McNair Scholars Program

CURRENT STUDENTS

Alonzo Z Beckham

Junior
Major: Management


Laura Castro

Senior
Majors:  Biology - Honors Research, French Studies

Laura Castro is double majoring in biology and French studies. Her hometown is Cedar Falls, IA. Laura is involved in the Beta Beta Beta Honor Biology Society and CATS (Connecting Alumni to Students). She also is a Biology Ambassador. She has received the following recognitions: the Physics Scholar Award, the Distinguished Scholar Award, and the Multicultural Scholar Award. Her future plans are to continue her education in the biology field. Laura joined the McNair Scholars Program to have the opportunity of conducting research first-hand to expand her horizons.


Scarlett R Cerna


Michael Creech

Senior
Major:  Psychology

Michael Creech is majoring in psychology and has already completed his A.A. degree prior. Michael is involved in many organizations including the Northeast Iowa Food Bank, the Bowling Club and is a Research Volunteer. After he graduates from UNI, he plans to further his education in an Industrial Psychology graduate program. He joined McNair because he believed the experience would be very beneficial.


Brittnie Dotson

Junior
Major:  Biology
Minor:  Chemistry

Brittnie Dotson is majoring in biology and minoring in chemistry and is originally from Gary, IN. She is heavily involved in many activities at UNI including:  Ethnic Student Promoters, BSU and Biology Ambassadors. She also volunteers at the Covenant Medical Center and Sartori Memorial Hospital. She has been a recipient of the Bridge Scholar Award. Brittnie's plans after college include becoming a physician assistant and then furthering her education to become a pediatrician. She joined the McNair Scholars program because she said it would be a great program to help her get ready for graduate school since she will be the first in her family to attend a graduate level program.


Vanessa Espinoza

Senior
Major:  Spanish Teaching

Vanessa Espinoza is majoring in spanish teaching and is originally from Conesville, IA. She is very involved on-campus and in the Cedar Falls/Waterloo area. She currently is the Vice President of Sigma Delta Pi, a spanish tutor, a tutor for Burmese refugees at USCRI in Waterloo, an interviewer at the Center for Social and Behavioral Research, and was a Camp Adventure Intern in 2013. She also is involved with Art for El Salvador, an organization that raises money to support mission work. Her future goal is to work at a low-income school for a couple of years and then go into a doctoral program that focuses on Latin American and Border Studies. She joined McNair due to previously being a TRIO student and is thankful for these programs, which have helped her become successful in her academic career. She believes McNair is a wonderful opportunity to help stick her feet into graduate school. Vanessa has also had the experience of working abroad in Germany, is the founder of the Vanessa Espinoza Scholarship, and has received the Herbert Hoover Uncommon Student Award and Mariah Becker Volunteer Leadership Award.


Norma Garcia

Junior


Alysia N Grant

Senior
Majors:  Earth Science, Environmental Science

Alysia Grant is majoring in earth science and environmental science and also working towards a minor in geology. Her hometown is Cedar Rapids, IA. She is involved in Sigma Gamma Epsilon. Her future plans include wanting to be an environmental consultant and furthering her education by attending graduate school in New Zealand. Alysia joined the McNair Scholars Program because her past knowledge about grad school and applying was fairly limited.


Mindy N Guajardo

Senior


Tasha L Hancock

Senior
Majors:  Psychology, Biology


Alicia Jessip

Senior
Major:  Communication Studies
Minors:  Political Science, Spanish

Alicia Jessip is majoring in communication studies and minoring in political science and spanish. She is originally from Hinton, IA. On campus, Alicia is the Director of Diversity and Student Life in NISG and a member of the Alpha Delta Pi sorority. After graduating UNI, she plans to find a position within the legal realm before entering law school. Alicia joined the McNair Scholars Program for the unique opportunites that are provided.


Dylan Keller

Senior
Majors:  History, Political Communication


Sharisheka S Lamay

Graduate Student
Program:  School Counseling


Brittany N Maher

Junior
Major:  Psychology

Brittany Maher is a psychology major and originally from San Antonio, Texas. She is involved in the Psychology Club at UNI. She joined McNair in order to help her further her educational development and guide her through preparation for grad school.


Judi A Marin

Graduate Student


Virginia Mccall

Senior
Major:  Actuarial Science

Virginia Mccall is an actuarial science major and is from Memphis, Tennessee. She currently is a prospective NAPE (National Alliances for Partnerships in Equity) affiliate and involved with the Hawkeye Community College STEM club. She also has previously volunteered with the Boys and Girls club as a Math Club Lead. Her future plans are to obtain a Masters in Actuarial Science and go on to earn her Ph.D. She joined the McNair Scholars program because she believes in educating underrepresented groups in STEM, and that McNair offers a support for being the only African American in her classes.


Manuel Salinas

Senior
Major:  Psychology

Manuel Salinas is a psychology major and is from Poteet, Texas. He is involved in UNI Men's Rugby, Sigma Phi Epsilon, and is a research assistant for Dr. Robert Hitlan, a teaching assistant for Dr. Linda Walsh and Dr. Robert Hitlan, and an Upward Bound Program Mentor/Tutor. Manuel has won several awards and scholarships, including the following:  UNI CSBS Undergraduate Research Grant (February 2014), UNI Intercollegiate Academics Funding (February 2014), UNI McNair Scholar Summer Research Stipend (June 2013-October 2013), UNI Dean’s List (Spring 2013), UNI Multicultural Scholar Award ( August 2012- May 2014), and the UNI Bridge Scholarship (August 2012-May 2014). His future goals involve ultimately getting a Ph.D. in social psychology and becoming a professor. He would like to get his Master's degree in Social Psychology at UNI and then move to another institution for his Ph.D. Manuel said that joining the McNair Scholar Program was the best decision he has made to this date.


Elijah R Seay

Senior
Major:  Psychology
Minor:  Coaching
Certificate:  Industrial/Organizational Psychology

Elijah R Seay is majoring in psychology, minoring in coaching, and getting a certification in industrial/organizational psychology. His hometown is Keokuk, IA. Elijah is employed with the Summer Orientation Program and Wellness and Recreation Services. He is involved on campus with several organizations including:  Social and Behavioral Science Representatives, Black Male Leaders Union and Ethnic Student Promoters. After graduation, he plans to attend graduate school to obtain a masters degree in human resources industrial relations with the intent to become a human resource consultant. Elijah joined the McNair Scholars Program to gain better knowledge about graduate education and learn the process that must be completed in order to attend. He has learned many things from the program, such as learning how to study for the GRE, how to properly write a personal statement, and learning how to ask the right questions to past graduate students.


Stephanie Strong

Senior
Major:  Psychology
Minor:  Anthropology
Certificate:  Industrial/Organizational Psychology

Stephanie Strong is majoring in psychology, minoring in anthropology and working toward a certificate in industrial/organizational psychology. Her hometown is Montpelier, IA. On campus, she is a part of the Psychology Club, Psy Chi Honor Society, and works at the Center for Social and Behavioral Research. As a first generation college student, she often felt behind other students in their knowledge of graduate study and the resources that are made available to students. Stephanie joined McNair in order to gain this knowledge and to better aid in the grueling application process for graduate school.


Robin Wilson

Senior
Major:  Criminology
Minors:  Politics, Law

Robin Wilson is majoring in criminology and minoring in politics and law. Robin joined McNair because she wanted the opportunity to do summer research and obtain assistance as she pursues an advanced degree.