McNair Scholars Present at EWU’s 2024 Student Research & Creative Works Symposium

EWU McNair is proud of our 6 scholars who presented at this year's symposium. Since the beginning of the symposium at EWU in 1997, McNair has encouraged scholars to participate, either to present a prospectus of the their upcoming summer research, or to present research done in the last year. Presenting research is an excellent way for scholars to prepare for graduate school and get comfortable talking about their research. It also prepares them to discuss their research in graduate school interviews and at future research conferences. Presenters, left to right in photo, McNair Scholars: Raúl Segura, Sylvia Kennerly, Alejandro Torres, Makenna Tabino, Irie Browning, and Kelly Parke. Click on the links below to read more about their presentations or to find out more about each scholar.


Raúl Segura: Teacher Self-Perception in multicultural student-teacher relationships, evaluating biases, and efforts to engage with students culture. McNair Faculty Mentor: Dr. Sarah Johansson, Psychology

Sylvia Kennerly: Quantified expression of the ITPA enzyme mutations R178C within human neuron cellsSenior Capstone with Rylee Kincaid under the mentorship of Dr. Nicholas Burgis, Chemistry & Biochemistry

Alejandro Torres: Environmental Variables That Affect Wildlife Movement at Turnbull Laboratory for Ecological Studies. Senior Capstone project with Tosha A. Kristensen, Ryan Tibbets, and Ashley Johnson under the mentorship of Dr. Charlotte R. Milling, Biology

Alejandro Torres: Species Abundance and Richness of Native Bees in EWU’s Prairie Restoration Site Compared to Adjacent Wheat Field and Natural Areas. McNair Faculty Mentor: Dr. Justin Bastow, Biology

Makenna Tabino: Determining the Long-Term Effectiveness of Seeding Post-Dam Removal in the Elwha River, WA, Through Soil Seed Bank Analysis McNair Faculty Mentor: Dr. Rebecca Brown, Biology

Irie Browning: The Soul of an Egret: A Cultural and Ethical Analysis of “Gibbons Raiding an Egret’s Nest” McNair Faculty Mentor: Dr. Christopher Kirby, Philosophy

Kelly Parke: Atmospheres of Ableism: A Phenomenological Exploration of Everyday Encounters. McNair Faculty Mentor: Dr. Ryan Parrey, Disability Studies, School of Social Work

The critical nature of opportunities to engage and present research for McNair Scholars, who are preparing for graduate school, has created an ongoing partnership between McNair and EWU’s Symposium, which was first organized in 1997 by EWU chemistry professor Dr. Jeanne Small. The 1997 Undergraduate Research and Creative Works Symposium consisted of 16 total oral presentations (9 were McNair scholars); 12 poster presentations (4 were McNair Scholars) and two musical performances. In 2001, McNair Director Dr. Karen McKinney (now retired) took over coordination with the support of Dr. Ron Dalla (now retired) and the help of a graduate assistant. Dr. McKinney coordinated the event through 2005 in Monroe Hall, by which time the Symposium had grown to 145 presenters. The Symposium was moved to Senior Hall in 2006, and since then the event has grown to become a marquee event on campus. Currently, McNair Director Dr. Rebecca Clark has been a part of the symposium committee, collaborating with other staff and faculty to make the symposium happen. Thank you to all committee members for your year round efforts to make the symposium happen: Justin Otto (Committee Chair), Lynn Briggs, Rebecca Clark, Rob Davis, Kevin Decker, Greg duMonthier, David Early, Gail Forsgreen, Robert Gerlick, Thomas Hawley, Awlad Hossain, Ginelle Hustrulid, Jonathan Johnson, Krizstian Magori, Jonathan Middleton, Pete Porter, Chad Pritchard, Michelle Schultz, Thomas Shaffer, Julia Smith, Leslie Swanneck, Chris Valeo, Heather Veeder, and Kristyne Wiegand!

Since the first EWU McNair grant was funded in 1995, McNair has worked closely with Eastern faculty to build a research community where students thrive. Our quest is to continue this partnership with EWU McNair Faculty Mentors, staff, and administrators and continue the transformation of our students.