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Professional Statement

Through life experiences, it has become apparent that the true key to success is determination, staying productive, and molding one's self into a well-rounded individual.

I am Illiana Thomas, a sophomore majoring in Mathematics with a minor in Secondary Education at Elizabeth City State University. Participating in research under the advisement of Dr. Linda Hayden in conjunction with the Center of Excellence in Remote Sensing Education and Research (CERSER), currently I maintain a cumulative grade-point-average of 3.51. Throughout productive research experiences, I have been able to grasp the key elements that will guarantee competitiveness throughout my academic years and into future career endeavors.it

During my freshman year at Elizabeth City State University, I was able to take courses that allowed me to begin to mold a foundation for future studies. I have taken special interest in Computer Science, Business Law, and Calculus & Analytical Geometry, as they have pushed me to apply concepts in my research and everyday life.

Being involved in extracurricular activities assists in building one's character. Entering college, I involved myself with tutoring peers, working as the statistician for the University's Athletics Department, the manager for Mr. Elizabeth City State University 2007-2008, Alumni of the Math and Science Education Network, as well as an undergraduate researcher for the Center of Excellence in Remote Sensing Education and Research (CERSER). Being fortunate enough to explore these activities has enhanced my use of mathematics and the ability to maintain a fairly high grade-point-average.

With CERSER I have completed two research projects and currently in the process of a third experiment. During spring of 2007, I was a member of the Multimedia Team. Our project was "Developing Standards and Practices for Archiving Multimedia Material." We constructed a digital library for the NIA archives by establishing procedures for digitizing images not currently in the library. After digitizing the images we documented the contents of the library utilizing an established set of metadata standards and practices. Digitizing was completed utilizing hardware and software currently in place within the CERSER labs while documentation was completed with Active Server Pages and Microsoft Access. Through this library we made it easier to locate picture, text, audio, and video media in our database. Over the summer of 2007 I was accepted into in the Undergraduate Research Experience, as a member of the TeraGRID team, it2where our purpose was to construct a Linux (LAMP) Server. Currently I am a member of the Math Education team where we are creatively involving elementary students in Math Sprints. Math Sprints are used to assist the students and enable them to have fun competing in various components of math while training to raise the state’s average math scores.

Attending and presenting my research at conferences is an essential part of my education. I have traveled to Baltimore, Maryland (September 2006) and attended the Minorities in Research Science Conference where key seminars were: "Research Opportunities in Non-Research Companies", "Corporate Career Counseling", and "DIEL Life: Success and Survival Guide." In April 2007, I traveled to New Hampshire to attend University of New Hampshire's Undergraduate Research Conference: Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Symposium. Here I was given the chance to present my research conducted during the academic year, as well as learn more about the research of my peers. In June 2007, I attended Bowie State University's Introduction to Interdisciplinary Computational Science Education for Educators Conference. Here I was able to grasp the ideas of Super Computing in the classroom. Given the opportunity to travel is great because it allows one the exposure to network and share research as well as gain a better understanding of what our peers are researching.

Upon graduation in 2010 with a Bachelors of Science in Mathematics Education, I look forward to continuing my education. Once being accepted into a Doctorate's program, I will obtain my Ph.D. in itorder to further my studies in Mathematics. I have a passion for learning, and therefore I intend to remain in school and always seek further education in my field.

With my Ph.D. in math education I want to set an example for my students. It is essential that young students understand the importance of a good education. As a math teacher for high school, I want to do more than educate, I also want to communicate and share the jewels of knowledge. Through my long-lasting determination, courage, and competitiveness, I look forward to sharing my greatest assets of creativity and uniqueness with all those that I come into contact.