McNair Scholars Newsletter McNair Scholars Newsletter SUMMER 2014 VOLUME 15, ISSUE 2 McNair Scholars

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  • West Virginia University

    McNair Scholars Newsletter

    SUMMER 2014 VOLUME 15, ISSUE 2

    McNair Scholars Program Welcomes 2014 Scholars

    2014 Scholar Major Faculty Mentor

    J.C. Abdallah Communications Studies Dr. Nick Bowman

    Ellen Aguilera Chemistry Dr. Michael Shi

    Brandon Bowman Business Management & Finance Dr. Michael Walsh

    Jordan Drew Biometric Systems Dr. Jeremy Dawson

    Chibuzor Ejimofor Biochemistry Dr. Letha Sooter

    Cecily Flight International Studies Dr. Stratford Douglas

    Kelsey Flinn Agriculture and Extension Education Dr. Deborah Boone

    Jacqueline Fowler Criminology Dr. Jesse Wozniak

    James Hartnett II Sport & Exercise Psychology Dr. Sam Zizzi

    Catherine Hefner Forensic & Investigative Science Dr. Keith Morris

    Brandy Ledesma Social Work Dr. Natalie J. Shook

    Ally Makono Biology Dr. Andrew Young

    Candice McLaughlin Anthropology Dr. Daniel Renfrew

    Joi Newberne Sport & Exercise Psychology Dr. Aaron Metzger

    Allie Nwosu Psychology Dr. Amy Fiske

    Donnique Sherman Petroleum & Natural Gas Engineering Dr. Gregory Thompson

    Chelsea Slade Criminology Dr. Rachel Stein

    Isaiah Taylor Psychology Dr. Natalie J. Shook

    Rachael Taylor Biology Dr. Steven Kinsey

    Leigh Ann Wilkins Economics & Psychology Dr. Joshua Hall

    Back Row (L to R): Cather ine Hefner , Chibuzor Ejimofor , Jordan Drew, Isaiah Taylor , James Har tnett II.

    Middle Row (L to R): Cecily Flight, Chelsea Slade, Brandy Ledesma, Brandon Bowman, Ellen Aguilera, Allie

    Nwosu, Jacqueline Fowler, JC Abdallah, Leigh Ann Wilkins, Joi Newberne, Ally Makono.

    Front Row (L to R): Candice McLaughlin, Rachael Taylor , Kelsey Flinn, Donnique Sher man.

  • 2013 McNair Scholars Symposium

    Scholars Abroad!

    In April of 2014, the 2013 McNair Scholars cohort held a spring symposium in the Vandalia Lounge of the

    Mountainlair at WVU. Students demonstrated their research through poster presentations, which was open to

    the public. Faculty mentors, students, and even WVU President E. Gordon Gee stopped in to learn more

    about what McNair Scholars have to offer the future of academia and research.

    Top left: Kabir Barker & Faculty mentor , Dr . Aaron Metzger . Bottom left:

    Adam Betman presents research to Dr. William Beasley, Associate Dean of Uni-

    versity College.

    Above: Jordan Lovejoy with WVU President E. Gordon Gee in front of

    her research poster titled, “Speaking with the Silenced: Unquiet Ecologies in

    the Appalachian Writings of Denise Giardina.” Jordan received the 2014 Udall

    Scholarship, given to only 50 students nationwide who demonstrate com-

    mitment to careers in the areas of environment, tribal policy, and Native

    American health care.

    Studying abroad in Oaxaca, Mexico is

    one of my most treasured and valuable

    college and life experiences. Traveling

    the world is a great way to discover your

    role in it.

    - Jordan Lovejoy, above, in Mexico

    Scholars Cecily Flight, Jordan Lovejoy, and Kiersten Woods share their reflections from studying abroad!

    Traveling to Europe was a truly life-changing

    experience. I learned to become a better com-

    municator with all types of people from differ-

    ent cultures. Those people also touched my

    life by their openness to accept

    and befriend me.

    - Cecily Flight, above, in Frankfurt, Germany

    My trip to Beijing taught me something new

    every day about myself, others, and the

    world. There are always some things people

    can't learn until they experience them.

    - Kiersten Woods, below, in China

  • Congrats to 2014 May Graduates! Congratulations to all the McNair Scholars who graduated this past May. At the graduation luncheon, students were

    encouraged to pursue their doctorates by Dr. Jonathan Young, a 2003 McNair Scholar, who received his Ph.D. from the

    WVU Political Science program in May. Here are our graduates’ first steps upon graduation from WVU:

    Scholar Graduate School Solomon Adu WVU master’s program in Mathematics

    Adam Carte Harvard University Systems Biology Ph.D. program

    Brittany Bailey University of Florida Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program

    Sharrell Barnes University of Kentucky Communication Science and Disorders master’s program

    Adam Betman American University Public Policy master’s program

    Amanda Harker University of Georgia Agriculture and Applied Economics M.A./Ph.D. program

    Lillian Hill Pennsylvania State University Ph.D. program in Ecology

    Rachel James University of Texas in Austin Civil Engineering Ph.D. program

    Roger Jefferys WVU master’s program in Forensic and Investigative Science

    Jasmine Koech The College of William and Mary master’s program in Psychology

    Michael Powell Purdue University Mechanical Engineering Ph.D. program

    Stephanie Michelle Watson WVU master’s program in Educational Psychology

    Not pictured are Dipendra Bhandari and Whitney Garton.

    Farewell and Best Wishes!

    The McNair staff and scholars would

    like to bid a fond farewell to Dr. Sudik-

    sha Joshi and Hellen Nditsi, our pro-

    gram coordinator and graduate assis-

    tant. Dr. Joshi (pictured right) earned

    her Ph.D. at WVU in May, 2014 in

    Natural Resource Economics. Hellen

    (2010 Scholar) completed her Master’s

    in Public Administration at WVU. We

    wish Dr. Joshi and Hellen Nditsi the

    best of luck in the future and thank

    them greatly for all their efforts and

    commitment to the McNair program

    and scholars.

  • Highlights from the 2014 Summer Research Internship In addition to the academic work during the Summer Research Internship, there are many opportunities for stu-

    dents to bond with their peers, gain insight from faculty, and have some fun. We want to thank Dr. Julie Pat-

    rick for her 10 years of teaching Research Methods! Dr. Sudiksha Joshi and graduate student mentors—Nicole

    Fuller, Amanda Harker, and Michelle McAlarnen—spent countless hours helping scholars with their proposals

    and presentations. Scholars also benefited from several speakers: Gabe Tapia (GRE-Prep), Steve Riffon

    (Finances), Amy Cyphert (ASPIRE), and Drs. Stueckle, Metzger, and Hall (advice about graduate school).

    Scholars also visited Penn State and met with faculty members there. The internship culminated in a research

    symposium during which scholars presented their research proposals to peers and faculty mentors. Here are

    some of the highlights from this summer!

    Top: Faculty share their insights about graduate school; Right:

    Enjoying a classic cook-out. Left side: James Hartnett, Brandon Bow-

    man, JC Abdallah, and Chelsea Slade. Right side: Jordan Drew.

    Top: Dr. Patr ick receives her 10-year award for service; Center: Gabe Tapia

    reviews GRE problems; Right: Isaiah Taylor explains achievement gaps.

    Thank You to All Faculty Mentors!

    Every year, professors from a variety of fields

    lend their time, expertise, and dedication as Fac-

    ulty Mentors to foster academic achievement in

    McNair Scholars.

    We are grateful for your time and service!

    Faculty mentors at the research symposium. R: Men-

    tor Dr. Jesse Wozniak & Scholar Jacqueline Fowler;

    L: Mentor Dr . Gregory Thompson & Scholar

    Donnique Sherman

  • 2014 SUNY Buffalo McNair Research Conference

    From July 23-26th, McNair scholars participated in the SUNY-Buffalo National McNair Research Confer-

    ence. It was a great opportunity to listen to inspirational speakers about their own McNair experiences,

    learn about fellow scholars’ research, tour campus, and visit Niagara Falls. Scholars’ reflections on their

    experience are also shared below.

    To say that I’m thankful that I attended this conference

    would be a complete understatement.

    I have gained so much knowledge and experience that

    cannot simply be taught to a person.

    My experience at the conference

    was eye-opening and beyond


    I learned how to stay focused…

    My future as an academic

    researcher has just begun.

    Alumni News

    Congrats to our alumni who are continuing their education and completing their degrees! The years listed after each

    Scholar refer to cohort years, not WVU graduation date.

    Alexandra Castillo (‘09) received her Master ’s of International Relations from The Ohio State University in

    June 2014.

    Joy Cox (‘11) completed her Master ’s in Communication from University of Missouri-Columbia. She will begin

    her Ph.D. in Communication at Rutgers University.

    Mikhael King (‘11) graduated in Apr il 2014 with a Master’s of Public and International Affair s from the Grad-

    uate School of Public and International Affairs (GSPIA) at University of Pittsburgh.

    Taylor Mikalik (‘09) graduated May 2014 with dual Masters