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K-State Today

August 16, 2012

Scholarly summer: McNair program interns cap off busy summer with research presentations

By Communications & Marketing

It's been a summer of discovery for 14 Kansas State University students taking part in research internships offered by the university's McNair Scholars program.

Relationship violence, cellphones and communication, and equine health issues were just some of the topics researched by the students with help from their faculty mentors.

The Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program is administrated by the U.S. Department of Education and authorized by Congress to prepare academically talented undergraduates for success in graduate studies. To be eligible, students must be low-income and the first generation of their family to complete a bachelor's degree and/or from an ethnic group underrepresented in graduate study. The goal of the program is to increase the number of students from these backgrounds who earn doctorates and who serve as college faculty members and researchers.

The students in the McNair summer research internship program were chosen in fall 2011 and spring 2012. They started working on their projects in the spring under the guidance of selected faculty mentors in their academic fields of interest.

Receiving stipends to support their participation, the students began their summer research internships in June. It involved intensive work with their mentors, as well as weekly meetings with McNair staff to monitor and support their progress. The scholars also spent three to four hours a week in a class preparing to take the Graduate Records Examination, or GRE, a standardized test required for admittance to most graduate programs.

The internship program culminated in late July when the students presented their research to fellow scholars, program staff and alumni, faculty mentors, graduate students, friends and family members, and university administrators, including Pat Bosco, vice president for student life and dean of students; Myra Gordon, associate provost for diversity; and Brian Spooner, director of the Division of Biology.

McNair Scholars program staff include Kathleen Greene, director; Lora Boyer, associate director; Kathy Zarka, assistant director; Jon Tveite, writing skills specialist; and Jeanne Gerhard, administrative specialist.

McNair Scholars presenting research, their topic and faculty mentor include:

Anthony Meals, senior in agricultural education, Clay Center, "A Delphi Study of Kansas High School-based Outdoor Education Programs" with Shannon Washburn, associate professor of communications and agricultural education.

Logan Wark, summer 2012 bachelor's candidate in biology, Colby, "Humoral Antibody Production in Healthy Foals Following Vaccination at 90 and 180 Days of Age" with Elizabeth Davis, associate professor of equine medicine and surgery.

Marian Mersmann, senior in psychology, Eudora, "Amphetamine-induced c-fos Expression in High and Low Responder Rats: Differential Involvement of the NAcc and mPFC" with Mary Cain, associate professor of psychology.

Angelique Foye, senior in family studies and human services, Junction City, "The Influence of Positive Family Member Role Models on Empathy and Pro-social Behaviors in Emerging Adulthood" with Brenda McDaniel, assistant professor of psychology.

Jeremy Gast, senior in history, Junction City, "The Effects of the Introduction of Firearms on the Culture of Palau," with Kristin Mulready-Stone, assistant professor of history.

Isaac Falcon Campos, summer 2012 bachelor's candidate in psychology, Kansas City, Kan.,"Parent-Adolescent Communication and Cellphone Use" with Karen Myers-Bowman, associate professor of family studies and human services.

Sierra Martin, senior in management information systems, Kansas City, Kan., "Examining Security Measures of Voice-over Internet Protocol" with Michael Chilton, associate professor of management.

Joshua Bonilla, senior in applied music, Manhattan, "The Influence of Andalucian, Catalonian and Basque Folk Music on Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel" with Jessica Falcone, assistant professor of anthropology.

Marilyn Ortega, senior in women's studies, Manhattan, "Cradle to Cell Block: Education and the Prison Industrial Complex Waging War on Our Children" with Shireen Roshanravan, assistant professor of women's studies.

Stephanie Skinner, senior in animal sciences and industry, Olathe, "Expression of Cathelicidins in the Urogenital Tract of Mares" with Maria Ferrer, clinical assistant professor of theriogenology.

Olivia Eller, junior in biology, Topeka, "Functional Tests of Candidate Genes Involved in Rapid Cold Hardening and Developmental Acclimation in Drosophila Melanogaster" with Ted Morgan, associate professor of biology.

Ruddy Yanez, senior in family studies and human services, Tribune, "Urban and Rural Preschool-aged Children: Perceptions of Nature and Comfort Outdoors" with Bronwyn Fees, associate professor of family studies and human services.

Simone Dorsey, senior in family studies and human services, San Bernardino, Calif., "Gender Differences in the Motives for Using Violence in Bilateral Situationally Violent Relationships" with Sandra Stith, professor of family studies and human services.

Mercedes Perry, junior in business administration, Austin, Texas, "Diversity in Mission Statements of Colleges of Business" with Brian Niehoff, associate provost for institutional effectiveness.