McNair Scholars Program

CURRENT STUDENTS

Walter Abrego

Junior
Majors:  Communication Studies and Spanish
Minor:  International Affairs

Walter Abrego is a double major in communication studies and spanish. He is originally from Denison, IA. Walter is very involved and takes on the following roles: Summer Orientation Staff, Student Admissions Ambassador, LGBT* Center Ambassador, National Coalition Building Institute Leader, Northern Iowa Student Government - Diversity Grant Committee Member, and is a Resident Assistant. He also has volunteered at the U.S.-Mexican border. After graduating from UNI, he hopes to pursue a masters degree in student affairs or Latin American studies, and eventually be admitted into a Ph.D. program. Walter joined the McNair program because he is interested in researching topics that deal with border issues and Latinos in the U.S. He believes the McNair Scholars Program will give the opportunity to hopefully do research and have better opportunities when applying for graduate school. Walter also has been a recipient of the UNI Diversity Matters Award.


Alonzo Z Beckham

Junior
Major: Management


Caroline Cherizola

Junior
Majors: Graphic Design, Graphic Technology

Caroline Cherizola is double majoring in graphic design and graphic technology. Her hometown in San Antonia, TX. Caroline works at the Academic Learning Center. Her future plans include working in advertising business, teaching at the college level, and starting her own business. She joined McNair to network, get resources, and receive help in attaining her Ph.D.


Donna Conn

Senior
Major: Movement & Exercise Science


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

Senior
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

Senior
Major:  Family Services


Mindy N Guajardo

Senior
Major: Spanish


Tasha L Hancock

Senior
Majors:  Psychology, Biology


Brandon Hoskins

Senior
Major:  Biology

Brandon is majoring in biology and minoring in chemistry, and is a pre-med student. He is originally from Cedar Falls, IA. Brandon is very involved in ESP and LSAMP. He also has volunteered at Covenant Hospital, Camp HOPE, STEM Festival, Physics Competitions, First Tech Challenge as well as Make a Difference Day and the MLK Service Project. His future plans are to get accepted into medical or graduate school. Brandon decided to join McNair because he wants to continue his schooling after he receives his B.S. and know McNair had the tools to help him. Brandon also enjoys playing basketball.


Tydel Jones

Junior
Majors: Marketing Management and Business Economics

Tydel is majoring in marketing management and business economics. She is originally from Chicago, IL, but now resides in Cedar Rapids, IA. She currently is the social media project manager for EXCEL and an intern for the Habitat for Humanity. After she graduates, she anticipates attending graduate school for health care administration. She recently studied abroad and found she would like to work in the health care industry outside the United States. Tydel joined McNair because the program has a reputable reputation for successfully preparing students for post-graduate students. In addition, joining the McNair family would be a great avenue for her to network with professionals from within and outside the UNI community, while forming relationships with other students who share similar interests. Tydel also has been a recipient of the following awards: Fast Forward Scholarshipt, Robert & Ruth Hill Endowed Scholarship, Multicultural Scholar Award, Study Abroad Excellence Award, CBA Education Enhance Undergraduate Scholarship Recipient, and CBA Dean's Fund for Excellence Scholarship.


Dylan Keller

Graduate Student
History


Jesse Lozano


Brittany N Maher

Senior
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.


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

Graduate Student
Psychology


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.