2017 - 2018 McNair Scholars

 

 

Maryam Canty, Political Science, 2019

How long have you been involved in the McNair Scholars Program?
I have been involved in the McNair Scholars Program since my freshmen year.

What was your research about?
My research investigated the impact of colonialism and how it has a destructive impact in the Rwandan Genocide. Through manipulation of social identity white European colonialism negatively impacted lifestyle stability ultimately destroying tribal collaboration and mutual land usage historically shared between Hutu and Tutsis.

 What experience did get out of being McNair Scholar?
The experience that I have gained from being a McNair Scholar is immeasurable. I have gained more confidence as a student, in addition, a clearer perspective in terms of defining my future and my career.
The McNair program has allowed me to conduct research and add to the advancement of society through my exploration of academic research.

 Did your research findings surprise you?
My research findings absolutely surprised me. I was surprised to find scholars, historians, and professionals who were thinking like me.
 

At 5 years old, what did you want to be?
I wanted to be a teacher and architecture
 

What do you aspire to be?
I aspire to be a seeker of truth, knowledge and wisdom. I hope to inspire as well.
 

 

 

Jazmin  Cruz-Flores, 2019

How long have you been involved in the McNair Scholars Program?

This is my first year with McNair.

What was your research about?

n/a

What experience did get out of being McNair Scholar?

So far, McNair has brought me a sense of belonging because anytime I see other McNair scholars we stop and chat and it is nice that I know other people are going through the same struggles as I am and we have McNair to lean on. 

Did your research findings surprise you?

n/a

At 5 years old, what did you want to be?

I wanted to be a lawyer when I was a child. 

What do you aspire to be?

A therapist, guidance counselor or a genetics scientists. 

 

 

Shaina Dorlean, 2019

How long have you been involved in the McNair Scholars Program?

I haven’t been a Mcnair scholar for long. I recently joined last spring.

What was your research about?

I have not done any research so far but I am definitely planning on doing so. However, one of the topics that interest me is the role of p53 in cells that undergo mitosis.

What experience did get out of being McNair Scholar?

I haven’t had much experience but I am looking forward to gaining more.

Did your research findings surprise you?

n/a

At 5 years old, what did you want to be?

When I was five years old, I wanted to become a lawyer because my father told me that was his profession.

What do you aspire to be?

I’d like to attend an MDPHD program and become a pediatric surgeon and a medical researcher.

 

 

Etianna A Etienne, 2019

How long have you been involved in the McNair Scholars Program?

I have been involved in the McNairs Scholars Program for less than a year.

What was your research about?

I have yet to complete a research study but I’m planning on doing my research on Herpes/STI or Talent Psychology.

What experience did get out of being McNair Scholar?

I like the program so far and I plan to get more involved so I can get make the best out of the program and my experience as a McNair Scholar.

Did your research findings surprise you?

N/A. I have yet to complete my research study.

At 5 years old, what did you want to be?

I’m not exactly sure what I wanted to be when I was 5 years old but in middle school I started to think about law school and teaching.  I’m still interested in both fields.

What do you aspire to be?

I would like to become a criminal lawyer, HS sex ed teacher in HS, College sociology professor, social worker, juvenile probation officer and counselor, and many other great things.

 

 

 

Paul Johnson, 2018

How long have you been involved in the McNair Scholars Program?

I’ve been involved with the McNair Scholar Program since the end of my junior year as I was working on research before the summer going into my senior year.
What was your research about?

My research had the overall goal of studying high energy (velocity) particle systems that are similar to those in a space environment. This lead to the study of secondary neutron production within a medical linear accelerator that is used for cancer treatment. 

What experience did get out of being McNair Scholar?

Being a McNair scholar has enabled me to be prepared while preparing for a graduate masters and PhD program in my field. I’ve gained a great deal of knowledge in design thinking, and improved my self awareness in the research process and academics. I was able to get hands on experience doing research that is generally done at the graduate level, and am ready to make a great, positive impact in academia and the aerospace field

Did your research findings surprise you?

What surprised me was the need to adapt in an instant to new problems and new opportunities while conducting research. On multiple occasions we would plan for and rehearse an experimental setup, to find that the entire research would need to go in another direction. This adaptability will be key in graduate school and in my career.

At 5 years old, what did you want to be?

At 5 years old, I wanted to be a construction worker, driving big trucks and directing traffic. Eventually I wanted to become a police officer for some time as well.

What do you aspire to be?

Since High School, I’ve aspired to be useful for society. This is not to be “used” by society, as many functions serve that purpose. Since graduating high school, I have sought careers that improve the lives of people in the nation, and humankind as a whole. Sometimes change happens slowly, and I aspire to work on projects that cause the change to happen just at least a slight bit faster.

 

 

Darlley Joselus, 2019

How long have you been involved in the McNair Scholars Program?

I have been involved in the McNair Scholars Program for a year.

What was your research about?

My research studied how culture was used by ordinary citizens to explain poverty and incarceration amongst African American communities. My mentor and I specifically focused on the effect of the criminal justice system and economy on these residents in addition to their ability to overcome these racial barriers.

What experience did get out of being McNair Scholar?

Based off my experience, I would say I learned how to be a better researcher, using theoretical concepts in class and applying it to actual experiments. It also has been great gaining program skills and meeting like-minded people who share my passion in politics and its effect on marginalized communities.

Did your research findings surprise you?

My research findings did surprise me since this study rested on the responses of the survey participates and their political backgrounds, knowledge and perceptions of African Americans.

At 5 years old, what did you want to be?

At 5 years old, I had wanted to be a veterinarian or a zoologist.

What do you aspire to be?

I aspire to be a public policy analyst working for the white house or in the private sector.

 

Marissa Kaufman, 2018

How long have you been involved in the McNair Scholars Program?

This is my 2nd year in the mcNair program

What was your research about?

My research involved the discovery of novel somatic mutations leading to cerebral fusiform aneurysms.

What experience did get out of being McNair Scholar?

The faculty in the McNair office has been nothing short of amazing these past two years. From advice about graduate school to providing resources for success, they are there to help every step of the way.

Did your research findings surprise you?

Science is incredible. I wouldn’t say surprised. When doing research, especially in STEM, I think there’s somewhat of an expected theoretical hypothesis. It’s always amazing to see the science actually WORK. Everything you read about in the literature comes to life in the lab. It’s a  beautifully baffling experience.

At 5 years old, what did you want to be?

At 5 years old, I wanted to be a doctor

What do you aspire to be?

At age 21, I still aspire to be a physician in the long run. I’m hoping to get a graduate degree in bioengineering and apply this field to a clinical setting.

 

 

Givany Fontes Lopes, 2018

How long have you been involved in the McNair Scholars Program?

I have been in the McNair Scholar's program since April of this year, so roughly 6 months.

What was your research about?

The research that I did over this summer was about the purification of a transcription factor involved in the oxidative stress response.  This involved working in a laboratory setting and working amongst other student researchers who worked on similar projects to mine.

What experience did get out of being McNair Scholar?

Thus far, I have gained a lot of experiences from being a McNair scholar.  They include: learning how to think critically, efficiently, and creatively to complete a task; I've learned how to use my leadership experiences and incorporate them into my everyday life in order to succeed the ultimates goals in my life.

Did your research findings surprise you?

Yes, and partially no.  The reason for that is because this project had multiple steps to it, others done by previous researchers, and then my part.  There were many times where there weren't any results, but those were just pitfalls to overcome. Eventually, I did get some results and I was very proud of them.  Even though this is still an ongoing project, the part that I put in was a very delicate and difficult part to the project, but I was still able to succeed and fulfill my part.

At 5 years old, what did you want to be?

At 5 years old, I wanted to be a doctor.  I was never to sure why or how, but that idea only lasted for a few weeks.  But from a very young age, I always knew my calling was to help others around me.  I am still figuring it out now on exactly where and how I would love to succeed my childhood dream, but I know that what I want will be something not only beneficial to me, but to others whom I wish I can make a positive impact on their lives.  

What do you aspire to be?

I aspire to be a Surgical Physician Assistant in the future and then obtain my PhD in a research field of science.  I am still working out all of the fine details, but I do know that one of my greatest passions is to help the ones that need it the most.

 

 

Arly Macario, Government/Sociology, 2018

How long have you been involved in the McNair Scholars Program? 

1 Year

What was your research about? 

My research was titled, The Criminalization of Latinx Youth. It is a literature review of studies that identify the unique challenges that Latinx youth experience in the U.S. education system, in addition to being a part of the school-to-prison pipeline, a metaphor used to describe the hard policies and tactics used by schools to push students out of schools and into the criminal justice system. 

What experience did get out of being McNair Scholar? 

The experiences I have received of being a McNair Scholar was the summer research experience with a faculty member in my department. I have learned a lot about the research behind a study and it takes a lot more work than one may think. It was a challenging task, but I learned to handle it in the end and have used this as a learning experience that will prepare me for graduate school. McNair has additionally helped me with an online GRE prep, 50% off my GRE exam, GRE and Graduate School books to prepare me for graduate school. 

Did your research findings surprise you?

My research findings did not surprise me, I knew this was a problem since I learned about the school-to-prison pipeline in class. The purpose of my research was to look more into the Latinx experiences versus the black-white paradigm that is repeatedly used. 

At 5 years old, what did you want to be?

At 5 years old, I do not remember what I wanted to be. 

What do you aspire to be?

I aspire to be happy in whatever path I end up taking and experiencing as much from life as I can, both academically and personally. I hope to be a research expert in education.  

 

 

Kaitlin Morrill, 2019

How long have you been involved in the McNair Scholars Program?

I have been invovled in the McNair Scholars Program since my sophomore year (fall 2016).

What was your research about?

My research was about the accuracy of heart rate monitoring apps. I conducted research on about 80 participants and recorded their heart rate according to the app compared to a physical heart rate reading by wrist. I then used statistics to determine how accurate heart rate monitoring apps are. 

What experience did get out of being McNair Scholar?

I have had an amazing experience so far being a McNair Scholar. I was able to conduct research that I never believed I could do or accomplish things I didn't think I was in a league for ever accomplishing. It has truly blessed me in every positive way possible.

Did your research findings surprise you?

Yes it did. I was hoping to have positive research results. I ended up getting just that, and it was amazing how accurate the apps actually are. 

At 5 years old, what did you want to be?

When I was 5 years old I wanted to be veterinarian. 

What do you aspire to be?

Today, I aspire to be an accountant and a very successful business woman. I hope to inspire other women around me and make a positive impact no matter where my life takes me. 

 

 

Sheikh "Nash" Nasher, Mathematics/Sociology, 2019

How long have you been involved in the McNair Scholars Program?

I have been part of the McNair Scholar Program since Spring 2016.

What was your research about?

This summer, I did research under Dr. Debra Harkins on Service Learning and Mentoring. The purpose of the research was to determine the what factors from the in-classroom experience creates more civic engagement.   

What experience did get out of being McNair Scholar?

I could learn about graduate fellowships, graduate applications process, making an efficient cv and more.

Did your research findings surprise you?

n/a        

At 5 years old, what did you want to be?

I wanted to be Computer Systems Expert, Martials Artist, and Soccer player.

What do you aspire to be?

I want to be a Cyber Tech and Computer Systems specialist and also participate in combat sports.

 

 

Beverly Enziinwa Nwankwo, 2017

How long have you been involved in the McNair Scholars Program?

I’ve been involved in the McNair Scholars Program for a few months now, I joined the program last year during the spring semester. 

What was your research about?

I haven’t started my research yet, but I plan to do it on the impact Black female voters have on elections. Specifically the immense impact they have on elections and why future presidential candidates should focus more on reaching out to them. As well as comparing the difference between black female voters and white female voters, so what they look for in these candidates and why they vote the way do.

What experience did get out of being a McNair Scholar?

So far I’ve learned the importance of communication skills and networking, but because I am a new joiner, I haven’t really reaped all the benefits the program has to offer. What I do hope to get out of being a McNair Scholar is to gain a better understanding of social and political issues and educate my fellow peers on these different problems.

Did your research findings surprise you?

I am sure it will once I have begun since this is a huge underlying problem that needs to be talked about and brought to people’s attention. So I know that when I start there will be a lot of information and facts that I’ll discover which makes me anxious yet thrilled at the same time to learn more about diversity and social problems in politics.

At 5 years old, what did you want to be?

I wanted to be a hair stylist and own my own salon.

What do you aspire to be?

I aspire to be a lawyer 

 

 

Sabrina Phanor, Biochemistry, 2018

How long have you been involved in the McNair Scholars Program?

I have been a McNair Scholar for two years.

What was your research about?

My first research was about using GFP for protein localization in different bacterial proteins. My second research was about the oligomerization of ConB and determining which four domains was necessary for oligomerization (configuration of multiple subunits). My summer research was focused on using organoids as preclinical model systems to analyze the pathogenesis of H. pylori in gastric cancer. My current research for my senior research seminar class focuses on analyzing the enzyme activity of two variants found in fumarate hydratase deficiency patient.

What experience did get out of being a McNair Scholar?

The McNair program helped me prepare for grad schools, taught me to network in my career field, and learn self-care is vital for success.

At 5 years old, what did you want to be?

At five years old, I wanted to be a doctor.

What do you aspire to be?

I aspire to be a physician scientist in cancer research and immunology.

 

 

Sabrina Pierre, 2019

How long have you been involved in the McNair Scholars Program?

I have been in the McNair Scholar Program since Spring of 2017.

What was your research about?

I haven’t done my research yet since I was just accepted into the McNair Scholar Program earlier this year. I plan to do my research this upcoming summer.

What experience did get out of being McNair Scholar?

I haven’t been a McNair Scholar long enough to appropriately answer this question.

Did your research findings surprise you?

I haven’t started my research yet, so I can’t answer this question.

At 5 years old, what did you want to be?

When I was five years old, I wanted to be a medical doctor.

What do you aspire to be?

I want to be a public policy analyst who works to stop human rights violations like human trafficking and mass incarceration.

 

 

Stephanie Preval, 2018

How long have you been involved in the McNair Scholars Program?

I have been involved with McNair since end of April 2017. But I have mostly been involved in the McNair activities as of the summer of 2017.

What was your research about?

My research over the summer was conducted on Suffolk Campus with professor Kipp. It focused on the understanding of sulfamethoxazole--an antibiotic--with the soil . We hoped to understand how time, soil composition and pH affect its presence in aqueous solution and in the soil.

What experience did you get out of being McNair Scholar?

Being a McNair scholar, I've made the acquaintance of many people including other scholars who have become some of my friends. The amazing thing is that they are all from different social and educational backgrounds. We learned to share ideas that will drive us all toward the same goal, of continuing our education and into a graduate program. An additional advantage of being a McNair Scholar is the vast resources that will propel us forward. Every day I receive opportunities in the form of emails about different programs that can be found at various schools across the country. Many of those acknowledge the prestige of being a McNair scholar by offering scholarships. And of course, not to forget the research opportunities!

Did your research findings surprise you?

The research in general surprised me. I never thought to consider the fate of antibiotics or pharmaceutical compounds in the environment once they're released from the body. Therefore, it was also surprising to see that they can bound to some of the soil components and also can last over time.

At 5 years old, what did you want to be?

I do not remember; I've always changed my mind as there are so many possibilities. I've just recently settled on being a nurse practitioner and eventually receive a doctorate. I used to want to be a lawyer, a teacher, an accountant, a pharmacist. I know that I always wanted to help the underserved.

What do you aspire to be?

I aspire to be an inspiration to those that are struggling with their educational career wondering whether or not they will make it. I have been there, and so I want to succeed so I can tell them not to give up and that there is hope. Lastly, I want to work as a nurse practitioner with focus in research.

 

 

Maya Smith, 2018

How long have you been involved in the McNair Scholars Program?

This is my 4th semester in the program.

What was your research about?

My research was about how federal education policies have affected the loss of Indigenous languages in the USA

What experience did get out of being McNair Scholar?

I learned how to do in depth research over a long period of time.

Did your research findings surprise you?

Unfortunately not

At 5 years old, what did you want to be?

Either my mom, a teacher, or like a warrior ballerina 

What do you aspire to be?

I’m not completely sure yet but I’m passionate about youth programming and community engagement.

 

 

Sara Solomon, Government and Comuputer Science, 2019

How long have you been involved in the McNair Scholars Program?

This will be my first year as a McNair Scholar

What was your research about?

Although I have not conducted a research trough McNair yet, I have conducted one on my own during my sophomore year. I was looking at how vote and education influence the likelihood of a person to vote during the presidential elections.

What experience did get out of being McNair Scholar?

I am looking to meet new people and develop my professional network. More than anything I am looking forward into meeting people with the same interest and exchange ideas to strengthen my argument.

Did your research findings surprise you?

I am currently still working on the research model. My academic advisor really helped me in making sure there was no bias and my sample was representative. I am looking forward to use the resources McNair provides to further improve my research design.

At 5 years old, what did you want to be?

I wanted to work for NASA as an astronaut 

What do you aspire to be?

Now my preferences shifted, I aspire to be a role model for the generations to come and empower young girls into taking STEM courses. 

 

 

Phyliss St-Hubert, Government, 2018

How long have you been involved in the McNair Scholars Program?

I have been apart of the McNair Program since the summer going into my second year. 

What was your research about?

My research was about Examining Restorative Practices for Discipline Policies in Schools and the Effects on Black Girls

What experience did get out of being McNair Scholar?

I got the experience of research, attending conferences, making friends that I wouldn't have met without the program, 

Did your research findings surprise you?

I was already well informed about my topic and I wasn't too surprised from my findings. 

At 5 years old, what did you want to be?

At 5 years old I don't remember but at 8 years old I wanted to be President. 

What do you aspire to be?

I'm not sure exactly what I want to be, but I want to write Education Policy and do some work in School Reform

 

 

Sydney Thomas, Biochemistry, 2019

  • Sydney Thomas, Class of 2018, originally from Windsor, CT is now a 3rd year student at Suffolk University. Sydney is passionate about Biochemistry and is dedicated to sharing her knowledge and passion for the subject matter in and outside the university classroom. She currently serves as the President of the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and as the Outreach and Demonstration Coordinator of American Chemical Society. As a second year student, she obtained a position at a biochemistry laboratory where she gained research and professional skills. She was recently selected to participate at a Summer Research Internship at Michigan State University. She currently serves as McNair Ambassador and is excited to share the program’s mission and vision with other students. Post-graduation, Sydney plans to attend graduate school to study food chemistry/toxicology and learn more about the paradoxical medicinal qualities of food.

 

 

Taylor White, Biology

How long have you been involved in the McNair Scholars Program?

I’ve been involved in the McNair Scholars Program since sophomore year of 2016, and now I am a junior. So for almost 2 years I’ve been involved in the program.  

What was your research about?

My research was about bacteria called Wolbachia, which are one of the great pandemics on our planet, infecting 40% of insect species. These bacteria primarily inhabit cells in the ovaries and testes of its host, altering reproductive capabilities that may change the sex, kill or mutate the infected organism’s offspring. But along with these negative components of Wolbachia, there is one beneficial element which carries potential to eliminate the Zika virus. My research mainly focused on host factors that influence Wolbachia density within Drosophila. Through investigating this topic, it allows for an understanding of Wolbachia biology and how it may be furthered studied to regulate insect vectors that transmit diseases.

What experience did get out of being McNair Scholar?

I gained the experience of presenting and explaining my research to others as well as learning how to prepare for graduate school early.

Did your research findings surprise you?

The goal of the experiment was to distinguish a difference in Wolbachia density in the hub, a structure in the male testes that has Wolbachia infection, by knocking down ATG1 (an autophagy protein that degrades bacteria) under starvation conditions. Results demonstrated that the knockdown of ATG1 in starvation conditions did not have an effect on Wolbachia density, which is surprising. It is hypothesized that the starvation response was more specific in degrading the proteins of the host to gain nutrients, rather than Wolbachia.

At 5 years old, what did you want to be?

At 5 years old I wanted to be a pediatrician. 

What do you aspire to be?

I still aspire to become a pediatrician as well as a scientific journalist. 

 

 

Recent McNair Graduates

Naira Aleksanyan, B.S. in Biology, December 2015

Isaac Berko, Political Science/Criminal Justice

-- Master of Public Administration, George Washington University, Expected May 2019

Kimberly Berrazueta, B.S. in Biology, May 2016
-- M.S. in Nursing, Simmons College, Expected May 2018

Stephanie Breen, B.A. in History

--M.A. in Sociology and Education, Columbia University, Expected May, 2019

Hakim Cunningham, Entrepreneurship

-- Master of Public Policy and Urban Environmental Planning, Expected May 2019 

Sarah Cohen, B.A. Psychology/Sociology

-- M.A. in Education, University of Pennsylvania, Expected May, 2018

Danisha Dumornay, B.A. in Government, May 2016

Rooby Fortulien, Finance

Kadiatu Kamara, Biology

Michelle Lopez, Biochemistry

Henry Mai, Accounting/Information Systems

-- M.A., Suffolk University, Expected 

Tiffany Martinez, Sociology

--M.A. in Sociology and Education, Columbia University, Expected May 2019

Yasmeen Hamdoun, BS in Psychology, December 2015

-- M.S. in Social Work, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Expected May 2018

Harold Kuemkong-Nguouko, BSBA in Accounting, December 2015
-- M.S. in Finance, Suffolk University, Expected May 2017

Laura Ochoa, BS in Psychology, May 2016