Abbie Bandstra

English (Teaching)
Dr. Lisa Eckert

As a Montana native of Park County (Livingston), in my undergraduate career at Montana State University I have fostered a specific interest in rural communities and rural education. My research examines the ways in which educators and researchers quantify knowledge about rural education systems and their interconnectedness with the community at large. This spring and summer I was fortunate to work with Dr. Lisa Eckert in better understanding these larger questions to formulate research in a relatively new field of examination. I will graduate in the fall of 2012 and plan to work with AmeriCorps for one year before going on to graduate school. I hope to continue in the vein of educational research in my graduate studies, focusing on educational policy and teacher training.

Ashley Boomer

Animal Science
Dr. Shelly Hogan

I first recognized my passion for animal reproduction in Dr. Berardinelli’s, Physiology of Reproduction and Assisted Reproductive Techniques classes at Montana State University. Learning the anatomy and hormone balances involved with bodily changes caught my interest. Being able to touch and exam a fetus or decipher the length of gestation just by palpating caruncles or a fluid filled lumen inspired me to learn more. In order to gain more experience in this field, I worked as a teaching assistant in Accelerated Genetics demonstrating proper techniques for artificial insemination and semen handling. I fulfilled a short-term goal by becoming certified to artificially inseminate cattle. My certification has allowed me to develop a valuable relationship with the livestock production community. I will soon be working with local representatives and other clients to aid in achieving successful bovine pregnancies. This knowledge has also made me more confident during the calving and lambing season on my family ranch, especially during instances where there is concern about the animals’ fertility. My future goals is to attend graduate shool and eventually attain my doctorate in veterinary medicine.

James Cwick

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.  

Dominique David

Earth Science (Geography)
Dr. Wayne Stein

In Spring of 2014 I will represent the first generation in my family to earn a Bachelors degree! I am currently studying Geography through the Earth Science department and minoring in Native American Studies. My undergraduate research will explore the Indigenous science knowledge that is inherent in our Native language place names. Coming from a multicultural Caribbean-American background (Native Taino, European, & African), I grew up valuing diverse ways of knowing. During my undergraduate & postgraduate studies I plan to learn how to use geospatial science technology (GIS & remote sensing) to study our natural environment and resources. When I graduate with my PhD I intend to integrate our Indigenous science knowledge with Western science in the ways that we teach about and manage our natural resources. I am grateful to have the support and guidance of my mentors Lisa Lone Fight & Dr. Wayne Stein here at Montana State University.

Michael Fast Buffalo Horse

Secondary Education (Social Studies Broadfield) 
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.

Shane Forsythe

Civil Engineering 
Dr. Pat McGowen

I will be graduating in December 2012 with a B.S. in Civil Engineering. As a McNair Scholar I have had the opportunity to conduct meaningful undergraduate research under guidance of my McNair mentor Dr. Pat McGowen. Specifically our research better understanding the increasing traffic volumes travelling through the small communities along US Highway 93 between Lolo, MT and Hamilton, MT have made the speed of the motorist a large concern for the various communities along the corridor.  I will be starting my graduate work in pursuit of my Masters Degree in Civil Engineering at MSU-Bozeman in 2013.

Kenneth Gaskill

Animal Science 
Tom Geary

I grew up on a cattle ranch in southeastern Montana. I continuously tested the best methods to execute the work that needed to be done; my interest for research began then. In high school I completed a research project, with the help of Rachel Endecott, who is Montana State Universities’ Beef Extension Specialist. The McNair Scholarship program caught my eye and now I conduct research. My research project is “Bovine in vitro fertilization and embryo development with nano particle depleted spermatozoa.” This research is conducted at USDA LAARL Fort Koegh in Miles City, Montana under the supervision of Dr. Tom Geary, Bovine Reproductive Physiology Scientist.  

Halley Heintz

Art History 
Mentors: Deborah Taylor

I graduated in 2008 from Pine Bluffs High School in Wyoming and decided to attend Montana State University for the diversity and its prestigious Art program. I am now in my fourth year and am eager to continue towards attaining a Ph.D in Art History and eventually becoming a university professor. Deborah and Dr. Todd Larkin have been serving as my McNair mentors and guiding the direction of my summer research project. My research is focused on the 17th Century Spanish Baroque paintings of Francisco de Zurbaran and Esteban Murrilo. The goal of my research is to reveal an understanding of everyday life and religious rituals in the common household.  The conclusion will answer religious gender roles. I will be attending a National McNair research conference in Kansas City, MO in September were I will be presenting this research as part of my participation in the McNair Scholars Program at MSU.

Courtney Holland

Cell Biology and Neuroscience 
Dr. Phillip Sullivan

I was born and raised in Great Falls, Montana. 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. My research deals with testing how dyes, specifically azobenzenes, isomerize when hit with a specific wavelengths. I study how different end groups change the speed at which they isomerize and how the differing end groups affect the dyes binding ability to BSA.

Alyssa Sandner

Biotech. of Animal Systems
Dr. Michele Hardy

I was born and raised in Corte Madera, CA and I am currently a Junior majoring in Biology with a teaching option. Upon graduating from Montana State University in 2014, I hope to earn my doctorate in education with an emphasis in teaching STEM courses at the university level.  My first McNair summer project was conducted in the laboratory of my mentor Dr. Michele Hardy. We investigated the site directed mutagenesis of rotavirus NSP1 strains OSU (porcine) and W161 (human). This experiment was designed to help further understand viral interactions with immune pathways through a series of mutations.

Riley Stoudt

Cell Biology & Neuroscience 
Don Demetriades

I was born in Hershey, Pennsylvania, but my family moved to Colorado almost immediately after my birth. We lived in many places throughout the state, but the majority of my childhood was spent in the mountain town of Evergreen, which is due west of Denver. I am currently a Biology major heading into my final semester of undergraduate education. Alongside Don Demetriedes, I am working on a research project with the ultimate goal of understanding the decision process that women go through when deciding how, where, and with whom they elect to give birth. By the conclusion of this project I hope to gain a better understanding of not only what choices women tend to make, but also an understanding of the cognitive processes that lead to these decisions.