McNair Scholars

The McNair Program at UNL consists of 27 scholars, divided between Junior, Senior and Graduating Scholars.

McNair Junior Scholars

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Brittney Bridger-Burton Mechanical Engineering

Brittney Bridger-Burton is a mechanical engineering major from Lincoln, Nebraska. She will be working with Dr. George Gogos from the Department of Mechanical & Materials Engineering. Brittney’s research interests are in the area of thermodynamics and heat transfer. Her future plans are to pursue a master’s in mechanical engineering and Ph.D. in thermodynamics, and then work with propulsion systems in the aerospace industry.
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Amanda DalePsychology and Women's & Gender Studies

Amanda Dale is a sophomore majoring in psychology and women's and gender studies from Central City, Nebraska. She will be working on a summer research project with Dr. Gervais from the Department of Psychology on prejudice and sexual objectification. She plans to attend graduate school to receive a Ph.D. in social psychology and become a faculty member at a university.
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Jaquelin Garcia-Castorena Biochemistry

Jaquelin Garcia-Castorena is a biochemistry major from Lincoln, Nebraska. She is working with Dr. Wayne Riekhof from the Department of Biological Sciences, and their research focuses on the genes involved in the cellular lipid trafficking system. Jaquelin’s future plans are to pursue a Ph.D. in cancer biology or biochemistry, and then work as an industrial or world health researcher.
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José LemusEconomics and Global Studies

José Lemus is an economics major from Lincoln, Nebraska. José’s future plans are to pursue a Ph.D. in development economics and become a researcher for a non-governmental organization.
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Andreas Miles-Novelo Psychology & English

Andreas Miles-Novelo is a psychology and English major from Des Moines, Iowa.
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Nhat Nguyen Biochemistry

Nhat Nguyen is a biochemistry major from Lincoln, Nebraska. He is working with Dr. Alexander Sinitskii from the Department of Chemistry. His future plans are to pursue a Ph.D. in physical chemistry and become a researcher and professor.
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Zully Perez Sierra Chemical Engineering

Zully Perez Sierra is a chemical engineering major from Norfolk, Nebraska. She is conducting research with Dr. Hendrik Viljoen, from the Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering. Zully’s future plans are to pursue a Ph.D. in chemical engineering, focusing on environmental sustainability or agriculture.
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Alicia Michelle RogersBiological Sciences

Alicia Michelle Rogers is a biological sciences major from Boelus Nebraska. Her mentor is Dr. Charles Wood, School of Biological Sciences and Nebraska Center for Virology, and their current research is a longitudinal study of the role of antibodies on Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus replication in recently infected children from the HIV endemic region of Zambia. Michelle’s future plans are to earn a Ph.D. in molecular and cellular pathology, and then work as a pathologist.
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Megan Smith Biochemistry

Megan Smith is a biochemistry and microbiology major from Frisco, Texas. She is working with Dr. Nicole Baun from the Department of Biochemistry, and their research involves understanding the physiology of methanogens. Megan’s future plans are to pursue a Ph.D. in microbiology, and then work in either an industrial or environmental microbiology field.

McNair Senior Scholars

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Kaylor CaldwellPsychology

Kaylor Caldwell is a psychology major from Omaha, Nebraska. She is working 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.
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Mason MabinPhysics

Mason Mabin is a physics major from Lincoln, Nebraska. He conducted summer research with Dr. Herman Batelaan in the Department of Physics & Astronomy on modeling Einstein's curvature of space. Mason plans to purse a Ph.D. either in experimental quantum mechanics or developing sustainable energy.
Summer 2014 Research Poster: Visualizing Curved Space
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Jarold McWilliamsEconomics

Jarold McWilliams is an economics major from Norfolk, Nebraska. He conducted summer research with Dr. Xia Hong from the Department of Physics and Astronomy.
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Adrienne RickerBiological Sciences and Geology

Adrienne Ricker is a biological sciences and geology major from Minot, North Dakota. She is 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.
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Daniel RicoBiological Systems Engineering

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 Graduating Scholars

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Kassie GuentherPsychology

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.
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Marco GullicksonPsychology

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.
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Bryan HermosilloGeology

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.
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Jackie HernandezBiological Systems Engineering

Jackie Hernandez is a biological systems engineering major from Grand Island, Nebraska. Jackie conducted her McNair Summer Research project with Dr. Carl Nelson from the Department of Mechanical and Material Engineering.
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Erandi HerndonPsychology and Spanish

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.
Summer 2013 Research Poster: Ethnic Identity and Well-Being
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William LambertChemistry

William Lambert is a chemistry major from Omaha, Nebraska. He is 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.
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Jennifer MillimanPsychology

Jennifer Milliman is a psychology major from Ashland, Nebraska. She is working with Dr. Eve Brank from the Department of Psychology on research in the areas of psychology and law. Jennifer plans to pursue a Ph.D. in clinical health psychology.
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Dina MoralesPsychology

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.
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David PachecoMathematics

David Pacheco is a mathematics major from South Sioux City, Nebraska. David conducted his McNair Summer Research project with Dr. Carl Nelson from the Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering. Currently, David is a project engineer intern with Cleaver-Brooks in Lincoln, Nebraska. His research interests include differential equations, thermal fluids, and mechanical engineering design.
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Olivia Reinert-GehmanPsychology

Olivia Reinert-Gehman is a psychology major from Omaha, Nebraska. She is currently working with Dr. Scott Stoltenberg, from the Department of Psychology.
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Elia SotoBiochemistry and Psychology

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 conducted her McNair Summer Research project with Dr. Jennifer Mize Nelson, from the Department of Psychology. Elia’s future plans are to pursue an M.D./Ph.D. degree.
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Alyssa YeatesBiological Sciences

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 Alumni

Alumni photos may not current; some are from our scholars' time at UNL.

2012 McNair Cohort

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Janeigh Castillo-Barraza is pursuing a Ph.D. in school psychology at the University of Georgia.

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Ivan Moreno is pursuing a Ph.D. in chemistry at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). Ivan was awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship.

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Eric Reiss

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Jason Thomas is enrolled in the plant biological sciences doctoral program at the University of Minnesota–Twin Cities. Jason received the Diversity of Views and Experience (DOVE) Fellowship.

2011 McNair Cohort

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Bridget Agnew

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Emmilie Baker

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Benes Ross

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Maggie Gossard is enrolled in the industrial/organizational psychology M.A./Ph.D. program at the University of Nebraska–Omaha.

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Eric Harmes is enrolled in the counseling master’s program at Doane College.

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Kenneth Herron is enrolled in the student affairs master’s program at Colorado State University.

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Brooke Micek is a project engineer at Becton, Dickinson and Company Pharmaceutical Sciences in Columbus, Nebraska.

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Moses Pacheco is pursuing a master’s in civil and environmental engineering at Michigan State University.

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Nina Quiñones is enrolled in the master’s of social work program at The Ohio State University. Nina received the Graduate Enrichment Fellowship.

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Joseph Tran is pursuing a master’s degree in mechanical engineering at the University of Kansas.

2010 McNair Cohort

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Reinaldo Alcalde is pursuing his Ph.D. in civil and environmental engineering at the University of Texas. He was awarded a 2013 National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship.

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Misam Ali is pursuing a Juris Doctor at the University of Colorado at Boulder Law School, specializing in international law.

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Mollie Dittmer is enrolled in the counseling master’s program at Doane College.

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Brittany Jones is enrolled in the counselor education master’s program at the University of Central Florida.

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Nathan Lilienthal

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Alyssa Lundahl earned her master's degree in clinical psychology in May 2014 from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln and is pursuing a Ph.D. in clinical psychology at UNL.

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Christian Padilla

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Karina Pedroza

2009 McNair Cohort

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Karise Carrillo earned her master’s degree in criminal justice from the University at Albany–SUNY in December 2012. She is pursuing her Ph.D. in criminal justice at Albany, with a focus on comparitive criminology of violence.

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Justin Escamilla earned his master's degree in criminology, law, and justice at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) IN May 2013 and is pursuing his Ph.D. at UIC.

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Melissa Garfield is pursuing a Ph.D. in anthropology at Washington State University.

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Zachary Garfield is enrolled in the anthropology Ph.D. program at Washington State University.

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Alex Goldstein is enrolled in the M.D. program at the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine in El Paso, Texas.

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Alan Goyzueta earned his master’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln in May 2013. Alan has accepted a position with Garmin in the Kansas City metro area.

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Katie Haferbier is enrolled in the Eppley Cancer Institute Ph.D. Program at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

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Michelle Haikalis earned her master's degree in clinical psychology in May 2014 from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln and is pursuing a Ph.D. in clinical psychology at UNL.

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Arianne Holland

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Kaitlin Leslie

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Jeff Lopez is pursuing a Ph.D. degree in chemical engineering at Stanford University. Jeff was awarded a 2014 National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship.

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Tyler Scherr is enrolled in the Biomedical Research Ph.D. Program at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha.

2008 McNair Cohort

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Morgan Conley earned her master’s degree in counseling psychology from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln in May 2013 and is pursuing her Ph.D. at UNL.

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Michael Gubbels is a computer science doctoral student at the University of Maryland, College Park. He’s focusing his research on the areas of human-computer interaction and artificial intelligence.

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Michael Harpster earned his M.Arch degree from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln in May 2013. He has accepted a position with Sinclair Hille Architects in Lincoln, Nebraska.

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Drew Nelson is enrolled in a geology master's program at Oklahoma State University.

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Beth Ridling

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Andrea Rieger

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Jeanette Samuels earned her Juris Doctor degree from the Chicago-Kent College of Law in May 2013.

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Brian Shreck is enrolled in the political science doctoral program at Texas A&M University.

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Sherri Sklenar

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Brittany Sznajder-Murray earned her master’s degree in human development and family science from Ohio State University in December 2012 and is pursuing her Ph.D. in couple and family therapy at OSU.

2007 McNair Cohort

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Joshua Alvarez earned his master’s in higher education at the University of Maryland in May 2011.

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Rebecca Beals completed her master’s degree in sociology in May 2011 from Inequality at the University of New Mexico. She’s continuing her education in UNM’s doctoral program in Sociology - Education and Inequality.

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Jeff Belmont is pursuing a master’s degree in public health at Tulane University.

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Khoa Chu

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Tara Cossel earned her master's degree in clincial psychology from the University of Memphis in August 2012, and is pursuing her second master's in teaching from the University of Memphis.

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Kyle Jackson

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Willie Novotny earned his M.D. degree from the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine in May 2013. Dr. Novotny is engaged in a family medicine residency at the Montefiore Medical Center in Bronx, New York.

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Chelsea (Rivera) Augustine is enrolled in the counseling master's program at Grace University.

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Adrian Soltero earned his master's degree in electrical engineering from Texas A&M University in December 2011. Adrian is employed as an analog field applications engineer for Texas Instruments in Silicon Valley.

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Mo Wax earned a master's degree in student affairs at Central Missouri University in Warrensburg in May 2011. He’s currently the Assistant Director for Development, Corporate and Foundation Relations at Miami University, in Oxford, Ohio.

2006 McNair Cohort

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Juan Cangas

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Acacia Caraballo

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Martin Diaz earned his master’s in electrical engineering from the University of Delaware in December 2011, and is pursuing his Ph.D. in the area of high performance solar cells at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia.

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Emily (Haferbier) Trotter earned her master's degree in sociology from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln in December 2009.

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Sahar Hasim achieved her Ph.D. in biological sciences from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln in August 2013. Dr. Hasim is a postdoctoral research associate in the Department of Microbiology at the University of Tennessee.

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Yaravi Lopez-Wilson earned her master of architecture degree from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln in May 2010.

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Masoud Mahjouri Samani earned his Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln in May 2013. Dr. Mahjouri Samani is a postdoctoral research associate at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.

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Corey Minchow is enrolled in the clinical psychology master's program at Bellevue University.

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Maegan Stevens-Liska earned her master’s degree in information science and learning technology from the University of Missouri-Columbia in May 2013.

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Abby Visty

2005 McNair Cohort

Joshua Avila

Lorene Beaudette

LaToya Benally

Justine Buffalo Calf

Orlando Cariaga

Amy Castro

Sara Khalil

Andrea Lowe is attending law school at the University of Missouri–Kansas City.

Stephanie Matejka

Phuoc Nguyen earned his master’s degree in biological sciences from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln in May 2011.

Amanda Ponce

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.

Azure Wall

Todd Whitehill

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.

Enriqueta Dailey

Danielle (Deschene) Leeper earned her master's degree in speech-language pathology and audiology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, August 2008.

Tadiyos Gebre

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.

Eric Shepard

Ruth Standeven

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.

Randi Strope

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.

Kristy Theilen

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.

LuAnne Cook

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.

Frederick Grizzard

Leng Hua

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.

Dana Tran

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.