McNair Scholars Program

2011-2012 McNair Scholars

The 2011-2012 McNair Scholars represent a diverse field of interest and discpline. Please see our former scholars to see other fields the McNair Scholars have represented.

 

Bianca Aaron
Mentor: Alejandro Morales
Major:
Journalism & Psychology
Hometown: Columbia, MO
Graduation Date: May 2012

Research Synopsis: My research interest is a focus on personal and educational barriers for minorities in education. My study for McNair will focus on Latina adolescents who are language brokers (interpreters and translators) for their parents/families, and the multiple roles they play as language brokers. In doing the research, we work  to have a better understanding as to why there is a gender imbalance and to open more doors in to understanding various aspects of and issues behind language brokering.
Brittany Bennett
Mentor: Srinivasann "Ratti" Ratneshwar
Major:
Business Marketing
Hometown: St. Louis, MO
Graduation Date: May 2013

Research Synopsis: I am researching the relationship between two individual-difference traits, the maximizing trait and product category involvement, and brand loyalty. This relationship will be measured across three different product categories, consumables, semi-durables, and technology.
Brittany Bungart
Mentor:James C. Lee
Major:
Biological Engineering
Hometown:
Graduation Date: May 2012

Research Synopsis:
Darnell Cage
Mentor: Gary Solbrekken
Major:
Mechanical Engineering
Hometown: St. Louis, MO
Graduation Date: May 2013

Research Synopsis: I am currently conducting an experimental and analytical evaluation of modified geometry cryopreservation vials in order to increase the cooling rates of biological specimen in order to improve the method of cryopreservation.
Marc Canellas
Mentor: Sergei Kopeikin
Major:
Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering
Hometown: Ballwin, MO
Graduation Date: May 2012

Research Synopsis: Dr. Kopeikin and I are analyzing the mathematical development Ptolemy’s Earth-centered (geocentric) view of the Solar System and how it can be applied to describe the relative motion of orbiting bodies within the Solar System. Building upon this approach we will develop a geocentric reference frame derived from the gravitational equations of celestial orbital mechanics, taking into account classical and relativistic effects. With this reference frame we will examine the trajectories of the spacecraft involved in the flyby anomaly to gain insights into the anomaly’s origin which has remained unresolved since its detection in 1990.
Timothy Cunningham
Mentor: Doug Moesel
Major:
Business Management
Hometown: Higginsville, MO
Graduation Date: May 2013

Research Synopsis: My research is in the area of cross-cultural comparative studies with an emphasis on business relations between the United States and China. In particular, my research seeks to compare cross-cultural frameworks, such as Hofstede's cultural dimensions and the Schwartz Values Survey, and explore their relevance to the field of cross-cultural consulting.
Megan Dowdle
Mentor: Peter Cornish
Major:
Biochemistry
Hometown: Lee's Summit, MO
Graduation Date: May 2013

Research Synopsis: The Cornish lab studies the intersubunit rotation of the ribosome. Specifically, I am creating a ribosome with 3 different fluorescent tags at L1, L9, and S6 to study using FRET.
Jeneé Duncan
Mentor: David Schramm
Major:
Human Development & Family Studies
Hometown: Chicago, IL
Graduation Date: May 2012

Research Synopsis: I am interested in healthy relationships and marriages in disadvantaged and minority populations. I will be researching long distance dating relationships among African American couples, specifically when one attends a university and the other one does not. This research will give insight to how these relationships works and the hardships attributed to them.
Carmen Harjoe
Mentor: Carl Gerhardt
Major:
Fisheries & Wildlife
Hometown: St. Louis, MO
Graduation Date: May 2013

Research Synopsis: I am researching acoustic communication in gray treefrogs (Hyla versicolor). Specifically, i am investigating the effects of previous contest experience on male aggressive behavior as well as the existence of winner and loser effects.
Bethany Henry
Mentor: Craig Palmer
Major:
History & Anthropology
Hometown: Neosho, MO
Graduation Date: May 2012

Research Synopsis: My project is a comparison of federal policy associated with indigenous groups in the United States and Canada. Through various methods and surveys, I’ll be analyzing the application of policy through visual images on park web pages. I hope to impact efforts by federal agencies to preserve and interpret indigenous history in a 21st century context.
Damir Kolasinac
Mentor: Sheila Grant
Major:
Biological Engineering emphasis in Biomedical
Hometown: St. Louis, MO
Graduation Date: May 2012

Research Synopsis: The development of an electrospun molecularly imprinted polymer (MIP) sensor for the detection of nitroaromatic compounds. The sensor will detect trinitrotoluene (TNT) and its chemical precursor DNT by means of fluorescence spectroscopy.  This research will have applications in detecting improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and reducing the threats associated with their functions.
Carolyn Lacey
Mentor: William Folk
Major:
Biochemistry
Hometown: Troy, MO
Graduation Date: May 2013

Research Synopsis: The purpose of my research is to determine whether sorghum genotypes differ in the production of somatic embryogenic callus cabable of transformation, and how transformation efficiency is affected by culture media.
Gerald Mitchell
Mentor: Laura King
Major:
Psychology
Hometown: Luzerne, MI
Graduation Date: May 2012

Research Synopsis: I am studying the moderating effects of personal differences in intuition on the relationship between positive affect and its consequences and similar relationships.
Danielle Mocker
Mentor: Matthew Gompper
Major:
Fisheries & Wildlife
Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA
Graduation Date: May 2012

Research Synopsis: My research interests include looking at host behavior and the interactions of pathogens and their hosts to better understand disease transmission.  I am also interested in how human impacts influence wildlife disease transmission across species and in developing new methods of disease control for wildlife conservation.  For my McNair research, I am studying the spatial and temporal variation of a parasitic copepod (Salmincola californiensis) on hatchery-reared rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss).
Akia Parks
Mentor: John Viator
Major:
Biological Engineering
Hometown: Richton Park, IL
Graduation Date: May 2013

Research Synopsis: In my research I am using the Two-Phase Flow Photoacoustic Detection System developed by the John Viator Lab to detect circulating E. coli cells in the blood of patients with sepsis.
Rosalyn Reese
Mentor: William Folk
Major:
Biochemistry
Hometown: St. Louis, MO
Graduation Date: May 2013

Research Synopsis: My research seeks to find a more cost effective and sensitive method of detecting heteroplasmic mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) point mutations that can in turn be used in a clinical laboratory setting. We will aim to do a compare and contrast study between two different methods for detecting mtDNA mutations: the Surveyor Nuclease Assay, and the Restriction Fragment Mass Polymorphism Assay (RFMP).
Antaniece Sills
Mentor: Kalea Benner
Major:
HDFS & Social Work
Hometown: St. Louis, MO
Graduation Date: May 2013

Research Synopsis: My research addresses if parenting styles in single parent, low-income households have an effect on children's academic success. Data collection will be from 8th grade students at Oakland Junior High School. I will elaborate on the correlations between parenting styles and academics based on the survey results.
Caitlin Vore
Mentor: Heidi Appel
Major:
Environmental Science
Hometown: Auxvasse, MO
Graduation Date: May 2013

Research Synopsis: I am examining the differences in the volatile profiles emitted by Arabidopsis thaliana in response to mechanical wounding as well as insect herbivory by two species of caterpillars: Spodoptera exigua and Pieris rapae,  and whether those differences arise from the feeding patterns of the two caterpillars and/or the total amount of damage being incurred on the plant. This information will be used to create a portable analytic instrutment capable of detecting plant volatiles in an open air environment and determining the cause of the emissions whether it be insect damage or mechanical damage.