LSU Shreveport Students with Math, Computer Skills to Help Air Force Tackle Real-Life Problems

May 08, 2024

LSUS students Eliana Gafford and Joseph Barnes at table draped with LSUS Computer Science cloth sign fellowship papers as group stands behind them

LSU Shreveport students Eliana Gafford and Joseph Barnes sign fellowship papers.

Two LSU Shreveport students will assist the Air Force in generating solutions to real-world problems as part of the National Security Fellowship Program with the Air Force Global Strike Command on Barksdale Air Force Base.

Eliana Gafford and Joseph Barnes, who both have strong family ties to the military, are the first LSUS students selected for the year-long program, which targets students with skills in computer science, mathematics, and other related fields.

“I wanted to work with (Barksdale AFB) to help airmen and help my country,” said Gafford, a computer science junior whose father served in the Army. “I wanted to serve my country, and I’m happy to help in any way, shape or form that I can.” 

Barnes is a mathematics major with computer science interest whose brother is serving overseas in the Air Force. “(Airmen) out there have it really rough, and I’d love to have a hand in using technology to assist them and make their lives a little bit easier,” he said.

The National Security Fellowship begins June 3 with the students working full-time this summer and then part-time as they resume classes in the fall and spring semesters. The AFGSC, headquartered in Barksdale, is responsible for two-thirds of the United States’ nuclear arsenal with the intercontinental ballistic missile wings and the Air Force’s entire bomber force.

Next Step

LSU's Scholarship First Agenda is helping achieve health, prosperity, and security for Louisiana and the world.