Alumni Success Stories
Andrew Dugue, Contract Allocator
Andrew Dugue’ graduated from UNO with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. As an undergraduate,
he served as and active participant in LS-LAMP program. He participated in summer
research programs at AMRI (Advanced Materials Research Institute) in 2004 & 2006 at
UNO and SROP (Summer Research Opportunities Program) at the Pennsylvania State University
in 2005. He also presented his research findings at the Arizona State University LS-LAMP
conference in 2006 and 2007. Currently, he is working as a Contract Allocator with
Shell Oil Company with Innovative Technical Services in New Orleans, LA.
Osahon Eribo, Electronic Engineer and Project Manager
I graduated from the University New Orleans (UNO), with a Bachelors of Science in
Electrical Engineering December 2003. While at UNO I was an active participant in
the LS-LAMP program conducting research on Albedo at UNO, Electroactive Polymers while
on summer research at Pennsylvania State University, and working as a science and
math tutor at the UNO Student Center. During my participation in the program I presented
my research findings at DoE and LS-LAMP sponsored research conferences in the form
research papers and poster board presentations. After graduating from UNO, I began
working for the Defense Information System Agency (DISA) (September 2004-December
2007) as an Electronics Engineer where I served as the lead engineer for the Cross
Domain Solution Service Center, which provides the Department of Defense (DoD) with
the capability to transmit and receive information across two different classification
network domains. Currently, I am an Electronics Engineer and Project Manager at the
Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) where I analyze naval weapons systems and provide
subject matter expertise in the field of electronic devices. I am currently enrolled
in the non-thesis Master’s of Science program in Electrical Engineer at the University
of Delaware where I am focusing on Microelectronics and Nanoelectronics an area critical
to the projected future of naval weapons systems.
Carissa Flowers, Financial Analyst
I graduated from the University of New Orleans (UNO) with undergraduate degree in
computer Science in Fall 2011. I work for eVenture in the technical field. Building
and maintaining financial websites and reports my coworkers and I are assisting the
company in becoming more effective in responses to our customers’ needs.
eVenture Technologies, LLC, is a mentor-protege joint venture. eVenture employs information
technology professionals who are ready to assist your organization with information
system solutions, software engineering. and technical support solutions. With current
operations in New Orleans, LA, Greater Washington, D.C. and Northern Virgnia area,
Millington, TN, and Bay Pines, FL. and the ability to work other locations such as
Norfolk, VA., Charleston, SC., and San Diego, CA., we provide quick effective responses
to customer needs with quality products and services to our customers.
Mesfin Getaneh, Patent Examiner
I graduated from the University of New Orleans (UNO) in May of 2006 With a bachelor
degree in Electrical Engineering. During my stay in UNO, I learned so many things,
met many people, and develop many friendships. I achieved these things in part with
the help of Louisiana Alliance for Minority Participation (LAMP). It is such an important
part of my UNO experiences that I still remember how I first heard about LAMP. It
started with a phone call by Dr. Puri Ashok, telling me about LAMP, what it stands
for and what I can get out of it. Since then I became the beneficiary of LAMP. LAMP
gave me the opportunity to participate in four Summer Research Opportunity Programs
(SROP) at some of the nation’s top schools; Stanford University, Purdue University,
Northwestern University and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC).
The opportunity to participate in these schools gave me not only the chance to work
with one of the best professors and graduate students in their fields but also the
chance to meet amazing fellow intern students from all walks of life who later develop
a life long friendship. It also gave me the chance to go around other universities
and compete in presenting my research in front of professors and students. LAMP also
gave me the opportunity to work with high school students helping them to prepare
for college entrance exam like SAT as well as fellow UNO students helping them with
MATH and Physics.
The effect of the opportunities I got while I was in school with the help of LAMP
got extended even after I graduated from UNO. The research I have participated in
the four universities I mentioned above, the awards I have received from presenting
my researches and the tutoring I have done at my school certainly helped me to stand
out when I was applying for jobs to enter the work force and helped me to land on
my current job. I currently work for the United States Patent and Trademark Office
(USPTO). Since USPTO deals with new inventions mainly as a result of research, it
is very exciting to me to be the other side of the process. My four SROP experiences
come handy in my work everyday when I examine patent applications related to the areas
that I participated in doing research; as a result, it helped me to be a better examiner.
Thank you LAMP for all the support that you have given me.
Jeff Josiah, Senior Electrical Engineer
I am currently a Senior Electrical Engineer with Honors at Raytheon Company in Tucson,
Arizona. I am one of the youngest individuals to hold this position. Nevertheless,
I do not attribute this success to mere luck but to preparation and the skills that
were instilled in me while I was a LAMP scholar at UNO. These vital skills included
verbal communication; being comfortable presenting technical material; the ability
to reason and form scientific thoughts; and more importantly, to convert these ideas
succinctly and clearly to paper. These skills prepared me for the role and position
I currently hold at my company. Moreover, the UNO LAMP program provided me with a
love for knowledge and scientific reasoning that has fueled a lifelong drive to learn.
A few years ago, Dr. Puri encouraged my decision to pursue graduate studies. He prepared
a recommendation in 2006 that supported my application to the University of Arizona
Graduate program and since then I have completed my MASTER OF ENGINEERING degree in
Embedded Systems Design with a 4.00 GPA (Aug 2008). Time management was another skill
I learned as a LAMP scholar that definitely paid huge dividends during those busy
and stressful two years when I juggled school and a full-time job. I published a journal
article and a few conference papers as a graduate student. Writing these scientific
papers came remarkably natural to me because of the training I received as a LAMP
Additionally, in June 2009 I was invited back to my high school to give the keynote
address to the Class of 2009. I have also received numerous awards at Raytheon over
the past few years and have been selected by my peers into the honors program (a distinction
held by only less than 8% of the engineering population). I even teach classes and
give technical talks regularly at my job. I must admit though that I possess an unusual
high drive for success; however, I do believe that the LAMP program has assisted me
by providing the tools, skills, guidance, support, and direction I inevitably needed
David Tumblin, Project Manager
After starting college at the University of New Orleans in 1999, I joined the Louisiana
Alliance for Minority Participation (LAMP) program. The demands of engineering school
are substantial and do not allow for full time employment. The financial assistance
from the LAMP program made it possible for me to focus less on paying for tuition
and more on my studies. Although I was not aware of the organization’s purpose, it
was obvious from Dr Puri and the participants that the object was to “increase the
number and quality of minority students enrolling in and completing baccalaureate
degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and subsequently
going on to pursue graduate studies in STEM disciplines.
After my first year at UNO, I enrolled in the UNO Honor’s Program (3.5 GPA and above
each semester). From there, I was invited to join Tau Beta Pi as a Junior (upper 1/8
of class), Golden Key (top 20% of class) and Pi Tau Sigma (Mechanical Engineering
honor society). As a requirement of LAMP and the Honor’s Council, I was also a math
tutor and participated in various charity projects. In 2000, I was offered an internship
with the US Army Corps of Engineers (Department of Defense). In 2002, I accepted an
internship offer with Northrop Grumman Ship Systems. Later in the year, I was offered
a graduate scholarship with the National Consortium for Graduate Degrees for Minorities
in Engineering and Science (GEM), but declined the offer to start a full time position
with Northrop Grumman. After graduation, I also completed a Bachelor of Arts degree
in Physics (with a math minor) from Xavier University of Louisiana in 2004. In December
2004, I transferred to the Integrated Systems sector of Northrop Grumman in Melbourne,
After focusing on my career for a few years, I decided to choose a master’s program
with the University of Florida that accommodated my need for a class schedule that
would allow me to work full time. In 2007, I was accepted into the Outreach Engineering
Management (OEM) Program. The 20 month program lasts for 5 semesters with 2 classes
per term (1 weekend per month). My current employer, DRS Tactical Systems, funded
my master’s study to the amount of $30,000. After graduation in 2009, I have acted
in a management role in several projects with DRS Tactical Systems.
The LAMP program allowed me to meet individuals who were focused on their graduate
studies and listen to speakers in the profession who offered insight into our chosen
occupations. If it were not for the funding received from LAMP, I would not have been
able to excel as I did in my years at UNO. My performance as an undergraduate student
offered benefits that I am still realizing today.
Since 2008, I have attended the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) conference
to recruit on behalf of DRS. At conferences such as this, we are able to see and meet
the new graduates who wish to enter the work force. We are able to advise them on
career choices and discuss their hopes and dreams. Although I was not familiar with
the LAMP program when I was an undergrad, I am completely indebted to them for the
assistance given to me and to Dr Puri for showing me what was possible by participating
in the program.
Sydeaka Waston PhD, Assistant Professor of Research in BioStatistics
Obtained her Bachelor of Science in 2002 from UNO. Since then she has research HIV
immune Response at Los Alamos as part of her Dissertation, and is currently at University
of Chicago, Assistant Professor Research in BioStatistics.
Natalia Serra Varona, Static Mechanical Engineer
My name is Natalia Serra Varona. I graduated from the University of New Orleans in
2007 with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. I currently work as a Static Mechanical
Engineer for Shell International Exploration & Production Inc. through Waldemar S.
Nelson and Company. I have worked for almost 5 years in the petroleum industry. My
present goals are to continue growing in knowledge and experience in my field to soon
apply to become a licensed professional engineer. I believe the LAMP program made
an impact early in my career by inspiring me to do more research and to spark more
interest in my field. It also gave me the opportunity to network and meet other students
outside my major. LAMP also had a great financial incentive that not only pushed me
to do more research, but that also helped me buy books while I was in school. I am
very thankful to have been a part of this program that helped shape my career today.
Harry Borden, MSAP '06
Participated in NASA GSRP fellowship program.
Randy Justin PhD, Geology '07
Finished PhD from Penn State University in Earth Science (2012)
Daphne Meza, ME '12
Joined graduate studies in Biology at Purdue University.
Jolene Robin, EE '03, Applied Physics '04
Finishing Ph.D. at Stanford University in GeoSciences (spring 2013) will be joining
Conoco Phillips in Houston, TX.
Catherine Silva, Biology '07
Joined graduate studies in Biology at Purdue University.
Abbie Wood PhD, Physics '05
Completed PhD in Medical Physics from University of Chicago (currently Medical Physicist
at M. D. Anderson)