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THE McNAIR SCHOLAR · PDF file 19th Annual McNair Research Presentation & Luncheon Twelve McNair Scholars traveled to Kansas City, Missouri, September 23-25 to attend the 15th Annual

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    15th Annual MKN McNair Heartland Research Conference

    Front Row (L to R): Rebecca Pursley, Erik Moody, Michael Jones, Christine Bowles, Darius Taylor

    Back Row (L to R): Joseph Santoli, Siera Ramsey, Chermain Jennings, Shawn Glispie, Jonathan Hamilton, C. Cayce Duda, Randall Miller

    19th Annual McNair Research Presentation & Luncheon

    Twelve McNair Scholars traveled to Kansas City, Missouri, September 23-25 to attend the 15th Annual Missouri-Kansas- Nebraska (MKN) McNair Heartland Research Conference. Ten Scholars presented results from their 2011 Summer Research Internship project, while two presented their 2011 Pre-Research Internship proposals.

    The Heartland Conference included student research and research proposal presentations, a graduate school recruitment fair, and inspiring speakers, including Texas Tech University McNair alumna Dr. Valerie McGaha-Garnett.

    This total [McNair] experience gave me confidence when applying to graduate school. Confidence is something you cannot buy; it is a priceless commodity. I now had an accomplishment to point to that supported my application to graduate school. I had an indicator of greatness...Now you, too, have this steadfast confidence, birthed out of your hard work, blood, sweat, and tears that you put into your research projects. Now you, too, have an indicator of greatness to point to.

    Dr. Tonya Sanders

    Truman State University celebrated its 19th Annual McNair Research Presentation and Luncheon on Wednesday, September 7, 2011. Eleven Scholars presented the results of their research conducted during the 2011 Summer Research Internship. Topics included the disciplines of art history, biology, chemistry, English literature, health science, history, justice systems, and psychology. Dr. Tonya Sanders, 2000-2001 cohort, gave an eloquent and inspiring keynote address at the Luncheon. Dr. Sanders, then a doctoral candidate at the University of Illinois at Chicago in the Department of Urban Planning and Policy, successfully defended her Ph.D. dissertation on a theoretical framework for faith-based partnerships in December 2011.

  • Donald Asher Comes to Truman


    Six Scholars participated in the 2011 McNair Pre-Research Internship from May 9-27, 2011. Scholars attended faculty- led seminars on research design and professional writing. They also traveled to Washington University in St. Louis to participate in an intensive research methods seminar conducted by Reference Librarians at Olin Library, to utilize library resources, and to meet with graduate school admissions personnel. At the conclusion of the internship, Scholars submitted, and presented at a public forum, an original research proposal. Pre-Research Internship Scholars pictured at right include:

    Left to Right: C. Cayce Duda, Shanequa Tolliver, Jamie Duran, Fallyn Lee, Danielle Clemons, Rebecca Pursley (SRI Scholar), Christine Bowles (SRI Scholar), Darius Taylor (SRI Scholar), and Randall Miller

    Page 2 THE McNAIR SCHOLAR at Truman State University

    Research and Scholarly Activities

    Donald Asher explaining how to effectively contact a faculty member at a prospective institution.

    Truman McNair Scholars spent an hour and a half with renowned graduate school guru Donald Asher in a one-on-one Question and Answer Seminar exclusively for McNair participants. As part of his annual visit to Truman State University in September, Asher set aside time to advise Scholars on how to successfully complete the following responsibilities: Contact faculty at prospective institutions; Choose current faculty for graduate school letters of recommendation; Approach faculty for a letter of recommendation; Complete a graduate degree efficiently using time management skills,

    study skills, and initiative; and Earn the doctoral degree quicker by planning ahead.

    In addition to this valuable information, Asher also provided personalized expertise and advice to Scholars.

    2011 Pre-Research Internship

  • Page 3 THE McNAIR SCHOLAR at Truman State University

    August 2011 Graduates and Alumni News

    Visiting Alumna  

    Ta’janette Sconyers (2007-2008 cohort) returned on October 10 to share her graduate school experience with current Scholars. Ta’janette is completing her master in education degree, with an emphasis in counseling psychology, at the University of Missouri in Columbia. She shared information about her graduate school application experience, as well as her transition to graduate school. In addition, she emphasized the importance of perseverance and personal motivation when facing challenges. Thank you, Ta’janette, for your words of inspiration and wisdom!

    August 2011 Graduates Two McNair Scholars graduated in August. Alyse Jenkins received a BA in Communication and began the master of science program in Marriage and Family Therapy at Valdosta State University in Valdosta, GA, this fall. Joseph Dove earned a BS in Mathematics. He began doctoral studies in statistics this fall at the University of Missouri in Columbia.

    New Program Initiatives

    The Dr. Emmanuel Nnadozie McNair Scholarship was established in 2004 to honor the founding director, Dr. Nnadozie, of the Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program at Truman State University. Dr. Nnadozie directed the Program from the first grant award in 1992 until his departure from the University in 2004. Just seven years later, the McNair Program has awarded its first scholarship! Newly accepted scholar, Kate Angulski will receive the inaugural award of $250 for use in the Spring 2012 semester. To be eligible for the scholarship, students must be a current Truman McNair Scholar who is first generation and income-eligible. Learn more, or make a donation, at

    First McNair Scholarship Awarded

    In Fall 2010, the McNair Program began a new initiative to provide Scholars with additional graduate school preparation by offering teaching assistantships every fall semester. Senior Scholars have the opportunity to

    lead INDV 150: Dinner & a Book discussion course with the Program Director and Interim Research Coordinator. Building on the lesson plans developed in McNair’s INDV 400: Graduate School Preparation course, Scholars hone their skills by planning and leading class discussions each week of the eight-week INDV 150 course. In the two semesters of its offering, five Scholars have participated as teaching assistants. Rebecca Pursley, a current TA, stated, “Having experience as a TA is something that I would have never had the chance to do within my department. I think it is difficult for students to realize the work that it takes to teach a class here at Truman, but this has given me a new respect for my professors. I am much more prepared for possibly being a TA as a part of my graduate school experience.” Christine Bowles, fellow TA, added, “I’m so glad I’ve had this opportunity...It has helped solidify my goal of becoming a professor and I know it has also made me a more competitive graduate applicant.”

    This fall, the McNair Program also began another new initiative to better prepare Scholars financially for the world. In November, senior Scholars piloted the new Financial Literacy program that will be offered to all Scholars yearly. The program is a tiered system, providing grade-level-specific education as Scholars progress through the McNair Program. For example, sophomores explore topics on understanding and creating a budget, the importance of credit scores, and managing credit cards wisely. Juniors expand on these topics, learning how to read credit reports, protect from identity theft, and managing finances while living off-campus. Seniors conclude the program with information on repaying student loans, financial planning, and purchasing cars and homes. The pilot seminar was very well received, garnering positive feedback on evaluations from Scholars.

    Financial Literacy

    Teaching Assistantship

    Dr. Nnadozie receiving the scholarship plaque at the End of the Year Banquet

    in April 2004.



    McNair Program Office

    Truman Campus Location: Adair Building

    Mailing Address: McNair Program

    Truman State University 100 East Normal Avenue

    Kirksville, MO 63501

    Phone: (660) 785-5393 Fax: (660) 785-7524

    Email: [email protected] Web:


    Dr. Sylvia Macauley, Program Director Dr. Roberta Donahue, Interim Research Coordinator

    Ms. Sarah Hass, Program Coordinator Ms. Kelly Mourning-Byers, Administrative Assistant 


    The McNair Program is partially funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education and with

    matching funds from Truman State University.

    Give us an update!

    The U.S. Department of Education requires all McNair Programs to track alumni until the attainment of a doctoral degree and to submit yearly updates on them in the Annual Performance Report. Alumni can help the McNair Program meet this requirement by going to the McNair website and clicking

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