McNair Program Helps College Students Reach for The Stars

For Immediate Release: 
Apr 28 2004

McNair Program Helps College Students Reach for The Stars

Note to Editor: All hometowns are West Virginia.

Athens, W.Va. - Five graduating seniors will soon be reaching for their own personal star with the help of the McNair Scholars Program at Concord College.

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 qualifying 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. The program also provides a stipend to allow students to pursue a summer research project. The McNair program at Concord serves college students who attend Bluefield State College, Concord College and West Virginia State College.

“The McNair program has helped over 120 students in its nine years at Concord. To date, 22 ‘McNair Scholars’ have earned a master’s degree, and at least 18 others are pursuing a master’s degree. Eight ‘Scholars’ are currently enrolled in Ph.D. programs at institutions such as West Virginia University, Virginia Tech., University of Tennessee, University of Maryland and Xavier University,” noted Dr. Marjie M. Flanigan, interim director of the program.

Students conduct research projects in their field-of-study under the direction of a faculty member who serves as their mentor. The students presented the findings of their projects in a formal presentation during the 13th Biannual Concord College McNair Scholars Symposium on Tuesday, April 13 and Wednesday, April 14, in the McNair Room (A-320), in Marsh Hall.

Those presenting included:

BECKLEY-Andrea Franco-Cook, Social Work Major, Presented “Birth Order in Relation to Juvenile Delinquency” (Mentor: Ms. Sarah Whittaker)

BRAMWELL-Dana Cochran, Humanities Major (Bluefield State College), Presented “Anne Spencer Harlem Renaissance Poet: A New Historicist Bridge Between the Voice of Black America and Modernism” (Mentor: Dr. Michael Smith)

DANVILLE-Joseph Wood, Math Education 5-12 Major, Presented “Gender Differences in Mathematics: Mercer County Secondary Mathematics Teachers Reactions To Gender Inequity in the Classroom and the Effects on Student Achievement” (Mentor: Ms. Lethea Smith)

LEWISBURG-Patricia Defibaugh, Early and Special Education Major, Presented “Phonemic Awareness: Who Needs It?” (Mentor: Ms. Sandra Sheatsley)

PRINCETON-Jennifer Persinger, Secondary English Education Major, Presented “Dickens and Rosetti: A Comparative Study” (Mentor: Dr. Michelle Gompf); Dana Sizemore, Psychology and Sociology Major, Presented “Racial Prejudice in Appalachia” (Mentor: Dr. Danette Light)

WARRIORMINE-Christina Ray, Psychology and Sociology Major, Presented “Marital Satisfaction: Who’s in Control?” (Mentor: Dr. Karen Griffee)

VICTOR-Jesse Dian, Comprehensive Mathematics Major and Physics Minor, Presented “In Search of Hydrogen in Nearby Galaxies, Using a Forty-Foot Diameter Radio Telescope” (Mentor: Dr. Brian Dennison); Sara Neal, Psychology and Sociology Major, Biology Minor, Presented “The Effects of Context on an Organism’s Drug Use” (Mentor: Dr. Rod Klein)

Graduating seniors are:

BECKLEY-Andrea Franco-Cook

BLUEFIELD-Dana Cochran

ENGLISH-Tonya Payne

FAYETTEVILLE-Jennifer Persinger

PRINCETON-Melissa Farmer

For information on the McNair Program call 1-304-384-6019 or e-mail