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SOJ student among 2012 McNair Scholars

Nineteen West Virginia University students, representing a diverse range of majors from aerospace engineering to psychology, have been chosen for the latest class of McNair Scholars.

Through financial aid, academic advising and undergraduate research opportunities, the McNair Scholars Program pushes underrepresented students toward their doctorate degrees.

The 2012 scholars will be given a $2,400 annual stipend, graduate school placement assistance and professional development opportunities to help them gain admission into masters’ and doctoral programs.

“This is a group of high achievers,” said Betty Mei, assistant director of the WVU McNair Scholars Program. “They’re from such diverse disciplines, from English to engineering to environmental economics. I’m honored to work with these scholars who are so young but have their minds already set on a Ph.D.”

Scholars began their summer research internship classes last week. The internship runs through June 29. Students will participate in research classes, GRE prep seminars and visit graduate school campuses. They will also attend a national McNair conference at SUNY Buffalo in July.

“The Interesting thing about this summer internship is that I have three WVU McNair alumni serving as doctoral student mentors,” Mei said. “These alumni are giving back in the capacity of guiding current scholars.”

This year’s McNair Scholars are:

Chloe Brown, a psychology/criminology major from Beltsville, Md.
Adam Carte, a biochemistry major from Hico.
Amanda Harker, an environmental and natural resource economics major from Fairmont.
Tyree Harmon, a finance major from West Orange, N.J.
Trinity Howell, a psychology major from Turtle Creek, Pa.
Rickie Huffman, an art history major from Mannington.
Rachel James, a civil engineering major from Crawford.
Roger Jefferys II, a forensic and investigative science major from Pursglove.
Jasmine Koech, a psychology major from Burlington.
Jessica Latham, a history major from Atlantic City, N.J.
Angela Martinez, an environmental and natural resource economics major from Twinsburg, Ohio.
Reeva Morton, a psychology major from Elliott City, Md.
Milda Mullins, a journalism major from Rio.
Michael Powell, an aerospace engineering major from Hagerstown, Md.
Kassey Riffle, a sociology and anthropology major from Weston.
Shakira Smith, a psychology major from Morgantown.
Sherain Thomas, an occupational therapy major from Oak Hill.
Stephanie Watson, a child development and family studies major from South Charleston.
Kiersten Woods, an English /Chinese major from Fairmont.

The McNair Scholars Program is funded by the U.S. Department of Education in honor of engineer, scientist and NASA astronaut Ronald E. McNair, who was killed in the 1986 Challenger explosion. The program came to WVU in 2000, and since, more than 100 Mountaineers have benefited.

View the official release at WVU Today.