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Greetings, my name is Ya’ Shonti Bridgers, I am originally from Windsor, NC. I am a freshman Mathematics major and Education minor at Elizabeth City State University (ECSU) located in Elizabeth City, North Carolina. Throughout school I always had an interest in math. My view on math really changed my senior year when I met my math teacher, TreAsia Fields. Upon entering ECSU, I was accepted into the Center of Excellence for Remote Sensing Education and Research (CERSER) scholarship program, which my math teacher introduced me to. This program provides learners with undergraduate research knowledge, educational assistance, and help with obtaining internships. Through CERSER I have had the opportunity to attend conferences, produce professionally, and also gain scientific research knowledge.

I have had the opportunity to gain internships that will benefit me in my career field, as well as making me a more educated and well rounded individual. During the summer of  2011, I interned with the Undergraduate Research Experience in Ocean, Marine, and Polar Science (URE OMPS) program at Elizabeth City State University . While there I learned to use more computer applications such as Adobe Dreamweaver, Adobe Photoshop, and ENVI. I also took part in a research project. The purpose of this project was to investigate the disappearance of a small ice shelf near the pine island glacier. I worked under the mentorship of  Dr. Malcolm Lecompte.

My summer internship gained me the opportunity to attend the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) conference in the spring, which was held in Loveland Colorado.  Here at this conference my research team and I did a poster presentation on our project titled “Temporal reduction of the Ice Shelf in Pine Island Bay Antarctica: 1972 – 2003.” While here we had the opportunity to meet Dr. Robert Bindschadler, leader of the Antarctic Surface Accumulation and Ice Discharge research.

During the 2012 summer, I had the pleasure of interning with the Summer, Technology, Engineering, and mathematics (STEM) Initiative Summer Scholars Institute at Indiana University at Bloomington (IUB). The program's main focus is to help increase the number of African-American graduate students, scholars, and professionals in the STEM disciplines through research opportunities. During the program, I worked under the mentorship of Jerome Mitchel. The title of my research was “Designed a Curriculum for Communicating Parallel and Distributed Computing Concepts to Under Served Communities.”

During my undergrad career, I have taken part in several research experiences. During 2012-2013 school year I was a member of the Antarctic team, under the mentorship of  Dr. Malcom LeCompte.  In 2011, an ECSU research team discovered a small ice shelf in Pine Island Bay, Antarctica had progressively receded until it disappeared completely in 2003.The purpose of  the 2011-2012  project was to improve the accuracy of the estimate of the original calculations. Higher accuracy was obtained by exploiting ENVI's ability to present a higher resolution image of the area being measured and by improving the visibility of the Basal Stress Boundary used as a boundary for the ice shelf.

For the summer of  2013, I again interned STEM Summer Scholars Institute at Indiana University at Bloomington. This summer my team’s research project goal was to create a near perfect design/wireframes,with the features we observed, that will improve interaction between the educational content and the user. I worked under the principal investigator Dr. Geoffery Fox, and worked specifically with a Ph.D. student Siddharth Maini.

My goal is to become a mathematics educator. The goals that I have set for myself may seem high for some people and not enough for others but in my eyes they are my stepping-stones towards the future that I desire to have. These goals include graduating in May 2014. After receiving my bachelor’s degree from Elizabeth City State University, I will attend graduate school to pursue my master's, to further my studies in Mathematics.