April 28, 2006

SIUC honors McNair Scholars

by K.C. Jaehnig

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Southern Illinois University Carbondale bid farewell to its first graduating group of McNair Scholars, honored those continuing on in the program and welcomed its newest recruits in a ceremony held April 9 at the Student Center.

The Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program, named for the African-American physicist who died in the Challenger explosion, channels federal dollars to 155 universities across the country to foster graduate school aspirations in college students who are the first in their low-income families to attend college or are among those minority groups whose members don't usually go on to earn doctoral degrees.

SIUC, which has a long tradition of educating minority and first-generation college students, began the five-year program in 2004. New scholars take part in an introductory orientation covering such topics as graduate school selection, preparing for the Graduate Record Examination, time management and teamwork. In the fall, they enroll in a class that focuses on helping them succeed as undergraduates, graduate students and new faculty members. All work with faculty mentors on individual research projects.

Acquiring funding to recruit and retain graduate students is among the goals of Southern at 150: Building Excellence Through Commitment, the blueprint for the University's development by the time it celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2019.

Here's a brief look at some of SIUC's McNair Scholars (listed by hometown):

Belleville: TeSha S. Dozier, a new sophomore in psychology, with Assistant Professor Ellen Teng serving as mentor. Dozier's research will focus on the correlation between slimness and binge eating in African-American women. Her mother is Denese Drummond (7 Cameron Drive).

Bolingbrook: Please see also Joliet.

Cisne: Miranda S. Griffith, a new senior in workforce education and development, whose mentor has yet to be chosen. Her research will focus on strategies both to lower the rate of teen pregnancy and to help young mothers wean themselves from government assistance. She is the daughter of Fay P. and Debbie S. Griffith (R.R. 2).

Gilman: Randi L. "Lynn" Vaughn, a graduating senior in English, mentored by Associate Professor Anita R. Riedinger in research examining sensationalism and the Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket. She will enter SIUC's graduate program in English. Vaughn's mother is Virginia S. Newman (929 East U.S. Highway 24).

Harrisburg: Please see Marion.

Joliet: Latoya R. Williams, a graduating senior in psychology, mentored by educational psychology Chair Lyle J. White in research examining the impact of the positive behavior implementation program on special education enrollment in Southern Illinois." She is the daughter of Bedford D. Williams (407 N. Bluff) and Phyllis E. Cage-Williams of Bolingbrook (302 Woodcreek Drive).

Marion: Brenda K. Sanders (1901 W. Cherry), a continuing senior in university studies, mentored by Vice President for Academic Affairs John S. Haller. Sanders hopes to enter a graduate program in education. She is the daughter of Harrisburg residents Wayne and Stella L. Wright (416 W. Homer).

Moline: Maria G. Guerrero, a graduating senior in administration of justice, mentored by Associate Professor William M. Wells in research examining disproportionate racial patterns in America's prison populations over time. She will enter Indiana University's graduate program in public affairs. Guerrero is the daughter of Dionicio Guerrero and Maria E. Guerrero (160 Fourth Ave.).

Mt. Vernon: Rebecca L. Oliver, a new senior in psychology, whose mentor has yet to be chosen. She will focus her research on women's issues, families in crisis, domestic violence, abortion and self-esteem. She is the granddaughter of Randall R. and Joyce O. Roy (17574 N. Tolle Lane).

Murphysboro: Carl L. Alexander, a continuing junior in civil and environmental engineering, mentored by Chair Lizette R. Chevalier. Alexander hopes to enter a graduate program in his field. He is the son of Robert and Louise W. Alexander (516 S. 15th).

Orangeville: Danielle K. Estes, a graduating senior in sociology, mentored by Professor Robert D. Benford in research examining how student parents rationalize putting their children in daycare. She is the daughter of James E. and Diana M. Estes (10078 Bellview Road).

Pittsburg: Kelly J. Smith, a continuing junior in information systems technology, mentored by Professor Diane C. Davis and Assistant Professor Belle S. Woodward. Smith hopes to enter a graduate program in business administration. She is the daughter of Jim M. and Donna V. Halleran (110 N. Dallas St.).

Ridgway: Jennifer B. Musselman, a new junior in interior design, with Associate Professor Robert H. Swenson serving as mentor in research demonstrating how an historic structure can be reused as a public center. She is the daughter of Robert R. Rider (P.O. box listing) and Anne Rider (102 S. Karber St.).

Rock Island: Dorothy M. Schachel, a graduating senior in psychology, mentored by Associate Professor Kathleen Chwalisz (Rigney) in research examining why self-defeating students handicap themselves academically. She is the daughter of Larry L. and Joy A. Schachel (7901 Ninth St. West.).

South Holland: Sydney J. Dillard (1817 E. 171 Place), a graduating senior in journalism, mentored by Assistant Professor Kristine E. Kranenburg in research examining how Cosmopolitan and Essence magazines portray African-American women in their ads. She will enter SIUC's graduate program in media theory and research. She is the daughter of Larry and Sakira Dillard.

Streator: Felicia A. Cunningham, a new sophomore in psychology, with Associate Professor Matthew Schlesinger serving as mentor in research examining how sexual orientation develops and into alternative methods of treating mental health disorders in children.


Fort Collins: John W. Bowen, a continuing senior in food and nutrition, mentored by Assistant Professor D. Allan Higginbotham. Bowen hopes to enter a graduate program in nutrition and physical performance. He is the son of Richard J. and Mari A. Bowen (3123 Sumac).


Madisonville: Ty-Nica R. Davis, a new senior in communication disorders and sciences, with Kitty Y. Martin, an instructor in the Rehabilitation Institute, serving as mentor in research investigating diversity among speech and language pathologists and their clients. She is the daughter of Shelia R. Davis (328 Hall St.).


Humble: Amarachi N. Ukabam, a new senior in health education, whose mentor has yet to be chosen. She will focus her research on the role of gender in sports administration, on the extent to which minority persons hold leadership positions and on the role of the media in sports as a whole. She is the daughter of Chidi M. Iwueve (18911 Owen Oak Drive).