Southeast McNair Scholars Complete Summer Research Institute

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Ten Southeast Missouri State University students in the TRIO/McNair Scholars Program recently completed a two-week Summer Research Institute as part of the 2019-2020 McNair cohort.

The Summer Research Institute provided opportunities for the students to connect and build relationships, and explore topics including professionalism, academics, financing their education, and how to navigate the graduate school process. Each of the sessions, led by Southeast faculty and staff, was geared towards integrating the cohort into the University culture and resources.

“The institute provides an intensive experience for the students to focus on their research topics and to gain the tools needed that will set them on the path to successfully completing their undergraduate education at Southeast and gaining entry into graduate school,” said Jamila Loving, TRIO/McNair academic coordinator at Southeast. “Each student will also work one-on-one with their chosen faculty mentor to complete their rigorous but rewarding research projects.”

Southeast undergraduate students in the 2019-2020 McNair cohort who participated in the institute include:

  • Marquee Banderet a senior dietetics major of House Springs, Missouri
    • Faculty mentor: Dr. Francis Tayie, Department of Kinesiology, Nutrition and Recreation
  • Morgan Blankenship, a senior English writing major from Scott City, Missouri
    • Faculty mentor: Dr. Jenny Cropp, Department of English
  • Qiara Buckner, a junior psychology major of St. Louis, Missouri
    • Faculty mentor: Dr. Sarah Kuborn, Department of Child and Family Studies
  • Mark Clay, a senior engineering physics major with a mechanical applications concentration of Bridgeton, Missouri
    • Faculty mentor: Dr. Santaneel Ghosh, Department of Engineering and Technology
  • Dominick Gillette, a senior corporate communications major of St. Ann, Missouri
    • Faculty mentor: Dr. John Kraemer, Department of Biology
  • Steven Hale, a senior engineering physics major with a mechanical applications concentration of St. Louis
    • Faculty mentor: Dr. Santaneel Ghosh, Department of Engineering and Technology
  • Ke-La Harris, a senior middle school education major with a mathematics concentration of St. Louis
    • Faculty mentor: Dr. Shonta Smith, Department of Elementary, Early and Special Education
  • Cassandra Morris, a junior dietetics major of Cape Girardeau, Missouri
    • Faculty mentor: Dr. Francis Tayie, Department of Kinesiology, Nutrition and Recreation
  • Randi Spiker, a senior psychology major of Cape Girardeau
    • Faculty mentor: Dr. Eugene Chin, Department of Psychology and Counseling
  • Wendell Stapleton, a senior fine arts major with a digital art concentration of Memphis, Tennessee
    • Faculty mentor: Dr. Joni Hand, Department of Art and Design

“With every step of the research process, these students are becoming more excited to have their own scholarly work completed and published,” said Loving. “We can’t wait to see the amazing things they will do this upcoming year at Southeast.”

The McNair Scholars Program at Southeast encourages, supports and assists academically promising students who have been historically underrepresented in various fields to pursue education through the doctoral level. The program provides academic support, enhancement workshops, faculty mentoring, summer research experiences and preparation for graduate school to eligible juniors and seniors.

The institute was led by Loving; Ashley Cardenas, program graduate assistant; and Brittany Johnson, TRIO/Student Support Services and McNair intake specialist.

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