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McNair Scholar 2011Nathaniel Gibbs

Nathaniel Gibbs is a senior at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, majoring in Political Science. His interests revolve around the intersections between racial disparities and public policy. Mr. Gibbs plans to pursue a Ph.D. in Sociology.

Nathaniel Gibbs photo
My dream is to receive a Ph.D. in the social sciences and engage in community development as a scholar and civic servant. I want to be involved creating more accessible environments at colleges and universities for first generation college students and encourage urban high school youth to graduate and pursue college degrees.

Research project

Racial Disparities in Drowning

Abstract: The focus of this research project is to examine racial disparities in drowning rates between African American youth and their white counterparts. I examine the casual relationship between African American participation in competitive swimming and drowning rates in order to determine if competitive swim programs can serve to mitigate disproportionate drowning rates and increase swimming ability and knowledge. Competitive swim programs are just one aspect of overall swimming infrastructure. This project also examines disparities in community swimming infrastructure and looks at the historical, social, and political forces at play that create and perpetuate disparities in swimming infrastructure. The goal of this research is to create a highly informed base of knowledge from which policy initiatives can be put forth to mitigate these disparities. Download poster. [PDF]

Faculty profile

Professor Samuel Myers serves as Chair of the Roy Wilkins Center for Human Relations and Social Justice. Dr. Myers received a B.A. in Economics in 1971 from Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland. In 1976 Dr. Myers received a Ph.D. in Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dr. Myers expertise is in Microeconomic policy analysis, racial inequality, racial disparities in test scores and public policy. Dr. Myers interest in drowning rates and swimming participation comes from a lifetime of competitive swimming and a commitment to critically examining disparities and informing public policy.