April 27: 24th Annual McNair Forum features undergraduate research

The 24th Annual McNair Forum, in which undergraduate research is presented by McNair Program Scholars, will be held Friday, April 27, in the Memorial Union River Valley Room.

The Ronald E. McNair Post Baccalaureate Achievement Program, named after NASA astronaut Ronald McNair who died in the 1986 explosion of the space shuttle Challenger, is funded by the United States Department of Education and is operated under the University’s Division of Student Affairs.

The McNair Program encourages students to prepare for graduate studies by providing opportunities to define goals, engage in research and to develop the skills and student faculty mentor relationships vital to success at the doctoral level. Participants are low-income, first-generation juniors or senior students from a group underrepresented at the doctoral level of targeted departments.

The forum schedule, presenters, and topics follow.

  • 9:20-9:40 a.m., Selena Garza, “Rape Culture–Are Students Willing to Accept this?”
  • 9:40-10 a.m., Caitlyn Shoulder, “Bridging the Gap: Incorporating Lakota Cultural Knowledge and Traditions into Everyday Life among Natives and Non-natives.”
  • 10-10:20 a.m., Flint Devine, “Decolonizing Gender and Sexuality: Cultural Education as a Tool to Cope with Discrimination Based on Gender Identity and/or Sexuality.”
  • 10:20-10:40 a.m., Makayla Platt, “Water Filters and Carbon Sequestration.”
  • 10:40-11 a.m., Jace Dukart, “New Avenues with Native Americans.”
  • 11-11:20 a.m., Jason Power, “Exploring the role of Norepinephrine in Epilepsy.”
  • 11:20-1 p.m., Lunch (on your own)
  • 1-1:20 p.m., Noël Lugo, “Perceptions of hate crimes against transgender women of color.”
  • 1:20-1:40 p.m., Thomas Devine, “Quantile regression.”
  • 1:40-2 p.m., Ayla Morehouse, “Polymorphism and Nest Parasitism in Lesser Snow Geese.”
  • 2-2:20 p.m., Christine VanBrocklin, “The relationship between artificial cranial modification and cultural status.”
  • 2:20-2:40 p.m., Isnino Shukri, “Immigration: An exploration of flows and how technology has impacted the life of migrants.”
  • 2:40-3 p.m., Charles LaRocque, “The Components of Reading that Predict Improvement in Reading Comprehension with Extended Time.”

About Ronald McNair
Ronald Erwin McNair was born on Oct. 21, 1950, in Lake City, S.C., to Carl and Pearl McNair. He attended North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro, where, in 1971, he graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in physics. In 1976 he earned his Ph.D. degree in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

McNair’s many distinctions include: Presidential Scholar (1967-71), Ford Foundation Fellow (1971-74), and National Fellowship Fund Fellow (1974-75). He was also named Omega Psi Phi Scholar of the Year (1975), was honored as the Distinguished National Scientist by the National Society of Black Professional Engineers (1979), and received the Friend of Freedom Award (1981).

Ronald E. McNair was nationally recognized for his work in the field of laser physics. In 1978, he was one of 35 applicants selected from a pool of ten thousand for NASA’s space shuttle program and assigned as a mission specialist aboard the 1984 flight of the shuttle Challenger. On his first space shuttle mission in February 1984, McNair orbited the earth 122 times aboard Challenger. He was the second African American to fly in space.

In addition to his academic achievements, he received three honorary doctorates and numerous fellowships and commendations. He was also a sixth degree black belt in karate and an accomplished jazz saxophonist. He was married to Cheryl Moore and had two children, Reginald Ervin and Joy Cheray. On the morning of Jan. 28, 1986, McNair and his six crew members died in an explosion aboard the space shuttle Challenger.

For more information, contact Jill Teters, program coordinator, TRIO Programs, at 777.4931 or jill.teters@und.edu.