The 18th Annual
MKN McNair Heartland Research Conference

will be held
September 19-21, 2014,

at the Marriott Country Club Plaza Hotel
45th and Main Street
in Kansas City, Missouri.

In Kansas City's historic Country Club Plaza district...
 

The McNair Heartland Research Conference offers undergraduates the opportunity to...

The conference highlights include individual student research presentations, a graduate recruitment fair, speakers and panel discussions, a pre-conference workshop on writing graduate admissions essays, and opportunities to interact with graduate school faculty and staff.


TABLE OF CONTENTS

Graduate Recruitment Fair Registration, Forms, and Deadlines Abstracts and Presentations
MKN Heartland Scholarship Pre-Conference Opportunities Speakers
Conference Schedule Nearby Attractions Contact Conference Chairs

 


GRADUATE RECRUITMENT FAIR [table of contents]
    The Heartland Conference Graduate Recruitment Fair will be held on Friday evening, 7:00 - 9:00pm, September 19, 2014. Registration for graduate school representatives is done online through SurveyMonkey.

Each participant MUST register online. There will be NO on-site registration. Full payment (check, money order, or cashier's check) must be received by September 12, 2014.

Registration Deadlines: Regstration must be completed by August 15, 2014. Registration fees will be refunded, less a $30 administration fee, if cancellation is received in writing no later than Friday, August 22, 2014. After August 22, registration fees are non-refundable. All refunds will be processed after the conference. Substitutions are allowed if the original registrant can't attend.

 

A limited number of rooms may be available at the Marriott Country Club Plaza for graduate fair representatives. If you are interested, please make your request ASAP through the conference organizers (see the contact info for Jeanne Gerhard below, or on the Graduate Fair Information page).


REGISTRATION [table of contents]
    Registration costs depend on when you register (see page one of the brochure below), but are $495-535 per person for double room occupancy and $570-610 for single room occupancy (staff only). Registration for staff and students is done by entering information into a single PDF, printing the form to a new PDF, and sending it to Jeanne Gerhard.  

The full registration fee includes:

(If you have questions about the registration form, contact Jeanne Gerhard
by e-mail at jgerhard@ksu.edu or by phone at 785-532-6137.)


CONFERENCE DEADLINES [table of contents]

    Final Registration
: Friday, August 15, 2014 (register earlier for better rates -- click button for more info)

 

    Abstracts: Friday, August 15, 2014

    Cancellations must be received in writing by Friday, August 22.
 


ABSTRACTS & PRESENTATIONS [table of contents]
    McNair program staff are asked to submit abstracts for all their scholars (both oral and poster presenters) in a single MS Word file e-mailed by Friday, August 15 to Mulu Negash, (leyesus1@ku.edu). Abstracts must be 250 words or less.  Click the button below for instructions on submitting abstracts.

ORAL PRESENTATIONS
    The time allotted for each presentation is 15 minutes. Presentations will be organized into one-hour blocks consisting of three presenters in similar areas of study (to the extent possible).  After all presenters have spoken, there will be time for questions, followed by 10 minutes of transition and set-up time between presentation groups.

There will be a PC laptop and a projector in every room, and all presenters are welcome to use them for PowerPoint.  We suggest bringing presentations on a CD-ROM and/or USB drive, because other media may not be accessible by every machine.  We are unable to guarantee that the projectors or computers will work as planned for everyone, but we will try to accommodate presenters as much as possible. 

The presentation rooms will have wireless Internet access. However, it is always a good idea to rely on the Internet as little as possible. Multimedia and other materials from the Internet can usually be downloaded to a USB drive or CD-ROM as a back-up measure, in case something goes wrong with the wi-fi connection in your room.



IMPORTANT NOTE: Scholars, please be sure to save a copy of your slideshows as a Microsoft PowerPoint 97-2003 presentation. While some laptops at the conference may have PowerPoint 2007 or 2010, some might not. Our goal is compatibility, no matter what version of Windows or PowerPoint is on the laptops. If you are using a version of PowerPoint prior to 2007, simply save your document to a flash drive or CD. If you are using PowerPoint 2007 or 2010, follow these instructions:

    1. Click on the Office Button (2007) or File tab (2010).  
    2. Move the arrow over "Save As". You will see several options. Click on
        "PowerPoint 97-2003 Presentation".
    3. Navigate to the flash drive or CD you will be saving presentation to and click "Save".

POSTER PRESENTATIONS
    We are limited to 10 poster presentations. Space is available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Easels will be provided.
 


MKN HEARTLAND SCHOLARSHIPS [table of contents]
    MKN has established three scholarships for Heartland Conference presenters. One, for $500, will be awarded by drawing to a McNair Scholar who presented at a previous Heartland Conference, has entered graduate school, and submits proof of their enrollment (each presenter may enter the drawing once). Scholarships of $250 will go to two of the McNair Scholars who present at the 2014 Heartland Conference. Click the button below for more information.


 


PRE-CONFERENCE OPPORTUNITY [table of contents]

* Personal Statement Writing (Friday, 9/19, 2:00-4:00 p.m.)
   
Participants in this workshop will engage in activities designed to help develop and refine their personal statements. The focus will be on helping participants present themselves positively, effectively, and accurately to the faculty assessing their graduate applications.  The workshop will be particularly valuable for participants who will be applying to graduate programs this Fall.  Participants will have the opportunity to receive individual feedback on their personal statements. Participants who have drafts of their essays are encouraged to bring them to the conference.

The workshop presenter, Michael Heppler, [see bio/photo] has extensive experience with graduate school admissions. Heppler is a former Assistant Director of Student Academic Services in the Graduate School at Oklahoma State University.


SPEAKERS [table of contents]

FRIDAY EVENING: Dr. John Augusto, Ph.D. [see full bio/photo]
   
John Augusto has spent over 20 years in higher education thinking about why students go to graduate school. He has conducted research for national organizations, given numerous talks to various student organizations and met with hundreds of students on this one question: why do students go to graduate school? John will share his insight on this subject and provide students with a behind the scenes look at the world of graduate admissions.

SATURDAY BANQUET, KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Dr. Tara Ruttley, Ph.D. [see full bio/photo]
    Tara M. Ruttley, Ph.D., is the Associate Program Scientist for the International Space Station (ISS) for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) at Johnson Space Center (JSC) in Houston. She was a McNair Scholar while an undergraduate at Colorado State University, and went on to receive a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from University of Texas Medical Branch.

SUNDAY BREAKFAST SPEAKER: Blane Harding, M.A. [see photo/full bio]
    Blane Harding currently serves as the Director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs at the University of Kansas. Mr. Harding is also a consultant for private companies and has worked with over 30 institutions of higher learning across the country. In May 2012 after twenty three years of service, he retired from Colorado State University where he served as the Director of Advising, Recruitment, and Retention for the College of Liberal Arts. Mr. Harding has taught courses in African American history and Ethnic Studies for the past twenty two years. He received his BA in Interdisciplinary Communication from S.U.N.Y. at Brockport and his MA in 19th Century American history from Colorado State University.
   
 


SCHEDULE OF EVENTS (subject to change) [table of contents]

Friday, September 19, 2014

12:00pm - 4:00pm     Registration
2:00pm - 4:00pm  Workshop: Personal Statement Writing
5:00pm - 6:30pm   Welcome, Introductions, & Dinner
   Opening Speaker: Dr. John Augusto
7:00pm - 9:00pm Graduate Recruitment Fair
   Graduate School Finance & Money Management
 

Saturday, September 20, 2014

7:45am - 8:45am      Breakfast
9:00am - 11:10am      Oral Research Presentations
9:30am - 5:30pm      Individual Review of Graduate Statements (w/ Mike Heppler)
11:15am - 11:45am      Poster Presentations
11:45am - 12:45pm  Lunch (w/ trivia contest)
1:00pm - 3:20pm      Oral Research Presentations
3:30pm - 6:30pm   Free Time
7:00pm      Banquet and Keynote Speaker: Dr. Tara Ruttley
After Speaker...   Entertainment on your own (see below)
 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

9:00am - 10:45am      Breakfast / Speaker: Blane Harding
10:30am      Awarding of three 3 Heartland McNair Scholarships (2 @ $250 & 1 @ $500)
11:00am   Departure
 


NEARBY KANSAS CITY AREA HIGHLIGHTS [table of contents]

* The Country Club Plaza --
An outdoor 'museum' of Spanish architecture with fountains and sculptures, as well as shopping and eating areas. The Annual Plaza Art Fair will be held here on the weekend of the 2012 Heartland Research Conference.

* The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art --
Both have free admission and are less than a half-mile from the hotel.

* Information on Blues and Jazz clubs --
World famous Kansas City Night Life!

          * Downtown Kansas City's Power and Light District --
                    A new entertainment area just a short cab ride away from the Marriott C.C. Plaza.

* The Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site --
Just over an hour from the conference hotel, the Historic Site is located at the Monroe Elementary School, which was one of the four segregated elementary schools for African-American children in Topeka, Kansas. The visual and audio displays place the struggle for equality in educational opportunity within the context of the struggle for civil rights. The site is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
 
[table of contents]

For more information, contact a conference co-chair:

    Dr. Kari Azevedo, McNair Scholars Program
    Humphreys 127C
    University of Central Missouri
    Warrensburg, MO 64093
    Phone: (660) 543-4135
    e-mail: kazevedo@ucmo.edu

    Mulu Negash, McNair Scholars Program
    305 Joseph R. Pearson Hall
    University of Kansas
    1122 West Campus Road
    Lawrence, KS 66045
    Phone: (785) 864-3412
    e-mail: leyesus1@ku.edu


Presenter & Speaker Bio Information [table of contents]

PRE-CONFERENCE WORKSHOP PRESENTER: Michael Heppler

    Michael Heppler worked in Oklahoma State University's graduate school from 1997 to 2011. In 2004 he was promoted to Director of McNair Relations as a direct result of his work with McNair Research Scholars across the country. He has traveled throughout the United States speaking to students about successful graduate school application strategies.
    He is a nationally recognized speaker on Successful Graduate/Professional School Admission Strategies. The National Society of Black Engineers, Ronald E. McNair Research Scholars, and Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation program are among the list of organizations to which he has presented these strategies.
    Mr. Heppler has presented at many regional and national conferences. A few of his prior appearances are the National Society of Black Engineers Region V Conference, the University of Tennessee McNair Scholars Research Conference at the Knoxville, Tennessee, and Heartland McNair Scholars Research Conference in Kansas City, Missouri.
 

 

 

FRIDAY EVENING SPEAKER: Dr. John Augusto, Ph.D.
   
Dr. John Augusto has spent over 20 years in higher education thinking about why students go to graduate school. He has conducted research for national organizations, given numerous talks to various student organizations and met with hundreds of students on this one question: why do students go to graduate school? John will share his insight on this subject and provide students with a behind the scenes look at the world of graduate admissions. John earned his PhD from the University of Kansas and currently works at KU as Director of the Center for Undergraduate Research.
 

 

 

KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Dr. Tara M. Ruttley, Ph.D.
    Tara M. Ruttley, Ph.D., is the Associate Program Scientist for the International Space Station (ISS) for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) at Johnson Space Center (JSC) in Houston. Her role in the Program Science Office consists of representing and communicating all research on the space station, and supporting research recommendations to the ISS Program Manager and to NASA Headquarters. Prior to her role in the ISS Program Science Office, Dr. Ruttley served as the lead flight hardware engineer for the ISS Crew Health Maintenance System, and later for the ISS Human Research Facility.
    Ruttley has a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology, where she was a McNair Scholar, and a Master of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Colorado State University, and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Neuroscience from the University of Texas Medical Branch. Dr. Ruttley has authored publications ranging from hardware design to neurological science, and also holds a U.S. utility patent.

 

 

 

SUNDAY BREAKFAST SPEAKER: Blane Harding, M.A.
Blane Harding currently serves as the Director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs at the University of Kansas.  Mr. Harding is also a consultant for private companies and has worked with over 30 institutions of higher learning across the country.  In May 2012 after twenty three years of service, he retired from Colorado State University where he served as the Director of Advising, Recruitment, and Retention for the College of Liberal Arts.  Mr. Harding has taught courses in African American history and Ethnic Studies for the past twenty two years.  He received his BA in Interdisciplinary Communication from S.U.N.Y. at Brockport and his MA in 19th Century American history from Colorado State University.  Mr. Harding has also served as a retention faculty member with the Council for Opportunity in Education which oversees the national TRio programs.  He is a faculty member and past Chair of the Summer Institute Advisory Board for the National Academic Advising Association as well as the former Chair of the Multicultural Concerns Commission.  Mr. Harding has presented at national conferences on various topics that focus on African American, Latino(a), Bi-racial, Native American, and Asian/Pacific Island students in higher education.  Mr. Harding has published several articles on diversity, multicultural advising, and advisor training.  These include a chapter titled “Students with Specific Needs” in Academic Advising:  A Comprehensive Handbook October 2008 and “From Bridges to Coalitions:  Collaboration Between Academic Advising Units and Offices that Support Students of Color”, NACADA 30 Anniversary Monograph Series, August 2009.  His most recent publication co-authored with Marsha Miller is titled “Cultivating the Potential in At-Risk Students”, NACADA Pocket Guide Series, Spring 2013.
    Denver’s Channel 7 Television station recognized Mr. Harding as an “Everyday Hero” for his community involvement.  He is the recipient of several honors and awards including:  CSU Minority Distinguished Service Award, College of Liberal Arts Excellence in Teaching Award, CSU Alumni Association “Six Best” Teacher Award, the City of Loveland “Citizens That Make a Difference”, Black Student Services Distinguished Faculty Award, History Department Phi Alpha Theta Outstanding Professor Award, the Provost’s Jack E. Cermak Advising Award, the Provost Oliver P. Pennock Distinguished Service Award, and the Distinguished Administrative Professional Award from Colorado State University.

 

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