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My name is Jefferson Ridgeway, currently I am a freshman at Elizabeth City State University (ECSU) with a major in Computer Science.  My love for computers started around ninth grade and has grown ever since. During my senior year of high school, I made the decision to major in a career that I knew that I would love to do, and that was computer science. 

I first started to experience scientific research in summer of 2011.  I was a participant in the Summer Leadership Minority Camp at the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics in which, I was required to do research for a week at North Carolina State University.  During that week I gained experience in the learning about the process of gel electrophoresis.  At the end of the program we presented our research in front of other professors.

The next summer, I was chosen out of a pool of applicants to attend a Science Research Camp at North Carolina Central University. I was placed into a research team and we were tasked with making indium selenide nanowires, as a substitute for the expensive silicon solar panels that are currently on the market.  In comparison, the nanowires would not only be inexpensive to the general public but would have a higher output of usable energy than their silicon solar panel opponents.  The concept was to make the indium selenide nanowires from silicon wafers and “grow” them so that they are raised “straight”.  Looking under the electron microscope after the indium selenide nanowires are grown from being in the tube furnace, we would look to see if the nanowires grew how the nanowires were suppose to grow theoretically.  My team and I had to present our research after the program that summer to a series of professors, who afterwards critiqued our research.

 During the summer of 2013, I attended the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation Program at Elizabeth City State University. The completion of this program included two classes which provided me six credit hours toward my degree completion in addition to research experience . 

The research involved how two of the chemistry gas laws, Charles law and Avogadro’s law, were a part of hydrogen cell vehicles and why there needs to be implementation of vehicles on the Elizabeth City State University’s Campus to reduce the carbon footprint of the school.  In the research aspect of the program, two separate experiments were done in order to acquire our data.  After obtaining our data, we had to analyze and see what it meant in the terms of our purpose for the experiment.

                 As an incoming freshman, I was awarded the Center of Excellence in Remote Sensing Education and Research (CERSER) scholarship from Dr. Linda Hayden.  Through this program, I am able to participate in research opportunities and presentation of my research at different forums that I will be able to travel too while still being able to focus on my classwork.  Skills that I learned from being a participant in the scholarship range from public speaking and presenting my research to the public to going to “Change The World: Science and Engineering Career Fair at Dulles Town Center presented by the National Science Foundation” to helping out with the Celebration of Women in Mathematics Day. 

In the spring semester of 2014 of my freshman year at ECSU, I participated in a research group in the CERSER program.  Our research team investigated updating the CERSER TeraScan Cataloguing System and the TeraScan Image Processing Script by using languages such as php, MySQL, html, dreamweaver and using TeraScan software. This experience taught me a lot about using TeraScan software and writing scripts in the TeraScan server. I was also able to annotate images and had grids and overlays.

My major is currently Computer Science.  After completion of my undergraduate degree I plan on obtaining my Master’s and Doctorate in Network Security.   I plan on reaching this goal by continuing to do research and do internships that will give me the experience that is needed for my growth in Network Security.