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Senior chemistry major Ethan Groshens (center) discusses his research project Thursday in the Culver Family Welcome Center on the Oshkosh campus. 

Ten University of Wisconsin Oshkosh seniors and scholars in the Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program took part in the annual research project showcase this week on the Oshkosh campus.

The students each gave presentations on a wide variety of topics during the four-hour event Thursday at the Culver Family Welcome Center.

Cordelia Bowlus, UW Oshkosh’s McNair Scholars Program outreach program manager, said there’s a growing realization in higher education that successful college students need to feel connected to and engaged with their learning community—and the McNair showcase is proof.

“One of the key reasons our scholars achieve so much in the course of the summer is that they build this tight-knit, supportive group,” she said. “While they all have very different projects, they all share one very important thing in common: They are all deeply engaged in research, committed to finding answers to questions that perplex them. This is incredibly powerful and explains why they all have plans not only to continue their research in some form or fashion, but also to continue their education at the graduate level.”

Here are the student scholars, their faculty mentors and their project titles:

▶︎ Lauren Blume, a senior psychology major from Waukesha, with Brian Wallace: Beyond the Injury: The Association Between Physical Characteristics and Injury in Competitive High School Dance Team Athletes

▶︎ Daniel Cummings, a senior sociology major from Appleton, with Jeremiah Bohr: Impacts of Class Consciousness on Political Attitudes

▶︎ Brittany Dupree, a senior biology major from Fond du Lac, with Jessica Lucas: Importance of Proteins in Resisting Drought in Zea mays Stomata

▶︎ Yanet Fernandez, a senior mathematics major from Oshkosh, with Jeremiah Bohr: A Computational Text Analysis of Congress’ Immigration Discourse on Twitter

▶︎ Ethan Groshens, a senior chemistry major from Kaukauna, with Brant Kedrowski: Recycling of Polystyrene Waste by Chemical Modification and Subsequent Depolymerization to Generate New Value-Added Small Molecule Products

▶︎ Madyson Majewski, a senior biology major from De Pere, with Dana Merriman: Positive Reward Conditioning of 13-Lined Ground Squirrels

▶︎ Mahad Osman, a senior biomedical science major from Madison, with Robert Mitchell: Olfactory Genomics in Burying Beetles

▶︎ Anise Shipley, a senior sociology major from Oshkosh, with Juyeon Son: Reconsidering Recidivism: Wisconsin vs. Oregon

▶︎ Sheiana Taylor, a senior biomedical science major from Oshkosh, with Dana Merriman: Prenatal Development of the 13-Lined Ground Squirrel (13LGS)

▶︎ Moriah Weeks, a senior anthropology and environmental studies major from Milwaukee, with Stephanie Spehar: The Impact of Community Gardens on Participants

The showcase comes a few weeks after UWO learned it was one of 187 schools nationwide to be awarded funding from the U.S. Department of Education to continue the program. Like other TRIO programs, McNair Scholars Program grants are awarded in five-year cycles. This marks the fourth successful grant application for the University.

The McNair Scholars Program empowers high-achieving students from underrepresented backgrounds, including racial minorities, first-generation college and low-income students to realize their potential and prepare them for graduate studies.

The program serves between 25 and 30 scholars in a given year, typically about a dozen new students per year. The cornerstone of the program, a paid summer research internship, provides participants with the opportunity to explore a research question in depth.

McNair scholars presentation Sept. 15, 2022

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