2022 FL-DSSG Summer Internship

The Florida Data Science for Social Good (FL-DSSG) program is an intensive 12-week internship that invites students to tackle data-rich projects that have the potential for substantial social impact. The 2022 program is being run in a limited capacity and remotely. The 2022 FL-DSSG program supports six interns from various disciplines and three nonprofit organizations in Florida. The 2022 FL-DSSG summer internship program starts on June 6th and ends on August 26th, 2022. Interns will present the project results at an open to public Big Reveal event in the third week of August. The 2022 FL-DSSG program is supported by the FIS Distinguished Professorship Award. Dr. Dan Richard from the Department of Psychology and Dr. Karthikeyan Umapathy from the School of Computing spearhead the FL-DSSG program.



Social Good Projects

FL-DSSG projects address wicked problems, issues that have been persistent social issues in our community for many years. FL-DSSG program obtains relevant data from the community partners pertinent to the issue and assists partners in making data-driven decisions for addressing their wicked social problem. Wicked problems addressed in the 2022 program include creating a system for rating after school arts program, building a dashboard for viewing Florida voter profiles, and identifying communities where a sports-based mentoring program can make an impact.

Cathedral Arts Project – A System for Comparing and Rating After School Arts Programs

Cathredral Arts Project (CAP) instructs, instills, and inspires through various offerings including afterschool, school day & summer programs, cultural experiences, advocacy, community partnerships, and professional development. Children receive free quality, standards-based instruction in dance, media arts, music, theatre, and visual arts through CAP programs. CAP offers in-person and virtual programs to children across Duval County and beyond, including public schools, community centers, and partner sites.

To bolster the work of LEAD and the Jacksonville artlook® map and create more equitable arts learning opportunities for children in Duval County Public Schools (DCPS), CAP will create an Arts in Schools Certification (ASC) system and art school reports to be included in each DCPS school’s artlook® profile. The ASC will be a system of measurement and designation that will quickly and accurately convey the depth and breadth of arts education opportunities in each DCPS school. Art school reports will provide an in-depth look at the data that goes into ASC designations and will likely include each school’s minutes of arts instruction per week, art teacher-to-student ratios, arts disciplines offered, whether or not there is dedicated funding for the arts in a school’s budget, arts planning, and professional development and arts learning partnerships with community organizations.

This DSSG project assists CAP with finding a baseline from schools and art education data to compare and rate after school art programs. DSSG would be creating a rating system with levels and criteria (rubrics) for rating schools such that ratings guide schools acheive goals for improving next levels in the rating rubrics.

Cathedral Arts Project Website

League of Women Voters of Florida – Dashboard for Interacting with Florida Voter Profile Classifications

The League of Women Voters of Florida (LWVFL) encourages informed and active participation in government, increases understanding of major policy issues, and advocates for legislative changes and policies for the public good. The League is strictly nonpartisan and never endorses candidates or political parties. The League is open to both men and women, with over 29 active local Leagues statewide.

The League of Women Voters of Florida’s mission is to empower voters and defend democracy. The core activities of the League focuses on ensuring voting rights and education. In 2020, the League increased Vote-By-Mail requests and usage of early voting sites and ballot drop boxes. The League produced 250,000+ printed voter guides and made 308,000+ Get Out The Vote phone calls and texts. All of this increased voter turnout statewide, working through 29 chapters.

This project is extension to the 2021 LWVFL work. In the 2021, DSSG developed a voter profile classification for select Florida counties. This year, the voter profile classification will be applied to all Florida counties and an interactive dashboard will be developed to allow LWVFL and Chapter staffmembers filter and view data.

League of Women Voters of Florida Website

GameFace 4:13 Training Academy – Identifying Communities Where GameFace can Make an Impact

The mission of GameFace 4:13 Training Academy is to train young men and women physically, mentally, and spiritually through basketball. GameFace is a strategic camp that develops basketball skills, academic excellence, and ethical character in young people. The goal of GameFace is to develop young leaders who will be ready to take on the game of life and make an impact in the world.

Crime rates and violence are increasing due to a lack of positive outlets. Positive youth development programs can transform the after-school and summer daytime hours – the prime time for juvenile crime – into hours of academic enrichment, wholesome fun, and community service. Three focal points of GameFace are physical, mental, and spiritual training that drives the direction and development of programs, camps, clinics, and leadership academy activities. GameFace seeks to be a place that transforms the prime time for juvenile crime into productive development spaces. The social problem that GameFace addresses are (1) lack of physical health, mentorship, and coaching for youths who are not getting enough exercise, (2) lack of educational funding for families due to poverty or single-parent homes, large class sizes in schools decreasing the individual attention given to students, and the drop-off learning/retention rate after students come from summer break, and (3) lack of character development and morality/integrity/ethics in youth.

FL-DSSG is assisting GameFace with developing a data-driven approach for identifying communities where GameFace programs can make the most impact.

GameFace Website


Data Science Interns

Students work as DSSG Interns in a 12-week, paid internship program. Interns from multi-disciplinary backgrounds work as a team to help community partners make data-driven decisions. Interns receive valuable experience with data management, analysis, technology, and community needs. Interns are supervised by DSSG program directors and receive guidance from industry mentors as well as faculty project leads.

Mahmoud Elbatouty
Data Science
Bachelor of Science
University of North Florida
Jacksonville, FL

Mahmoud Elbatouty Linkedin
Brian Ferdman
Data Science
Master of Science Student
University of West Florida
Pensacola, FL
Brian Ferdman Linkedin
Sara Milligan
Psychology
Doctor of Philosophy Student
University of South Florida
Tampa, FL
Sara Milligan Linkedin
Abhishek Pancholi
Business Analytics and Information Systems
Master of Science Student
University of South Florida
Tampa, FL
Abhishek Pancholi Linkedin
Adhithyan Rangarajan
Business Analytics and Information Systems
Master of Science Student
University of South Florida
Tampa, FL
Adhithyan Rangarajan Linkedin
Minakshi Sharma
Epidemiology
Master of Public Health Student
University of North Florida
Jacksonville, FL

Minakshi Sharma LinkedIn

Industry Mentors (Sherpas)

FL-DSSG Mentors, referred to as Sherpas, are industry leaders who help interns take the right steps and complete the project successfully. Sherpas work along with program directors to mentor interns on industry best practices for solving data science problems, advise program directors on work plans, and provide technical guidance on project tasks.

Katie Bakewell

Modeling and Analytics Team Lead at NLP Logix

Katie Bakewell Linkedin
Chad Gardner

Katie Bakewell has been working at NLP Logix as Lead Statistician. During her time at NLP Logix, Katie has built machine learning models that do everything from predict the likelihood of a wound healing to forecasting maintenance and supply line needs for the F-35 fighter jet. As with the rest of the NLP team, Katie strongly believes that Data Science is a team sport! Katie holds bachelors degrees in mathematics and statistics and a masters in mathematical science from UNF (swoop!) where she focused on time series analysis and DNA computing.

Relevant expertise: clustering, classification models, natural language, statistical analysis, and data visualization

Technologies: Python, R, T-SQL, Tableau, and PowerBI

Chad Gardner

Data Engineer at BlocPower

Chad Gardner Linkedin
Chad Gardner

Jay Lewis

Director of Strategy and Analytics at Dictionary.com

Jay Lewis Linkedin Tableau Public
Jay Lewis

Jay Lewis has held multiple analytics roles for more than a decade in banking and organizational psychology. A Tableau user since 2012, Jay has been a regular contributor in the North Florida Tableau User Group, a guest speaker at Tableau's annual conference, and a 3-time Tableau Viz of the Day winner. He came to visual analytics from a media and journalism education, earning a B.A. in media studies from Washington University, an M.B.A. from Webster University, and an M.A. in media communications from Webster University. He also taught coursework on media research methods as an adjunct at Webster.

Relevant expertise:

  • 12 years in business analytics roles, including in organizational psychology and banking.
  • Tableau Desktop Certified Professional, Tableau Public contributor.
  • Various data analysis and visualization tools including SQL, Alteryx, R, Python, and Gephi.
  • M.B.A. and M.A. in Media Communications.

Victor C. Li

Quantitative Research Manager at Jacksonville Jaguars

Victor Li Linkedin
Victor Li

Victor C. Li grew up in sunny Los Angeles among traffic and taco trucks, raised by a computer scientist and a statistician - shocking the world when he became a data scientist. He froze (yet thrived) in Providence for his undergraduate years at Brown University where he earned an Sc.B. in Statistics and was involved with sports analytics, opioid research, orchestral music, poker, and a brief stint in catering. During college, he interned back home with UCLA Men’s Basketball assisting with their data collection and reporting and at Paramount Pictures building machine learning models to predict how films will perform at the box office. After graduating in 2017, Victor moved to Jacksonville to work as an Advanced Analytics Developer for the Jaguars and after two years has almost gotten used to the humidity.

Relevant expertise:

  • Education: Brown University, Sc.B. Statistics.
  • Software: R, SQL, Tableau.
  • Subjects: Statistical Analysis, Predictive Modeling, Machine Learning, Data Visualization and Reporting.
  • Domains: Sports Analytics, Sports & Entertainment Business, Public Health.

Andrew Pantazi

Founding Editor at The Tributary: A Northeast Florida

Andrew Pantazi Linkedin
Andrew Pantazi

Mary Sheridan

Modeling & Analytics Team Lead at NLP Logix

Mary Sheridan Linkedin
Victor Li

Harsh Vora

Senior Data Scientist at Crowley

Harsh Vora Linkedin
Victor Li

Laurel Wainwright

Environmental Services at JEA

JLaurel Wainwright Linkedin
Laurel Wainwright

Laurel Wainwright is an innovative solutions specialist and change management analyst with a data focus on environmental services, disease control efforts, and public policy recommendations. She uses management science techniques to provide solutions to complex business problems and has experience working in multiple industries. Her expertise is childhood literacy data examination through grant funded work and promotion of environmental stewardship. Laurel is currently finishing her master’s degree in Public Policy at Jacksonville University.


Faculty Project Leads

Faculty leads work along with FL-DSSG program directors to assist interns in solving problems related to data science and good social projects. Faculty leads provide subject-matter expertise on project tasks and engagement with community partners.

Beyza Aslan

Dr. Beyza Aslan

Associate Professor
Department of Mathematics & Statistics
College of Arts and Sciences
University of North Florida

Beyza Aslan is an Associate Professor of Mathematics and the Director of the Math Center at the University of North Florida. She received her Ph. D in Applied Mathematics from University of Florida. Dr. Aslan’s research focuses on lightning modeling, lightning data analysis, and data analysis and pattern recognition for mitochondrial disorders to improve the diagnostic process.

Michelle DeDeo

Dr. Michelle DeDeo

Associate Professor
Department of Mathematics & Statistics
College of Arts and Sciences
University of North Florida

Dr. Michelle DeDeo is an Associate Professor in UNF’s Department of Mathematics and Statistics and a Research Collaborator with Mayo Clinic - Jacksonville. Dr. DeDeo’s research involves interdisciplinary computational science, which intersects data science, number theory, theoretical physics and chemistry, engineering, and statistics. She is a published author (see ORCID) with a demonstrated history of statistical and data science work with clinicians and researchers. Recent data science projects include analyzing the survivability of patients with glioblastoma, prediction of pediatric seizures, and studying the effects of opioids in Northeast Florida using data science and statistics. Her work has earned her several grants and awards, including a Deans Fellowship, UNF’s Outstanding Teaching Award, a $1.6M DOE Teacher Quality Program grant as a Co-PI, and others. Dr. DeDeo presents nationally on her research and, most recently, has been invited to be a Keynote Speaker at the 3rd Annual Conference on Data Science, Analytics, and Artificial Intelligence in Boca Raton, FL.

Georgette Dumont

Dr. Georgette Dumont

Associate Professor
Department of Political Science & Public Administration
College of Arts and Sciences
University of North Florida

Dr. Georgette Dumont is an Associate Professor in UNF’s Department of Political Science and Public Administration. Some of the journals Dr. Dumont has published in Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, Journal of Nonprofit Education and Leadership, and the American Review of Public Administration. She has also published various book chapters, and currently has a contract with Oxford University Press for a book on nonprofit accountability. She continues to present nationally on her research. Dr. Dumont is active in her community and analyzes how local nonprofits are utilizing new technologies, which has resulted in reports to inform nonprofits in Northeast Florida about how the local sector is using online technologies, specifically social media. Dr. Dumont consults with nonprofits on strategy, technology, leadership, and strategic planning. She served on local nonprofit boards of directors, Jacksonville’s Public Service Grants Council, and is a Community Coach for the Nonprofit Center of Northeast Florida.

Brian Fisak

Dr. Brian J. Fisak Jr.

Associate Professor and Director of the M.A. Program in Clinical Psychology
Department of Psychology
College of Sciences
University of Central Florida
Lakshmi Goel

Dr. Lakshmi Goel

Professor and Associate Dean
Coggin Endowed Strategic Professor
Department of Management
Coggin College of Business
University of North Florida

Lakshmi Goel is currently working as a Professor of Information Systems, Associate Dean of Coggin Graduate and Executive Programs, and holds the Coggin Endowed Strategic Professorship at the Coggin College of Business, University of North Florida (UNF). Lakshmi received her PhD in Decision and Information Sciences from the University of Houston. Her research interests lie at the intersection of strategic use of technologies by small and medium enterprises in areas such as social media, business analytics, and innovation networks. Her work within the Jacksonville community has earned her recognition as a Community Scholar, and a High Impact Researcher by UNF, and an Innovator in Education by the Jacksonville Business Journal. Her research works are published in various national and interactional conferences such as International Conference on Information Systems, Americas Conference on Information Systems, Academy of Management, and European Conference on Information Systems; and in top-ranked journals such as Management Information Systems Quarterly, Journal of the Association of Information Systems, Decision Support Systems, Information and Management, Information and Organization, and Information Systems Journal.

Haiyan Huang

Dr. Haiyan Huang

Assistant Professor
Management Information Systems, Coordinator of MIS Programs
Math & Technology, School of Business, Education, and Mathematics
Flagler College

Haiyan Huang received her Ph.D. in Information Sciences and Technology from the Pennsylvania State University. She also earned a M.S. in Ceramic Science and Engineering from New York State College and a B.S. in Materials Science and Engineering from Central South University in China. Before joining Flagler College, Dr. Huang has taught at Michigan Technological University, Purdue University Calumet, and the Pennsylvania State University. Her primary research interests include Web usability and user experiences, IT adoption, diversity of IT workforce, global information systems development, and virtual collaborations. Dr. Huang has published more than 30 journal articles, book chapters, and conference papers. Her research was recognized by a journal publication award and a best conference paper award. Dr. Huang is also in charge of managing and coordinating the Management Information Systems (MIS) programs at Flagler College.

Xudong Liu

Dr. Xudong Liu

Assistant Professor
School of Computing
College of Computing, Engineering, and Construction Managementh

Dr. Xudong Liu is a tenure-track assistant professor in the School of Computing at the University of North Florida, and a visiting researcher at Xerox PARC. He earned his Ph.D. in Computer Science from University of Kentucky in 2016, and his B.Eng. in Software Engineering from Harbin Institute of Technology in 2010. Dr. Liu’s research mostly has been about solving both theoretical and practical problems on decision making, using tools and methods found in Artificial Intelligence, Computational Social Science, and Computational Complexity Theory. His research results have been published, or accepted for publication, in premier venues in Artificial intelligence such as the AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence, the International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence, and the Annals of Mathematics and Artificial Intelligence. Dr. Liu’s Erdős number is 3, and he is an AAAI member.

Amanda Pascale

Dr. Amanda Blakewood Pascale

Associate Professor of Higher Education Administration and Department Chair
Department of Leadership, School Counseling & Sports Management
College of Education & Human Services

Dr. Amanda Blakewood Pascale is an Associate Professor of Higher Education Administration within the College of Education and Human Services at the University of North Florida. Dr. Pascale holds a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration as well as a graduate certificate in Quantitative Methods in Education from the University of Tennessee. Her research examines cultures conducive to success in higher education milieus and the praxis of ideas that promote university community success particularly for those who are underrepresented or in transition. Dr. Pascale routinely teaches graduate level courses in quantitative and qualitative methods as well as assessment in higher education. She is an advocate of the use of data and assessment to inform decisions, practice, and policy in educational settings.

Gordon Ratika

Dr. Gordon Rakita

Professor of Anthropology
Director of Academic Technology
Department of Sociology, Anthropology & Social Work
College of Arts and Sciences

Gordon F.M. Rakita is a bioarchaeologist and Professor of Anthropology in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, & Social Work. He also serves as Director of Academic Technology at UNF. Prior to joining the faculty at UNF he was Principal Investigator and Analytical Director for SWCA Environmental Consultants of Flagstaff, Arizona. He is Associate Editor for the journal Bioarchaeology International. He earned his B.A. in Anthropology from University of North Carolina at Greensboro and his M.A. and Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of New Mexico. In 2016 he was named the junior laureate of the Lloyd Cotsen Prize for Lifetime Achievement in World Archaeology. His areas of expertise include bioarchaeology, anthropological approaches to mortuary and other ritual behavior, analytical data management and statistical analyses, emergent social inequality and complexity, and evolutionary theory.

Sandeep Reddivari

Dr. Sandeep Reddivari

Asssociate Professor
School of Computing
College of Computing, Engineering, and Construction Management

Sandeep Reddivari is an Asssociate Professor in the School of Computing at the University of North Florida. He received his Ph.D. in Computer Science and Engineering from the Mississippi State University. Dr. Reddivari's research interests include software engineering, visual analytics, information retrieval, data mining, text mining, healthcare data analytics, and visualization and virtual reality in healthcare. Dr. Reddivari’s expertise is in data pre-processing, clustering, summarization, visualization, and outlier detection.

Gordon Ratika

Dr. Kristi Sweeney

Associate Professor
Director of Sport Management
Department of Leadership, School Counseling & Sports Management
College of Education & Human Services