Eastern's TRIO McNair Program 2020-2021 Overview
Congratulations and thank you to all the EWU McNair scholars, faculty mentors, staff and other supporters who continued to work hard together throughout the challenges of 2020-2021. Our EWU scholars benefited from faculty-mentored research experiences, scholarly activities including workshops, seminars, and academic conferences, and presented their experiences and research in virtual spaces. Remote learning technologies allowed us to once again meet or exceed our goals to provide research and scholarly activities, have one third of new scholars in STEM, strong enrollment in first year of graduate school, and a majority of students persisting into the second year of graduate school as outlined in the Eastern McNair grant proposal. We submitted our Annual Performance Report (APR) to the Department of Education in December 2021 (highlights below), which shows that EWU McNair continues its ongoing success. This is accomplished through a carefully designed Plan of Operation informed by research, best practices, and years of successfully preparing first-generation, low-income and/or underrepresented scholars to succeed in doctoral programs. And we try to make it fun!
On this page, you will see numbers that quantify our program's success, but more importantly, you will have a chance to celebrate our scholars and their remarkable accomplishments over the last year. We're still thriving through challenging times, and we have so much to celebrate!
Below highlights are from Eastern's 2020-2021 Department of Education Annual Performance Report (submitted December 2021) showing the actual percentage achieved with the approved target number in parentheses.
Highlights of 2020-21 Reporting Year
- Percent of Current Scholars Engaging in Research and Scholarly Activities: 92% (Target 85%)
- Percent of New Scholars Majoring in STEM: 38% (Target 30%)
- Enrollment in Graduate School in Fall after EWU Graduation: 86% (Target 60%)
- Continued Enrollment in Graduate School: 91% (Target 70%)
- Two Scholars Attained PhDs: Dr. Samantha DeAbreu and Dr. Andrew Pereira
EWU McNair Program Process Model
Objective Targets and Percentages Achieved
The Logic Model below was created as an overview of the Plan of Operation that was submitted in the last Department of Education TRIO McNair grant competition by Eastern's former McNair Director, Dra. Christina Torres García (click article at right to read about Dra. Torres García's contributions to McNair, and what she's doing now!).
For the 2021-2022 year, taking over for Dra. Torres García is Interim Director, Cynthia Dukich, MFA, who has been with EWU McNair for more than twenty years and led this year's Annual Performance Review. Cynthia offers McNair Scholars warm support, a comprehensive understanding of undergraduate requirements, awareness of resources on and off campus, and familiarity with graduate programs. She also teaches writing classes and provides one on one coaching to prepare McNair Scholars for scholarship and graduate school applications, GRE testing, and academic publishing. Additionally, supporting Cynthia is new academic advisor Cori Jaeger, who joined the McNair staff full time in Fall 2021 after two years as a Graduate Student Assistant. Cori holds an MFA in Creative Writing and an MEd in Elementary Education, and her work at McNair connects to her commitment to moving towards equity and justice.
Graduate Student Assistants Bryn Tennyson and Liina Koivula maintain the office and web presence, recruit scholars, and help with day-to-day operations, proofreading, and event planning.
The McNair staff, together with outstanding groups of students, mentors, faculty, administration and the larger community, continues to show that education can indeed transform lives!
2021 EWU McNair Scholar Grad School Acceptances
2021 Awards & Presentations
(click on photo for full article)
McNair Scholars Earning Eastern
Bachelor's Degrees in 2021!
Alexis Lisandro Guizar-Diaz graduated in the spring of 2021 with a degree in Sociology and a minor in Philosophy. His key research interests are political economy, rural & agrarian communities, and Latina/o/x populations. He is a member of the American Sociological Association and a recipient of a 2020 Eastern Washington University Summer Research Internship through … Read moreRead More
Alexandria Belen Coronado graduated from Eastern Washington University in 2021 with a major in Political Science and an emphasis in Pre-Law with a minor in Anthropology. Prior to attending EWU, she graduated from Columbia Basin College with an Associate of Arts degree. She was involved in the Honors Program at EWU as well as the … Read moreRead More
Lizeth Bañuelos graduated from Eastern Washington University in 2021 with a majori in Applied Developmental Psychology and two minors, one in Race and Culture Studies, the other in Chicana/o/x Studies. Her research interests surround the psychology of the Latinx community and discovering best practices for serving underserved populations. Lizeth completed an EWU McNair Summer Research … Read moreRead More
Gloria D. Bravo graduated in 2022 from Eastern Washington University with an International Affairs major with a socio-economic concentration, as well as minors in Chicano Studies and Spanish. Gloria is a first-generation student originally from Brewster, WA, where she obtained her Associate of Arts and Sciences from Wenatchee Valley Community College. Gloria’s research is centered … Read moreRead More
Aulane Mpouli graduated from Eastern Washington University in spring 2021 with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry. Her research interests include analytics, biological chemistry, and catalysis, and at EWU, Aulane worked on a biochemical research project analyzing the successful ways in which the substrate Inosine Triphosphate (ITP) binds to the enzyme Inosine Triphosphatase in order for … Read moreRead More
Rachael Pentico graduated from Eastern Washington University in 2021 with a BS in Biology. Previously, she spent time at Spokane Falls Community College where she focused on economics, with an emphasis on environmental policy. Her research interests focus on ecology and how invasive species and anthropogenic climate change will affect different ecosystems. She wants her education … Read moreRead More
Samantha Sanchez-Garcia graduated from Eastern Washington University with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with an emphasis in communication, sociology, and industrial/ organizational psychology. She participated in Eastern’s Inclusion and Diversity certificate program and was co-president of Psi Chi, an international honor society in psychology. Samantha was a research assistant in Dr. Jillene Seiver’s clinical … Read moreRead More
Hope Sands graduated in 2021 with a major in Anthropology with a focus in Archaeology and Artifact Conservation, as well as a major in Philosophy. As an Honors student and a member of Phi Eta Sigma and Phi Kappa Phi, honor societies at EWU, Hope was selected to present at the Western Regional Honors Conference … Read moreRead More
Zoë Romero Becker graduated from Eastern Washington University in 2021 with a Literacy Education and Mathematics Education double major. She also pursued courses in the English as a Second Language program. Through the TESOL program, Zoë has studied abroad in Passau, Germany and in Oaxaca, Mexico, where she volunteered as a teacher’s assistant in an … Read moreRead More
Mori Starr graduated from Eastern Washington University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Science with an emphasis in Chemistry and a minor in Japanese. He worked in the Organic Chemistry lab, which involved saponification, NMR readings, and reflux methods. For his 2020 EWU McNair Research Internship, he worked with Dr. Camille McNeely in … Read moreRead More
Darlene Gilroy graduated from Eastern Washington University in summer 2021 with a bachelor of science degree in Geology. At EWU with the guidance of mentor Dr. Carmen Nezat, she worked on an independent research project investigating the chemical weathering of volcanic sediments (see research below), presenting this project at the 2019 Murdock College Science Research … Read moreRead More
Theresa Lee graduated from Eastern Washington University in 2021 with a Major in Criminal Justice, a second major in Psychology, and a minor in sociology. She is interested in studying reentry challenges faced by convicted offenders (see more on her research below). She presented a poster of her research at the American Society of Criminology … Read moreRead More
Wendolyn Martinez graduated from Eastern Washington University in 2021 with a double major in Political Science and International Affairs. In her 2019 EWU McNair Summer Research Internship, under the mentorship of Dr. Dorothy Zielser-Vralsted, Wendolyn studied interwar propaganda within the US and USSR relating to public works projects. Then in the fall of 2019 she … Read moreRead More
Malachi Chukwu graduated from Eastern Washington University in 2021 with a major in International Affairs with an emphasis on global security processes as well as a major in Political Science and a minor in Economics. Prior to becoming a student at EWU, he graduated with an Associate of Art degree at Spokane Community College in … Read moreRead More
Click on names or "Read More" above to go to graduating scholars' individual pages where you can learn more about their McNair research projects, faculty research mentors and graduate school plans
Our Dedicated McNair Faculty Research Mentors are
Key to EWU McNair's Continued Success
Our McNair faculty mentors are the core of the program, as they are the primary guide in research and design, assisting students with graduate programs within specific fields, and introducing scholars to faculty members in graduate programs.
The carefully monitored process of matching McNair scholars with faculty research mentors starts when the student is accepted into the program. The McNair Student Advisors give each participant assistance in identifying supportive and appropriate mentors and in initiating professional connections. The participant’s involvement begins in the pre-application process with the requirement to interview three faculty members. Information from the interviews provides a starting point for the Advisor to discuss with the new participant the potential faculty mentors in the major field of study. Following the discussions with participants, the Director talks with the department chair and the potential faculty mentor before determining a match.
Click on the "THANK YOU!" box at the left to find our more about our fabulous 2020-2021 faculty research mentors.
Click on the "THANK YOU!" box at the left to find our more about our fabulous 2019-2020 faculty research mentors.
New & Returning McNair Scholars in 2020-2021
Darlynne (Dasha) Khayesi graduated from Eastern Washington University in 2022, with a major in Applied Developmental Psychology and a minor in Communications Studies as well as Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies. She will be the first generation in her family to complete a bachelor’s degree. She hopes to go on to work in the counseling … Read moreRead More
Ian Campuzano will be graduating Eastern Washington University in the Spring of 2023, double majoring in Psychology and Health Psychology. Ian is an active member of the Psi Chi International Honor society. He is interested in cognitive psychology and neuropsychology. For his 2021 McNair Summer Research internship, under the mentorship of Dr. Jillene Seiver, he … Read moreRead More
Ashley Destin graduated from Eastern Washington University in 2022 with a major in Biology. Her passion is animal care with a focus on domestic house cats. In the past, she volunteered in a small veterinarian clinic, working closely with surgeries and animal husbandry. Dr. Judd Case mentored Ashley for both of her Summer Research Internships … Read moreRead More
Lucia Roussa graduated from Eastern Washington University with a dual major in Environmental Science and Biology. Her research interests include phycology, marine microbiology, and conservation science in coastal marine ecosystems. In 2020, Lucia was selected as a TLES Scholars Award recipient. In 2021 she completed an internship at the University of Washington with the Cooperative … Read moreRead More
Nyibol Thareek is a scholar and a track and field athlete majoring in Mathematics and minoring in Biology at Eastern Washington University. Her primary research interests is in applied mathematics studying complex systems and dynamics arising in various biological phenomena. Through the EWU McNair Summer Research Internship, Nyibol worked with her mentor Associate Professor of … Read moreRead More
Seth McCullough graduated from Eastern Washington University with a double major in Environmental Science and Biology. Growing up in Tennessee, he spent a lot of time in the woods, which sparked his interest in the outdoors and in learning how ecological communities influence one another. Scuba diving further focused his interests on marine life and … Read moreRead More
Christina M. Hudson is a first-generation student who graduated from Eastern Washington University with a double major in English Studies and Africana Studies, and a minor in Religious Studies. She earned her associate degree at Spokane Falls Community College, before transferring to EWU in 2020. She is interested in decolonizing religious studies, focusing on ancient … Read moreRead More
2021 EWU McNair Summer Research Internships
Much like 2020, the 2021 EWU McNair Summer Researchers persevered through unique challenges presented by the global pandemic. These scholars pivoted to online learning during the most crucial years of their undergraduate educations and became McNair Scholars and completed research nearly 100% online. Fortunately, two scholars were able to do in person lab and field work! EWU's McNair Scholars Program ordinarily thrives under a community model, and these scholars missed out on in-person drop ins, shared meals, and our annual Spring Gathering. Despite the circumstances, these scholars worked hard to achieve research benchmarks through the summer, presented at (virtual) conferences, connected with their cohort over Zoom, and began the application process for graduate programs around the country. We could not be more proud to share their research experiences here!