From August 2009 – August 2010, I held a post-doctoral position as a research and writing specialist at The University of Texas at El Paso under the auspices of The National Center for Border Security and Immigration (NCBSI). The NCBSI is a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) funded Center of Excellence housed in the Office of Strategic Initiatives. The mission of the center is to develop a Homeland Security Education Program that is relevant to its customers, or the agency’s employees, at all levels.

As part of the education program development, the center conducted an education needs assessment through a survey in order to determine the courses and topics of study that would be most important to agency employees. I was a key member in the development, distribution, assessment and presentation of the survey. I traveled throughout the United States and spoke to all levels of agency employees in the Border Patrol, Customs and Immigration Services, Transportation Security Administration, Secret Service, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement. After the assessment was completed and the data was analyzed, Dr. Gail Rioux, my research partner, and I produced a report on the findings that was released in Fall 2010.

My research and work in this position has enhanced my writing, interpersonal and administrative skills. With UTEP as the lead research institution, the Center was responsible for producing the Year One Progress Report and Year Three Plan. I was closely involved in revising, editing and redesigning the grant reports that were sent directly to the grant committee in Washington, D.C. I also initiated and planned meetings with administrative staff and government agency headquarters, and I addressed large audiences when conducting and presenting research on the assessment. Through this position, I worked with many levels of industry, government, and academe, and I am prepared to move forward into another challenging position.


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