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Computer science student accepted into exclusive Distributed Mentor Project

Benessa Defend, a junior computer science major at Austin Peay, has been selected to participate in the Distributed Mentor Project (DMP) sponsored by the Computing Research Association Committee on the Status of Women in Computing Research (CRA-W).

Defend is one of approximately 40 students chosen nationwide for this honor. More than 235 students applied.
Benessa Defend, a junior computer science major at Austin Peay, has been selected to participate in the Distributed Mentor Project (DMP) sponsored by the Computing Research Association Committee on the Status of Women in Computing Research (CRA-W).

Defend is one of approximately 40 students chosen nationwide for this honor. More than 235 students applied.

“Benessa's acceptance into the Distributed Mentor Project is a great honor for her personally and a significant recognition of the computer science program at Austin Peay,” says Dr. Bruce Myers, chair of the department of computer science and information technology. “The experience she gains through the program will only help to ensure she will have a successful career in the field.”

The program's objective is to increase the number of women entering graduate studies in the fields of computer science and computer engineering. Student participants are matched with professors for a summer of research at the mentor's research institution.

She will assist in the research of Dr. Monica Brockmeyer, assistant professor of computer science at Wayne State University, Detroit. Defend will learn network programming for timing experiments on the Internet, a computer infrastructure called Planet-lab and the Tcl/Tk scripting language.

Defend, who must create a Web site documenting her research, will receive a stipend of $600 per week.

The daughter of Larry and Rose Defend, Nashville, Defend is a graduate of Martin Luther King Jr. Magnet High School for the Health Sciences and Engineering.
—Rebecca Mackey