Undergraduate researchers honored as McNair Scholars
June 21, 2001
KALAMAZOO -- Sixteen undergraduate scholars (see below for complete list) will be recognized during Western Michigan University's second Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Scholars Program Luncheon from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 26, at the Fetzer Center.
The luncheon caps off the McNair program's annual Summer Research Institute, an intensive eight-week, on-campus learning experience, which takes place during May and June. The event was introduced in 2000 as a way of recognizing the McNair Scholars each academic year who successfully complete the institute or graduate from WMU.
Ten of the McNair Scholars being honored this year participated in the institute while the remaining six are now alumni of the University.
Keynote speaker for the event will be Dr. Ricardo A. Millett, director of evaluation for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in Battle Creek, Mich., until this past May and now president of the Woods Fund of Chicago, a private philanthropic foundation.
Throughout his career, Millett has worked to achieve social and economic justice for all people. He has been a leader in major collaborative initiatives that have brought community and corporate representatives and their respective institutions together to support housing, child care, and anti-drug and anti-violence programs. He also has published a book and several articles on the subject of citizen participation and community capacity building.
Millett, who has a doctoral degree in social policy planning and research from Brandeis University, previously served in such positions as senior vice president of planning and resource management for the United Way of Massachusetts Bay in Boston; deputy associate commissioner of the Department of Social Services for Massachusetts; director of neighborhood housing and development for the Boston Redevelopment Authority; and director of the Martin Luther King Center at Boston University.
Also speaking at the luncheon will be Robert Jones, mayor of Kalamazoo; Elson S. Floyd, president of WMU; and Dr. Donald E. Thompson, vice president for research and dean of the Graduate College at WMU. Dr. Eileen B. Evans, associate dean of WMU's Graduate College, will preside over the event.
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 Maxine Gilling, director of WMU's program, which is housed in the Division of Multicultural Affairs. "We initiated our version of the program in 1999 to help WMU students with strong academic credentials hone their research skills in preparation for enrolling in graduate school here or at another university."
Gilling 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 required research activities and compete for selection to attend the Summer Research Institute. During the institute, participants receive free room and board while living on campus and fine tuning their research proposals.
"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.," Gilling says.
"Having a solid research background gives our undergraduate students a competitive edge when applying to graduate school and helps them develop key skills they'll need to be successful after they're admitted," she adds. "It also enhances their marketability if they decide to enter the labor force right after obtaining their bachelor's degrees."
Media contact: Jeanne Baron, 616 387-8400, firstname.lastname@example.org
McNair Post-Baccalaureate Scholars
Cameron Clark is an April 2001 graduate from Belleville, Mich., who majored in English. His faculty mentor was Dr. Benjamin Wilson, professor of black Americana studies.
Mary Elizabeth Crawford is a senior from Inkster, Mich., majoring in political science and philosophy (pre-law) and a Lee Honors College member. Her faculty mentor is Dr. Thomas L. Gossman, professor of finance and commercial law.
Eluehue Crudhup II is a junior from Saginaw, Mich., majoring in English and a Lee Honors College member. Her faculty mentor is Dr. Leander C. Jones, professor of black Americana studies.
Charisse Dennard is a sophomore from Southfield, Mich., majoring in pre-communication. Her faculty mentor is Dr. Mark Orbe, associate professor of communication.
Candace Dixon is a sophomore from Oak Park, Mich., majoring in broadcast and cable production. Her faculty mentor is Dr. Paul Nwulu, assistant professor of communication.
Tonia Dwyer is a December 2000 graduate from Kalamazoo, who majored in criminal justice. Her faculty mentor was Dr. Charles Crawford, assistant professor of sociology.
Dannon Holly is an April 2001 graduate from Detroit, who majored in secondary education. His faculty mentor was Dr. M. Arthur Garmon, assistant professor of teaching, learning and leadership.
Tammy Jeffries is a senior from Mattawan, Mich., majoring in interpersonal communication. Her faculty mentor is Dr. Mark Orbe, associate professor of communication.
Margaret "Peg" Katona is a senior from Traverse City, Mich., majoring in English. Her faculty mentor is Kurt Kearcher, director of the WMU Writing Center.
Erika Molloseau is an April 2001 graduate from Flushing, Mich., who majored in organizational communication. Her faculty mentor was Dr. Mark Orbe, associate professor of communication.
Tami Nelsen is an April 2001 graduate from South Korea, who majored in organizational communication. Her faculty mentor was Dr. Leigh Arden Ford, assistant professor of communication.
Lacresha Roberts is a junior from Lansing, Mich., majoring in psychology and social work. Her faculty mentor is Dr. Earlie M. Washington, director, WMU School of Social Work.
Bethany Salgat is a junior from Pinconning, Mich., majoring in English. Her faculty mentor is Dr. Gwen A. Tarbox, assistant professor of English.
Deena Sammut is an April 2001 graduate from Stevensville, Mich., who majored in organizational communication. Her faculty mentor was Dr. Kathleen Propp, assistant professor of communication.
Renee Shank is a sophomore from Caro, Mich., majoring in elementary education. Her faculty mentor is Dr. Josephine Barry Davis, instructor of teaching, learning and leadership.
Natalie Wallace is a senior from Eaton Rapids, Mich., majoring in biology. Her faculty mentor is Dr. John M. Spitsbergen, assistant professor of biological sciences.