THE McNAIR SCHOLAR
Volume 13, Issue 1 TRUMAN STATE UNIVERSITY Fall 2011
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
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
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
explaining how to
effectively contact a
faculty member at a
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
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
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 http://giving.truman.edu/FundsList.asp.
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.
Dr. Nnadozie receiving the scholarship
plaque at the End of the Year Banquet
in April 2004.
100 EAST NORMAL AVENUE
KIRKSVILLE, MO 63501-4221
McNair Program Office
Truman Campus Location: Adair Building
Truman State University
100 East Normal Avenue
Kirksville, MO 63501
Phone: (660) 785-5393
Fax: (660) 785-7524
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