June 22, 2000
KALAMAZOO -- Fifteen undergraduate scholars (see list below) will be recognized during Western Michigan University's first Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Scholars Program Luncheon from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 27, at the Fetzer Center.
All of the scholars to be honored are participants of WMU's McNair Post-Baccalaureate Scholars Program. The luncheon caps off the program's 2000 Undergraduate Research Institute, an intensive eight-week spring/summer learning experience.
Keynote speaker for the event will be Carl McNair, the brother of the late Ronald McNair, for whom the scholars program is named. Ronald, who earned a doctoral degree in physics from MIT, joined NASA as a shuttle program astronaut in 1978 and died in the 1986 explosion of the space shuttle Challenger.
Carl McNair has held a variety of management and consulting positions in the telecommunications, software development and computer industries and was president of his own computer programming and software engineering consulting firm. He is the founder and president of the Dr. Ronald E. McNair Foundation, which develops and implements educational programs that motivate students to pursue careers in science, mathematics and technology.
Cameron Clark, a McNair Scholar from Belleville, Mich., will preside over the event and Joseph Bolden III, a McNair Scholar from Kalamazoo, will introduce the keynote speaker. Other luncheon speakers will include Robert Jones, Kalamazoo mayor; Dr. Timothy Light, WMU provost and vice president for academic affairs; and Dr. Donald E. Thompson, WMU vice president for research and dean of the University's Graduate College.
The McNair program is one of seven congressionally funded educational opportunity programs that help U.S. students overcome class, social, academic and cultural barriers to higher education. Collectively known as TRIO programs, they require that more than two-thirds of participants come from low-income families, where neither parent graduated from college.
"Congress established the McNair program in 1989 as a way of increasing the enrollment of under-represented student groups in doctoral programs," says Gregory Moorehead, associate director of WMU's Division of Minority Affairs and coordinator of TRIO programs. "We initiated our version of the program last year to help WMU students with strong academic credentials hone their research skills in preparation for enrolling in graduate school here or at another university."
Moorehead says McNair Scholars are introduced to research concepts and activities as sophomores and juniors, then work closely with faculty mentors in their final two years to design research projects, conduct research and present and/or publish their findings.
They each receive a $2,800 stipend to support their research activities and compete for selection to attend the Undergraduate Research Institute. Those selected receive free room and board while attending the institute.
"The McNair luncheon will showcase current McNair scholars and some of the research proposals that were fine tuned during this year's institute," Moorehead says. "The whole idea is to work closely with these students so that by the time they graduate from WMU, their research will be published and hopefully, they'll go on to obtain a Ph.D."
Moorehead adds that increasing the amount and quality of research conducted at the undergraduate level is an important goal of the University for two reasons.
"Having a solid research background gives our undergraduate students a competitive edge when applying to graduate schools and helps develop key skills they'll need to be successful after they're admitted," he says. "It also enhances their marketability should they decide to enter the labor force right after obtaining their bachelor's degree."
The McNair program is one of three TRIO programs administered by the minority affairs unit in WMU's Division of Student Affairs. For more information, contact Moorehead or Maxine Gilling, director of the McNair Post-Baccalaureate Scholars Program.
McNair Scholars. Those followed by asterisks are also Undergraduate Research Institute participants.
Joseph Bolden III, 2300 Iverness Lane, #202, Kalamazoo. He is junior majoring in criminal justice.
Cameron Clark, Belleville, Mich. The son of Clifford and Joan Hill, he is a junior majoring in English. His faculty mentor is Dr. Benjamin Wilson, professor of black Americana studies.*
Charles Davis Jr., 122 Dixie Ave., Kalamazoo. The son of Annie Johnson and Charles Davis, he is a senior majoring in elementary education. His faculty mentor is Dr. Charles Warfield, associate professor of teaching, learning and leadership.*
Tonia Dwyer, 611 Whites Road, #308, Kalamazoo. The daughter of Rosemary Williams and Cedrick Dwyer, she is a senior majoring in criminal justice. Her faculty mentor is Dr. Charles Crawford, assistant professor of sociology.*
Jennifer Earley, 5636 Woodstock, Lansing, Mich. The daughter of Darness and Sandra Earley, she is a senior majoring in marketing and in communication. Her faculty mentor is Dr. Benjamin Wilson, professor of black Americana studies.*
Awet Embaie, 3478 N. Lake Drive, Grand Rapids, Mich. The son of Zewdi Berme and Tsemaie Tesfagaber, he is a junior majoring in biomedical sciences. His faculty mentor is Dr. Gyula Ficsor, professor of biological sciences.*
Eloho Erihri, 1000 Oliver St., #306, Kalamazoo. The son of Paul and Victoria Erihri, he is a senior majoring in finance. His faculty mentor is Dr. Christopher Korth, professor of finance and commercial law.*
Christopher Gowens, 5227 N. Riverview Drive, Kalamazoo. The son of Jean Brand and Ronald Gowens, he is a senior majoring in biomedical sciences. His faculty mentor is Dr. David Reinhold, assistant professor of chemistry.
Erika Moloseau, 3181 Brentfield Drive, Flushing, Mich. The daughter of Clayton and Brenda Molloseau, she is a senior majoring in English. Her faculty mentor is Dr. Mark Orbe, assistant professor of communication.*
Kenneth Naccaratto, 447 W. Vine, #1E, Kalamazoo. The son of Patti Crawford and Kenneth Naccaratto, he is a junior majoring in English. His faculty mentor is Dr. Stephanie Gauper, professor of English.*
Tami Nelson, South Korea. The daughter of Ralph and Yong Ye Nelson, she is a senor majoring in organizational communication. Her faculty mentor is Dr. Leigh Ford, assistant professor of communication.*
Karika Phillips, 5200 Lucerne Ave., #3, Kalamazoo. The daughter of Louis and Gloria Parker, she is a junior majoring in sociology. Her faculty mentor is Dr. Paul Wienir, associate professor of sociology.*
Yatesha Robinson, 6141 Ibis Court, Portage, Mich. The daughter of Cheryl and Leon Robinson, she is a member of the Lee Honors College and a senior majoring in interpersonal communication. Her faculty mentor is Dr. Mark Orbe, assistant professor of communication.*
Deena Sammut, 5472 Whispering Pines, Stevensville, Mich. The daughter of Richard and Jana Sammut, she is a junior majoring in organizational communication. Her faculty mentor is Dr. Kathleen Propp, assistant professor of communication.*
Rosalinda Vasquez, 2041 E. Centre Ave., #D5, Portage, Mich. The daughter of Juan and Lilia Vasquez, she is a junior majoring in Spanish. Her faculty mentor is Dr. Gwen Tarbox, assistant professor of English.*
Media contact: Jeanne Baron, 616 387-8400, firstname.lastname@example.org
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