UW McNair Scholars to present research projects Aug. 4

One of the University of Wyoming’s longest-running student-led research programs will celebrate its 30th anniversary next month.
Thirteen undergraduate students will present meaningful individual work during UW’s annual McNair Scholars Research Symposium Thursday, Aug. 4.
To help mark the program’s 30th anniversary, a special McNair Scholars alumni event is planned from 5-7 p.m. Aug. 4 in the Marian H. Rochelle Gateway Center, located on the corner of 22nd Street and Grand Avenue. Current and past participants are encouraged to attend to meet with graduates of the McNair Scholars Program and to learn more about the UW Alumni Association.
The symposium is an opportunity for McNair Scholars to share the progress and findings from their undergraduate research internships with the broader community of scholars. Student presentations are from a diverse range of academic programs, such as anthropology, biology, chemistry, international studies, Native American studies, psychology, social work and zoology.
UW’s McNair Scholars Program encourages undergraduate students from groups traditionally underrepresented in postbaccalaureate degree programs to pursue graduate studies by providing opportunities to define goals, engage in research and develop the skills and student/faculty mentor relationships critical to success at the doctoral level.
Since the inception of the symposium in 1992, nearly 75 socioeconomically disadvantaged and underrepresented UW students have earned doctoral degrees through participation in the McNair Scholars Program.
Doors open at 9 a.m. for the latest McNair Scholars Research Symposium in the Wyoming Union Family Room, with welcoming remarks at 9:15 a.m. from Steve Barrett, UW vice provost for undergraduate education. Student presentations follow and are scheduled throughout the day. The event is free and open to the public. A lunch will be provided; to RSVP, click here.
For more information, call Liz Nysson, McNair Scholars Program project director, at (307) 766-3818 or email[email protected]; or Susan Stoddard, senior project coordinator, at (307) 766-6189 or [email protected].
UW McNair Scholars presenting work, listed by time, majors, hometowns, titles of their projects and UW mentors, include:
9:30 a.m. -- Skylar Hodgins, psychology, Casper, “Plasticity at the head of substance use disorder: characterizing dendritic spine morphology in nucleus accumbens cocaine-seeking ensembles,” with Ana Clara Bobadilla and Levi Flom.
9:45 a.m. -- Erin McDonald, chemistry, Falcon, Colo., “Measuring the reaction kinetics of the H+CO->HCO Reaction in solid parahydrogen at 1.5-4K,” with David Anderson and Ibrahim Muddasser.
10 a.m. -- Toby Covill, biology, Pinedale, “Predator Diversion Adaptation in Juveniles of Plestiodon multivirgatus, the Many-Lined Skink,” with Catherine Wagner, Sean Harrington and William Rosenthal.
10:15 a.m. -- Ema Lujan, zoology, Raleigh, N.C., “Comparison Tracking Movement Technologies with Urban Raccoons (Procyon lotor),” with Merav Ben-David and Christina Sluka.
11 a.m. -- Miranda Perry, journalism, Pinedale, “Catching the Blackfish: Casting a Net over Influencing and Identity Baiting,” with Tracey Owens Patton and Megan Landre.

11:15 a.m. -- Ashlyn Bailey, psychology, Riverton, “The Effect of Government Affiliation and Expertise on Perceptions of Vaccine Messages,” with Sean McCrea and Matthew Sherrin-Helm.
11:30 a.m. -- Fox Nelson, anthropology, Cheyenne, “Condition report of Site 48WA322: the Colby Mammoth Collection and the Curation Crisis,” with Brianna Doering and Charles Koenig.
1:30 p.m. -- Francisca Akambasi, social work, Sandema, Ghana, “Parents Perspectives on the Educational Experiences of their Children with Autism in a Rural Area,” with Valerie Thompson-Ebanks and Rhitamvara Pokharel.
1:45 p.m. -- Veronica Garcia, international studies, Casper, “Que Picante! The Sexualized Language of Latina Women on Social Media,” with James Johnson.
2:15 p.m. -- Haley Harris, kinesiology and health promotion, Wildomar, Calif., “Focus Groups for Mobile regulation of craving training to improve dietary intake in rural adolescent girls (food and hot topics),” with Grace Shearrer and Elianna Paninos.
2:30 p.m. -- Byanca Varela, music and psychology, Spearman, Texas, “Wyoming School Counselors: Social Emotional Learning and Mobile Makerspace Innovation,” with Lindsey Nichols and Jennifer Bays.
2:45 p.m. -- Johnna Arthur, Native American studies, Riverton, “Indigenous Communities and Mental Health,” with Cynthia Hartung, Tamara Abu-Ramadan and Emily Miller.