McNair Research Symposium - October 14, 2022


Symposium 2022

Northern Center - Founders Room | 3:00-7:00PM

You are invited to our annual McNair Research Symposium. These research projects started at the beginning of the Summer 2022 semester and vary in research design and project lengths. Many of these research projects are ongoing and involve cross-departmental support. Please come support our scholars!

Research Projects

Adan Mulvaney

  • Faculty Mentor: Dr. Joshua Ewalt – Communications and Media Studies
  • Research Project: “The Program is Lucky to Have Us:” A Deeper Look at the Identity, Dignity, and Gender of the American Girl in Scouting

Baylee McLevis

  • Faculty Mentor: Dr. Jane Harris – Forensic Anthropology
  • Research Project: Chemical analysis of bullet degradation as the result of exposure to byproducts of human decomposition

Bryce Yacos

  • Faculty Mentor: Dr. Kia Richmond – English
  • Research Project: How Reading Narrative Literature Affects Empathy Among Freshman and Senior Undergraduate Students at a Rural Midwestern Postsecondary Institution

Brynn Anderson

  • Faculty Mentor: Dr. Maris Cinelli – Chemistry
  • Research Project: LC-MS profiling of the nightshade black henbane (Hyocyamus niger) at different growth stages and discovery of new and possibly medicinal alkaloids

Colton Gschwandtner

  • Faculty Mentor: Dr. Evan Pratt – Chemistry
  • Research Project: Interrogation of CB1 and CB2 Receptor Signaling in Living Mammalian Cells

Dominick Dotson

  • Faculty Mentor: Dr. Maris Cinelli – Chemistry
  • Research Project: The Effects of Datura metel on Honeybees

Gwen Murray

  • Faculty Mentor: Joshua Thompson, Ph. D. 
  • Research Project: Geometric Investigations of Mandelbrot Orbit Combinatrics

Hannah Kuehnau

  • Faculty Mentor: Dr. Yan Ciupak – Sociology
  • Research Project: The Effects of Planner-Aided and Mindfulness-Based Positive Psychology Training on College Students’ Wellbeing and Self-Efficacy During COVID-19

Joslin Brown

  • Faculty Mentor: Dr. Ryan Stock – Earth, Environmental and Geographical Sciences
  • Research Project: Decolonizing as Sustainability: Cultures of Colonialism, Circles, and Care

Katie Durham

  • Faculty Mentor: Dr. Jane Harris – Forensic Anthropology
  • Research Project: Calculating Maggot Mass Temperature in Covered and Uncovered Human Remains

Kayin Iiagan

  • Faculty Mentor: Dr. Andy Poe – Mathematics and Computer Science
  • Research Project: Agile Development of Android Application for Recycling

Kristian Choate

  • Faculty Mentor: Dr. Paul Mann – Clinical Lab Sciences
  • Research Project: Integration of a Locked Nucleic Acid into Self-Annealing Loop Primers for Optimization of Peptide Nucleic Acid-Loop Mediated Isothermal Amplification of IDH1-R132H

Lorynn Hackert

  • Faculty Mentor: Dr. Kia Richmond – English
  • Research Project: COVID-19: Impacts on Behaviors Among English Students at a Midsized Midwestern University

Mandy Bonesteel

  • Faculty Mentor: Dr. Yan Ciupak – Sociology
  • Research Project: Corrections Officer Turnover at Marquette Branch Prison During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Micah Benjamin

  • Faculty Mentor: Professor Dawn Lundin – Nursing
  • Research Project: Covid-19 VS. Higher Education: Understanding the Exigencies Through the Student’s Perspectives in Online Learning

Sophia Rodman

  • Faculty Mentor: Dr. Jill Leonard – Biology
  • Research Project: Effect of Early Thermal Environment of Subsequent Metabolic Characteristics in Juvenile Brook Trout

Weiland Dyer

  • Faculty Mentor: Dr. Amber LaCrosse – Psychological Science 
  • Research Project: Psychoactive Treatments in a Mouse Model of PTSD

Diana Antonio

  • Faculty Mentor: Erich Ottem, Ph. D. 
  • Research Project: BDNF Gene Expression Assessment Using cRNA Probes

Marissa Bekkering

  • Faculty Mentor: Mark Shevy, Ph. D. 
  • Research Project: Intercultural Communication Research

Bonneta Chapman-Little

  • Faculty Mentor: Vincent Jeevar, Ph. D. 
  • Research Project: Cultural Influence on Teenage Mental Health and Stability

Aleah Edwards

  • Faculty Mentor: Philip Yangyuoru, Ph. D. 
  • Research Project: Development of a Nucleic Acid Based ATP Biosensor

Madison Fetterman

  • Faculty Mentor: Adam Prus, Ph. D. 
  • Research Project: Regarding Effects of Gabapentin

Thailey Leak

  • Faculty Mentor: Amber LaCrosse, Ph. D. 
  • Research Project: Investigation of the Effects of Chronic CBD Use in Adolescent Mice on Anxiety Behaviors

Bazile Panek

  • Faculty Mentor: April Lindala, Ph. D. 
  • Research Project: Decolonizing Entrepreneurship to Achieve Mino-Bimaadiziwin: A Comparative Analysis of Cultural Beliefs and Practices in Entrepreneurship by the Anishinaabeg 

Darren Simmons

  • Faculty Mentor: Alexander Wilson, Ph. D. 
  • Research Project: Tissues culturing characterization of terpenes, fungal and microbial identification in Radula complanta

Grace Freitag

  • Faculty Mentor: Diana Lafferty, Ph.D.
  • Research Project: Change in Gut Microbiome of Young Mink as they are Weaned off their Mother’s Milk and Change to a Carnivorous Diet

Anthony Cergnul

  • Faculty Mentor: Allan McEvory, Ph.D.
  • Research Project: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Adult Children of Incarcerated Parents

Tiffany Davidson

  • Faculty Mentor: Jeanne Lorentzen, Ph.D.
  • Research Project: Gender in Media: Misogyny in Commercials

Andrew Demetri

  • Faculty Mentor: Donna Becker, Ph.D.
  • Research Project: Compositional and Physiological Effects of Vermicompost and Rhodopseudomonas palustris on growth of Cannabis sativa

Amanda Hancock

  • Faculty Mentor: Ryan Stock, Ph.D.
  • Research Project: Gender Politics of Solar Agricultural Pumps in India

Amber Manitowabi-Huebner 

  • Faculty Mentor: Yuba Gautam, Ph.D.
  • Research Project: Student Athlete's cell phone uses prevalence in the United States as assessed by Mobile Phone Problem Use Scale

Ashley Martinez

  • Faculty Mentor: Robert Goodrich, Ph.D.
  • Research Project: Culture of Remembrance: Austria and the Holocaust

Arabel McLachlan

  • Faculty Mentor: Paul Mann, Ph.D.
  • Research Project: COVID-19 Testing

Lillie Moaier

  • Faculty Mentor: Yan Ciupak, Ph.D.
  • Research Project: Effects of Planning and Reflection on College Students Well-being and Self-efficiency

Shumete Sam

  • Faculty Mentor: Yan Ciupak, Ph.D.
  • Research Project: Why Do College Students Post About Their Relationship on Social Media Frequently

Jalen Sims

  • Faculty Mentor: Keith Ellis, Ph.D.
  • Research Project: Urban Architectural Design Integrated with Sustainability and Nature

Isabelle Tavares

  • Faculty Mentor: Sarah Mittlefehldt, Ph.D.
  • Research Project: Climate Change Impacts in Cuba

Dovell Wilson

  • Faculty Mentor: Yu Liu, Ph.D.
  • Research Project: Supermolecular Nanostructures

Ashley Wojan

  • Faculty Mentor: Adam Prus, Ph.D.
  • Research Project: Behavioral Effects of Classical and Novel Antipsychotics

Lexi Arroyo

  • Faculty Mentor: Matt Jennings, Ph. D.
  • Research Project: HIV-1 RT-LAMP Assay

Rachel Bazen

  • Faculty Mentor: Mounia Ziat, Ph. D. 
  • Research Project: Haptic distal spatial perception mediated by strings: Perception of planar object shape from motion

Cynthia Benson

  • Faculty Mentor: Leah Shon, Ph. D.
  • Research Project: How they reacted to the allegations of child molestation? Justification patters of male-on-male child molesters within the Boy Scouts of America

Kaitlynn Bortz

  • Faculty Mentor: Neil Cumberlidge, Ph. D. & Jill Leonard, Ph. D.
  • Research Project: The Importance of Landmark and Photographic Aspect in Geometric Morphometrics
  • Also traveling to Hong Kong to present at a Crustacean Society meeting.

Breanna Demaline

  • Faculty Mentor: Robert Belton, Ph. D. 
  • Research Project: Fear in the veterinary clinic: History and Development of the Fear Free (TM) Initiative

Abdisalan Haji

  • Faculty Mentor: Rob Legg, Ph. D. 
  • Research Project: Novel approaches to improving Public Transportation in Rural Communities 

Mandy Joslyn

  • Faculty Mentor: Josh Sharp, Ph. D.
  • Research Project: Detection of the Necrobiome following Human Decomposition 

Chris Kailing

  • Faculty Mentor: Diana Lafferty, Ph. D. 
  • Research Project: Using local knowledge to optimize live-capture of American Marten

Sara Larson

  • Faculty Mentor: Jen Howard, Ph. D. 
  • Research Projects: Science Fiction Chapbook

Amanda Marinoff

  • Faculty Mentor: Mike Letts
  • Research Project: Contemporary Abstraction

Ryan Meister

  • Faculty Mentor: Hugo Eyzaguirre, Ph. D. 
  • Research Project: Michigan's Upper Peninsula: Where the Hell is everyone going?

Cecilia Ruiz 

  • Faculty Mentor: Adam Prus
  • Research Projects: 

Kim Santiago

  • Faculty Mentor: Erich Ottem, Ph. D. 
  • Research Project: Neural Retrograde Transport of JIP-3 in Muscle with Brain-derived Neurotrophic Factor Deficiences

William Soper

  • Faculty Mentor: Linda Lawton, Ph. D. 
  • Research Project: The Mathematics Behind Social and Behavioral Sciences 

Malachi Tripaldi

  • Faculty Mentor: Scott Demel, Ph. D. 
  • Research Project: Micro-usewear Analysis of Beaver Island Lithics

Ashley Wojan

  • Faculty Mentor: Adam Prus, Ph. D. 
  • Research Project: Behavioral effects of Classical and Novel Antipsychotics 

Non-McNair Funded Experiences:

Marissa Bekkering

  • Keith Sherin Global Leaders Fellowship in The Hague, Netherlands

Kaitlyn Cesarek

  • Internship in Morocco with The Association for the Protection of the Moroccan Family, which aims to promote women’s leadership, civic engagement, human rights and role at both the familial and societal level.

Grace Freitag

  • Internship with the Minneapolis Zoo on the Tropical Trail.

Marina Mankee

  • Study Abroad in Salamanca, Spain.

Isabelle Tavares

  • Internship with the Reader’s Digest in New York City.

Jordan Wallace

  • Internship with the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

Jarryd Horn, Meg Palacio and Ryan Zawodny will be participating in summer research programs off campus.  Jarryd will be working with Physics Department faculty at Ohio State University through the National Science Foundation (NSF) – Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program. Meg was offered an eight week research internship at Northwestern University in Biochemistry.  Ryan will also be participating in a NSF – REU at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff.

Michelle Kaiser has been accepted to the Colorado Summer Seminar in Philosophy being held June 10 – 29 at the University of Colorado in Boulder.  This year’s theme is “Paradoxes and Puzzles”.

Two students will be participating in internships:  Kaitlynn Cesarek will be with Global Ties Initiative – Detroit, and Isabelle Tavares will be at the Mining Journal in Marquette.  Isabelle will be working on a project called “Investigative Journalism on Environmental Issues in the Upper Peninsula”.

 Danielle Ashley                                     

  • Dr. Jill Leonard
  • Effects of High- and Low-flow Rearing Environments on Guppy (Poecillia reticulata) Morphology and Predation Responses.

Jackie Bristol                                         

  • Dr. Yan Ciupak
  • Perceived Social Support for Minority Students on Predominantly White Campuses.

Breanna Demaline                              

  • Dr. Susan Kapla
  • Fear in the Veterinary Clinic: History and Development of the Fear-Free Initiative.

Alexa Hansen                                       

  •  Dr. Alan McEvoy
  • Students who Bully Teachers: Profiles and Patterns of Mistreatment.

Shayla Manitowabi-Huebner            

  • Dr. Randy Jensen
  • Effects of Show Type on Muscle Activity During Step Up and Step Down Motions

Brittney Moore                                      

  • Dr. Robert Belton
  • Immunohistochemistry assay of Basigin and Axl expression in glioblastoma

Jennie Parker                                         

  • Dr. Jacob Daar

Cecilia Ruiz                                             

  • Dr. Adam Prus

Kim Santiago                                         

  • Dr. Erich Ottem

Ted Roper                                               

  • Dr. Alan Rebertus
  • The Pollination Ecology of the Tuberous Grass-pink Orchid (Calopogon tuberosus)

Anna Wacker                                          

  • Dr. Josh Sharp
  • Rapid Identification of Legionella Species in Water Samples via Loop-meediated Isothermal Amplification.

Jordan Wallace                                       

  • Dr. Paul Mann
  • Can the IDH Gene be Detected by LAMP using FFPA Tissue? 

Bailey West                                              

  • Dr. Jeanne Lorentzen
  • The Significance of Nursing in Rural Communities and Patient Outcomes. 

Jarrod Horn                                   

  • Dr. P.W. Mengyan
  • NMU Characterizing the Mu purity in Anatase Titanium Dioxide

Ted Roper                                        

  • Dr. Alan Rebertus
  • Effects of caribou browsing on flora and soil properties in the boreal forests of the Slate Islands Provincial Park

Aaron Lewkowicz                              

  • Dr. Aleksandar Denic
  • Mayo Clinic Predictors of Nephron Size in Healthy Living Kidney Donors and Nephrectomy Patients with Comorbidities

Margaret Hartman                                     

  •  Dr. Mark Romanski
  • National Park Service Snowshoe Hare Density at Isle Royale National Park

Brittany Moore

  • Dr. Jennifer Jezylo
  • NMU Porcupine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome

Ashley Adzima                                  

  • Dr. Sedat Goluoglu
  • University of Florida University of Florida SURF program research

Alysa Kilpela                                       

  • Katherine Mead
  • An Exploration of the Relationship between Stress, Physical Activity, and Sleep Patterns in Baccalaureate Nursing Students

Biidaaban Reinhardt                                          

  • Dr. Sarah Mittlefehldt
  • Barriers to Developing Renewable Energy Systems within Tribal Communities: A Case Study of the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community

Ryan Peterson                                         

  • Seth DePasqual
  • National Park Service Cultural Resources Management Internship on Isle Royale National Park

Shelby Nguyen                                             

  • Dr. Valerie Hedges
  • MSU Sexual Dimorphism in TMEM35

Kimberly Snell & Chatrine-Irin Johannessen

  • Dr. Mounia Ziat
  • NMU Cutaneous Rabbit Illusion


Ashley Adzima

  • Faculty Mentor: William Tireman – Physics
  • Project Title: The Neutron Electric Form Factor at Q2 up to 7 (GeV/c)2 From the Reaction 2H (e, e’n) 1H via Recoil Polarimetry

Ryan Borges

  • Faculty Mentor: Judy Puncochar – Educational Leadership
  • Project Title: Preparing Teacher Candidates for Diverse Classroom Settings

Kaitlynn Bortz

  • Faculty Mentor: Jill Leonard – Biology
  • Project Title: The Importance of Landmark Selection and Photographic Aspect in Geometric Morphometrics

Margaret Hartman

  • Project Mentor: Mario S. Pinilla-Gallego (Michigan State University)
  • Project Title: Soil and Nesting preference by O. lignaria Say and O. cornifrons (Radoszkowski) (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae)

Cheyenne Kaufman

  • Faculty Mentor: Erin Colwitz – Music

Josh Nickels

  • Faculty Mentor: Mounia Ziat – Psychology
  • Project Title: Virtual Mirror Therapy for Lower Limb Pain

Ryan Peterson

  • Faculty Mentor: Scott Demel – Sociology/Anthropology
  • Project Title: Archaeological Excavation of Beaver Island

Brent Pettigrew

  • Faculty Mentor: Brian Myers – Health/Human Performance
  • Project Title: Relationship Between High School Physical Education and Physical Activity Levels as College Freshman

Kathleen Reinhardt

  • Faculty Mentor: Melissa Romero – Nursing
  • Project Title: Decolonizing Diet Project (DDP) – The follow up study

Andre Stringer

  • Faculty Mentor: Jon Barch – Center for Student Enrichment
  • Project Title: Discriminatory Attitudes using the Lost Letter Technique

Allyssa Van Horn

  • Faculty Mentor: Scott Drum – Health/Human Performance
  • Project Title: Using Intermittent Normobaric Hypoxia to Enhance Sea Level Running Performance

Stephen Wardell

  • Faculty Mentor: Gabrielle McNally – Art and Design
  • Project Title: Conventions of Seeing

Anthony Webb

  • Faculty Mentor: Daniel Rowe – Mathematics and Computer Science
  • Project Title: Kissing the Platonic


José Aburto

  • ​Faculty Mentor - Jessica Thompson, Communication and Media Studies
  • Project: "Communicating About Conservation: Who Is a Trustworthy Messenger?" 

Amanda Fliflet

  • Faculty Mentors - James Strain, Music
  • Project - Assessing Tonal Characteristics of Timpani Heads and Mallets

Troy Morris

  • Faculty Mentor - Sheila Burns, Psychology
  • Project - "Locus of Control Interaction by Visual and Audio Intervention"

Emily Mydlowski

  • Faculty Mentor - Alan Rebertus, Biology
  • Project - "Post-fire Regeneration of the 2000 Lightening Induced Fire at Porcupine Wildernesses State Park, Ontonagon, Michigan"

Tiaira Porter

  • ​Faculty Mentor - Erich Ottem, Biology
  • Project - "Determination of Motor Neuron Retrograde Transport Function in Mice Lacking Muscle-Synethesized Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor"

Nicole Shoup

  • Faculty Mentor - Josh Sharp, Biology
  • Project - "Rapid Identification of Staphylococcus by Immunomagnetic Capture and Laser Light Scattering"

Alex Steinline

  • ​Faculty Mentor - Jill Leonard, Biology
  • Project - "Competitive Interactions Between Mottled Sculpin and Round Gobies"

Alyssa Vanhorn

  • Faculty Mentor - Scott Drum, Health and Human Performance
  • Project - "Using Intermittent Normobaric Hypoxia to Enhance Sea Level Running Performance"

Katelin Bingner

  • ​Faculty Mentor - Alec Lindsay, Biology
  • Project: "Intial annotation of Gavia immer genome" 

Chandler Countryman

  • Faculty Mentors - Jill Leonard, Biology, NMU & Nannette Chadwick, Biological Sciences, Auburn University
  • Project - Comparison of Life History Patterns of the Cleaner Shrimps Ancylomenes pedersoni and Periclimenes yucatanicus

Willow Grosz

  • Faculty Mentor - Dan Gocella, English
  • Project - "Maybe I Should Say" (A collection of creative short story fiction)

Gabrielle Hoffman

  • Faculty Mentor - Scott Demel, Sociology and Anthropology
  • Project - Micro-wear Analysis: Using Natural Dyes to Examine Polishes

Katherine Biang

  • ​Faculty Mentor - Mitchell Klett, Education
  • Project - Moral Development and Conflict Resolution in Early Childhood: An Observational Study

Michelle McGuire

  • Faculty Mentor - Christi Edge, Education
  • Project - 

Emily Mydlowski

  • ​Faculty Mentor - Jill Leonard, Biology
  • Project - Common fiddler crab (Uca sp.) habitat preference in artificial tide pool

Nathaniel Crane

  • Faculty Mentor - Jill Leonard, Biology
  • Project - Growth, condition and morphology of brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis​) in different rearing habitats

Cierra LaBelle

  • ​Faculty Mentor: Jill Leonard, Biology
  • Project - Geometric Morphometrics of yellow perch, Perca flavesecens, and the creek chub, Semolitus atromaculates, over time 

Kurt Benckendorf

  • Faculty Mentor - Katherine Menard, Nursing
  • Project - Exploring the outcomes of peer mentorship through simulation

Kurt Kilpela

  • Faculty Mentor - Mike Kowalczyk, Math and Computer Science

Keara Kangas

  • Faculty Mentor - Josh Carlson, Psychology

Nick Bohn

  • ​Faculty Mentor - Robert Belton, Biology

Stephanie Beeman

  • Faculty Mentor: Mounia Ziat, Ph.D.
  • Project- Tactile Attention and Multisensory Integration

Rozemary Howard

  • Faculty Mentor: Erich Ottem, Ph.D.
  • Project- Detection of mRNA in Dendrites

Taylor Johnson

  • Faculty Mentor- Jessica Thompson, Ph.D.
  • Project- Evaluating the Effectiveness of a Mediated Modeling Process: A Case Study of the Weeks Bay Marsh Project.

David Seramur

  • Faculty Mentor- Marguerite Moore, Ph.D.
  • Project- Neurocognitive Recovery Patterns in Youth Following Mild Traumatic Brain Injury.

Rebecca Allers

  • Faculty Mentor: Timothy Hilton, Ph.D.
  • Project: Barriers to Food Security for Low-Income, Rural Families in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

Nick Bohn

  • Faculty Mentor- Robert Belton, Ph.D.
  • Project- Characterization of Tumor-Derived Exosomes from Glioblastoma Cells

Mark Cook

  • Faculty Mentor- Hugo Eyzaguirre, Ph.D.
  • Project: Unemployment of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula

Justin Cribley

  • Faculty Mentor- Jill B.K. Leonard, Ph.D.
  • Project: Habit selection by longnose dace (Rhinichthhys cataractae) in an artificial stream setting

Alicia DenHerder

  • Faculty Mentor- Scott Drum, Ph.D.
  • Project: Efficacy of Different Self-Myofascial Release Interventions on Recovery Between Acute, Maximal Bouts of Exercise: A Pilot Study

Michael Flores

  • Faculty Mentor- Amy Hamilton, Ph.D.
  • Project: Space, Land, Identity: A Critical Study of Representations of the U.S.-Mexico Border

Taylor Freund

  • Faculty Mentor- Harry Whitaker, Ph.D.
  • Project- Strengthening Connections between lexical and phonological nodes: How reading aloud improves word retrieval and working memory.

Rory Jackson

  • Faculty Mentor- John Rebers, Ph.D.
  • Project: Quantification of chitin binding of R&R consensus sequence from Anopheles gambiae

Rachel McOwusu

  • Faculty Mentor- Deanna Trella, Ph.D.
  • Project: Differential Rates of Risk-Taking Behaviors by Assets: Sexual Health Behaviors & Attitudes of Marquette Alger County Youth

Emily Mydlowski

  • Faculty Mentor- Alan Rebertus, Ph.D., Graduate Student Mentor- Emily Sprengelmeyer
  • Project- Effects of myrmecochory and associated ant species on plant distribution

Ryan Passino

  • Faculty Mentor- Robert Belton, Ph.D.
  • Project- Neural Stem Cell Tropism to Glioblastoma LN229 Cells

Ethan Scott

  • Faculty Mentor- Katherine Teeter, Ph.D.
  • Project- DNA methylation in imprinted genes in hybrid mice

Matt Cowling

  • Faculty Mentor: Robert Belton, Ph.D.
  • Project- Characterization of basigin isoform-3 localization in human corcinomas.

Brittney Dodge

  • Faculty Mentor: Alec Lindsay, Ph.D.
  • Project- The Identification of Unknown Bird Feathers Using DNA- Barcoding

Emily Hansen

  • Faculty Mentor- Martin Reinhardt, Ph.D.
  • Project: Decolonizing the diet: an exploration of the indigenous foods diet regime

Rozemary Howard

  • Faculty Mentor- Erich Ottem, Ph.D.
  • Project: Detection of mRNA in Dendrites

D'Juana Jackson

  • Faculty Mentor: Patricia Hogan, Ph.D.
  • Project: The relationship between various levels of physical activity, social capital and retention in Northern Michigan University students.

Jeremy Leight

  • Faculty Mentor- Alan Rebertus, Ph.D.
  • Project- Clarifying the association between the federally threatened Pitcher's thistle, Cirsium pitcheri, and the little bluestem, Schizachyrium scoparium

Ricki Oldenkamp

  • Faculty Mentor- Susan Kapla, Ph.D.
  • Project: Orangutan mother-infant dyads: social learning during tool use field experiments

Emily Perdue

  • Faculty Mentor- Timothy Hilton, Ph.D.
  • Project: What the interactions between poverty, neglect and involvement in the child welfare system look like on a local level.

David Seramur

  • Faculty Mentor- Phillip Watts, Ph.D.
  • Project: Literature Review of Graston Technique v. ASTYM

Brittany Schryvers

  • Faculty Mentor- Francella Quinnell, Ph.D.
  • Project: Jealousy in Friendships

Ashley Schmeling

  • Faculty Mentor- Adam Prus, Ph.D.
  • Project- Working Memory Assessment of Brown Norway Rats in Radial Arm Maze Apparatus

Rachel Sines

  • Faculty Mentor- Alan Rebertus, Ph.D.
  • Project: Calypso orchid studies in the Grand Sable Dunes, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

Mandy Taisto

  • Faculty Mentor- Erich Ottem, Ph.D.
  • Project: Progressive Myopathy in Transgenic Mice

Macrea Anderson

  • Faculty Mentor: Steven Nelson, Ph.D.
  • Project: Economic Impact of Local Food Systems in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula: A Preliminary Study

Matthew Cowling

  • Faculty Mentor: Robert J. Belton Ph.D.
  • Project: Characterization of basigin isoform-3 localization in human carcinomas.

Sara DeBold

  • Faculty Mentor: Sara Potter
  • Project: Assessing Delivery and Writing Skills in the Basic Course in Public Speaking: 10 30 second exercises.

Adrienne Garlick

  • Faculty Mentor: Jeanne Lorentzen, Ph.D.
  • Project: Prevalence of Gender Role Stereotyping in Children's Picture Books.

Helina Haile

  • Faculty Mentor: Carol Strauss, Ph.D.
  • Project: The Use of Military Intervention as a Justified Responsive Means to end Human Rights Violations.

Matt Keiser

  • Faculty Mentor: Alan Rebertus, Ph.D.
  • Project: Demography and Mortality of Pitcher's Thistle Seedlings

Karla Kopp

  • Faculty Mentor: Patrick Brown, Ph.D.
  • Project: Comparison of Avian Species Richness in Forest Stands of Different Age Classes

Joe Masters

  • Faculty Mentor: Timothy Hilton, Ph.D.
  • Project: Examining the experiences of Native Americans who are transitioning from prison to communities in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

Mike Michalek

  • Faculty Mentor: Walter Loope at the USGS/John Anderton, Ph.D.
  • Project: Investigating the possible scenario of a waterway from Early Lake Minong to Lake Chippewa

Ricki Oldenkamp

  • Ricki was one of 10 students selected from a pool of over 400 applicants to take part in the Mechanism of Behavior program at Duke University during summer 2011.

Justine Pinskey

  • Faculty Mentor: Robert Winn, Ph.D.
  • Project: Investigating vitamin D3 as a potential therapeutic agent for glioblatomo multiforme 

Tracy Pickering

  • Tracy was selected for an internship through the Washington Center this summer and will be working for a non-profit organization in Washington, D.C.

Emily Sprengelmeyer

  • Faculty Mentor: Patrick Brown, Ph.D.
  • Project: Affects of coarse woody debris in Aspen-dominated mesic-hardwood forests

Amanda Taisto

  • Faculty Mentor: Erich Ottem, Ph.D.
  • Project: Pathological Assessment of Muscles and Motorneurons in Transgenic Mice with Missing or Limited Muscular BDNF.

Brieana Videto

  • Faculty Mentor: Robert Regis, Ph.D.
  • Project: The Chemical Analysis of Stam Sand Groundwater: Gay, MI

Kate Abrahamsson

  • Faculty Mentor: Erich Ottem, Ph.D.
  • Research Project: The role of brain derived neurotrophic factor in the onset of neuromuscular disease.

Kurt Benckendorf

  • Facutly Mentor: Alec Lindsay, Ph.D.
  • Research Project: Avian Recording via Automated Audio Monitoring

Paula Fata

  • Faculty Mentor: Dale Kapla, Ph.D.
  • Research Project: The Constitutionality of Firearm Prohibition on Universities of Higher Education.

Hunter Harig

  • Faculty Mentor: Jackie Bird, DVM, Ph.D.
  • Research Project: Prevalence of Echinococcus granulosus in wolves killed in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan over multiple years.

Ryan Haskell

  • Faculty Mentor: Robert Goodrich, Ph.D.
  • Research Project: Habsburg Immigration to Michigan

Nancy Kenok

  • Faculty Mentor: Alex Ruuska, Ph.D.
  • Research Project: World Heritage Sites and Tourism in Peru and the United States.

Joe Masters

  • Faculty Mentor: Timothy Hilton, Ph.D.
  • Research Project: Targeting Resources for Paroled Native American on the Reservations

Emily Perdue

  • Faculty Mentor: Jonathan Allen. Ph.D.
  • Resarch Project: Tracing the Origins and Significance of Political Leadership

Andrea Selmser

  • Faculty Mentor: Debra Morley, MD, Ph.D.
  • Research Project: Traumatic Brain Injury Correlation and with headache and other cognitive and psychological variables.

Linda Sirois

  • Faculty Mentor: Leslie Larkin, Ph.D.
  • Research Project: 20th Century African American Literature

Emily Sprengelmeyer

  • Faculty Mentor: Alan Rebertus, Ph.D.
  • Research Project: Spruce budworm infestation and woodland caribou activity on the Slate Islands

Quentin Sprengelmeyer

  • Facutly Mentor: Alan Rebertus, Ph.D.
  • Research Project: Distributal patterns of arctic disjunt flora in relation to geology, topography, and microclimate on the Slate Islands, Lake Superior

Eva Statler

  • Faculty Mentor: Mohey Mowafy Ph.D.
  • Research Project: Orthorexia
  • Eva also worked with Adam Prus, Ph.D. during the summer of 2010 as a research assistant, working in the Psychopharmacology lab on a radial arm maze.

Preparing for Research 

After scholars have selected a faculty mentor, it is time to start preparing for their upcoming summer research project, which takes place between one’s junior and senior year.

During the winter semester of their junior year, scholars meet regularly with their faculty mentor, prepare their research proposal and immerse themselves in literature related to their research topic.

This is a busy semester for scholars, as they are expected to still attend all necessary McNair seminars and workshops in addition to preparing for their research project. During this time, scholars will also be receiving information about summer housing, their research timeline and paper submission deadlines, tuition waivers and college credit application processes.

Presenting Your Research

At the completion of the summer research project, the McNair office will work with scholars to develop a poster based on research findings. A workshop by the McNair director will assist scholars in using their computers to develop a poster, and the McNair program will pay for the cost of printing posters.

All scholars are expected to present their work at the McNair Research Symposium and at the NMU Annual Celebration of Student Scholarship. Additionally, scholars are encouraged to work with their faculty mentors and consider peer-reviewed journal publications for their research. Mentors provide advice regarding appropriate journals and assist in editing and preparing articles for publication.

Some scholars and their mentors may be invited to present their findings at regional conferences. The program may financially support travel requests for these conferences, depending on cost and available funding.

Faculty Mentorships

Mentoring is a key component of the McNair Scholars program and many of Northern’s faculty members tirelessly dedicate their time, energy and experience as faculty mentors. Mentors play a vital role in the overall success of the McNair Program by helping scholars plan their research and academic programs, assisting in the development of research skills, and planning and preparing scholars for admission into graduate programs.

One of the first tasks of a McNair scholar is to identify potential faculty mentors in your major area of study. Scholars are encouraged to seek out a mentor they feel they will work well with, but the McNair staff can also assist scholars with introductions to faculty who have expressed interest in being a mentor. Scholars will need to ask their prospective mentor about their research interests, what work they could do, what hours they would work, what publication opportunities are available, and the level of personal support the mentor can provide. Scholars are encouraged to interview several potential mentors, as research success depends on scholars and mentors having an excellent relationship and having all expectations addressed at the start.

Summer Research Component

The key element that distinguishes doctoral study is independent research. Typical undergraduate programs have little or no emphasis on this aspect of scholastic life, but understanding how research is done is essential in graduate school.

In the summer between their junior and senior year, NMU McNair scholars participate and complete their summer research project. This is the capstone experience of the McNair program. During a six-week period scholars are expected to work 20-30 hours a week on their research, receiving guidance from their faculty mentors on the project from start to finish. At the project’s completion and before September 1, a 20-30 page research paper is to be completed and submitted to the McNair office.