Annual McNair Forum Features Research By UND Undergraduates

The University of North Dakota’s 18th Annual McNair Forum, in which undergraduate research is presented by McNair Program Scholars, will be held Thursday, April 19, in the River Valley Room of the Memorial Union.

The Ronald E. McNair Post Baccalaureate Achievement Program – named after NASA astronaut Ronald McNair who died in the 1986 explosion of the space shuttle Challenger – is funded by the United States Department of Education and is operated under the University’s Division of Student Affairs.

The McNair Program encourages students to prepare for graduate studies by providing opportunities to define goals, engage in research and to develop the skills and student faculty mentor relationships vital to success at the doctoral level. Participants are low-income, first-generation juniors or senior students from a group underrepresented at the doctoral level of targeted departments.

The forum schedule, presenters and topics of their talks are as follows:

  •  9-9:20 a.m., Logan Stundal, “Coffee Production and the Abuse of the Human Right to Personal Integrity”
  • 9:20-9:40 a.m., Korey Southerland, “Communicating Climate Change: Development of Middle School Lesson Plans on Climate Change and Global Climate Models”
  • 9:40-10 a.m., Janie Schroeder, “Native American Elder Abuse”
  • 10-10:20 a.m., Break
  • 10:20-10:40 a.m., Matthew McCleary, “Neoconservatism: Higher Education and Culture Wars of 1980s-1990s”
  • 10:40-11 a.m., LaShann Wilkerson, “Why is the Crime/Recidivism Rate Level High in the United States? Criminal Approaches & Theories”
  • 11-11:20 a.m., Kayla Ford, “Parental Discipline and Anxiety & Depression”
  • 11:20-11:40 a.m., Alexis Sherman, “Investigation of the most appropriate consolidant to preserve a small, educational skeletal collection”
  • 11:40 a.m.-12 p.m., John Neis, “Automatic Galaxy Morphology Classification System”
  • 12 p.m.-1 p.m., Lunch (on your own)
  • 1-1:20 p.m., Melissa Gibson, “Taphonomic Effects in Cold Climate Regions”
  • 1:20-1:40 p.m., Autumn Arch, “Self-objectification and drive for muscularity in college men”
  • 1:40-2 p.m., Cory Bowers, “The Illusion of Privacy Online”
  • 2 to 2:20 p.m., Garrett Jepsen, “North Dakota Tornado Climatology”
  • 2:20-2:40 p.m., Andy Erickson, “Maze Traversal Using Object-Oriented Programming”

About Ronald McNair
Ronald Erwin McNair, was born on October 21, 1950, in Lake City, South Carolina to Carl and Pearl McNair. He attended North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro, where, in 1971, he graduated magna cum laude with a BS degree in physics. In 1976 he earned his Ph.D. degree in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Dr. McNair’s many distinctions include: Presidential Scholar (1967-71), Ford Foundation Fellow (1971-74), and National Fellowship Fund Fellow (1974-75). He was also named Omega Psi Phi Scholar of the Year (1975), was honored as the Distinguished National Scientist by the National Society of Black Professional Engineers (1979), and received the Friend Of Freedom Award (1981).

Ronald E. McNair was nationally recognized for his work in the field of laser physics. In 1978, he was one of 35 applicants selected from a pool of ten thousand for NASA’s space shuttle program and assigned as a mission specialist aboard the 1984 flight of the shuttle Challenger. On his first space shuttle mission in February 1984, McNair orbited the earth 122 times aboard Challenger. He was the second African American to fly in space.

In addition to his academic achievements, he received three honorary doctorates and numerous fellowships and commendations. He was also a sixth degree black belt in karate and an accomplished jazz saxophonist. He was married to Cheryl Moore and had two children, Reginald Ervin and Joy Cheray.

On the morning of January 28, 1986, McNair and his six crew members died in an explosion aboard the space shuttle Challenger.

Useful link:
UND Ronald E. McNair Post Baccalaureate Achievement Program

Jill Teters, program coordinator
UND TRIO Programs