UND will host the 20th annual McNair Forum Thursday, April 10, in the Memorial Union River Valley Room.
The forum focuses on undergraduate research presented by McNair Program Scholars.
The Ronald E. McNair Post Baccalaureate Achievement Program – named after NASA astronaut Ronald McNair who died in the 1986 explosion of the space shuttle Challenger – is funded by the United States Department of Education and is operated under the University's Division of Student Affairs.
The McNair Program encourages students to prepare for graduate studies by providing opportunities to define goals, engage in research and to develop the skills and student faculty mentor relationships vital to success at the doctoral level.
Participants of the McNair Program are low-income, first-generation college students of junior or senior standing, that are from a group underrepresented at the doctoral level of targeted departments.
The forum schedule, presenters, and topics are as follows:
• 9-9:20 a.m., Eriverto Vargas, "The dynamics of voting turnout in metropolitan areas."
• 9:20-9:40 a.m., Andy Erickson, "Improvements on Autonomous Vehicle Technology."
• 9:40-10 a.m., Cole Ward, "Factors Affecting the High School Dropout Decisions of Rural Native American and Other Youth."
• 10-10:20 a.m., Dana McVeigh, "Creating a Link Between the Past and the Public: The Roles and Goals of Public Archaeology."
• 10:20-10:40 a.m., Break.
• 10:40-11 a.m., Melvina King, "Collegiate NHL Prospects and the Psychological Effects of a Potential NHL Career."
• 11-11:20 a.m., Danielle Miller, "Reinterpreting College Retention of Native Americans."
• 11:20-11:40 a.m., Kimisean Liggett, "Building Strong Friendship Skills in Adolescent Populations: A Prevention Based Curriculum."
• 11:40 a.m.-12 p.m., Leslie Yellow Hammer, "Fungal Presence Affects on the Soil Community in Western Wheatgrass (Pascopyrum smithii)."
• Noon-12:20 p.m., Ilse Coleman, "Career influences that impact students who pursue a career in either physical or occupational therapy"
• 12:20 p.m.-1 p.m., Lunch on your own.
• 1-1:20 p.m., Matthew Cookman, "Investigating the Factors Related to Endorsing Gambling as an Escape."
• 1:20-1:40 p.m., Karen Borgen, "The Culture of Childhood Cancer and the Rural Social Workers Role."
• 1:40-2 p.m., Jennifer Hayes, "Generational Poverty Culture and How Learning is Affected."
• 2-2:20 p.m., Kelly Kennedy, "Casual Misogyny in Early British Arthurian Literature: Sir Gawain as the Virile Woman."
• 2:20-2:40 p.m., Alexander Knudson, "Insect diversity of Oakville Prairie, N.D."
• 2:40-3 p.m., Beth Bray, "Investigating Whether a Ten Minute Mindfulness Exercise is Enough to Manipulate State Mindfulness."
• 3-3:20 p.m., Shafiq Khan, "Bakken Presents Greater Challenges for Community Development."
About Ronald McNair:
Ronald Erwin McNair, was born on Oct. 21, 1950, in Lake City, S.C., to Carl and Pearl McNair. He attended North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro, where, in 1971, he graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor's degree in physics. In 1976, he earned his Ph.D. degree in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
McNair's many distinctions include: Presidential Scholar (1967-71), Ford Foundation Fellow (1971-74), and National Fellowship Fund Fellow (1974-75). He was also named Omega Psi Phi Scholar of the Year (1975), was honored as the Distinguished National Scientist by the National Society of Black Professional Engineers (1979), and received the Friend of Freedom Award (1981).
McNair was nationally recognized for his work in the field of laser physics. In 1978, he was one of 35 applicants selected from a pool of ten thousand for NASA's space shuttle program and assigned as a mission specialist aboard the 1984 flight of the shuttle Challenger. On his first space shuttle mission in February 1984, McNair orbited the earth 122 times aboard Challenger. He was the second African American to fly in space.
In addition to his academic achievements, he received three honorary doctorates and numerous fellowships and commendations. He was also a sixth degree black belt in karate and an accomplished jazz saxophonist. He was married to Cheryl Moore and had two children, Reginald Ervin and Joy Cheray.
On the morning of Jan. 28, 1986, McNair and his six crew members died in an explosion aboard the space shuttle Challenger.