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McNair Scholars, CSTEP Students Attend, Present at Research Conference

CANTON — Students of St. Lawrence University's McNair Scholars Program and the Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program (CSTEP) attended and presented at the 19th-annual McNair Undergraduate Research Conference in Niagara Falls, N.Y.

Thirteen St. Lawrence students attended the July conference, which was hosted by the State University of New York at Buffalo, and 11 students presented the findings of their summer research. 

As participants in one of the largest undergraduate research conferences in the U.S., St. Lawrence students attended a graduate school fair, participated in workshops on how to apply to Ph.D. programs and visited the University at Buffalo's Graduate School to learn about master's and doctoral degree programs. Nearly 500 undergraduate students from around the country attended the conference.

The McNair Scholar's program is a federally funded TRIO program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education. It is named in honor of Dr. Ronald E. McNair, a pioneer African American astronaut who died in the 1986 Space Shuttle Challenger explosion. The McNair program is designed to motivate and support students from disadvantaged backgrounds. The program is also meant to increase the attainment of the Ph.D. by students from underrepresented groups.

St. Lawrence University McNair Scholars who presented at the conference include: Hillary Baynham ’15, Juan Chang ’14, Andre Chavez ’15, Keith Goode ’14, Tonisha Kerr ’15, Melissa Mahadeo ’14, Kimberly Morante ’15, Iyi Okunlola ’14, Jennifer Quinde ’15, Samantha Ribeiro ’15 and Joseph Skeets ’14. McNair Scholar Corinne Niekrewicz '15, who is currently completing a research internship at the State University of New York at Albany this summer, also joined the group and gave a research presentation.

CSTEP, a program funded by the New York State Department of Education, is designed to increase the number of underrepresented undergraduate and graduate students who complete pre-professional or professional education programs that lead to professional licensure and to careers in mathematics, science, technology, and health-related fields.

CSTEP participant Sylvie Choiniere ’16 and incoming McNair Scholar Sierra Miller ’16 also attended the July conference.