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Personal Statement

I have always enjoyed technology and attempting to discover the unknown. The ability to make complex problems seem simple via methodical problem solving has been a passion of mine. This is why I have chosen to major in mathematics and minor in computer science. My name is Joanelle Baptiste and I am a senior at Elizabeth City State University in Elizabeth City, North Carolina.

As early as the third grade, through middle, and high school, mathematics has always been my favorite and strongest subject. The everyday use of computers and computer technology will virtually become our future, as it is an ever-evolving field. In wondering how I could be apart of this technological revolution, I decided to minor in the subject. With my future in mind, especially as a minority and a female, this has proven to be one of the best decisions I have made in terms of being more competitive for graduate school and marketable in the job sector.

My future includes a vast interest in mathematics and technology. In order to lead the free world in technological advances in the future, we as a country must be equipped with the best and the brightest, working towards advances in science and technology. As a student researcher of the Office of Naval Research (ONR) Undergraduate Research Program at Elizabeth City State University, I consider myself to be among the best and the brightest working to improve advances in technology. ONR's mission is to provide its participants with a supportive learning environment and offers high quality instruction that employs new technologies.

As a result of participating in this program, I have been privileged to conduct research throughout the academic year (2003-2004, 2004-present), travel the world to science/technology conferences, and also to learn about numerous platforms and software packages such as Dreamweaver, Front Page, UNIX, HTML, Remote Sensing, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Pagemaker, Adobe Premier, Macromedia Fireworks, and Macromedia Authorware. In my junior year, I was a member of the Multimedia Research team. Our team project was entitled "Designing the CERSER Promotional Package". We built an informational package utilizing a variety of software packages used in multimedia design. The informational package is composed of fact sheets, brochures, and multimedia showcase CD’s. These informational packages will be used at conferences, meetings, and events to promote the missions and goals of the Center of Excellence in Remote Sensing Education and Research (CERSER). Presently as a senior, I am a second year member of the Multimedia Research team. Our team project is entitled “Implementing an Application Server for the CERSER Data Archive”.

Internships have also played an integral role in my commitment to ongoing professional development. In the summer of 2003, I participated in the National Association for Equal Opportunity (NAFEO) in higher education internship opportunity in Washington, D.C. I was assigned to work in the Information Technology (IT) department of a governmental agency, the Department of Veterans Affairs. My assignment was to create a database to track all Project Initiation Requests (PIRs) that was being conducted in the IT department. Project Initiation Requests (PIRs) are required by law and court order ruling and also by congressional or presidential directive. I contributed significantly to the submitting, tracking, and reporting of one hundred thirty (130) Project Initiation Requests (PIRs) in an Access database. In the summer of 2004, I participated in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Educational Partnership Program for Minority Serving Institutions internship opportunity. I was assigned to work in the National Geodetic Survey (NGS) department of the National Ocean Service (NOS). My research project was entitled “A Comparison of Continuation Models for Optimal Transformation of Gravimetric Data”.

ONR is committed to providing comprehensive, high quality education that prepares its members for rewarding professional careers or graduate studies in mathematics, science, and technology. My major in mathematics strategically positions me where I need to be to take advantage of opportunities in math and technology. In addition, I believe in my potential to attend graduate school because of my distinguished qualifications: strong work ethic, positive attitude, and always being ready to embrace change and opportunity. I see myself as a self-described optimist and see no obstacle large enough to keep me from pursuing my goals of improving lives for Americans through math and technology. As Dr. Ronald McNair said, “Before you can make a dream come true you must first have one”, mine are written down in detail and I am working towards achieving them.