DHS Education Programs > HS-STEM Summer Internship Program > Participant Stories

DHS HS-STEM Summer Internship Program Participant Stories

Neil Forsythe

As a participant in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) HS-STEM Summer Internship program at the Naval Research Laboratory, Neil Forsythe explored the use of nanomaterials to create the next generation of body armor. Read more...

Robert Accolla

Studying nanotechnology may not sound like the typical “how I spent my summer” story, but for Robert Accolla, he enthusiastically recalls his summer studying the electrostatic properties of peptoid nanosheets at the Molecular Foundry at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Read more...

Natalie Borga

Using a footprint from a crime scene to identify the suspect’s footwear may sound like part of a CSI episode, but Natalie Borga’s summer research was actually used to support U.S. Customs and Border Protection investigations. The senior from Duquesne University was a participant in the U.S Department of Homeland Security HS-STEM Summer Internship Program. Read more...

Candice Ben

To help solve the problem of accurately diagnosing an infection of anthrax disease which can present with flu-like symptoms, Candice Ben of Dine College, spent her summer optimizing a device to test for the onset of anthrax as an undergraduate researcher at the Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Read more...

Brennan Bean

From starting an internship, to preparing for graduate school, to planning a marriage, Brennan Bean’s summer was a whirlwind. Bean, however, described it as “stressful in the best way” and relished the chance to dive into research as a participant in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security HS-STEM Summer Internship Program. Read more...

Chirawat Sanpakit

As part of a 50-person science team, Chirawat Sanpakit spent his summer on the Icebreaker HEALY supporting the Coast Guard Research and Development Center’s annual Arctic Technology Evaluations—an annual program that tests technology intended to help the Coast Guard execute its missions while overcoming the harsh environment and significant distances in the Arctic. Read more...

William Jolin

William Jolin, an environmental engineering Ph.D. student at the University of Connecticut, spent his summer conducting research at the Argonne National Laboratory in Lemont, Ill., hoping to mitigate the effects of radionuclides and to aid in similar clean-up processes to the effort at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Japan. Read more...

Heidi Hurst

In 2013, Colorado experienced disaster-scale flooding that resulted in eight confirmed deaths and six missing people. As an applied math student at Harvard University, Heidi Hurst was forced to watch from across the country as crisis gripped her hometown of Greeley, Colo. Watching her loved ones experience crisis firsthand inspired Hurst to begin researching disaster relief and emergency management. Read more...

Deshon Floyd

In the battle against cyber security threats, psychological profiling is a tool rarely used to combat digital dangers. However, as Deshon Floyd learned, psychology is as potent a tool as any fire wall or encrypted password.Over the summer months of 2015, Floyd was a participant in the U.S Department of Homeland Security HS-STEM Summer Internship Program. Read more...

Tierney Sugrue

As a participant in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security HS-STEM Summer Internship Program, Tierney Sugrue conducted research on a high profile national security issue: the detection of explosives and the machinery used to detect them. Sugrue, a chemistry major at Stevenson University, Md., relocated to the Transportation Security Laboratory in Atlantic City, N.J. for the summer to participate in the program. Read more...

Benjamin Kaiser

Benjamin Kaiser, a physics major from Elon University, spent his summer in northeast Las Vegas, not tossing around dice, but instead playing it safe for a newly developed airborne radiation detector, ARES or the Airborne Radiological Enhanced-sensor System. For 10 weeks, Kaiser focused his time on ensuring the air and ground data gathered from ARES, a computerized system flown on an aircraft, was accurate. Read more...

Jessica Elinberg

Regardless of whether undergraduate chemist Jessica Elinburg would say diamonds are a girl’s best friend, she has certainly spent a lot of time getting to know them better. Elinburg had a unique assignment as part of her summer research internship—inspecting and analyzing gemstones, particularly diamonds, at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Laboratories and Scientific Services Directorate facility in Springfield, Va. Read more...

Anton Yanchilin

Unlike many college students, Anton Yanchilin did not spend his summer lounging around in a bathing suit and soaking up the summer rays—instead he bundled up in waterproof gear and set sail on the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy, for a research cruise in the Arctic Ocean. Read more...

Holly Dixon

Holly Dixon was just interested in figuring out what kind of research she enjoyed. But after two internships, she emerged from the program with a career goal firmly in mind and is now pursuing that goal at Oregon State University in the environmental and molecular toxicology doctoral program. Read more...

Emma Lieberman

Emma Lieberman united her passion for analytics and post-disaster recovery through her participation in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security HS-STEM Summer Internship Program. By investigating the strengths and weaknesses of two post-Katrina housing recovery programs, she worked towards determining what characteristics a long-term recovery housing program should have. Read more...

Denise Williams

As a junior double majoring in forensic science and chemistry at the University of New Haven, Denise Williams wanted a first-hand look at what a chemist really does. She found it through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security HS-STEM Summer Internship Program. Read more...

Sara Harrison

As a stranger to the realm of internships, Sara Harrison was surprised by the knowledge, experience and direction she gained by participating in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security HS-STEM Summer Internship Program. Read more...

Robert Baker

A long-standing interest in national security made it easy for Robert Baker to find his way to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security HS-STEM Summer Internship Program. Read more...

Robert Baker

Stanford student Cesar Ambriz, a participant in the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security HS-STEM Summer Internship Program, is helping develop a portable diagnostic test to determine the presence of various viruses like Ebola in biological samples like blood. The goal is to have a reliable assay to aid in quick detection. Read more...

Courtney Elwell

A native of the small town of Burnt Hills in upstate New York, Courtney Elwell is spending her first summer away from home. She runs every day, visits nearby beaches, and uses the rest of her time to develop her math and chemistry skills at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Transportation Security Laboratory in New Jersey. Read more...