Joel Gonzalez-Santiago
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My name is Joel Gonzalez-Santiago and I attend Elizabeth City State University. My major is Business Administration with a concentration in Management Information Systems and a minor in Remote Sensing. I am a student in Dr. Linda Hayden’s program of Center of Excellence in Remote Sensing Education Research.

My love for computers started when I was a small boy playing video games. I was able to spend many hours staring at the screen, advancing my reflexes, and listening to crash bandicoot spin. At the time I did not know it but there was a sort of wonderful power to be able to press a certain button and see the output so quickly. My love for games was motivated mostly by my parents. My mother gave birth to me at the age of seventeen while attending the local university. When my father understood his that he was to be a father he dropped the university and entered the military in order to support the family. After a few years both of my parents moved the contiguous United States where both of my parents developed their english and provided the best they could to care for my siblings and I. Their hard work encouraged me to take an extra step in school. Luckily my sixth grade teacher had also noticed the work I had put into my studies and recommended me to the Advancement Via Individual Determination program at the school which sparked a variety of opportunities for me. The AVID program guided me in not only how to organize myself but how to learn more efficiently. Also with the program's recognition, it allowed me to be a more competitive individual. I was granted admission into the ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp the summer before eighth grade. Here I was able to travel to a university and explore all the amazing fields of science and technology. It was the first place I heard the key term of STEM. That program only further influenced me to continue with my love for technology by applying and being admitted to Grassfield High School Governor's STEM Academy. This decision only amplified my passion towards the STEM field.

Currently, I continue to work with the field of STEM but through the business mindset. Therefore, still using all of my past to further work on my current field of study. My thoughts are that my technological background will allow me to connect the multiple sides of a business to create a smoother working system. My concentration of Management Information Systems, zones into the aspect of technology in the business world. My minor of Remote Sensing allows me to connect the two worlds of technology and geological science together. This mix set of skills allow me to balance and understand the information received from my classes and experiences. A large reason I chose Business over a computer science major is how the difference major process information. While the science majors mostly deal with information that stays with the people who understand, Business majors must almost always translate information in a simple way to explain to a broad audience. For this reason I am able to be useful in researching many different areas of study. I am able to evaluate data, convert it into useful information, and finally present the information. With these skills I am determined to continue my education even more.

My future plans include finishing the semester and keeping an average above a 3.5 GPA. Furthermore, I would like to continue to my previous research and expand with more research topics in my field. To understand the interactions between technology and people to better performance and utility. I hopes are that the internships I apply for will help me study for the research or give me even more ideas to research. After my four years at Elizabeth City State University I want to continue my Business degree and acquire my masters in Business. There is definitely possibilities to reach a doctoral degree but I prefer to put plan one part at a time. With my plans of furthering my own education I also hope to inspire my younger siblings to do so and display to my parents that their guidance has inspired me to complete my degree and more.