2019, Honors College
Doreen Joseph (Class of 2019) is a motivated scholar and student leader. Her research has focused on technology, internet security, and public safety. During her internship with the Department of Defense, Doreen took part in the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship for the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Boulder, Colorado. Always ready to apply her research to address practical issues, Doreen conducted a study of 4G LTE network security, performing penetration testing on a segment of networks.
Doreen credits her growth as a researcher to her experience as a freshman in the HNRS 110 course. Now, as a Peer Research Mentor (PRM), Doreen supports other undergraduate researchers in Research Methods courses. Doreen describes her experience working with her peers to guide them as they develop their research skills, saying:
“The best part about being a PRM is helping students get more out of their topic than they could have imagined when they decided on that topic. Nothing is as rewarding as guiding a student through the process of exploring the multiple perspectives and conversations pertaining to a particular topic. Not only do I learn a lot from this, but so do the students I work with. I think this is something that all students struggle with coming out of high school (including myself), especially during the first few weeks in [Research Methods]. However, once I see the finished products at the end of the semester, addressing multiple perspectives with evidence-based reasoning, all I can do is celebrate with the students because that itself is probably the greatest accomplishment from the class.”
While Doreen is widely recognized as a student leader both in the Honors College and in the Mason community more broadly, she is also active in civic engagement that extends beyond the campus borders. In her work as a student leader, Doreen seeks out opportunities to address inequality by advocating on the behalf of marginalized communities and working to empower students of color. As the Resource Chair for Honors College Black Ambition, Doreen describes her work as “striving to dissolve minority stigmas.”
Additionally, in her role as the Pre-College Initiative Chair and Vice President for Masons’ chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), Doreen works to support and encourage students in K-12 schools to aspire to and pursue a college education. She has led programs at schools in the DC-Metro area to provide information and resources to students from underrepresented backgrounds. Doreen summed up her mission stating, “My goal is to increase the percentage of underrepresented populations in the STEM fields through student empowerment.”
In Fall 2017, Doreen won the National Collegiate Honors Council Freddye T. Davy Student Scholarship. Named for Dr. Davy, former Director of the Honors Program at Hampton University, this award recognizes outstanding students who present at the NCHC Annual Conference.
Doreen points to the guidance she has received from Honors College faculty and staff as being instrumental in helping her to find a challenging and rewarding pathway through college:
“I truly appreciate the Honors College faculty because they have really pushed me to get involved and stay involved with the Honors College and be the best I can be. I am especially grateful for [my faculty advisor] Dr. Alligood, who helped me realize that I needed to be in a more challenging major in the first few weeks of my freshman year. She wouldn’t let me waste my potential. I feel like the Honors College really cares and is invested in my success, which pushes me to be a better student. For that, I am very thankful.”