Nine students named McNair Scholars

Academic program provides rare research opportunities

Story by Cori Picard, Staff Writer

The Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program is a learning community preparing students for careers in research.  UW-Eau Claire is one of 127 institutions nationwide to offer this opportunity to students pursuing graduate school and a doctoral degree.

The nine McNair Scholars were able to apply for the program after they were nominated by a faculty member. They will spend two years researching with a faculty mentor and will attend a six-week, three-credit summer research institute to prepare their research plans.

Each student will receive a $2,800 grant to fund their specific research, and they can apply for other research grants as well.  Working together with their mentors, the students will propose their own research ideas depending on their specific discipline. For many, this opportunity would not have been possible without the McNair Achievement Program. Three students shared their plans for research and the future.


Jenna Roquist, junior psychology major, Merrillan, Wis.

“My project is investigating the relationship between three variables: maternal relationship quality, relational aggression tendencies, and friendship quality.  I plan on pursuing doctoral studies in School Psychology. McNair offers an opportunity to expand my research skills in design and execution by delving into a personal interest of mine, which is how our family relationships interact with other parts of our lives. It will set the stage for what I want to pursue as an emphasis in my graduate studies.”





Lynzy Abress, senior American Indian studies major, Stacy, Minn.


“What I plan to research involves the comparison of behavioral traits between captive gorillas and gorillas in the wild. I’ll choose two behavioral traits and really focus on them. There will also be a lot of observation. But it’s not super defined yet. I think it’s so cool how closely related primates are to us, and I’m so thankful for this opportunity because I haven’t done any kind of research like this and being an anthropology and American Indian studies major, you have to make your own research happen.”





Tayo Sanders II, junior material sciences major, Kimberly, Wis.


“Being a McNair scholar is a privilege that I do not take lightly. Dr. Quinn and Dr. Freeman (program advisers) put in a tremendous amount of time and effort to make sure each cohort is equipped with skills necessary to be successful at the graduate level. The research I will be doing in the summer will allow me to begin establishing myself as a professional in my field by providing me with key opportunities to network and