McNair Scholars show off their work

Psychology major Migdalia Maldonado '13 explains her research to Josephine Cohn, assistant vice president for academic development (on left) and two interested students.

McNair scholars are required to complete research in preparation for their foray into graduate school. The research is conducted with a mentor-professor and the hypotheses, methodology, and conclusions are presented in poster form with the scholars able to give in-depth information about their research topic. Five of the McNair scholars presented their research posters in the Learning Hub of the library, talking about the topics and expertly answering questions. The scholars have presented their work at McNair conferences across the county, including Wisconsin, Philadelphia, the University of Delaware and the University of Maryland at College Park. These conferences bring together McNair scholars from around the nation to discuss their work and talk about graduate programs.

Vivian Garzon, a psychology major, presented her work on The Recovered/False Memory Controversy. She did a literature review about repressed and recovered memories from traumatic events, eyewitness accounts, suggestibility, and demand characteristics. Ms. Garzon is interested in continuing this research at a graduate level.

Migdalia Maldonado, a psychology major, researched the obstacles that first-generation/low-income, non-traditional students experience in attaining a degree. Her work defined the students and their lifestyles and studied the factors that made some of these defined students successful. Ms. Maldonado is a non-traditional student who would like to help increase the success rates among this population.

Danielle Patterson is a biology major who studied the enhanced identification of Xylella fastidiosa among oak leaves using SEM examination. Her research can help protect the Oak trees native to the area by studying the pathogens in the shade tree population which in turn can help protect the economy of a park system.

Oleta Sandiford, a biochemistry major, did her work with Dr. Tammy Castro in the area of breast cancer research. Titled Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha induces the expression of the tachykinin precursor gene in breast cancer cells, her research may help develop therapies to prevent the recurrence of cancer in a patient that is considered to be clinically in remission. Ms. Sandiford would like to eventually work in the field of toxicology.

Kathryn J. Schaub is an English/psychology double major who examined the works of Aphra Behn, a seventeenth century writer and playwright. Ms. Schaub did a detailed analysis on the author’s works to determine the motivation behind the author’s use of trauma in her characters. Ms. Schaub determined that the expressions of legal, educational, physical, and sexual assaults in Behn’s fiction were to create a greater awareness of the female condition during that period and as a way to empower women and effect change.

The Ronald E. McNair Scholars Program at Bloomfield College, funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, serves to prepare income-eligible, first-generation and low-income students for the rewards and rigors of graduate study. The program provides scholars with undergraduate research opportunities with faculty mentors, skill-building seminars and workshops, GRE exam preparatory seminars and a research stipend, among many other benefits.

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