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

Current McNair Scholars


Maurisa Bell

Major: History
Mentor: Dave Swingle M.A.

Emily Bermel

Major: Biological Engineering
Mentor: Dr. Christine Foreman

I attended high school in Bigfork, Montana and I am currently a senior in Biological Engineering. I am the current President of the MSU Chapter of the Society of Biological Engineering. I intend to get my Ph. D. in Biomedical Engineering after I graduate from MSU. My current research has been conducted under the guidance of Dr. Christine Foreman, and I am studying the effects of ultraviolet light on the biofilm formation and pigment production of a Janthinobacterium sp. that was isolated from a supraglacial stream in Antarctica.


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.

James Cwick

Major: Microbiology
Mentor: Dr. Jovanka Voyich and Dr. Michele Hardy

I come from San Joaquin County in Ripon, CA.  I am currently a junior in the microbiology department (general option) and a minor in music performance.  I plan on becoming an MD-PhD in internal medicine (infectious diseases) and researching either viruses or antibiotic resistance in bacteria.  In addition to being an active McNair scholar at MSU, I participate in officer positions within the Alpha Epsilon Delta club, Health professions club, and the percussion club.  For hobbies, I enjoy cooking, reading, and watching sci-fi television shows.  Currently, my research is being conducted under the guidance of Dr. Michele Hardy, which entails the effect of glycyrrhizin (and its derivative glycyrrhetinic acid) as an antibiotic alternative for treating clinically important bacteria.  My summer research will determine the scope of glycyrrhizin on many bacteria species.  


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


Melissa Emery

Major: Chemistry
Mentor: Dr. Charles (Bill) McLaughlin

am currently studying Chemistry teaching at Montana State University.  In the Summer of 2013 I worked with Dr. Bill McLaughlin to implement components of the TEAL (Technology Enhanced Active Learning) classroom in the second semester general chemistry course, CHMY 143.  I actively planned and delivered lessons through this project and learned invaluable skills such as classroom management and best grading practices.  I am also the treasurer of the Undergraduate Chemistry Society and throughout the year participate in outreach events where I perform chemical demonstrations to local youth organizations.  Currently a junior, I desire to student teach overseas.  She eventually would aspire to obtain my Ph.D. so I can become a professor at a university. I am from Georgetown, CA and currently live in Bozeman with my husband Thomas and our 3-yr old daughter, Molly. 

Michael Fast Buffalo Horse

Major: Secondary Education (Social Studies Broadfield)
Mentor: Dr. Jioanna Carjuzaa

I am from Browning Montana, a member of the Blackfeet Nation, and a student in the Department of Education. After completing my undergraduate degree I plan to pursue a doctorate in history or education. My ultimate goal is to attain a faculty position in higher education.  I have been working under the guidance of my McNair mentor Dr. Jioanna Carjuzaa. The focus of my research is to better understand and investigate tribal language revitalization efforts amongst the Native American populations of Montana.


Cody Goodan

Major: Chemistry
Mentor: Dr. Bern Kohler

Josh Gosney

Majora: Chemical Engineering
Mentor: Dr. Jeff Heys

Joshua Gosney received his A.S. degree in economics from Flathead Valley Community College in 2010. In 2012, Mr. Gosney began his academic pursuits at Montana State University, where he is currently seeking his B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering. Mr. Gosney is conducting research in the computational bio-fluids laboratory under the advisement of Dr. Jeffrey Heys, and their work objective is focused around developing a targeted drug delivery system with use of Microbubble conjugates.  Mr. Gosney is a proud Native American and an Active member of the AICHE, USGBC, Sustainability committee, Leadership Institute and the Undergraduate Scholars Program. Joshua’s ultimate goal is to obtain his Ph. D in chemical engineering, with a focus in Bio-medical research.

Courtney Holland

Major: Cell Biology and Neuroscience
Mentor: Dr. Phillip Sullivan

A proud Great Falls, Montana native, I am a senior in Cell Biology and Neuroscience with a concentration in biomedical sciences. I have a minor in Anthropology, and I am a sophomore in the Nursing degree. Before pursuing my masters, I plan to work two years as a nurse in the E.R. I aspire to get my PhD in Nursing after getting a masters in Anesethia Nursing. My current research is dealing with photoisomerizing dyes, and their use in treating Retinitis pigmentosa, a disease resulting in blindness.

Sydney Jaramillo

Major: English (Literature)
Mentor: Dr. David Swingle

My hometown is El Paso, Texas. I am a junior studying English Literature, and have minors in German Studies, History, and Museum Studies. I have always loved the work Non-Profit Organizations do and have often volunteered my time towards their efforts. After my freshman year, I learned that MSU offered a Museum Studies minor. I joined the program and now realize that my passion lies with working with museums. I am currently working with Dr. David Swingle of the Museum of the Rockies. My goal is to obtain an internship for the summer of 2014 in which I will be able to actively engage with a museum. In my free time, I enjoy reading, and relaxing with my friends. After I graduate in the spring of 2015, I intend to attend graduate school to study Museum Studies.


Tanner Lineberrry

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



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



Dani Morrison

Major: Secondary Education (Social Studies Broadfield)
Mentor: Dr. Jioanna Carjuzaa

My hometown is Helena, MT.   My roots are with South Dakota as a member of the Oglala Lakota Nation.  I am a proud mother of two amazing little girls, Ava (7) and Arlee (6), that keep me fueled for our future.   I am in the Social Studies Broad-field and secondary education program with a minor in Native American Studies.  I have been working the last few years with my mentor Dr. Jioanna Carjuzaa in learning Indian Education For All(IEFA) and the large importance it plays to us educators.  I am also a Hopa Mountain Native Non-Profit Fellow, and have been working diligently on a workshop called “Strengthening the Circle” which is focused for all specific lead, Native non-profit organizations within a regional area.  My goal is to be able to contribute new ideas in seeking positive and effective ways of implementing IEFA to future educators in higher education.  After I graduate I plan on attending graduate school for Native American Studies with the hopes of continuing my education in Federal Indian Law.


Kellie Phillips

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


Michael Ruiz

Major: Anthropology
Mentors: Dr. Jack Fisher and Dr. Ron June

I was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA. I am an Anthropology major considering a minor in General Chemistry. Upon graduation I plan on entering a joint degree program pursuing a PhD/JD. My career goals include becoming a Diplomate of The American Board of Forensic Anthropology. My current research involves maceration practices for the efficient defleshing of human remains to expose, analyze and interpret skeletal trauma. I intend to continue to pursue my education both inside and outside of the classroom wholeheartedly with the help of the McNair Program because I am going to be the change that I want to see in the world as I am the first person in my family to go to college.
Navigating the Waves of Forensics, 2013 (Providence, RI)

Ty Show

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


Kendra Teague

Major: Land Resources & Environmental Science
Mentor: Dr. Alison Harmon

I am originally from southeast New Mexico, but have since made a home in Wolf Point, Montana, where I have family and spend most of my summers. My major is Sustainable Foods and Bioenergy Systems. I currently work with Professor Alison Harmon, who is the Program Leader in Health and Human Nutrition. Our research focuses on the relational aspects of grains and grain production within indigenous populations. We are interested in understanding indigenous approaches to the life cycle and cultivation of grains, with an emphasis on maize, wild rice and barley. We also study rapid changes that have occurred in the use and demand of grains over a short period of time. My interest in this topic stems from my concern for family and the health of our living systems. My professional background in social work and advocacy and my passion for a healthy environment, healthy food systems and clean water has guided me to where I am now.


Julie Theis

Major: Psychology
Mentor: Dr. Matthew Vess


Martina VanHoy

Major: Chemical and Biological Engineering
Mentor: Dr. James Wilking

I was raised in Eureka, Montana but after attending college it was Bozeman that stole my heart. It was only after returning to this valley from a semester in Kenya that I understood my true passion, to save and preserve human life. After earning my dual degree in Chemical Engineering and Biological Engineering at MSU, I plan to pursue a PhD in the area of Biomedical Engineering with a focus on regenerative medicine and tissue engineering. My ambition is to conduct research that encompasses engineering human organs and contribute to the triumph of this life-saving research area. Currently, under the guidance of my laboratory mentor Dr. Joan Broderick I am studying the interactions between PFL and the Radical SAM enzyme PFL-AE. Through the study of an array of mutants we hope to elucidate the specific mechanism and residues important to the novel chemistry related to this protein-protein interaction.


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



Mariah Zuniga

Major: Sociology (Criminology emphasis)
Mentor: Sara Rasch