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UW McNair Scholars Present Summer Research Projects July 30

July 12, 2018

Thirteen students will present their summer research projects during the University of Wyoming’s 26th annual McNair Scholars Research Symposium Monday, July 30, in the Wyoming Union Family Room.

The symposium begins at 8:30 a.m., with welcoming remarks from UW President Laurie Nichols, followed by lunch at 11:30 a.m. Presentations are scheduled throughout the day until approximately 3 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

The symposium is an opportunity for McNair Scholars to share the progress and the findings from their summer research internships with the community. The program schedule can be found on the McNair home page at

Student presentations are made from a diverse range of academic programs in communication disorders; criminal justice; economics and statistics; geology and geophysics; kinesiology and health; math education; physics and astronomy; psychology; physiology; and sociology.

UW's McNair Scholars Program encourages undergraduate students -- from groups traditionally underrepresented -- to pursue graduate studies by providing opportunities to define goals, engage in research, and develop the skills and student/faculty mentor relationships critical to success at the doctoral level.

Since the symposium’s inception, more than 50 UW students have earned doctoral degrees.

For more information, call Brian Shreck, McNair Scholars Program director, at (307) 766-3818 or email

McNair Scholars presenting research this year, listed by time, academic majors, hometowns, titles of their projects and UW mentors, are:

8:40 a.m. -- Rebecca Sorber, physics and astronomy, Laramie, “Did a Planet Survive a Post-Main Sequence Evolutionary Event?” with Hannah Jang-Condell and Mara Zimmerman.

9 a.m. -- McKenzee Peterson, geology and geophysics, Star Valley, “The Mobility of Rare Earth Elements in the Sherman Granite Aquifer,” with John Kaszuba and Olivia Terry.

9:20 a.m. -- Jelard Aquino, physiology, Cheyenne, “Comparative Analysis of RNAseq Data of White Pine Blister Rust on Five-Needle Pines,” with Vikram Chhatre and Gordon Custer.

9:40 a.m. -- Autumn Hopkin, kinesiology and health, Powell, “A Unimanual Coordination Task for the Detection of mTBI History,” with Qin “Arthur” Zhu and Shaochen Huan.

10:30 a.m. -- Holly Trujillo, communication disorders, Sheridan, “Speech Language Pathologists Serving Students with Traumatic Brain Injury: A Qualitative Inquiry,” with Erin Bush, Mary Jo Cooley Hidecker and Chelsea Kunitz.

10:50 a.m. -- Kaylee Tuttle, math education, Rock Springs, “Secondary Prospective Teachers’ Understanding of the Cognitive Demand of Mathematics Tasks,” with Michelle Chamberlin.

11:10 a.m. -- Joshua Sheinberg, economics and statistics, Broomfield, Colo., “A Comparison of Statistical Methods to Analyze the Variance of Adjusted Income across the 50 States in 2015,” with Steve Bieber.

12:30 p.m. -- Jessica Evans, sociology, Rock Springs, “Voluntary Association Participation in Small Town Iowa,” with Matthew Painter and Samantha Velez.

12:50 p.m. -- Shelby Mikkelson, criminal justice, Laramie, “Forever Punished: How Society Punishes Ex-Felons,” with Kimberly Schweitzer and Alexandra Bitter.

1:10 p.m. -- Alexis Trujillo, psychology, Loveland, Colo., “Are Internalizing Symptoms Associated with Criminal Behavior in Married Couples?” with Robin Barry and Stephanie Amaya.

1:40 p.m. -- Juan Diego Vintimilla, psychology, Cuenca-Azuay, Ecuador, “The Role of Self-Compassion in Reducing Negative Affect Experienced During Interactions,” with Benjamin Wilkowski and Zachary Williamson.

2 p.m. -- Andrea Alzalde, psychology, Milwaukee, Wisc., “Sexual Assault, Victimization, Perpetration, and Associated Beliefs among High-Risk College Groups,” with Matt Gray and Stephanie Amaya.

2:20 p.m. -- Kayla Mohler, psychology, Cheyenne, “A Study on the Ideological Constructs that Influence Rape Myth Acceptance,” with Matt Gray and Stephanie Amaya.

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