This year, the McNair program began to formally recognize the program's most successful and involved mentors with awards to be presented at the annual TRIO Day each year. These new Friend of TRIO awards recognize the many contributions of McNair mentors. The 2016 award recipients are Dr. Jennifer Dahl, associate professor of chemistry, and Dr. Kevin Klatt, professor of psychology.
Dr. Jennifer Dahl has been honored for her deep commitment to the program and its scholars. She first became a McNair mentor in fall 2013 when she nominated Tayo Sanders for consideration as a McNair Scholar. In each of the succeeding cohorts Dahl has served as a McNair mentor to one of our talented scholars. After Sanders, Dahl mentored Kyle Lobermeier and Nick Reitano.
Dahl joined the UW-Eau Claire faculty in 2010, after having received her Ph.D. in chemistry in 2007 from the University of Oregon. One of Dahl's ongoing research projects, the study of Janus Nanoparticles has served as the basis for the McNair Scholar research which positioned Sanders for his successful pursuit of the Rhodes Scholarship in 2015 and Lobermeier's acceptance into the graduate program at Iowa State University for next fall.
Dahl's research has appeared in the journal Materials Letters, co-authored with Sanders and Mariah Sauceda; and in February 2015, in recognition of the cutting-edge nature of her research and its implications for the future development of green and renewable technologies, Dahl was named a Regent Scholar by the UW System Board of Regents. The $50,000 grant attached to that award will no doubt provide numerous opportunities for UW-Eau Claire students and future McNair Scholars as they engage in top-flight research and benefit from faculty-student collaborative research opportunities overseen by dedicated and passionate faculty mentors. Additionally, in February, Dahl received a $25,000 WiscAMP grant for the 2016-17 academic year. The Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation programs, designed to encourage and support the academic growth of minority students, will fund Dahl's creation of a program to support and develop underrepresented first- and second-year students at UW-Eau Claire; students who would be ideally positioned as future McNair Scholars.
Dr. Kevin Klatt, professor of psychology, has been honored for his long-term commitment to the UW-Eau Claire McNair Program and our scholars.
As director of the Campus Autism Program, Klatt's research and the Campus Autism Program have provided the opportunity for no fewer than five McNair Scholars to conduct research on the development and learning styles of children diagnosed with autism. Klatt first mentored a McNair Scholar, (now) Dr. Julie Ackerlund Brandt of Cohort 6; followed by (now) Dr. Jodi Nuernberger in Cohort 8; Liz Kooistra in Cohort 9; Ashley Niebauer in Cohort 13; and currently, Alexandra Tredway in the current Senior Cohort, Cohort 16.
With at least three of his McNair Scholars, Klatt has co-authored manuscripts which have appeared in such prestigious professional journals as the Journal of Applied Behavioral Analysis; Behavioral Interventions; and Research in Autism and Spectrum Disorders.
Klatt has received more than $260,000 in research support to the Campus Autism Program and is the recipient of numerous awards and accolades, including recognition by the Wisconsin Association for Behavior Analysis for "for their implementation of evidence-based treatment aimed at improving the lives of children with autism spectrum disorders in Wisconsin."