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07/28/2015

McNair Scholars' Long Hours and Intense Research Gain National Attention

Quick Facts

 The Winthrop McNair Scholars Program prepares first generation, low-income, and underrepresented undergraduates to be successful in Ph.D. programs by providing research and other opportunities as well as financial support throughout the graduate admissions process.
 Winthrop’s scholars earned five awards at the national McNair meeting hosted by the Southeastern Association of Equal Opportunity Programs and Personnel (SAEOPP) in Atlanta, Georgia.

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ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA - Winthrop University’s McNair Scholars have put in hard work and long hours conducting research this summer, and that hard work is paying off.

The Winthrop McNair Scholars Program prepares first generation, low-income, and underrepresented undergraduates to be successful in Ph.D. programs by providing research and other opportunities as well as financial support throughout the graduate admissions process. Winthrop's program includes, but is not limited to, a summer research experience, workshops, GRE and graduate school application preparation, and travel to present research and explore graduate programs.

Recently, the McNair Scholars had the opportunity to present their findings from their summer research experience at state and national McNair meetings.

Winthrop’s scholars earned five awards at the national McNair meeting hosted by the Southeastern Association of Equal Opportunity Programs and Personnel (SAEOPP) in Atlanta, Georgia. They competed with peers from other institutions including, but not limited to, University of Florida; University of Illinois; University of Nevada, Las Vegas; Louisiana State University; Rider University; and University of South Carolina.

In the posters category, Lauren Green (mentor: Matthew Stern, biology) earned first place for her research on “Brain-Penetrating Histone Deacetylase Inhibitor RG2833: A Potential Malignant Melanoma Growth Suppressor.” Malyn Pope (mentor: Merry Sleigh, psychology) earned third place for her research on “The Effect of Hairstyle on Perceptions of Black Women’s Personality and Earning Potential.”

Of the Life Science oral presentations, Kyle McDaniel (mentor: Julian Smith III, biology) earned second place for research on “A Genetic Confirmation of Temporary Meiofauna in the Meiobenthic Food Web” and Jordan Lewis (mentor: Matt Heard, biology) earned third place for research entitled “Impacts of Beach Renourishment on the Distribution and Abundance of Escherichia Coli.”

In the Education oral presentation category, Ashley Causey (mentor: Jeannie Haubert, sociology) earned first place for her research on “Beyond Whitewashing: Incorporating Multicultural Education in Teacher Preparation Program.”

“Every year, I am proud of the caliber of the scholars’ presentations,” said Cheryl Fortner-Wood, director of the McNair Scholars Program and associate professor of psychology. “This year, I witnessed perhaps the best set of presentations in our six years. Based on what I saw and heard from others, Winthrop’s presentations ranged from very good to outstanding. All 18 of our scholars produced excellent work during an intense summer program.”

The Winthrop McNair Advisory Board selects scholars from Winthrop’s colleges of Visual and Performing Arts, Education, Business Administration, and Arts and Sciences. Sixteen of the summer scholars are from Winthrop and two are from Clemson University.

This year, eight of the 11 McNair Scholar graduates accepted offers from Winthrop, Duke, Temple, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, Georgetown, University of Maryland and Oklahoma State.

The Winthrop McNair Scholars Program is funded by a five-year renewable U.S. Department of Education TRiO Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program grant ($220,000/year, 72% of program costs), Winthrop, and the Winthrop Foundation. Each year, the program supports the research and graduate study aspirations of at least 30 undergraduates who show great potential and come from first-generation, low-income, and underrepresented backgrounds.

For more information, please visit www.winthrop.edu/mcnair or contact Fortner-Wood at fortnerc@winthrop.edu.


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