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Students Enter Prestigious Program at UW-Eau Claire

RELEASED: Nov. 17, 2008

EAU CLAIRE — Eleven students have entered the prestigious Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire this fall.

Each year talented undergraduates are recognized for their academic achievements and selected by faculty nominations as McNair Scholars. McNair Scholars are students who plan to enter graduate school and pursue doctoral degrees. They engage in two years of collaborative research with faculty, publication and scholarly presentations in their respective disciplines.

The students most recently selected for the McNair Scholars program include:

Danielle Alba, daughter of Jose Alba and Cathy Reeb-Alba of Appleton. Alba will pursue research on the ecological impact of the cement industry in Puerto Rico in collaboration with Dr. Eva Santos-Phillips, professor of foreign languages.

Brianna Butera, daughter of Anthony and Peggy Butera of Rib Lake. Butera will pursue research on acquisition of Spanish as a second language as a function of age and environment. She will collaborate with Dr. Maria Ciriza, assistant professor of Hispanic linguistics in the department of foreign languages.

Shane Chandler, son of Michael and Jill Chandler of Menomonie. Chandler will pursue research on socio-political themes of German theatre since reunification. He will collaborate with Dr. Johannes Strohschnk, professor of foreign languages.

Christopher Dierich, son of Charles and Karen Robelia of Menomonie. Dierich will pursue research relating to philosopher Nelson Goodman's "New Riddle of Induction" as a response to innovative and classical conceptions of knowledge as justified true belief. He will collaborate with Dr. Kristin Schaupp, assistant professor of philosophy and religious studies.

Kyle Dutter, son of Linda Dutter of Eau Claire and the late Bradley Dutter. Dutter will pursue research on the economic and social implications of Latin American immigration policies. He will collaborate with Dr. Analisa DeGrave, assistant professor of foreign languages and a member of the Latin American Studies program committee.

Michelle Hazard of Fairchild, daughter of Robert Morgan of Prairie de Chien and Judith Yaeger of Menomonie. Hazard will pursue research on the use of standard English and dialect in the works of African-American writer Paul Laurence Dunbar. She will collaborate with Dr. Erica Benson, assistant professor of English.

Michael McAnally, son of Patricia McAnally of Chippewa Falls and Randal and Julie McAnally of Eau Claire. McAnally will pursue research on the structure and reactivity to antigens of the mucin polypeptide MUC-1, a potential key to a vaccination against breast cancer. He will collaborate with Dr. Thao Yang, associate professor of chemistry.

Anders Peterson, son of Kim and Lucy Peterson of White Bear Lake, Minn. Peterson will pursue a project involving his creation of an original graphic novel and his exploration of this new genre's penetration of mainstream American literature. He will collaborate with Jon Loomis, assistant professor of English and Dr. Joel Pace, associate professor of English.

Trevor Thompson, son of Tyler and Michele Thompson of Stevens Point. Thompson will pursue research on mathematical analysis of super resolution image processing. He will collaborate with Dr. James Walker, professor of mathematics.

Katelyn A. Westaby, daughter of Robert and Pamela Westaby of Stanley. Westaby will pursue research on linguistic inquiry as a means to promoting resiliency among people experiencing depression. She will collaborate with Dr. Blaine Peden, professor of psychology.

Monica Mai Vue Yang, daughter of Zong Toua and Porge Yang of Wausau. Yang will pursue research on facilitating quality interactions between Hmong parents and school system employees. She will collaborate with Dr. Kathleen Nybroten, assistant professor of sociology, and Dr. Jeremy Hein, professor of sociology.

UW-Eau Claire is one of only 150 institutions nationwide to house a Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program, an initiative of the United States Department of Education. Ronald Erwin McNair received his doctorate in physics in 1976 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. An expert on lasers, McNair joined NASA in 1978. He perished, along with the six other astronauts of the Challenger mission, on Jan. 28, 1986.



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