIMAS is a scholarship program geared towards the sciences. Though some of the meaning of the acronym “DNIMAS” has changed it still provides those who are less represented in the science field a chance to advance. The education and experiences provided through the DNIMAS program makes any participant competitive with any other student from another college or university.
How did DNIMAS help you get to where you are?
First of all, DNIMAS is a full scholarship program. So without a degree, I would not be where I am today. But DNIMAS instilled a work ethic that is beneficial in the work world. Through the various tutoring and mentor programs provided through DNIMAS, I discovered a love not only for math but for education. These programs, along with the classmates and faculty that I met, helped me get to where I am. The relationships from college secured me a job upon graduation, and for that I will forever be grateful to the DNIMAS family.
How did DNIMAS help you non academically/professionally?
DNIMAS helped me network. While not in class I often pursued other activities on campus with my friends, who I met through DNIMAS. As I stated about relationships, a friend’s mom (from DNIMAS) helped me get my first teaching job. DNIMAS, in my opinion, made me a well-rounded individual.
What activities did you participate in when you weren’t studying?
I was active in SGA, the dance team (XClusive), was a tutor for ACCESS and STARS, dorm room step shows, and joined Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.
What was your favorite DNIMAS memory?
My favorite DNIMAS memory has to be receiving my jacket and medallion. It’s something to be said if you go all four years through the program. I remember my DNIMAS advisor at the time (2003) telling us to look to our left and right, that person wont make it. Talk about striking fear in your heart! But knowing that I made it and completed all requirements for graduation made the experience that much more enjoyable.
What did you least like about DNIMAS?
Not too much, but the mandated hours of community service. Of course I love doing community service but I didn’t agree that a student who has the grades should be kicked out the program for failure to complete hours. But hey, I did mine!
What do you think would be different about your life if you weren’t in DNIMAS?
I wouldn’t have met the people that I met if it wasn’t for DNIMAS. A lot of them I consider family and I couldn’t picture life without them. I also met my biological father as a result of me partaking in an internship that was mandated through DNIMAS. So that experience alone changed my life and it was because of DNIMAS. Professionally, who knows where I would be if it wasn’t for me getting a scholarship to go to school. I do know I’d be in somebody’s debt….so thanks DNIMAS for making me debt free!!
Do you still keep in contact with people from DNIMAS?
Of course! The people I hung out with in school I keep in contact with through phone, facebook, twitter, etc.
What advice could you pass on to current DNIMAS scholars?
Stay focused. The parties, your friends, the job (the one you’re NOT supposed to have) will all be there. Realize your school work is the most important thing while you’re on scholarship. Once you realize that and prioritize your responsibilities, then you are liberty to have all of the fun you want.