The McNair Program at UNL consists of 27 scholars, divided between Junior, Senior and Master participants.
McNair Junior Scholars
Kaylor Caldwell is a psychology major from Omaha, Nebraska. She'll be conducting research with Dr. Eve Brank from the Department of Psychology. Kaylor's future plans are to pursue a Ph.D. in cognitive psychology and a J.D. in legal studies.
Kassie Guenther is a psychology major from Tecumseh, Nebraska. She is working with Dr. Timothy Nelson, Department of Psychology, in the Pediatric Health Lab where they are examining factors that affect pediatric health and key health behaviors. Kassie plans to pursue a Ph.D. in clinical psychology.
Marco Gullickson is a psychology major from Omaha, Nebraska. He is working on sexual harassment in the workplace with his mentor, Dr. Sarah Gervais from the Department of Psychology. Marco plans to pursue a doctorate in counseling psychology.
Bryan Hermosillo is a geology major from Cozad, Nebraska. He is working with Dr. David K. Watkins from the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences. Bryan plans to apply to geology Ph.D. programs with a focus on calcareous nannofossils.
Bill Lambert is a chemistry major from Omaha, Nebraska. He will be working with Dr. Pat Dussault from the Department of Chemistry. Bill's future plans are to attain a Ph.D. in organic chemistry and become a professor.
Mason Mabin is a physics major from Lincoln, Nebraska. He is working with Dr. Herman Batelaan in the Department of Physics & Astronomy on modeling Einsten's curvature of space. Mason plans to purse a Ph.D. either in experimental quantum mechanics or developing sustainable energy.
Jarold McWilliams is a mechanical engineering major from Norfolk, Nebraska. He will be conducting research with Dr. Xia Hong from the Department of Physics and Astronomy.
Jennifer Milliman is a psychology major from Ashland, Nebraska. She is currently working with Dr. Eve Brank from the Department of Psychology. Jennifer plans to apply to J.D./ Ph.D. medical humanities programs.
Adrienne Ricker is a biological sciences and geology major from Minot, North Dakota. She’ll be working with Dr. Jason Head from the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences. Adrienne’s reseach interests are in the area of vertebrate paleontology and her career goals are to become a reseach professor.
Daniel Rico is a biological systems engineering major from Omaha, Nebraska. He is working with Dr. Francisco Munoz-Arriola from the Department of Biological Systems Engineering on streamflow sensitivity to changes in temperature on the Platte River Basin. Daniel's graduate school plans are to attain a Ph.D. from a Research I university.
McNair Senior Scholars
Janeigh Castillo Barraza is a psychology major from Lincoln, Nebraska. Janeigh’s faculty mentor is Dr. Susan Sheridan from the Department of Educational Psychology. Janeigh’s research interests include family and school interventions, child development and behavioral assessment. Her future plans are to pursue a graduate degree in school psychology.
Jackie Hernandez is a biological systems engineering major from Grand Island, Nebraska. Jackie is working with Dr. Carl Nelson from the Department of Mechanical and Material Engineering.
Erandi Herndon is a psychology and Spanish major from LaVista, Nebraska. She is currently working with Dr. Cynthia Willis-Esqueda, from the Department of Psychology. Erandi plans to earn her Ph.D. in psychology and ultimately establish her own clinical practice.
Dina Morales is a psychology major from Harvard, Nebraska. She is currently working with Dr. Jeffrey Stevens from the Department of Psychology on avian cognition. Dina plans to pursue a Ph.D., with a focus on cognition in the criminal mind.
Ivan Moreno, from South Sioux City, Nebraska, is pursuing double majors in chemistry and physics. He worked with Dr. Martin Centurion, from the Department of Physics and Astronomy on a vacuum grade oven for nonvolatile molecules in electron diffraction. Ivan plans to apply to Ph.D. programs in physical chemistry, with the ultimate goal of becoming a professor at a research university.
David Pacheco is a mechanical engineering major from South Sioux City, Nebraska. He is currently working with Dr. Carl Nelson from the Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering. David's research interests include electric vehicles, automotive engineering, power systems and robotics.
Olivia Reinert-Gehman is a psychology major from Omaha, Nebraska. She is currently working with Dr. Scott Stoltenberg, from the Department of Psychology.
Eric Reiss is a geology major from Omaha, Nebraska. Eric is working with Dr. Christopher Fielding from the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences.
Elia Soto is a biochemistry and psychology major from Norfolk, Nebraska. Her research interests involve evaluating the effects of cultural values and parenting on the performance of inhibition on executive control in bilingual children ages three to five. She'll be working with Dr. Jennifer Mize Nelson, from the Office of Research and Department of Psychology. Elia’s future plans are to pursue an M.D./Ph.D. degree.
Jason Thomas is a biological systems engineering major from Papillion, Nebraska. His McNair faculty mentor is Dr. Xu Li, from the Department of Civil Engineering. Jason's future plans are to pursue a Ph.D. in plant science.
Alyssa Yeates is a biological sciences major from Lincoln, Nebraska. She has been conducting research with Dr. Melanie Simpson from the Department of Biochemistry on mechanisms of advanced prostate cancer. In particular, Dr. Simpson and Alyssa have been looking at the role of the protein UDP-glucose dehydrogenase, which is responsible for hormone regulation and other metabolic reactions within the body. Alyssa's future plans are to pursue an M.D./Ph.D., with a focus on pediatric research.
McNair Master Scholars
Emmilie Baker is a psychology major from Lincoln, Nebraska. With her research mentor, Dr. Sarah Gervais from the Department of Psychology, Emmilie's summer research project examined self-objectification and social anxiety. She plans to pursue a Ph.D. in social psychology, with the ultimate goal of becoming a professor.
Kenneth Herron is an English major from Kansas City, Missouri. His McNair research mentor is Dr. Kwakiutl Dreher, Professor of English and Ethnic Studies. Their summer research project focused on African American men working in the culture of entertainment. Kenneth’s academic and career goals are to earn a Ph.D. in English, with a focus on African American literature during the Harlem Renaissance. His career plans are to teach English at the university level.
Brooke Micek, a biological systems engineering major from Duncan, Nebraska, is working with Dr. Melanie Simpson from the Department of Biochemistry. Their research examines the enzymes that control oxidative stress in prostate cancer cells. Brooke intends to earn an advanced degree in biomedical engineering and ultimately work in a research lab and teach at a university.
Moses Pacheco is a civil engineering major from Dakota City, Nebraska. He worked with Dr. Dean Sicking from the Department of Civil Engineering and the Midwest Roadside Safety Facility on designing a crashworthy pedestrian rail. During the summer of 2013, Moses conducted research on a smart pavement monitoring system in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at Michigan State University under the mentorship of Dr. Karim Chatti and Dr. Nizar Lajnef through the Summer Research Opportunities Program. After attaining his bachelor's degree, Moses plans to pursue a doctoral degree in structural engineering.
Nina Quiñones, a psychology major from Katy, Texas, has been conducting research with Dr. Michael Scheel from the Department of Educational Psychology. Their summer research project examined the effect of language and culture on the academic success of Latino High school students. Nina's graduate school plans are to pursue a Ph.D. in counseling psychology.
Joseph Tran, a biological systems engineering major from Lincoln, Nebraska, has been working with Dr. Carl Nelson from the Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering. Their research focuses on programming logic design for medical robots. Joseph’s future plans include attending graduate school in the area of prosthesis, robotics and programming, and eventually working in the field of robotics and prosthesis.
Alumni photos may not current; some are from our scholars' time at UNL.
2011 McNair Cohort
2010 McNair Cohort
2009 McNair Cohort
2008 McNair Cohort
2007 McNair Cohort
2006 McNair Cohort
2005 McNair Cohort
Justine Buffalo Calf
Andrea Lowe is attending law school at the University of Missouri–Kansas City.
Phuoc Nguyen earned his master’s degree in biological sciences from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln in May 2011.
MinJeong Schneider earned her master's degree in chemical engineering at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln in August 2011.
Jenna Valadez is enrolled in the history doctoral program at Southern Methodist University.
2004 McNair Cohort
Dulce Clarence earned her master's in human services from Bellevue University in May 2008, and her clinical counseling master's degree from Bellevue University in May 2012.
Danielle (Deschene) Leeper earned her master's degree in speech-language pathology and audiology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, August 2008.
Erica (Ginn) Holley earned her Ph.D. degree in management from the University of Washington in 2012. Dr. Holley is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Management at Central Washington University.
Danielle (Luther) Luebbe earned a master's in English from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, May 2009.
Anitra (Mallory) Warrior earned her master's degree in December 2007 and currently is a doctoral student in Counseling Psychology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Nathan Palmer earned his master's degree in sociology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in December 2008.
Lindsey (Richters) Chizinski earned her master's degree in natural resource sciences in May 2012 at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Erica Rogers earned her master's degree in English from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln in August 2012. She is currently enrolled in the English doctoral program at the UNL.
Hope (Van Houten) Bleckwehl completed her master's in School Counseling at the University of Northern Iowa, May 2008.
Jessica Wall earned her master's in History in May 2009, and is enrolled in a joint history and gender studies doctoral program at Indiana University-Bloomington.
2003 McNair Cohort
Olabode Alabi earned a master's degree in industrial and management systems engineering from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln in May 2010, and is currently enrolled in a second master’s degree program in community and regional planning at UNL.
Tia Cole earned her master's degree in English from the University of Nebraska–Omaha in May 2010.
Shaneice Hicks earned her master's degree in elementary education from the University of Nebraska–Omaha, August 2007, and is working on her second master’s in educational leadership at Doane College.
Natasha Luepke earned her masters in English from Oregon State University, with a specialization in literature and culture.
Arlo McKee earned his master's degree in anthropology at the University of Kansas-Lawrence in December 2009. He is currently employed as an independent geoarchaeological consultant in Plano, Texas. Arlo has been accepted to the geospatial information science graduate certificate program at the University of Texas at Dallas, and will begin the program in Fall 2014.
Camilo Ramirez earned his master's degree in political science from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.
Kacie (Rehder) Schrader is enrolled at the University of Phoenix in the marriage, family and child therapy masters program.
Melissa Tehee earned her master's degree in psychology from Western Washington University in June 2007, and her J.D. degree at the University of Arizona in May 2012. She's currently completing her Ph.D. in clinical psychology, policy, and law at the University of Arizona.
2002 McNair Cohort
Olamide Alabi earned an M.D. degree from the University of Nebraska Medical Center in May 2010.
Brett Avila earned his M.P.H. degree from the University of Illinois Chicago School of Public Health, July 2006.
Tara Boren is pursuing a doctorate in pharmacy at Creighton University.
Potso Byndon earned his Juris Doctor from North Carolina Central University’s School of Law in May 2011.
Uyen Chu earned her Ph.D. degree in pharmacology, with a specialization in molecular and cellular pharmacology, from the University of Wisconsin in May 2011. Dr. Chu is a postdoctoral fellow working with Jay Yang, Anesthesiology, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Heather Flores earned her Ph.D. in the genetics and development from Cornell University in May 2012. Dr. Flores is a postdoctoral fellow at Monash University in Clayton (Melbourne), Australia.
Marlene Grayer earned her master’s degree in 2009 and is enrolled in a Ph.D. program in educational studies with a specialization in teaching, curriculum and learning at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.
Toni Leija-Wilson earned her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln in May 2008.
Donald McCauley III
Hung Nguyen earned his master's in mechanical engineering from the University of Michigan in August 2006. He is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering at the University of Texas-Austin.
Le Thi Hong Nguyen earned a master of architecture degree from the Illinois Institute of Technology in December 2008.
Sandra Potter earned her master's degree in educational psychology from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln in August 2008, and she earned her Ph.D. in human sciences from UNL in August 2012. Dr. Potter is an Assistant Professor in Early Childhood Education at Mount Olive College in Mount Olive, North Carolina.
Darryle (DJ) Todd, Jr., earned a master’s degree in counseling and personnel services at the University of Louisville in May 2006. He is currently the Coordinator for Multicultural Affairs at Marquette University.
UNL McNair Ph.D. and Ed.D. Alumni
Uyen Chu, Ph.D.
Tessa Durham Brooks, Ph.D.
Tricia (Echtenkamp) Foley, Ph.D.
Heather Flores, Ph.D.
Deonna (Foster) Wilemme, Ed.D.
Farrah Gafford, Ph.D.
Michael Garcia, Ph.D.
Erica (Ginn) Holley, Ph.D.
Lindsay Ham, Ph.D.
Sahar Hasim, Ph.D.
Eric Henning, Ph.D.
Eve (Hererra) Rosno, Ph.D.
Masoud Mahjouri Samani, Ph.D.
Jane Mesa, Ph.D.
Kacie (Moore) Blalock, Ph.D.
Cuong Nguyen, Ph.D.
Melissa Norberg, Ph.D.
Olatoyosi Olude-Afolabi, Ph.D.
Daralyn Plains, Ph.D.
Sandra Potter, Ph.D.
Molly Ruhlman, Ph.D.
Sheriece Sadberry, Ph.D.
David Vu, Ph.D.