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UW-Eau Claire Introduces New McNair Scholars

| Julie Quinn

Eleven University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire (UWEC) students have been chosen to participate in the prestigious Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program. This federally recognized program is designed to prepare undergraduate students for graduate level research.

On behalf of UWEC, the McNair program is proud to introduce its newest scholars:

Savanna Bonlender, of West Bend, WI is an undergraduate biology student with a pre-medicine emphasis. Her research will investigate the effects of Atropine and Diphenhydramine on the Daphnia Magna heart rate.


Celia Dickey, of West Saint Paul, MN is seeking a Bachelor’s of Science in Microbiology with a Spanish minor. Her McNair research will investigate gene-environment interactions affecting methylmercury toxicity in development of zebrafish. After she completes her undergraduate education, Dickey wants to pursue a MD/PhD in genetic counseling to become a genetic counselor.


Cliff Hayes, of Nekoosa, WI is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice with a Legal Studies Certificate. His research for the McNair Program will evaluate the impact California’s Assembly Bill 2147 will have on employment and recidivism among former incarcerated firefighters. Hayes serves in the Wisconsin Army National Guard as a Joint Fires Observer.

Harry Mateski, of Stanley, WI is pursuing of Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with a Legal Studies Emphasis. During his time as a McNair Scholar, Mateski will research and answer the question: “Are Window Display Bans in Public University Residence Halls Unconstitutional?” (Links to an external site.) 


Jaden Mikoulinskii, of Neenah, WI is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, with a minor in Family Studies, and Certificate in Organizational Communication. She will be the UWEC Student Body President for the 2021-2022 academic year. As a McNair Scholar, Mikoulinskii will be researching “The First-Generation Student Experience in the UW-System: A Case Study”. After her undergraduate education, she hopes to obtain a PhD in Higher Education Leadership and Policy Analysis.

Andrea Peterson, of Black River Falls is pursuing a major in psychology with a minor in Spanish. She is interested in trauma research, specifically the 10 Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), and the effects they have on college students. As a McNair Scholar, Peterson will explore “How [do] adverse childhood experiences affect the mental health and academic performance of college students.


Adamary Rosas, of Winona, MN is seeking a bachelor’s degree in psychology along with a chemistry minor. Her research topic focuses on physician burnout and how to reduce burnout by incorporating the ‘seven drivers’. She hopes to continue her education and acquire a M.D. in Psychiatry with an emphasis in psychoanalysis.


Aja St. Germaine, of Eau Claire, WI is seeking a Bachelor of Arts in English – Critical Studies with a Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies minor. They are also an active member of the UWEC Equity Diversity and Inclusion Rapid Action Task Force. During their time as a McNair Scholar, they will research “The Queer Experience at a Nationally Recognized Queer Campus”.


Emma Vega Martinez, of Mendota Heights, MN is pre-med student studying biology. She is an aspiring forensics pathologist. Her McNair research explores the impact of environmental factors associated with mental health and neurodevelopmental disorders on early brain development, specifically relating to autism.

Brandon Wegner, of Shawano, WI is involved in the social work program. His research topic will explore familial and socialite impacts on LGBTQIA+ mental health in college students. Wegner is passionate about mental health alleviation and hopes to pursue a career in mental health services.

Eric Xiong, of Eau Claire, WI is studying Geospatial Analysis and Technology. His research for the McNair program will explore “Public Housing Complexes’ Exposure to Noise Pollution in Eau Claire, Wi. Xiong is an aspiring urban planner and professor.