Title: McNair launcher
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00073865/00007
 Material Information
Title: McNair launcher
Physical Description: Serial
Creator: Office of Graduate Minority Program
Publisher: Office of Graduate Minority Program, Office of Research and Graduate Programs, University of Florida
Publication Date: Fall 2009
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00073865
Volume ID: VID00007
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

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VOL 4 ISSUE I FALL 2009

MCNAIR PROGRAM
OVERVIEW
The Ronald E. McNair Scholars
Program is made possible through
a grant funded by the U.S.
Department of Education. This
grant supports undergraduate
students' scholarly activities
throughout the summer and the
academic year.


Phenomenal Opportunities through Campus Visitations
by Herisa S. Stanislaus


I have always heard that campus visits are an
advantageous privilege in the graduate school
application process. However, I did not fully
understand the scope of this opportunity until
two of my cohorts Kendra Sylvester, Valesca
St. Cyr and I went on campus visits through
the Ronald E. McNair Scholars Program. We
visited University of Georgia, Emory
University, and Georgia State University. All
of these universities have merit-based
programs in our various disciplines which
include the MD-PHD Program, Nutrition,
Public Health, and Communication Sciences
and Disorders.


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During these campus visits we were able to
individually converse with the admission
directors of our departments of interest. But
before we went to our various departments, we
all had the phenomenal opportunity to speak
with the Director of the MD-PHD program at
Emory University who answered several
questions. Although we were initially nervous,
Mr. Byrd (the Director of the McNair Scholars
Program) adequately prepared us for our
highly anticipated interviews with faculty by
providing us with a list of pertinent questions
to review beforehand. Thus, when I
personally spoke with the Associate Director
IN THIS ISSUE of Admissions for the Emory Rollins School of
Public Health I was more than prepared. The
benefits from this interface were vast because I
The ABRCMS 2 was able to formulate a clearer picture of how
Experience my educational and career aspirations would
fit within Emory's program of study. I also
One of the Best and 3 received exemplary answers to all of my
Brightest various questions. At the end of our interview
we exchanged business cards. This exchange
Faculty Spotlight: 3 added an extra touch of professionalism,
Dr. Stephanie Evans which I am happy to note, was not lost on the
McNair Sp g 21 Associate Admissions Director, Ms. Shelton.
McNair Spring 2010 4 During each interview we strove to leave a
Calendar
great impression upon the faculty. My cohorts
and I knew that we represented not only
SL ourselves but the entire McNair Scholar
Making University of Florida.
Program at the University of Florida.


Consequently, we must have done something
right because one of Admissions Director
stated that fellow scholar Valesca St. Cyr
exhibited "poise" and exemplary
"preparation" during her interview.

Another benefit of campus visitations, aside
from the interface time with faculty, is the
opportunity to see the campuses. I tried to
envision myself at each campus for the next
few years of my life. One of my crowning
moments was when I walked on to the
campus of Emory University. I felt this
indescribable thrill of being in the presence
of giants. I thought many scholars have
walked amongst these halls and one day I
will hopefully be one of them. We also
encountered various graduate students during
our visits where we happily inquired about
their programs of study and personal
experiences with the University.




















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The ABRCMS Experience
By Ms. Monica Solomon





Greetings! I am currently a
senior at the University of
Florida majoring in Health
Education & Behavior with a
specialization in Community
Health and a minor in
Communication Studies. I
have been afforded the
opportunity of conducting
meaningful research for two
years as a Ronald E. McNair
Scholar at the University of
Florida.
This past November, my research abstract entitled, "Applying the Precede-Proceed Model to
Populations with an Intellectual Disability and the Health Promoters who Serve Their Needs"
was selected as a poster presentation at the 9h Annual Biomedical Research Conference for
Minority Students (ABRCMS) in Phoenix, Arizona. ABRCMS boasts the largest professional
conference for both biomedical and behavioral undergraduate, post- baccalaureate, and graduates
students. This year there were approximately 2700 attendees, 1400 student presenters, and 250+
exhibitors from a variety of schools such as Harvard University and Johns Hopkins University.
Due to support from the UF Ronald E. McNair Scholar program and a FASEB MARC Travel
Grant that I received, I was able to present a poster on my independent research project and
network with some of nation's best and brightest students. I truly had an enriching, inspiring, and
motivating experience at the ABRCMS and am truly grateful for the chance to partake in such an
occasion.

The conference's highlight for me occurred during the Final Awards and Banquet portion where
I discovered I had placed in the top 10 out of the 120 student presenters in the Social and
Behavioral and Public Health category and received an award for an "Outstanding Poster
Presentation". I was quite flabbergasted that I had been chosen as a top poster presenter out of
the countless innovative and thought-provoking poster presentations at ABCRMS. I am
extremely grateful because I know without a shadow of doubt that my participation in the Ronald
E. McNair Scholars program helped me develop the skills necessary to be successful at
ABCRMS. I am so humbled to have been afforded the opportunity to network amongst the
nation's best and brightest students.

Additionally, during the conference I got the opportunity to witness a keynote address by Dr.
Mae Jemison and take a picture with her as well. Dr. Mae Jemison, a role model of mine ever
since I was a little girl, is truly a woman who is multifaceted and is described as, but not limited
to an entrepreneur, scientist, and the first woman of color to go into space. Watching her keynote
address at ABCRMS is definitely a memory that I will cherish for years to come. Overall, this
conference motivated me and incited my passion for conducting research that contributes to the
field of Behavioral Sciences. I am determined to complete my goal of obtaining both a Master's
of Science in Public Health and a Ph.D. in Public and Community Health so that I can use the
skills acquired from my education to empower individuals facing health disparities.

I would like to sincerely thank the Ronald E. McNair program and its affiliates for their
continued support of my academic endeavors and providing me with the resources to achieve my
goals. Also, I would like my McNair Director, Mr. Curtis Byrd; as well as Dr. Christine Stopka,
Tony Delisle, Mrs. Edna Daniels, Mr. Earl Wade for their continued support and encouragement!
ABRCMS was a truly a phenomenal conference that included numerous networking
opportunities, educational workshops, resume/personal statement critique opportunities, and the
chance to learn about innovative research projects. Once again, I would like to like to thank the
Ronald E. McNair Program for its selfless promotion of higher education.


McNair Launcher 2







One of the Best and Brightest
By Victoria Ajayi


Adam Amir is a returning scholar studying Political Science and a self created program
Sof study concerning queer prospective on German history. He is a testament to the high
caliber of student which the McNair Program attracts. Adam speaks both German and
Hebrew, has earned placement on the Dean's list during every semester, and is also part
of the prestigious University Scholars program. His research includes the oppression
and experience of gays and lesbians. Adam received a Phi Kappa Phi Study Abroad
Grant to conduct research concerning Paragraph 175, an anti sodomy law (punishable
by death) which Nazis extended to include even the fairly innocuous act of writing a
love letter. The list of Adam's accomplishments is quite long.

SWorthy of due notice, Adam was one of only two students in the state of Florida to
receive the Harry S. Truman Scholarship for research. Granting its winner 30,000
towards graduate school, the Truman Scholarship is quite distinguished and very
competitive. Adam, however, is not simply a brilliant mind. He completed over 100
hours of community service, for which he was awarded the University of Florida
Presidential Service Award. The McNair Program attracts and helps shape future leaders
who understand that true scholarship includes a commitment to the community. A well
rounded scholar, Adam has a reputation among his peers for a fine sense of humor, a
willingness of offer advice for his fellow scholars, and an undoubtedly brilliant mind.



Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Stephanie Evans
By Victoria Aj ayi
Dr. Stephanie Evans, also known as Mrs. Byrd, serves as a shining example of the model McNair student. Dr. Evans conducted
research through the McNair Program at the California State University-Long Beach for two years. Her research topics ranged from a
cultural examination of the Brazilian martial art capoeira to a study of activism in connection with women's rights. Dr. Evans graduated
with an Interdisciplinary Studies BA in Comparative Humanities--gender and cross-cultural American studies. She earned high honors
and went on to finish her Ph.D. in Afro-American Studies at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. She serves as an example of the
power of the McNair Program, and of what an intelligent and determined woman can accomplish with the resources provided by the
program.

However, the quality that truly distinguishes Dr. Evans as a pillar of the University of Florida McNair Scholars Program is her ability to
put her "money where her mouth is." One of her research specializations is community service-learning. Accordingly Dr. Evans has
taught classes with a community service focus, and has given and continues to give of herself freely to both the University of Florida
and Gainesville communities. She serves as an advisor for the McNair Program and a mentor for at least one McNair scholar every
year.

Dr. Evans displays a unique ability to demand excellence from her students, to push students beyond their comfort zones, and to
provide criticism when necessary. She also maintains a reputation as one of the most popular professors on campus. Says one McNair
scholar, "Dr. Evans isn't my mentor in the program, but she's my mentor in life." Faculty, staff, and students develop lifelong
relationships in recognition of the fact that the process of developing future leaders, scholars, and pillars of the community, is not just
an academic one. Nor is the purpose of the McNair Program simply to produce scholars. The McNair program at the University of
Florida builds community, and through example teaches its scholars to lift as they climb.


3 McNair Launcher








McNair Spring 2010 Calendar


ACTIVITIES/EVENTS


Welcome Back Session;
Junior Seminar-Summer
Research

Senior Seminar:
Interviewing/Grad-Prof Culture

PowerPoint Preparation
Aesthetics & Content
Workshop


DATE



TH 1/07


TH 1/14


TH 1/21


T 02/09


TH 2/11


F 2/12


TH 2/18


February Evaluation Due


Final Abstract Due


Poster Presentation Workshop


Poster Template Due


UM Maryland-College Park
McNair Conf./Campus Visits

Public Speaking Workshop



Poster Presentation Day


PowerPoint Presentation Due/
Mock Presentations

Research Presentation Day
Scholar Prep Workshop


Research Presentation Day


Annual McNair Scholar
Recognition Banquet


Scholars Closeout Exit
Interviews


April Final Evaluations Due


Senior/Junior Seminars:
Prep for Beginning Grad
School/Summer Research
Program


LOCATION


CSE Room E221


CBD Room 210


Rinker Room 238


Phillips Performance
Arts Center


427 Yon Hall


427 Yon Hall


Rinker Room 238


427 Yon Hall


College Park, MD
Baltimore/DC

Rinker Room 238


Reitz Union
2nd Floor
East Gallery


Rinker Room 238

Reitz Union
Room 272, 273,
288,291

Reitz Union
Rooms 282/284, etc.

Reitz Union
Grand Ballroom

McNair Program
Office
427 Yon Hall


427 Yon Hall



TBA


TIME


4:00 pm-5:00 pm
5:00 pm-6:00 pm


7:00 pm-8:30 pm


5:00 pm -7:00 pm


7:30 pm


By 4:00 pm


By 4:00 pm


5:00 pm- 6:00 pm


By 5:00 pm


All Days


5:00 pm-6:00 pm



12:00 pm-2:30 pm



3:00 pm-6:00 pm



3:00 pm-6:00 pm



9:00 am-4:00 pm



5:00 pm-7:00 pm



Various times


By 5:00 pm



7:00 pm


FACILITATOR (s)


Mr. Curtis Byrd
Mrs. Edna Daniels

Mr. Curtis Byrd,
Faculty, Graduate Students


Mr. Pierre St Juste


Mrs. Edna Daniels

Mr. Curtis Byrd
Mrs. Edna Daniels

Mr. Curtis Byrd
Mrs. Edna Daniels

Mr. Pierre St Juste
Mr. Curtis Byrd

McNair Scholars

Mr. Curtis Byrd
Mrs. Edna Daniels


TBD


McNair Scholars



McNair Scholars

Mr. Curtis Byrd
& Peer Advisors
Mrs. Edna Daniels

Staff and
McNair Scholars

Mr. Curtis Byrd
Mrs. Edna Daniels
Dr. Bernard Mair

Mr. Curtis Byrd
for Exit
Interviews

Mr. Curtis Byrd
Mrs. Edna Daniels


Mr. Curtis Byrd
Dr. Stephanie Evans


McNair Launcher 4


The Opera


F 3/05


W 3/11-3/14


TH 3/18



TH 3/25



F 4/02



F 04/09



SA 4/10



SA 4/10



Week of 4/12


W 4/14



TH 4/15






Scholar Spotlight: A Leader in the Making
By Raelise Emard





McNair scholars are known for being leaders
through graduate achievement. However, at
the University of Florida, McNair scholars are
also known as leaders for their commitment to
fostering the school pride of the gator nation
and capturing the spirit of the cultures that
encompass it. This spotlight is going to be on
"t McNair Scholar, Fariza Alendy, for being one
of few black homecoming directors as she
served as the Soulfest Director.
In case you didn't know, homecoming is a BIG deal at the University of Florida, with tradition
dating back to 1907. As the university grew, it also adapted to the needs of the university, and
tries to create a month-long celebration of events that an entire campus of students can get
involved in as well as a events that alumni and staff can connect and appreciate.
One unique event to UF's Homecoming is Soulfest. This year Soulfest celebrated 10 years of
diversity and excellence. Soulfest is UF Homecoming's multicultural extravaganza that
highlights the variety of cultures and unique backgrounds contained deep within the soul of the
Gator Nation. The event kicked-off with an organizational fair taking place on the Reitz Union
Colonnade, then a talent showcase of cultural and artistic diversity will proceed at the Reitz
Union Amphitheatre. With FREE food, live entertainment and raffles, the event was a huge
success. One unique part of Soulfest was the commitment to a blood drive philanthropy. As in
weeks leading up to the event, Soulfest encouraged students to donate, and encouraged student
to sign up for a bone marrow registry
This year Soulfest had over 1,000 attendees! Soulfest showcased the cultural and artistic
diversity at the University of Florida Through international music, food, and dance on October
4th, 2009 from 5:00 pm-10:00 pm for free. Soulfest offered a variety of international music
and food to enjoy while you view the multicultural booths and fraternity/sorority exhibits.
There was a talent showcase in which students competed for the best in show for chance to
perform in the largest student run pep rally in the world, UF's Gator Growl.
We constantly give recognition to scholars for their contributions to the academia world. This is
a recognition to a scholar who contributes to and fosters an experience that will shape the
history of the university and all who participated in UF's homecoming events.
Fariza Alendy is the Homecoming Soulfest Director. From Miami, Florida, Alendy is a junior
majoring in health education and behavior with a specialty in health sciences. This is her first
year with the Gator Growl/Homecoming team. She has served as the ACTIONS! 2009 Raise
Your Voice Month Campaign director, a First-Year Florida peer leader and a resident assistant.
She is also involved in the Black Student Union Leadership and Mentorship Cabinet, is a
Streetlight at Shands Sickle Cell team captain and is a Ronald E. McNair Scholar. After
graduation she plans to participate in a medical mission trip to Africa imd ll s t& medical
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5 McNair Launcher








Change and the UF McNair Scholars Program
By Parris Baker



While its purpose of equipping disadvantaged undergraduates with the skills and experience to
pursue advanced degrees is the same, the UF Ronald E. McNair Scholars Program has
undergone many changes this school year. For one, Dr. Bernard Mair, UF Associate Provost for
Undergraduate Affairs, is the new program director, and Mr. Curtis Byrd, Director of Special
Programs for Undergraduate Affairs, is the new assistant director. This change in leadership has
also been accompanied by office moves from Grinter Hall, to Tigert Hall, to its new home in
Yon Hall room 427.

The changes in the program are part of a university wide effort to emphasize undergraduate
research. Seeking to raise a new standard of excellence, Dr. Mair has a vision of advancing the
quality of research among undergraduates and strengthening the networks within and among
UF undergraduate research programs. The McNair Scholars Program, along with the University
Scholars, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and Campus REUs (Research Experiences for I
Undergraduates) are part of that movement. Dr. Mair's leadership and extensive research -
expertise along with Mr. Byrd's decade's worth of experience in running undergraduate
research programs bring tested skill, fresh enthusiasm, and renewed passion to the vision of the
UF McNair Scholars Program. Parris Baker
2009-2010 McNair Scholar
So, what other changes can the program expect? According to Mr. Byrd, UF McNair Scholars should expect a more intensive research
experience during the summer. This adjustment frees scholars to travel more during the Fall and Spring semesters to present their
research at national conferences, a change which will allow scholars to develop their presentation skills more than ever before.

With an eye to the future, the program extends gratitude to the leadership team of the past, Dr. Laurence B. Alexander and Mr. Earl J.
Wade, as well as to other members of the Gator Nation who have made the program a success.


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