Montana State University

McNair Scholars Program

Montana State University
240 Gaines Hall
P.O. Box 172560
Bozeman, MT 59717

Director and Co-P.I.

Shelly Hogan, Ph.D.

Administrative Associate

Kate Delaney

For more information:

Tel: (406) 994-5072
Fax: (406) 994-7989

2014 McNair Scholars (5th Cohort)


Maurisa Bell

Major: History
Mentor: Dave Swingle M.A.

I was born in Riverton, Wyoming but attended high school in Worland, Wyoming.  I am currently a junior majoring in History with a double minor in Native American Studies and Political Science.  My research interest is in Federal Indian Law and Policy, specifically on the Wind River Indian Reservation.  Along with participating in the McNair Scholars Program I am also the secretary for Phi Alpha Theta, (History Honors Society).  My aspirations are to attend Law School to pursue Federal Indian Law and Policy.


Isaac Christensen

Major: Animal Science
Mentor: Dr. Ed Schmidt

I attended high school in Glendive, MT. I am currently attending Montana State University and a senior majoring in Biotechnology- Animal Systems. I have intentions in becoming an MD/ PHD and would like to return to a rural area in order to practice medicine. I have been involved in research at the Schmidt lab for the past three years. My research project involved creating a procedure for the purification of three Thioredoxin like proteins that will be used as an identifier tool with the antibodies from the previously purified protein. Some of my favorite hobbies are: fishing, hunting, and cooking.


Katie DesLauriers

Major: HHD-Community Health
Mentor: Dr. Dawn Tarabochia

I am a senior majoring in Community Health.  My research, under the guidance of Dr. Tarabochia, maintains a focus on grandparents raising grandchildren and the impact of their nutritional eating practices.  After graduation I hope to continue my research in Greece where I have spent two academic summer semesters learning about their culture.  I am fascinated with the different aspects of the family traditions in Greece and how it compares to that of the US with particular interest to grandparents raising grandchildren.  I also plan to attend graduate school and pursue my masters in Public Health. As a McNair scholar, and first generation college student, I am grateful for the knowledge and skills I have obtained through the program and feel better equipped to attend and become successful in graduate school!


Erica Dunn

Major: Psychology
Mentor: Dr. Ian Handley and Dr. Jessi Smith

Erica (McKay) Dunn is a senior in Business Management and Psychology from Sandpoint, Idaho. Erica is grateful to be working with Dr. Ian Handley in the Psychology Department on Expectation Bias and novel research on possible corrections following bias expectations. She will graduate in May 2015 with honors and is excited to pursue a career in clinical psychology with a focus on relationship counseling and sexual assault prevention. Erica found her passion for community activism during her time serving as a Senator, the Senate Vice President, and the Business Manager of the Associated Students of Montana State University (ASMSU). Her current work at the VOICE Center, a 100% free and confidential service on campus that provides support and advocacy for survivors of sexual assault, relationship violence, and stalking, along with the great opportunities provided by the McNair Scholars Program, has only increased her eagerness to begin working in the field.


Cody Goodan

Major: Chemistry
Mentor: Dr. Bern Kohler


Tanner Lineberrry

Major: Psychology
Mentor: Dr. Julie Wieseler and Dr. Rebecca Brooker

I am a senior majoring in psychology.  I am interested in research in developmental and social psychology.  Most recently I presented my McNair Scholars research that I have been conducting under the guidance of my McNair Mentors Drs. Julie Wieseler & Dr. Rebecca Brooker, titled: Child-Driven Effects on Parenting at the University of Berkeley, CA McNair Scholar’s Research Symposium. After graduation I am planning to attend graduate school and the University of Montana to obtain a graduate degree in social work, and eventually clinical social work.  I hope to eventually work with addiction therapy.


Jenna Lipscomb

Major: Computer Science
Mentor: Dr. Rocky Ross



Madison Martin

Major: Microbiology
Mentor: Dr. Michelle Flenniken

I was born and raised in Billings, MT and spent my high school years at Laurel High School. Science brought me to Bozeman where I immediately had an affinity for research in the laboratory. I have been working with Dr. Michelle Flenniken for a few years with her “honey bee host/ pathogen interactions” project, where I specifically investigate the metabolic profiles of honey bees that have undergone virus-injection and/or agrochemical (pesticide) - exposure. My goal is to take a microbiological approach to investigate potential honey bee biomarkers for health and to use this molecular biology-driven knowledge to prepare for graduate school. Being involved in the McNair Scholars Program has confirmed my desire for a Ph.D. in Microbiology. Being a first-generation college student, I believe going to graduate school is important to not only attain career success, but also a feeling of personal success.


Sarah Miller

Majora: Chemistry
Mentor: Dr. Trevor Rainey



Kellie Phillips

Major: Nursing
Mentor: Dr. Jeannine Brant and Dr. Elizabeth Ciemins (Billings Clinic)


Ty Show

Major: Industrial Engineering
Mentor: Dr. Laura M. Stanley



Julie Theis

Major: Psychology
Mentor: Dr. Matthew Vess

Julie is a junior in Psychology from Sidney, Montana. Julie has been conducting research with Dr. Matt Vess to better understand how human’s impulses guide their health choices when their self-control has been depleted. Julie will graduate from Montana State in May 2016. As a highly passionate person, Julie achieves leadership by applying her skills in many places. In addition to being a McNair Scholar, Julie is also a member of the Student Alumni Association, part of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, and a student athlete representing the Montana State Dance Team. Julie has dedicated much of her time at MSU helping others by volunteering as a crisis advocate at the Voice Center on campus. She works primarily with survivors of sexual assault, relationship violence, and stalking. Julie hopes to apply the skills and values she has learned at the Voice Center and as a McNair Scholar as she goes onto graduate school. Her goal is to continue her education and to eventual attain a PhD or a PsyD in clinical Psychology.


Sally Weinand

Major: Enviromental Science
Mentor: Dr. Neil Suits (MSU-Billings)

My hometown is Billings, Montana where I now attend Montana State University-
Billings. I am a senior studying Biology with an emphasis in Environmental
Science as well as a minor in Geography. I have always had a passion for the
environment which was strengthened by the TRiO programs throughout my
education. I wish to work in the Environmental Science field to sustain the
environment for future generations to enjoy. I am currently doing research
with my Faculty Mentor at Montana State University- Billings, Dr. Neil Suits.
We are examining the fire history of the Beartooth Mountain area at various
elevations to determine if elevation plays a role in fire frequency. I also
have a great interest in Geographic Information System (GIS) that I have
interned in through my Geography minor. After I graduate I hope to attend
Graduate School to further my education.


Amanda Williams

Major: Art History
Mentor: Dave Swingle

I am originally from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, and felt drawn to Montana State University not only because Bozeman rivals my hometown in beauty, but also because of the intimate and quality Art History program. I will be graduating this Spring 2015 with degrees in both Art History and French, which are both areas that I have utilized for my McNair Scholars project. Over the last year I have spent time both in the United States and in France researching the classical references utilized in Jacques-Louis David’s paintings, and why he chose those particular antiquities for the scene.  I hope to be attending Graduate School by the Fall of 2015 in order to work towards a PhD in Art History, and hopefully move towards a career in teaching at the collegiate level.