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Former Scholars

Former KU McNair Scholars attend graduate schools across the nation. The highest post-secondary degree attained by each former McNair Scholar is listed below:

Former KU McNair Scholars

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  • April Adkins
  • Shawn Arellano
  • Daniel Barrera
  • Jamie Bezdek
  • Elizabeth Boldridge
  • Anna Butler
  • Derrais Carter
  • Ebony Crawford
  • Shanta Griffin
  • Belinda Hinojos
  • Jennifer Ivie
  • Ahmad Khalil
  • Richard Martinez
  • Christian Marzette-Vargas
  • Joni Murphy
  • Trina Ramirez
  • Jesse Summers
  • Theresa Barr
  • Tekalign Burka
  • Kristopher Carlson
  • Justin Hanke
  • Tung Le
  • Mahalet Misgana
  • Latasha Reed
  • Jennifer Sweeton
  • Peniel Tefera
  • Hoang Van
  • Heather Wallace
  • India Webb
  • Katherine Acosta
  • April Adkins
  • Efugbaike Ajayi
  • Karina Amante
  • Keeja Andrews
  • Courtney Becks
  • Michael Bell
  • Michele Bointy
  • Elizabeth Boldridge
  • Jaime Bost
  • Kenneth Bolton
  • Karen Boyd
  • Jamey Brannon
  • Sarah Bregman
  • Earl Brooks
  • Jessica Brooks
  • George Browne
  • Anna Butler
  • Aaron Carlson
  • Gerardo Castillo
  • Jessica Casebier
  • Ayesha Charity
  • Crystal Clark 
  • Kimberly Clark
  • Eboney Crawford
  • Kristy Croom
  • Casey Cullors
  • Carol Delgado Lamm
  • Heather Denman Reyser
  • Steven Drake
  • Virgil Ellison
  • Jonathan Evenson
  • Aminatu Feinberg
  • Massimo Ferrara
  • Courtney File
  • Zachary Fischer
  • Brandy Fogg
  • Sean Fradieu
  • Michele Garrett
  • Yodit Gebremariam
  • Anna Gonzales
  • Regina Grass
  • Sabrina Gregersen
  • Abdirahman Gutale
  • Brandi Hamilton
  • Chris Hane
  • Bonita Hanni
  • Keturah Harding
  • Vernon Harris II
  • Josephine Hart
  • Ithar Hassaballa
  • Medinah Hazim
  • Raven Heavy Runner
  • Jennifer Henslee
  • Yeu Her
  • Dagoberto Heredia, Jr.
  • Brian Hiller
  • Belinda Hinojos
  • Katherine Humphrey
  • Shannon Ikerd
  • Rehmatullah Jayhoori
  • Anthony Johnson
  • Sandra Keegan
  • Vickie Kennedy
  • Darouney Keosay
  • Delia Kimbrel
  • Timothy Kochanski
  • Eve Lane
  • Brent Lank
  • Michael Lemon
  • Robert Loya
  • Melsisa Malcolm
  • Talia Martin
  • Christian Marzette-Vargas
  • Janet McKamie
  • Mulubrhan Misgana
  • Felicia Mitchell
  • Marissa Moehring
  • Kevin Mohammed
  • Kim Moore
  • Whitney Morgan
  • Ericka Morris
  • Sarah Neff
  • Sylvia Niccum
  • Phautdavone Phimphasone
  • Donneta Pickens
  • Melanie Privat
  • Laura Ramirez
  • Trina Ramirez
  • Jaghoon Rehmatellah
  • Daniel Roy
  • Adele Salazar
  • Maritza Stephanie Sanchez
  • Cylus Scarbrough
  • Robert Schwarz
  • Mommina Sims
  • Sarah Smarsh
  • Jasmin Smith Moore
  • Susie Spotted Horse
  • Dorothy Stites
  • Jesse Summers
  • Jennifer Sweeton
  • Aaron Thomas
  • Jamie Thomas Bezdek
  • Elyse Towey
  • Claudia Tyner
  • Eliticia Vieyra
  • Rochelle Votaw
  • Thomas Weso
  • Olivia White
  • Michael Young
  • Meklit Zetawos
  • Katherine Acosta
  • April Adkins
  • Efugbaike Ajayi
  • Andreana Albott
  • Karina Amante
  • Joshua Anderson
  • Sandrea Anders
  • Keeja Andrews
  • Shawn Arellano
  • Timothy Badley
  • Theresa Barr
  • Daniel Barrera
  • Max Bearce
  • Courtney Becks
  • Michael Bell
  • Eric Benavidez
  • Simmie Berroya
  • Jamie Bezdek
  • Trisha Blunt
  • Michele Bointy
  • Elizabeth Boldridge
  • Kenneth Bolton
  • Jamie Bost
  • Karen Boyd
  • April Bradshaw
  • Jamey Brannon
  • Sarah Bregman
  • Taylor Broadhead
  • Earl Brooks
  • Jessica Brooks
  • Ebo Browne
  • Tekalign Burka
  • Anna Butler
  • Aaron Carlson
  • Kristopher Carlson
  • Derrais Carter
  • Gerardo Castillo
  • Ayesha Charity
  • Kasabi Chinonge
  • Crystal Clark
  • Kimberly Clark
  • Charles Clarke
  • Ashley Cotton
  • Ebony Crawford
  • Kristy Croom
  • Kasey Cullors
  • John Davidson
  • Christopher DeLaCruz
  • Natali Diaz-Yepes
  • Sonya Douglas
  • Steven Drake
  • Virgil Ellison
  • Jonathan Evenson
  • Ibari Ezekwe
  • Aminatu Feinberg
  • Massimo Ferrara
  • Courtney File
  • Zachary Fischer
  • Paul Fowler III
  • Sean Fradieu
  • Jamie Fuller
  • Aarika Fulson
  • Zayani Gardner
  • Michele Garrett
  • Yodit Gebremariam
  • Sean Gilmore
  • Anna Gonzales
  • Bryan Gordon
  • Regina Grass
  • Sabrina Gregersen
  • Shanta Griffin
  • Riley Griffith
  • Jo Ann Guerrero
  • Abdirahman Gutale
  • Hiwot Hailemariam
  • Brandi Hamilton
  • Jyleesa Hampton
  • Chris Hane
  • Justin Hanke
  • Bonita Hanni
  • Keturah Harding
  • Vernon Harris II
  • Josephine Hart
  • Ithar Hassaballa
  • Ruaa Hassaballa
  • Medinah Hazim
  • Raven Heavy Runner
  • Jennifer Henderson
  • Paige Henderson
  • Jennifer Henslee
  • Yeu Her
  • Dagoberto Heredia, Jr.
  • Belinda Hinojos
  • Nichole Homeier
  • Emily Hooker
  • Katherine Humphrey
  • Louisa Hussein
  • Shannon Ikerd
  • Sarai Interiano
  • Jennifer Ivie
  • Rehmatullah Jayhoori
  • Clint Jensen
  • Anthony Johnson
  • Sheri Johnson
  • Himeezembi Kamatuka
  • Sandra Keegan
  • Vicki Kennedy
  • Darouney Keosay
  • Suraj Keshary
  • Ahmad Khalil
  • Twilah Kiel
  • Delia Kimbrel
  • Ken Kmak
  • Timothy Kochanski
  • Carol Delgado Lamm
  • Eve Lane
  • Holly Lane
  • Brent Lank
  • Tung Le
  • Michael Lemon
  • Cody Lown
  • Robert Loya
  • Linda Ly Harris
  • Janet McKamie
  • Melissa Malcolm
  • Aurora Marin
  • Talia Martin
  • Richard Martinez
  • Christian Marzette-Vargas
  • Kimberly Maupin
  • Jay Middleton
  • Patrick Miller
  • Mulubrhan Misgana
  • Felicia Mitchell
  • Marissa Moehring
  • Kevin Mohammed
  • Kimberly Moore
  • Whitney Morgan
  • Ericka Morris
  • Maureen Wangare Mungai
  • Joni Murphy
  • Jon Nelson
  • Jecarma Newton
  • Sarah Neff
  • Aude Negrete-Banos
  • Angela Nguyen
  • Sylvia Niccum
  • Adam Nicholson
  • Kristina Nielander
  • Cassandra Osei
  • Noy Phimphasone
  • Donneta Pickens
  • Breanne Potter
  • Melanie Privat
  • Anthony Prosser
  • Reanna Putnam
  • Laura Ramirez
  • Trina Ramirez
  • Latasha Reed
  • Jaghoon Rehmatellah
  • Lisa Reichuber
  • Chris Reine
  • Diana Restrepo
  • Heather Denman Reyser
  • Allora Richey
  • Destiny Riggs
  • Eric Rivera
  • Jennifer Rivers
  • Andrew Roy
  • Daniel Roy
  • Yliana Ruiz
  • Joshua Russell
  • Adele Salazar
  • Daniel Salinas
  • Maritza Stephanie Sanchez
  • Cylus Scarbrough
  • Merritt Schenk
  • Ofelia Schepers
  • Robert Schwarz
  • Lawrence Showalter
  • Momina Sims
  • Sarah Smarsh
  • Dylan Smith
  • Jasmin Smith Moore
  • Michael Speak
  • Susie Spotted Horse
  • Donald Spradling
  • Briana Sprague
  • Heather Sprague
  • Dorothy Stites
  • Kenneth Stowe
  • Latina Sullivan
  • Jesse Summers
  • Aziz Sultani
  • Jennifer Sweeton
  • Peniel Tefera
  • Aaron Thomas
  • Jamie Thomas Bezdek
  • Elyse Towey
  • Marcia Trayford
  • Claudia Tyner
  • Isley Unruh
  • Ruth Valencia
  • Hoang Van
  • Kristina Van Anne
  • Kristopher Velasco
  • Eliticia Vieyra
  • Rochelle Votaw
  • Andria Walden
  • Heather Wallace
  • Ivory Wallace
  • Travis Watkins
  • Carolisa Watson
  • Francis Waukazoo
  • Sarah Weaver
  • India Webb
  • Thomas Weso
  • Erin White
  • Olivia White
  • Tyler Wieland
  • Megan Williams
  • Tracy Williams
  • Diana Willie
  • Michael Young
  • Lauren Zagorski
  • Meklit Zetawos
  • Kirby Zimmerman

Some of our former scholars

Ashley Cotton
Latin American Studies

Research: Immigration from Mexico

Faculty Mentor: Sandra Albrecht, Mark Joslyn

Graduated: May 2013

About Me: This summer I will be moving to Commerce, Texas to obtain a Master's degree in Political Science from Texas A&M University. My overall research interests include everyday life and state formation of Mexico with an emphasis on the drug war. Through McNair, I have been able to raise my GPA, gain research experience, and be accepted into graduate school. I am more confident in my academic future after completing two McNair summer research internships and now have a passion for what I will be researching for my future thesis.

Carolisa Watson
Global and International Studies, East Asian Languages and Cultures

Research Interests: Folklore, Linguistics, Anthropology

Faculty Mentor: Renee Perelmutter

Graduated: May 2013

About Me: I am from Sapulpa, Oklahoma.  I completed my 2012 SKI in rites of passage in the military.  I am a research assistant for Dr. Arienne Doyer in her Uygher Light Verbs project funded by NSF and a student teaching assistant at KU’s Applied English Center, which provides ESL courses for exchange students.

Clint Jensen
Psychology, Film & Media Studies, Minor: Social and Behavioral Sciences Methodology

Research Interests:  Learning, language acquisition, the use of visuospatial thinking in orientation, working memory, how critical thinking develops, computational and statistical modeling, and ways to create translational research that improves educational outcomes.

Faculty Mentors:  Dr. Evangelia Chrysikou, Drs. Muriel & Richard Saunders, Dr. Vanessa Simmering

Anticipated Graduation: Spring 2014

About Me:  I am currently a research assistant in the Chrysikou Lab investigating autonomic nervous system (ANS) responses through eye-tracking, and task-based pupillary response in categorization learning. Prior work was within the Life Span Institute at the University of Kansas. First, on a project involving the design of an iPad application to facilitate communication of children with profound multiple impairments, specifically cortical visual impairments, and more recently within the Neurocognitive Development of Autism Research Laboratory on a project identifying ANS biomarkers as a methodology to reveal autism spectrum disorder symptomology. Over the summer of 2013, I took part in the Psychology Research Experience Program (PREP), at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where I worked in the S.P.A.C.E Lab on projects investigating the development of visuo-spatial working memory, attention, and action within children aged 4 to 9 years.

On campus I am currently serving as president of the K.U. chapter of Psi Chi, the National Psychology Honors Society. I am also part of the Multicultural Scholars, and the Nontraditional Student Foundation. In the mornings I work at the Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence. When I have free time I enjoy running, biking, hiking, reading, yoga, and gardening. 

D. Adam Nicholson
Sociology

Research: Inequality, Political/Economic Sociology

Faculty Mentor: David Smith, PhD & Tracey LaPierre, PhD

About Me:  Adam is a recent graduate with honors and high distinction this past May. In addition to his dedication to the McNair Scholars Program, Adam has been involved in many campus leadership positions, including founding a chapter of the non-profit called Nourish International that allowed a team of students to travel to Accra, Ghana. Adam also served as a Senator for non-traditional students advocating for students with families and outside obligations. Adam is a student that has chosen to challenge himself both in and out of the classroom.  Last summer Adam completed a summer SRI project titled “God and Mammon: Class and Religion and the Impact on Political Support for Conservatism”.  In this study he examined the role of socioeconomic status and voting behavior of Kansas residents. His outstanding research was recognized when his project was chosen for an Undergraduate Research Award and again when he was selected to be present at the Undergraduate Capitol Research Summit in Topeka. Adam's current research project (honor's thesis) looks at homelessness in Lawrence and services available to families that have been displaced.  This fall, Adam will continue his education in the Sociology Department at Indiana University, Bloomington with a McNair Graduate Fellowship.  ​

Eric Rivera
Architectural Engineering

Research Interests: Indoor air quality, sustainable energy technologies, energy modeling, computational fluid dynamics, heat transfer of buildings, differential geometry

Faculty Mentor: Jae Chang, Ph.D.; Lingjia Liu, Ph.D.

Anticipated Graduation: May 2014

About Me: I am a senior in architectural engineering interested in building mechanical and energy systems. I am very grateful for the opportunities that the McNair Scholars Program has provided me! Through McNair, I was able to discover a love for research and pursue two research projects with two faculty mentors. It was also through McNair that I was able to discover my career interests.

After graduation, I plan to pursue graduate study in either Architectural Engineering or Materials Science. Eventually, I would like to work at a national laboratory researching and developing building technologies that can help minimize energy consumption. Outside of the classroom, you can find me either volunteering or being actively involved in various organizations. I also like to draw, go to concerts and coming up with harebrained schemes to get rich from.

 

Jaime Fuller
Anthropology

Research Interests: Female Political Issues

Faculty Mentor: Allan Hanson

Anticipated Graduation: May 2015

About Me: My story begins in Wichita, KS, where I was born and raised in a family with no notions of all that college might offer me. When I came to KU, I didn’t have much of an idea about where I was going, I only knew that I wanted to be a writer, to use my voice to make some kind of difference. McNair has had a major impact on the direction that this dream is taking me. Rather than viewing my education as a fast route to a high-paying job, I now hope to join the research world of anthropological fieldwork, studying and encouraging discussion of the issues facing women in today’s world. 

Sociology

Research Interests: Globalization, Environmental Sociology, Inequality

Graduated: December 2013

About Me: I grew up in a town of 200 and graduated with a class of 74 students.  I’ve always been a big fish in a small pond, but McNair opened the way to an ocean of possibilities.

Economics

Research Interests: Health Economics, Preventative Care, Health Policy Reform, Health Insurance Inequalities, Resources and Student Outcomes, Wage Inequalities.

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Donna Ginther

Anticipated Graduation: May 2014

About Me: I am currently finishing up my Honors Thesis that stemmed from my Summer Research Internship. It focuses on the effects of resources on educational outcomes in Kansas and Missouri. I am also currently working as a Teaching Assistant in the Economics Department (Principles of Microeconomics) as well as a KU Research Leader through the Department for Undergraduate Research.

Along with McNair, I am also a member of Multicultural Scholars, President of Delta Epsilon Iota Honors Society, and Treasurer for the Economics Club. To get a better understanding of health issues facing our modern society I am currently attending classes through KU’s Department of Health Policy and Management at the Medical Center.

Kenneth Stowe
Communication Studies

Research Interests: Rhetorical Analysis

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Rowland

Graduated: May 2013

About Me: I’m from Lawrence and love to be a Jayhawk!

Psychology, Applied Behavioral Sciences

Research Interests: Early childhood development focus

Applied Behavioral Science

Research Interests: Behavioral impacts on health, nutrition, and fitness

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Derek Reed

Anticipated Graduation: Summer 2014

About Me: I’m about 100 feet tall. I often use my bare hands to hunt and gather food for a village of 25. Immediately after graduating high school I declined a position as the president of Canada in order to pursue my dream of shape-shifting. While sleeping I help lower CO2 emissions by not breathing. I can run REALLY fast. I’ve never underestimated anything, ever. And my eyes are, actually, diamonds; which means they sparkle like the sun but leave me completely blind.

Anthopology, Global & International Studies

Research Interests: South Asia, gender/violence, caste human rights, social-inequality, religion

Faculty Mentor: Naima Boussofara, Allan Hanson, John Kennedy, Ngondi Kamatuka

Graduated: May 2013

History

Research Interests: Aspects of American History that include political, social, and legal progression of race relations in America, American society in general, and the 19th century.

Graduated: December 2013

 

Ruaa Hassaballa
Clinical Laboratory Sciences

Major: Clinical Laboratory Sciences

Year: Senior

Research Interests: Medical Research

Faculty Mentor: Peter Ukpokodu, PhD

Anticipated Graduation: May 2014

About Me: I am a medical lab senior interested in the healthcare of vulnerable populations. I was born in Sudan, and moved to the United States at age 7. I’ve always had a passion for communities, and love to be involved with both my American and African communities. I love learning languages, traveling, music and spending time with family and friends. I hope to pursue a career which allows her to work on improving healthcare quality for patients. 

My research with Dr. Peter Ukpokodu, chairman of the African and African American Studies Department, is titled "Minority Healthcare Gap: History's Possible Effect on Minority Trust of Physicians and Care." This research looked at the healthcare disparities facing the African and African American patient population and was presented at the Heartland Research Conference. I am also co-president of my Clinical Lab Science class, and one of two ambassadors for the School of Health Professions on the Student Diversity Council.

Sarah Bregman
East Asian Languages and Cultures, Global and International Studies

Research: North Korean Diaspora; South Korean Security Studies; Security Theories; Inequality; Violence; Identity Formation

Faculty Mentor: John Kennedy and Felix Moss

Graduated: May 2014

About me: I am a mother, scholar and wife who enjoys studying Korean culture and language. By engaging in rigorous research and disseminating information to a broad public audience, I hope to spread awareness about significant issues in Korean politics and society. In particular, I aim to engage with Korean scholars, as well as with local, national, and global leaders, in paving a path of understanding, compassion, and aid to an understudied and disadvantaged peoples: North Koreans.

Tyler Wieland
Atmospheric Science

Major: Atmospheric Science

Research Interests: The effects of Urban Heat Islands on weather and climate

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Nathaniel Brunsell

Graduated: December 2013

About me:  I graduated in December of 2013 with a degree in atmospheric science and minors in journalism as well as mathematics.  Throughout the past year, I've discovered my passion for studying science of the earth's atmosphere and communicating scientific information to the public.  I hope to pursue a graduate degree in atmospheric science and climatology next year.  I was born and raised in Kansas, where tumultuous weather sparked my interest in atmospheric science.

Yliana Ruiz
Spanish, Women, Gender & Sexuality Students

Research Interests: Everything under the sun! Policy, education, law, communication.

Faculty Mentor: Milton Wedland

Anticipated Graduation: December 2013

About Me: Transferred from Pasadena City College in August 2010.  In addition to being a McNair Scholar I am also a Multicultural Scholar.  My areas of interest are in public policy and finding a path for every student to continue their education.  As a McNair Scholar, I have done research on the obstacles encountered in pursuit of higher education as well as an analysis on current federal laws vs. state laws.  I really enjoy motivating others because there isn’t any reason that keeps you from your goals.