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McNair Scholars Present Research Projects at Student Symposium

McNair Scholars Present Research Projects at Student Symposium

Athens, W.Va. - The Seventh Annual McNair Scholars Symposium was held Friday, April 28, 2000, at Concord College in Athens, W.Va. The McNair Scholars Program is designed to prepare exceptional students for doctoral studies. A key component of the program is a graduate level research project conducted under the guidance of a faculty mentor. Participation in the McNair Program introduces students to the academic atmosphere of their fields and gives them the advantage of proven research skills prior to entering graduate school.

Five McNair Scholars presented their completed research projects to the public at this year’s symposium. Donna Privett (McGraws, W.Va.) presented her research on "Vancomycin resistance in Staphylococcus aureus." Her mentor was Dr. Darla Wise of the Concord biology department. Pauline Price (Montgomery, W.Va.) explained her historical research project on "The Two Virginias: The Differences That Divided." Dr. Anne Cavalier of the West Virginia Institute of Technology served as Ms. Price’s mentor. Erin Luzader (Grafton, W.Va.) worked with Dr. Dannette Light of the Concord sociology department researching "Contributing Factors to Homelessness in Southern West Virginia." Amanda Hayes (Mineral Wells, W.Va.) reported on "Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship in Southern West Virginia." Her mentor was Dr. Ron Canterbury of the Concord biology department.

Melinda Hayman (Woodbridge, Va.) presented her research entitled "An Analytical Survey Study of the Bias Detection Ability of Subjects Regarding Print Media Coverage of a Controversial Scandal." Her mentor was Dr. Ronald Burgher of the Concord communication arts department.

"McNair guided me through the graduate school application process and provided me with a strong research background, stated Megan Grose, a McNair Scholar in her senior year at Concord. "I had friends who recommended McNair. This program is a great experience for those who are willing to do the work. The McNair Program at Concord is close knit and mentors are accessible."

Erin Luzader, a senior at Concord, and one of the presenters said, "I found out about the McNair Program from flyers they distributed on campus. The McNair Program provided a link for me to graduate programs of interest. The one-on-one research instruction is invaluable. This program gives us an opportunity to earn college credit and gain hands-on experience. It also gives us an opportunity to develop our research skills. I would definitely, without reservation, recommend this program to other students who are interested in graduate programs!"

Graduating Scholars Recognized at Symposium

Graduating scholars were presented Certificates of Participation or Completion after the presentations. Graduating scholars who completed the program also received McNair pins. This year’s McNair Scholars graduates included:

Rachel Bird, Princeton, W.Va.

Megan Grose, Lansing, W.Va.

Amanda Hayes, Mineralwells, W.Va.

Melinda Hayman, Woodbridge, Va.

Denise Helton, Princeton, W.Va.

James Lusk, Mullens, W.Va.

Erin Luzader, Grafton, W.Va.

Pauline Price, Montgomery, W.Va.

Donna Privett, McGraws, W.Va.

Aven Sizemore, New Richmond, W.Va.

Tiffany Sparks, Jolo, W.Va.

Jeff Wegner, Longwood, Fla.

Some of this year’s graduating class will be entering graduate school in the fall of 2000. Melinda Hayman has received a graduate assistantship at Kent State University where she will study communication arts. Megan Grose was awarded a fellowship in the biology department at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. James Lusk has been accepted at law school. Other McNair Scholars will be working in their fields before pursuing graduate studies, and Amanda Hayes will be entering the Peace Corps before attending graduate school.

For more information, call 1-304-384-6019, or e-mail the McNair Program director at


Concord College Notes: The McNair Scholars Program is a federal TRIO program designed to prepare students to participate in doctoral study programs. The program provides enriching experiences to prepare undergraduates for doctoral study including a research internship, seminars and workshops, interactions with faculty and the opportunity to attend and present their research at national meetings. Although the program provides a stipend to allow students to pursue a summer research project, McNair is not a scholarship program. Eligible students must be enrolled in a degree-granting program and either economically disadvantaged, first generation college students or members of a group that is underrepresented in graduate school.