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Hello, my name is Cornelius Holness and I am from Enfield, North Carolina. I am a senior Aviation Science major with a minor in Space Science at Elizabeth City State University in Elizabeth City, North Carolina.  As a child I was interested in space and what exactly it entailed, thinking back on my earliest childhood memories, I knew I would one day make a career in this field. It’s an interest that I truly believe will never die out, with there being so much to learn. 

While in high school, I participated in all activities, clubs and societies that were science, and space related activities, by the end of my high school, I understood that aviation was and still is an upcoming industry and anything space or science related would be my greatest passion. As a member of the Center of Excellence in Remote Sensing Education and Research (CERSER), I have the opportunity to apply to internships and attend conferences that pertain to my career interest. CERSER will help me in the development of the technical skills I will need in order to pursue not only these internships but also my future career.

My expectations for this career are very high and I feel that it will be a great field for me, whether I thrive upon being aloft or on the ground there are new technological advances and sociocultural influences that are combining to form new aviation careers. As of right now I am on the right track to go to graduate from Elizabeth City State University and I believe I’ve received the proper tutelage to become successful in whatever route I pursue.

During the spring of 2015, I was assigned to a research group called Team Bumblebee, mentored by, Mr. Edward “Clay” Swindell. Our research was based on developing a working methodology for CERSER’s use of UAVs for future remote sensing and archeological purposes and to produce new data sets archaeologists could use in future studies. We flew a DJI Phantom Vision 2+(UAV) over an archaeological site in Bertie County, NC to examine the area and to take images of an old Native American village site. Through the pictures that were taken we generated a photo mosaic showing to anomalies of the land that could possibly be signs of an old Native American village site.

During the summer of 2015, I was selected to intern at the Air Force Research Lab at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio. This internship was a ten week opportunity to work with a group of talented professionals from diverse backgrounds. The general purpose of the project was to develop a Laser Ranging System on a telescope at an observatory. This opportunity enhanced my professional skills immensely.  Effective communication was a major task during my internship. The team maintained accurate records and developed weekly briefings of my research, safeguarding the confidentiality of subjects, as necessary. I learned the telescope’s operating software and gained basic familiarity with astronomy.