Three McNair Scholars are Research Trailblazers

Posted on 4/12/2016 2:34:17 PM

Each year, the McNair at IUP program encourages scholars to apply for research opportunities outside of IUP. Several undergraduate research opportunities/experiences are offered by research in universities where scholars benefit from a diversity of research experiences enhanced by opportunities to interact, network, and be mentored by faculty, post docs, and PhD and MA candidates in laboratory environments. This year, three McNair scholars have been accepted into three distinct and prestigious programs.

Mary Chey, McNair ScholarMary Chey, a junior cell and molecular biology major, has been selected to participate in the University of Michigan’s Summer Research Opportunity program (SROP) for summer 2016. The program runs May 31 through August 2. The University of Michigan’s SROP offers outstanding undergraduates who are underrepresented in a variety of disciplines to undertake intensive research in their field of study. The goal of the program is to prepare students for PhD programs at UM.

The program offers the following benefits: a paid stipend of $4,000, round-trip airfare or mileage, room and board, GRE preparation, weekly graduate school prep seminars, networking and professional development, access to campus facilities, including labs, and application fee waivers to the Rackham Graduate School for doctoral programs.

Mary currently is conducting research under the mentorship of N. Bharathan in the IUP Biology Department. Her research is titled “Optimization of Double-stranded (ds) RNA Cloning in Rhizoctonia solani Isolate,” which she recently presented at the IUP Undergraduate Scholars Forum. Congratulations Mary!

Nancy  Lopez Sosa, McNair ScholarNancy Lopez Sosa, a junior applied anthropology major, has been selected for a highly competitive research opportunity in the Maternal Child Health Careers/Research Initiatives for Student Enhancement–Undergraduate Program (MCHC/RISE-UP), sponsored by the Kennedy Krieger Institute under a grant awarded by the Centers for Disease Control. The MCHC/RISE-UP is a 10-week summer program beginning May 30, 2016. The program is housed at the prestigious Johns Hopkins University’s School of Medicine in Baltimore, Md.

During the program, Nancy will work with a research mentor(s) on public health prevention, treatment, and epidemiological studies. She will receive training in conducting community-based participatory research which engages communities that are underserved by traditional systems. Program benefits include a $3,500 stipend, room and board, and round-trip travel.

As a McNair scholar, Nancy is being mentored by Victor Garcia of the IUP Anthropology Department and director of MARTI. Nancy recently presented her McNair research proposal titled “The Heterogeneous Latino Community Regarding Healthcare Coverage: A Case Study of Guatemalan Immigrants in Southern Chester County, Pennsylvania.” Congratulations Nancy!

Kara McClain, McNair ScholarKara McClain, a junior nursing major and recent recipient of the prestigious Barry M. Goldwater scholarship, has secured a summer research opportunity at the University of Pittsburgh to conduct research in the Cell Biology and Molecular Physiology Program. The program begins May 23 and ends July 29, 2016. During the program, Kara will conduct an independent research project under the guidance of a faculty member or senior researcher. She will have the opportunity to interact with fellow SURP scholars through educational sessions to become familiar with biomedical research and to receive information to aid her in making future career decisions.

Program benefits include a stipend of $3,500, campus housing, and a travel allowance.

Kara’s current McNair research is titled “Spatial variation in the prevalence of Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Babesia microti and Borrelia burgdorferi in Ixodes scapularis ticks from Northeast and Midwest United States” and is directed by her faculty mentor, Vida Irani of the IUP Biology Department. Kara has presented this work at local symposiums, the UB National McNair Research Conference, and the Allegheny Branch of the American Society for Microbiology. Congratulations Kara!