Homeland Security Summer Scholars Academy

The Homeland Security Summer Scholars Academy is a 10 week summer research institute where undergraduate students work closely with UTEP professors engaged in new or ongoing research in the domains border security and immigration. Applications from students throughout the United States are solicited, and student-scholars are identified through a competitive selection process. In addition to working with a faculty mentor, emerging scholars with a demonstrated interest in homeland security-related careers are provided the opportunity to increase their knowledge of career possibilities in homeland security through visits with homeland security related agencies and scheduled interactions with DHS personnel. Through these visits and interactions, participants develop an enhanced understanding of critical issues in border security and immigration. At the end of the 10 week program, scholars are required to present the results from their summer research projects before a panel of UTEP faculty and local homeland security stakeholders.

Agencies within our stakeholder support network for the summer program include: Customs and Border Protection, Transportation Security Administration, Immigration Customs and Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, El Paso Intelligence Center, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Texas Department of Public Safety, Texas Division of Emergency Management, and El Paso County Sheriff’s Emergency Management Unit and their Forensic Investigative Crime Scene Unit. For the 2014 edition of our summer internship program the NCBSI is announcing the launch of a second program option involving an imbedded internship within a homeland security related agency.


List of students selected for the Homeland Security Summer Scholars Academy 2014


Program Option One: Research
  • Name: Teresa Oetter

    Institution: Emory University

    Major: Bachelors in Political Science & Mathematics & Bachelors in Spanish & Portuguese Studies

    Project: Perception of Border Security Among Immigrants

  • Name: Tre Branch

    Institution: University of Albany

    Major: Bachelors in Sociology

    Project: Mental Health of Hispanics in a Border City

  • Name: Melissa Armendariz

    Institution: University of Texas El Paso

    Major: Bachelors in Psychology

    Project: The influence of support and coercion on perceptions of injustice and decision making among immigrants

  • Name: Suzanne Weedon

    Institution: University of Albany

    Major: Bachelors in Criminal Justice & Psychology

    Project: The Social Psychological Process of Radicalization

  • Name: Paul Quinonez

    Institution: Gonzaga University

    Major: Bachelors Political Science & Economics

    Project: Policing Immigrant Neighborhoods on the Border: How do the Police and Immigrant Communities Perceive Each Other in El Paso, Texas?

  • Name: Leonard Arambam

    Institution: University of Buffalo

    Major: Bachelors in Industrial Engineering

    Project: Game Theory for Border Security

  • Name: Alexis Trumble

    Institution: Clemson University

    Major: Bachelors in Sociology & Bachelors in Psychology

    Project: Transnational Criminal Organizations Activity Enhanced Through the Use of Social Media in the El Paso Region?

  • Name: Nicholas Sun

    Institution: Rutgers University

    Major: Bachelors in Statistics-Mathematics

    Project: Transnational Criminal Organizations Activity Enhanced Through the Use of Social Media in the El Paso Region

Program Option Two: Imbedded Internships
  • Name: Christina Jutzi

    Institution: University of Pittsburgh

    Major: Bachelors in Administration of Justice& Bachelors in Natural Sciences

    Internship: El Paso County Sheriffs Crime Scene Unit

  • Name: Meagan Abel

    Institution: University of Texas at Austin

    Major: Bachelors in English Honors, Government, & Linguistics

    Internship: Transportation Security Administration

  • Name: Andres Vergara

    Institution: University of Florida

    Major: Masters in Public Affairs

    Internship: El Paso County Sheriffs Crime Scene Unit

  • Name: James Pevey

    Institution: Utah State University

    Major: Bachelors in Global Communication

    Internship: Customs & Border Protection-Office of Border Patrol

  • Name: Adam Ondo

    Institution: University of Rochester

    Major: Bachelors Geology & History

    Internship: Customs & Border Protection-Office of Border Patrol

  • Name: Joseph Kolodrubetz

    Institution: University of Miami

    Major: Bachelors in Religious Studies

    Internship: Customs & Border Protection-Office of Field Operations

  • Name: Rodrigo Borunda

    Institution: University of Texas El Paso

    Major: Masters in Political Science

    Internship: Customs & Border Protection-Office of Field Operations

  • Name: Katherine Melton

    Institution: University of North Texas

    Major: Bachelors in Emergency Administration and Planning

    Internship: Customs & Border Protection-Office of Field Operations

  • Name: Emily Hugo

    Institution: University of Mississippi

    Major: Bachelors in Forensic Chemistry

    Internship: Transportation Security Administration

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