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K-State Today

April 28, 2014



K-State McNair Scholars honored at annual ceremony

By Jon Tveite

McNair Logo

The McNair Scholars Program at K-State held its annual recognition  April 21 in the K-State Student Union Ballroom. Students, alumni, faculty, staff, administrators, friends and family members gathered to learn about the research, accomplishments and future plans of McNair Scholars at K-State. This annual event goes back 18 years to the spring of 1996, during the first year of K-State’s first McNair grant.

Fifteen McNair Scholars were honored for having completed their research internships in summer 2013: Brandy Carter, fisheries, wildlife and conservation biology; Kathyrn Douglass, biological systems engineering; Oliva Eller, biology; Angelique Foye, psychology and family studies and human services; Kirti Gandhi, nutritional sciences; Joshua Klarmann, math and secondary education; Jack Lemmon, animal sciences and industry; Cameron Lucero, mechanical engineering; Talus McCowan, psychology; Marian Mersmann, psychology; Jeffrey Murray, physics; Fernando Roman, math; Alexia Sampson-Bellot, animal sciences and industry; Jacar Union, American ethnic studies; and Graham Weaver, history.

The new cohort of McNair Scholars, who will be completing their research internships this summer, were also introduced: Obdulia Covarrubias, biochemistry; Alan Duong, mechanical engineering; Monica Farfan, animal sciences and industry; Angela Glean, kinesiology; Lucas Gorentz, mechanical and nuclear engineering; Simone Holliday, animal sciences and industry; Jessie Lyne, animal sciences and industry; Ora McIntosh, English; Mary Muckey, animal sciences and industry; Tobi Omodehinde, psychology; June Ramirez, communication studies; Victoria Sears, history; Stevie St. Clair, social work; Derrick Till, psychology and political science; and Shai Washington, political science.

The program recognized four additional McNair Scholars who are graduating from K-State in May — Joshua de Bonilla, philosophy and music composition; Anthony Meals, agricultural education; Graciela Orozco, biology; and Stephanie Skinner, animal sciences and industry — as well as program alumni Isaac Falcon, currently a graduate student in family studies at K-State, and Marilyn Ortega, and Ruddy Yanez, who will be starting new graduate programs in the fall.

Finally, the McNair program gave special recognition to an alum, Jose Guzman, who recently fulfilled the mission of the program by earning a doctorat in agronomy from Iowa State University, where his dissertation was "Evaluation of residue management practices effects on corn productivity, soil quality, and greenhouse gas emissions." Guzman is currently doing research as a postdoc at Ohio State University in association with Rattan Lal, a world-renowned expert in the area of soil carbon dynamics. The program also recognized Guzman's K-State faculty mentor, David Mengel, in the agronomy department, for his vital role in helping to prepare his mentee for graduate school.

The Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program is federally funded by the U.S. Department of Education to prepare talented undergrads for graduate study. Program participants receive guidance in building skills needed to succeed in graduate school and in applying to graduate programs, as well as the opportunity to conduct research under a K-State faculty mentor.

We are currently beginning our search for scholars to enter the program in fall 2014. K-State faculty and staff are encouraged to submit names, of promising undergraduates interested in seeking advanced degrees, to the program by email to mcnair@k-state.edu.

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