The U.S. Department of Homeland Security sees the promise in West Virginia University junior Byron Patterson – which is why it is paying for him to go to school.

Patterson, a mechanical and aerospace engineering major from Upper Black Eddy, Pa., has been awarded one of only 11 U.S Department of Homeland Security Undergraduate Scholarship given nationwide.

“I am extremely happy for Byron and for all the WVU students who rise to the challenge of competing on the national stage. It is such a pleasure to work with them through the ASPIRE office,” said Director Lisa DeFrank-Cole. “Whether or not a student receives a scholarship, the process of discovery they go through by completing the application is a very worthwhile endeavor.”

The scholarship is intended to ensure a highly qualified science and technology community to contribute to the Department of Homeland Security’s mission. It includes full tuition and fee waivers for two academic years, a $1,000 stipend per month for each academic year and a $5,000 stipend for a 10-week summer internship experience.

“Other than financial benefits, this scholarship is going to help me get more research experience and hopefully make contacts in the field,” Patterson said.

Recipients are required to complete an off-campus research internship at the Department of Homeland Security or an affiliated facility; and complete a one-year, full-time service requirement in a relevant homeland security field. The service requirement will be fulfilled with paid employment.

Patterson hopes to complete his internship and service requirement working with wind turbine technology or unmanned aerial vehicles, which is a technology that can be further developed for border security, he said.

At WVU, Patterson has been participating in circulation control research applied to wind turbines through WVU’s College of Engineering and Mineral Resources’ Center for Industrial Research Applications.

Patterson’s long term goals include obtaining his doctorate and working with rotocraft and hypersonic flight technology.

To be eligible, a student must be a U.S. citizen, have a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.3 or higher and be enrolled in a homeland security science, technology, engineering or mathematics field.

For more information on the scholarship, visit .

For more information on WVU’s ASPIRE office, visit .



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