University of Virginia
University of Virginia

Alliance Events


George Mason University to host the 8th Annual VA-NC Alliance Research Symposium

March 29-30, 2015


View the tentative agenda here.


Download the Symposium registration form here.

Registration due by March 6th.


**You must have the free Adobe Reader to download and complete this form (do NOT open in a web browser or other PDF reader).

When completed, press the purple “Submit” button in the top right-hand corner. If you are having trouble with the “Submit” function, please save-as, and email your completed form as an attachment to **


Please make your hotel reservations by February 23rd in order to receive the group rate:



11220 Lee Jackson Memorial Highway Fairfax VA, 22030

Phone: (703) 273-6161

Group name: LSAMP GMU




We are excited to welcome our 2015 Keynote Speaker, Dr. Mark J. T. Smith!



  MARK J. T. Smith received his B.S. degree from MIT and his Ph.D. degrees from the Georgia Institute of Technology, all in Electrical Engineering. He joined the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) faculty at Georgia Tech in 1984, where he remained for the next 18 years. Although he worked primarily on the Atlanta campus, he also spent several terms during 1991-93 on the European campus in Metz, France.  Smith also served a four year term as the Executive Assistant to the President of Georgia Tech during his time there. In January, 2003, he joined the faculty at Purdue University as Head of the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering. A current member of the board, Smith has been engaged with the national ECE Department Heads Association, where he has served as Secretary/Treasurer, Vice President, and President from 2005-2008.


In 2009, Smith was named Dean of the Purdue University Graduate School. Presently, he is a member of the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee for the Council of Graduate Schools and a member of the GRE Board of Directors. Additionally, Smith is the Co-PI and architect of the CIC AGEP grant titled “Professorial Advancement Initiative,” is a member of the Purdue University ADVANCE team, and was the former PI of the Midwest Crossroads AGEP grant.


Smith’s scholarly interests are in the area of digital signal processing. Over the years, he has supervised and graduated 30 Ph.D. students. He holds the Michael & Katherine Birck endowed chair in ECE at Purdue, is a Fellow of the IEEE, and is a former IEEE Distinguished Lecturer.  He has six patents and has authored or co-authored more than 260 publications, including six international standards publications. Smith is the co-author of two introductory books, Introduction to Digital Signal Processing and Digital Filtering; co-author of the graduate level textbook, A Study Guide for Digital Image Processing; co-editor of the book, Wavelets and Subband Transforms; and editor of a new book, GPS for Graduate School – Students Share Their Stories.


In addition to professional service, teaching, and research, Dr. Smith’s past includes training and competition in the sport of fencing. He was a national champion of the United States in 1981 and 1983 and is a two-time member of the U.S. Olympic team (1980 and 1984).




The VA-NC Alliance Summer Research Program welcomes its 2014 cohort.


L to R: Ms. Jessica McCauley (U.Va.), Camille Brenke (VCU), Shawnette Toney (ECSU), Justin Reeves (U.Va.), Jasmen Cheese (VCU), Prerana Pathak (VT), Lily Mesfin (VT), Jesse Davis (GMU), Ms. Kristin Morgan (U.Va.)



Images from L to R: Students visit with scientists at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory's Greenbank Telescope in Greenbank, WV;

Students and Alliance faculty and staff play Putt Putt in Charlottesville.




Students present their research at the "Pizza and Posters Day" sponsored by the U.Va. Center for Undergraduate Excellence.

Images from L to R: Justin Reeves (U.Va.), Jasmen Cheese (VCU), and Jesse Davis (GMU) in the Astrochemistry Research Track show off their poster they created while working in the Pate Lab and at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory; Biology researcher, Camille Brenke (VCU) describes her research on fruit flies' circadian rhythms as part of the Hirsh Lab to Alliance Program Coordinator, Ms. Jessica McCauley.




Elizabeth City State University hosts the 7th Annual VA-NC Alliance Research Symposium

April 6-7, 2014.




Keynote Speaker: Dr. Daphne Y. Rainey

Dr. Daphne Y. Rainey recently joined North Carolina Central University (NCCU) as Director of the new Integrated Biosciences PhD Program. Before joining NCCU, she served as Executive Director of STEM Advancement and Special Assistant to the Associate Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs at NC A&T State University where she worked to create a continuum of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education for grades 9-12 through undergraduate studies. Dr. Rainey brought her passion for STEM education from her work at the National Science Foundation.  As Program Director with the National Science Foundation's Division of Undergraduate Education, Dr. Rainey served to develop faculty and institutional capacity in current trends in undergraduate education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics at the undergraduate level. There, she served as program lead for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring Program and as one of the team of program directors for the Math and Science Partnership Program dedicated to developing science and math capacity at the K-12 grade levels by incorporating University faculty. Prior to her work in STEM education, Dr. Rainey was a Bioinformatics Researcher at Virginia Tech, and in the plant biotechnology industry in The Netherlands. She received her PhD in Biology from the University of Colorado, and graduated with Bachelor of Science from the University of Minnesota.



The U.Va. Center for Diversity in Engineering hosts the GEM G.R.A.D. Lab for Alliance students.




The VA-NC Alliance Summer Research Program welcomes its 2013 cohort.



Back row L to R: Briana James (U.Va.), Korey Smith (JCSU), Inam Jameel (VT), Alexis Barfield (ECSU), Keturah Wallace (JCSU), Ariel Mitchell (VCU) Front row L to R: Dr. Marcus Martin (U.Va.), Prerana Pathak (VT), Jasmine Johnson (SAU), Lekha Pandya (U.Va.), Nuha Abousam (VT), Ms. Kristin Morgan and Ms. Jessica McCauley (U.Va.) Not pictured: Kiera Matthews (JCSU)



Images from L to R: Alexis Barfield (ECSU) conducting research on neural stem cell behavior in fruit flies in the Siegrist Lab;  Inam Jameel (VT) working with sunflowers in the U.Va. greenhouses as part of the Blackman Lab.



Images from L to R: Korey Smith (JCSU) looks at dissected fruit fly brains as part of his research on circadian rhythms in the Hirsh Lab; Keturah Wallace (JCSU) presents her research working with the Columbus Lab on detergent micelles at the "Pizza and Posters Day" sponsored by the U.Va. Center for Undergraduate Excellence.




Virginia Commonwealth University hosts the 6th Annual VA-NC Alliance Research Symposium April 21-22, 2013.


2013 Symposium winners L to R: 2nd place poster winner, Derrick Williams, Jr. (SAU); 1st place oral winner, Esther Jackson (GMU); 3rd place poster winner, Ellie Okwei (U.Va.); 2nd place oral winner, Alysha Simmons (VT); 1st place poster winner, Jancarla Ocampo (VT); 3rd place oral winner, Brittnei Hall (ECSU).


   Keynote Speaker: Dr. Stephanie G. Adams

Dr. Stephanie G. Adams is currently professor and department head of the Engineering Education Department in Virginia Tech’s College of Engineering where she has served in this position since August 2011. Dr. Adams is a highly accomplished scholar and administrator in the world of engineering education.
Adams is a past recipient of a National Science Foundation CAREER Award, given to support her goal of designing, developing, and validating a model for the facilitation of effective teaming in the engineering classroom. She also received the American Society of Engineering Education’s 2008 DuPont Minorities in Engineering Award. In 2006, she was an invited participant at the U.S. Frontiers in Engineering Symposium hosted by the National Academy of Engineering.
Adams’ resume also includes a 3-year stint at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) where she served as associate dean for undergraduate studies and associate professor of mechanical engineering. Prior to joining VCU, Dr. Adams spent 10 years at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln from 1998 until 2008. She started as an assistant professor of industrial and management systems engineering, and within four years moved to an administrative track. In 2002 she joined the university’s graduate studies office as interim associate dean and special assistant to the dean. In 2004, she was promoted to the assistant dean for research in engineering. In 2007 she was named the associate dean for undergraduate education.
Concurrently, from 2005 until 2007 Adams also served as a program officer with the National Science Foundation’s Division of Engineering Education. Her responsibilities at the government agency included organizing and conducting review panels on a variety of topics related to research in engineering education. She also managed the division’s budget of some $10 million. She simultaneously spent the 2005-06 academic year as an American Association for the Advancem ent of Science/National Science Foundation Science and Engineering Policy Fellow.
Adams is an honors graduate of North Carolina A&T State University, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering in 1989. In 1991 she was awarded her master’s degree is systems engineering from the University of Virginia, and she received her doctorate in interdisciplinary engineering from Texas A&M in 1998.
She holds membership in a number of organizations and presently serves on the American Society of Engineering Education’s Board of Directors and on the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration Interdisciplinary Scientific Environmental Technology Cooperative Science Center’s Advisory Board at North Carolina A&T State University.





VA-NC Alliance 2012 Summer Research Program at the University of Virginia.


Dr. Marcus L. Martin, Vice President and Chief Officer for Diversity and Equity and Principal Investigator for the VA-NC Alliance, with the 2012 VA-NC Alliance Summer Researchers.

Kennedy Johnson (Johnson C. Smith University ) and Ariel Mitchell (Virginia Commonwealth University) get to know each other at the summer research program orientation.

Professor Bill Sherman, founding director of OpenGrounds at the University of Virginia, speaks to the systems & information engineering students about the Chesapeake Bay Game.

Eugene Harris (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University) prepares materials in the biology lab.

Resident Advisor Te-Rique Barney and undergraduate researchers enjoy leisure time playing putt-putt.

Golf balls or molecules in the making? Student researchers and program personnel pause from golfing fun.

Robert Ferrari, Nicole Sciortino, Jolie Nyiramahirwe, David Vasquez, Kennedy Johnson and Danny Fischer stand on the dish of the Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia.

The summer researchers visit the Green Bank Observatory in Green Bank, West Virginia.

Kiera Matthews (Johnson C. Smith University) works in the chemistry lab.

Kennedy Johnson, Nicole Sciortino, Jolie Nyiramahirwe and David Vasquez pose for a picture after the exciting detection of a new molecule in space.

Dr. Marcus L. Martin, Vice President for Diversity and Equity and Principal Investigator for the VA-NC Alliance, welcomes everyone to the final presentations as Jolie Nyiramahirwe (Piedmont Virginia Community College) listens before presenting her team's findings.

David Vasquez (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University) presents findings from his team's summer research.

Professor Brooks Pate (University of Virginia) speaks with the student researchers who discovered the new molecule while working in his lab over the summer.

Alexander Edwards (University of Virginia) and Program Director Kristin Morgan pose for a picture at the celebratory luncheon following final presentations.

The 2012 student researchers pose for a picture in celebration of their summer accomplishments.





VA-NC Alliance Fifth Annual Symposium

March 25-26th, 2012, Johnson C. Smith University


Symposium participants from Bennett College for Women pose for a picture at the welcome dinner.

Dr. Sunil Gupta welcomes participants to the 5th Annual Alliance Symposium hosted by Johnson C. Smith University.

U.Va. student, Alicia Moore, poses with keynote speaker Joan Higgenbotham.

Symposium participants from the Bennett College for Women take a group photo.

Members of the Elizabeth City State University Alliance group.

Members of the Johnson C. Smith Alliance group.

A group photo draws smiles from symposium participants from St. Augustine’s College.

Alliance Principle Investigators and staff gather for a group photo.

Mattie Marshall, symposium organizer, and Rosalyn Hobson, chief judge, come together for a photo.

After the welcoming remarks, Dr. Martin, Vice President and Chief Officer of Diversity and Equity at U.Va. meets Dr. Pinkard,  Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Johnson C. Smith University.

A presenter explains her research during a poster session.

A student researcher explains his research to an interested onlooker.

Dr. Martin and Dr. Gupta present Jalisa Taylor of JCSU with an award for her oral research presentation.

Winners of the poster competition take a group photo with Rosalyn Hobson of VCU.





VA-NC Alliance 2011 Summer Research Program at the University of Virginia

The 2011 VA-NC Alliance summer researchers pose for a group picture outside of the Chemistry building at U.Va.

Research group meetings were a regular part of the weekly schedule and had their humorous moments!

At the end of the first week, the summer researchers travelled to the Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia to conduct observations and collect data for several days.

The 2011 VA-NC Alliance summer researchers pose for a group picture on top of the Green Bank Telescope!

One of the summer researchers is hard at work in the Chemistry lab.

The summer researchers took a break to play putt-putt with Dr. Marcus L. Martin, who is the Vice President and Chief Officer for Diversity and Equity, as well as the Principal Investigator for the VA-NC Alliance.

One of the students conducting research in systems engineering shows the group how she has used an on-line gaming system to collect data.

The group visited Fan Mountain, south of Charlottesville, to conduct observations.

Two students, one from Johnson C. Smith University and the other from U.Va., present their research at the annual Pizza & Posters event.

A student from Norfolk State University explains how his research team built the spectrometer.

One of the summer researchers from Johnson C. Smith University gives her final presentation.

A U.Va. student tells the audience how and he is fellow researcher from Virginia Tech applied for, and obtained, additional time to conduct research at the Green Bank Observatory.




   VA-NC Alliance Fourth Annual Symposium
    April 13-14th, 2011, University of Virginia

    View the 2011 schedule here.

University of Virginia President Teresa Sullivan with Alliance research poster contest winners Jasmine Mays and Anthony Speas (left and right; Johnson C. Smith University), and Arianna Seabrooks-Mattthews (center; Virginia Polyechnic Institute and State University).

Alliance principal investigators and staff gather for a group photo.

Dr. Marcus Martin, Vice President and Chief Officer for Diversity and Equity at the University of Virginia, and principal investigator of the VA-NC Alliance, addresses symposium participants during the opening event.

Ashley Barham and Jessica Jones of Bennett College for Women, at the research poster competition.

The Bennett College for Women contingent, with their principal investigator, Dr. Cristina Moreira (third from right, back row).

Ashley Moore of Johnson C. Smith University discusses her poster, Chord Recognition through Wavelet Analysis, with a symposium visitor.

Dr. Orestes Gooden and Alliance students from Elizabeth City State University.

Glasher Sheeley of Elizabeth City State University and her research poster, Model for Studying Epigenetic Memory of Hypermethylator Breast Cancer Cell Lines

Mariana Cruz of George Mason University accepting her research award

Research competition judge Dr. Joel Hockensmith, of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics at the University of Virginia, chats with a symposium participant.

University of Virginia student Albert Molina during his research presentation, Fabrication of Nanofibrous Blend Polymer Scaffold for Wound Healing.

George Mason University's Alliance program staff and participants pose for a photo.

Shoteria Pearson, Bennett College for Women, with her research poster Does the Sharing of Unclean Syringes Increase the Risk of Contracting HIV and HCV?

VCU Alliance participants are all smiles for their group photo!

Virquan Harold, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, with his research poster Design and Development of SPME Holder Device for Underground Mine Rapid Air Sampling and Air Quality Analysis

Faculty, staff, and students representing Saint Augustine's College.

Dr. Rosalyn Hobson of Virginia Commonwealth University shares her inspiration and enthusiasm with Alliance students.

Alliance student and Johnson C. Smith senior Michelle Jackson speaks to luncheon attendees about her summer research experiences.

Johnson C. Smith University student Merischia Griffin accepts her research award.

Members of the Johnson C. Smith University Alliance group.

Juliana Cano-Mejia of the University of Virginia accepts her award in the research poster competition.

Juliana Cano-Mejia poses with her poster at the research poster competition.

Michaila Latore of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University accepts the award for her research, Inhibition of E2 Viral Protein to DC-SIGN of Dendritic Cell Can Lead to Advancement in Drug Therapeutics

Kristin Morgan, program director for the Virginia-North Carolina Alliance, addresses participants.

Drs. Bernard White of George Mason University and Orestes Gooden of Elizabeth City State University, between research presentations.



* VA-NC Alliance 2010 Summer Research Program at the University of Virginia


* Alliance Symposium held at Bennett College for Women
    April 12, 2010


* Alliance Symposium held at Virginia Tech
    April 7, 2009