2016 McNair Scholars
Karen Bonfil-Ruiz is a senior at the University of Minnesota, majoring in sociology with a minor in public health. Her research interest includes ways to address the impact negative social determinants have on health. Bonfil plans on earning a masters in nursing and a doctor of nursing practice degree. Read more.
Javaris Bradford is a senior sociology major and African American & African Studies minor at the University of Minnesota Twin-Cities. His research interest involves understanding institutional racism and how it impacts lower class African American communities. Mr. Bradford plans to get a Ph.D. in public policy. Read more.
Sokamarint Chak is a senior at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, double majoring in microbiology and medical laboratory sciences. Sokamarint's research interests are centered around biotechnology, synthetic biology, and bioinformatics. Sokamarint plans to pursue a Ph.D. in molecular biology. Read more.
Danielle B. Cotton is a junior at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. She is enrolled in the integrated degree program majoring in the areas of: family social science, business and marketing education, and social justice. Her research interests revolve around improving the cultural competency of counselors and educators. Ms. Cotton plans on getting her juris doctor degree and master's degree in public policy. Read more.
Corey Culver, a senior at the University of Minnesota, is majoring in sociology. His research interests include the accessibility of higher education for minorities, and providing solutions for racial and gender inequalities in society. Mr. Culver will be pursuing a Ph.D. in sociology. Read more.
Aracely C. Duerkop is a junior in the School of Nursing at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. She is majoring in nursing. Her research interest lies in the underserved and underrepresented communities with limited health-care access and health issues. Ms. Duerkop plans on getting her doctorate degree in the family nurse practitioner specialty. Read more.
Victoria Y. Idowu is a senior at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, majoring in speech-language-hearing sciences and a minor in public health. Her research interest explores musician and non-musicians ability to hear in high intensity noise. Ms. Idowu’s plans on pursuing graduate studies after graduating. Read more.
Ana V. Lozano is a senior at the University of Minnesota, Majoring in family social science with a minor applied psychology. Her research interests include closing the achievement gap and studying risk factors within schools and communities through a social justice lens. She hopes to obtain a Ph.D. in counseling psychology. Read more.
Saida Mahamud is a senior at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, majoring in global studies with a double minor in public health and African American and African Studies. Her research interests revolve around the intersection of inequalities and colonial history of East Africa. Ms. Mahamud plans on getting her M.A. in African studies and her Ph.D. in history. Read more.
Fadumo Mohamed is a senior at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, majoring in elementary education. Her research interests include academic language, language and identity, and literacy. Ms. Mohamed plans on obtaining her M.Ed. and attaining her Ph.D. in elementary education. Read more.
Lydia Negussie is a senior at the University of Minnesota. She is studying sociology of law with an emphasis in policy analysis. She is interested in research that explores the intersection of crime, gender, and the social constructs that reinforce racial inequality and disparate perceptions of the law. Ms. Negussie plans to pursue a J.D./ Ph.D. duel degree. Read more.
Ryan Nguyen is a rising senior, majoring in medical saboratory sciences. His research interests involve host pathogen interaction, emergence and dissemination of antimicrobial resistance, especially in Asia. Mr. Nguyen plans to pursue graduate school to obtain a Ph.D. in microbiology. Read more.
Dorothy O’Berry is a senior, majoring in business and marketing education with a minor in technical communication. Her research interests involve exploring alternate pedagogies on a wider scale, looking at various ways in which unconventional teaching methods affect learning, and also the exploration of the relation between teaching and technology. And more specifically, the ways in which educators can utilize technology to enhance classroom learning. Ms. O’Berry plans to pursue her master’s degree in multicultural college teaching and learning. Read more.
Jackie Penaloza is a senior at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, majoring in mathematics with a specialization in physiology and a minor in biology. Her research interest are modeling diseases to gain an insight on the development of a disease and effects of current and new therapeutic drugs. Ms. Penaloza plans on getting her Ph.D. in bioengineering. Read more.
Vilma Quito Fernandez is a senior at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities majoring in business and marketing education. She believes in the power of effective communication and hopes to pursue a M.A in strategic communications. In addition, her research interest includes technology use in money management practices, and financial literacy. Read more.
Chria Vang is a senior attending the University of Minnesota with an interdisciplinary degree in youth, holistic health and healing, and leadership studies. Her research interests include positive youth development, education, and Somali, Latino, and Hmong communities. Ms. Vang plans to obtain her master’s degree and Ph.D. and live abroad. Read more.
Kee Vang, is a senior at Metro State University, majoring in business administration. He plans to get a dual master’s in public policy and public health so that he can further work to help support underrepresented communities. His greatest joys are his three wonderful children and his wife. They provide him the strength and will to continue his education journey. Read more.
Ricky Vang is a senior at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. He is majoring in family social science with plans to continue his education. His research interests focus on student experiences and successes in regards to first-year, first-generation college students, primarily focusing on commuter students. Ricky plans on obtaining his Ph.D. in higher education. Read more.
Jayson Watkins is a senior at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, double majoring in sport management and psychology. His research interests include examining the relationship between the emphasis of hyper-masculinity and aggression in male athletes and domestic violence. Mr. Watkins plans to earn his Psy.D. in counseling psychology with an emphasis on sport psychology. Read more.
Sim (Net) Youk is a senior at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, majoring in biology, society, and environment. His research interests include patients’ medication experiences, health disparities, medication therapy management and pharmacist roles. Mr. Youk plans to earn a Pharm.D. in order to become a hospital pharmacist. Read more.