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July 18 , 2008
CONTACT: Ward Mullens
ward.mullens@emich.edu 734.487.4400

EMU, Detroit Public Schools collaborate to help students explore opportunities in information technologies, geo-spatial fields

YPSILANTI — Eastern Michigan University and the Detroit Public Schools are collaborating on a grant from the National Science Foundation which supports a three-year project to help high school students explore opportunities in geo-spatial fields and information technologies.

The program, the Detroit iTest Youth Project (DiTYP), is funded by a $889,000 grant from NSF.

“The program will provide two cohorts of 100 high school students from Detroit with training and hands-on practice in a variety of information technology (IT) management tools,” said Yichun Xie, professor of geography and geology at EMU and project director for DiTYP. “The program will leverage online learning environments, online mentoring and support activities, as well as direct face-to-face training to engage the students in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) learning in an urban community-based problem solving environment.”

EMU will host the first group of Detroit students July 20-25 for a Summer Immersion Workshop. The workshop will bring 60 students to EMU’s campus to live and learn. They will be given entry-level training in geographic information systems (GIS) and information assurance (IA). Students also will meet with community leaders to learn about careers in GIS and IA.

Several events are open to the public. They are:

• “Cyber Security and Communications – A New Frontier for Career,” presented by Dr. Brenda Oldfield, director for education, training and Workforce Development, National Cyber Security Division, US Department of Homeland Security, July 20, 4-5 p.m.,

• “Youth in Disadvantaged Communities Should Be Aware of Promising Careers in Information Technologies,” July 21, 10-11 a.m.,

• “Threat and Vulnerability Analysis – The Need for Intelligence,” by Christine Nickell, chief, National IA Education and Training Program, National Security Agency, July 23, 8:30-9:15 a.m.

• Community College and Business/Industry Job Fair, July 23, 6-7:30 p.m.

All public events will be in Roosevelt Hall Auditorium. For more information, call 487.8655.

During the course of the entire program, students will receive about 250 hours of training and hands-on experience in IT and geographic information systems and technology (GIS/T). They also will be trained in information assurance and Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) operations. Students will serve a summer internship with a Detroit city department or contractor to work on a real project.

“They will have an opportunity to be exposed to new technology. They will learn that if they work hard and study hard, they can have opportunities in other areas,” Xie said.


Eastern Michigan University is a public, comprehensive university that offers programs in the arts, sciences and professions. EMU prepares students with the intellectual skills and practical experiences to succeed in their career and lives, and to be better citizens.

Editor's Note: Looking for an expert source for a story? Check out EMU's Eastern Experts online at www.emich.edu/univcomm/easternexperts.

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