Montana State University

MSU students selected as McNair Scholars

May 14, 2010

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Twenty-five Montana State University students form the first class of MSU McNair Scholars.

The scholars have demonstrated strong academic potential and are from first-generation/low-income families or are minorities from traditionally underrepresented cultural groups. The scholars, who are committed to attending graduate school and pursuing an advanced degree, will spend at least one summer working on a research project with a faculty mentor. McNair scholars receive financial and academic support and mentoring.

"We are very pleased and impressed of the caliber of students we have in our first cohort of McNair Scholars,"said Shelly Hogan, director of MSU's McNair Scholars Program. Hogan added that the group has an average GPA of 3.5. "We are looking forward to working with the McNair scholars this fall to help groom them for graduate school in part by getting their summer research discoveries."

Last fall MSU won an $880,000 Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program, a TRiO Program funded through the U.S. Department of Education, to prepare MSU undergraduate students for success in graduate school. The program, which is the only one of its kind in Montana, is named for Ronald E. McNair. McNair grew up in poverty and segregation to become a nationally recognized physicist and a NASA mission specialist astronaut. McNair died when the space shuttle Challenger exploded on Jan. 28, 1986. Congress established the McNair Program in his honor.

MSU McNair scholars and their major, listed by their hometown, follow:

Montana
Anaconda:
Jolene Ewert, Sociology

Billings:
Erin Miller, Psychology (Applied)

Bozeman:
Deborah Blanchard, English and Spanish; Rio Gonzalez, English Literature; Deborah Camilla Grover, Agricultural Economics; Eric Hansen, Civil Engineering; Dustin Kuipers, Liberal Studies (Global/Multicultural); Lotus Torre, Sociology

Cut Bank:
Jordan Kennedy, Mechanical Engineering

Darby:
Shelby Rogala, History (SETS option)

Harlem:
Rick Haluszka, Kinesiology (Coaching minor)

Lewistown:
Treacy Gumeson, Liberal Studies

Missoula:
David Driscoll, Mechanical Engineering

Pony:
Dewey Brooke, Biochemistry

Stanford
Justin Zarecor, Business (Finance)

Out-of-state
California
Carlsbad: Francisco Velasco, Psychology
Rough and Ready: Jacob Hunter, Architecture

Florida
Fort Myers: Michelle Abrams, Biotechnology (Animal Systems)

Minnesota
Duluth: Zachary Morris, Civil Engineering

Ohio
Westlake: Beth Renick, Health Promotion

South Dakota
Faith: Jocee Stirling, Rangeland ecology/management

Wyoming
Thermopolis: Kelsey Guffey, Natural Resource Conservation

Vermont
Jericho: Sasha Dingle, Psychology

International
Bahamas
Hope Town Settlement: Megan Malone:, Anthropology

Brazil
Goiania: Juliana Velasco, Cell biology and neurology (Biomedical)

Shelly Hogan (406) 994-5072, mcnair@montana.edu