ROCK HILL, S.C. – The McNair Scholars’ research titles offered intriguing glimpses: “Effects of Pets on Depression and Anxiety in College Students,” “Role Dichotomy: Superheroes and Their Secret Identities,” and “Anime and Manga Contribute to Reading Commitment, Quantity and Enjoyment.”
Winthrop’s first class of 25 McNair Scholars wrapped up six weeks conducting summer research on a particular topic, from economics to art therapy to the life sciences. The scholars presented their findings at a July 30 symposium at Plowden Auditorium in the Withers/W.T.S. Building.
Daniel Selvey, a psychology major from Charlotte, N.C., came up with the idea to look at superheroes and their secret identities to exemplify work and non-work conflicts. It was inspiration at 3 a.m. at a local fast food restaurant.
He examined how Batman, Spider-Man, Iron Man, Superwoman, Catwoman, the Hulk and the Fantastic Four handled their work involvement and role integration, among other points, and came up with a poster with the help of mentor Tracy Griggs, assistant professor of psychology. Scholars had the option of presenting a poster or making an oral presentation using Power Point on July 30.
Faculty member Eurnestine Brown in psychology worked with three McNair Scholars, whom she called “stellar students” who are very motivated. Their topics were maternal depression, the dynamics of grandparents in Head Start families and a rare birth defect.
The McNair Scholar program is part of the prestigious federal Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Degree Program, named for the late astronaut Ronald McNair. He was a South Carolina native who went on to explore the cosmos as a scientist and NASA astronaut.
The McNair program provides scholarship and program funds to encourage and support students who are first-generation, disadvantaged or under-represented in their pursuit of graduate education. This year's students come from all four of the university's academic colleges.
McNair Scholar Director Cheryl Fortner-Wood said almost all of the scholars plan to continue their research with their mentor during the academic year. “All of these scholars are doing work that has meaningful implications for their field or another external audience,” she said.
The McNair Scholars will continue to meet monthly and those that are seniors will begin graduate applications and one-on-one advising.
The other McNair Scholars are: Alfred McCloud, Brittany Stapleton, Wendy Adams, Cayla Eagon, Ansel Dejon Bivens, Jasmin Sanders, Lawana Reed, Opal Dyson, Courtney Gregory, Brandi Jefferies, Kia Smalls, Katheryn Dixson, Muri Mata, Hailey Whitehurst, Shanequa Bryant, Everett Johnson, Robin Newsome, Ronald Nelson, Krysten Sobus, Ashton Brock, Jessica Fuentes, Cecile Gadson and Raven Suber. Cedric Williams from Limestone College also participated.