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Clarkson University McNair Scholars Expand the Boundaries of Research

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Four Clarkson University McNair scholars recently had the opportunity to expand their boundaries beyond Clarkson's campus and enrich their research experiences through The Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program The students were able to widen their networking experiences and enhance their graduate school preparation by working at a variety of research institutions across the eastern United States. mcnair2009

Jasmine Stephens, a senior from Pearland, Texas, explored medical research at Albert Einstein College of Medicine's (AECOM) anatomy and structural biology department in Bronx, N.Y. Under Professor Sherry Downie, Stephens studied arteriovenous fistula in end stage renal disease and hemodialysis. She was given the opportunity through the Minority Student Summer Research Opportunity Program. "This experience has not only allowed me to learn more about medical research, but also more about the medical school application process, highlights of what AECOM has to offer, and current research topics in the medical field," said Stephens. "In addition, I had the chance to observe a surgery at Bronx-Lebanon."

Nancy Sloat, a senior from El Paso, Texas, performed research at Frito-Lay's quality and research development program in Massachusetts. Her project focused on breakage mapping. Sloat analyzed the breakage that occurred throughout the Frito-Lay plant. Through engineering and scientific solutions, she was able to figure out what caused breakage in different chips.

Stephen Carter, a senior from Fort Ann, N.Y., performed research through a National Science Foundation (NSF) Research for Undergraduates (REU) program at North Carolina State University (NCSU). Carter conducted his research, titled "Differential Inequalities and Maximum Principles," under the supervision of Professors Robert Martin and Karen Bobinyec, both faculty members in the mathematics department at NCSU. Carter says that he has become more confident to expand his graduate school list to larger and more prestigious schools after his summer REU experience.

To bring her dream of becoming an astronaut closer to reality, Maria Lang, a junior from El Paso, Texas, performed research at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. Working under NASA Engineer Nick Shur in the electromechanical engineering department, Lang furthered her project titled "The Thermospheric Temperature Imager (TTI) Development." "This experience strengthened my desires to study aerospace engineering at graduate school, work for NASA and become an astronaut," said Lang.

Academically strong students possessing a strong interest in pursuing a doctoral degree are accepted into the McNair Scholars Program. The program was established to prepare students from first-generation and low-income backgrounds, or to students who are underrepresented in graduate education, for doctoral studies

Each year, Clarkson selects only 24 students to participate in the program. They are matched with a faculty member with similar research interests and are invited to participate in a summer-long research project to help them prepare for graduate school. Only 190 colleges across the country are chosen by Congress to host McNair scholars.

McNair is a Trio program through the Federal Department of Education, hosted by Clarkson University.

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in six alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world's pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and health sciences, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

Photo caption: Four Clarkson University students recently had the opportunity to perform research across the eastern United States through the McNair Scholars Research Program. Left to right: Maria Lang, Stephen Carter, Jasmine Stephens, and Nancy Sloat.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Annie Harrison, Director of Media Relations, at 315-268-6764 or]

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