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A summer spent studying a range of subjects from algae to amphibians yielded real-world results that 12 student researchers presented Thursday evening at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh’s 2023 McNair Scholars Showcase.

“We are extremely proud of what our scholars accomplished this summer. The research posters on display represented a wide range of disciplines in STEM and the social sciences,” said Cordelia Bowlus, UW Oshkosh McNair Scholars Program director.

Taking ideas formulated in the spring, the students worked with faculty mentors to review previous research, write proposals, collect data, analyze results and, finally, develop poster presentations all in about three months.

“They have discovered the joys and challenges of academic inquiry, and their lives will never be the same,” Bowlus said.

UWO senior Geryd Steffek discusses his research findings at the 2023 McNair Scholars Showcase.

The students, including some recent graduates, shared the following projects at the showcase:

  • Gillian Bellman, a senior psychology major from Appleton, with faculty mentor Christopher Groves, who has a doctorate in social psychology, Gender-Based Differences in Accessibility of Indirect and Direct Aggression.
  • Brittany Dupree, senior biology major from Appleton, with Laura Ladwig who has a doctorate in biology, Assessing Prairie Restoration by Vegetative Sampling and Stress Evaluation.
  • Kailey Freund, senior biology major from Oshkosh, with Shelly Michalski who has a doctorate in molecular microbiology and microbial pathogenesis, Geographic Variation in Parasite Communities of Wisconsin Amphibians.
  • Dominic Laracuente, senior biology major from Menasha, with Robert Stelzer who has a doctorate in ecology, Harmful Algal Blooms, Cyanobacteria and Proposed Future Research in Lake Winnebago.
  • Faith Lee, a senior nursing major from Wausau, with Jeremiah Bohr, State-Level Effects of Crisis Intervention Training on Lethal Use of Force by Police.
  • Danie Lodin, a biomedical science major from Beaver Dam, with Sabrina Mueller-Spitz who has a doctorate in biology, Meta Analysis of the Human Gastrointestinal Track for Deinococcus.
  • Lydia Medina, a senior social work major from Manitowoc, with Paul Perales who has a master’s degree in social work, Interventions for Multiple Adverse Childhood Experiences.
  • Fatima Muniz, a junior mathematics major from Neenah, with Linda Eroh who has a doctorate in mathematics, Graph Theory: Peg Solitaire with Added Edges.
  • Juan Padilla, a senior biomedical science major from Milwaukee, with Maria Graf who has a doctorate in nursing, Ethnic and Racial Concordance among Latino Patients and Healthcare Providers in the American Midwest.
  • Elijah Plonsky, a junior English major from Fond du Lac, with Margaret Hostetler who has a doctorate in English, Expanding on Facework: When Excuses Fail as Rapport Management Strategies.
  • Gervd Steffek, a senior biology major from New London, with Robert Mitchell who has a doctorate in entomology, The Scarab Pheromone y-Decalactone Mediates Numerous Interactions in Midwestern Deciduous Forests.
  • Makaylee Stewart, a May psychology graduate from Menomonee Falls, with Durmas Camlibel who has a doctorate in political science, Social Service Work for At-Risk Youth: Biggest Stressors Experienced, the Effect on their Lives and Coping Behaviors.

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 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 Showcase Sept. 28, 2023 -2.jpg

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