“Whether or not you reach your goals in life depends entirely on how well you prepare for
them and how badly you want them. You’re eagles! Stretch your wings and fly to the sky.”
Ronald E. McNair, Ph.D.
McNair Scholars Program Newsletter
October, 2002 Vol. 1 No. 1
What is the McNair Scholars Program?
The Fredonia McNair Scholars Program is sponsored by the Office of Postsecondary
Education—United States Department of Education and the School of Education at
SUNY Fredonia. This program is designed to help SUNY Fredonia students overcome
class, social, academic, and cultural barriers found in higher education.
The McNair Scholars Program is named in honor of Ronald E. McNair, the astronaut
who died in the 1986 Challenger explosion. Student scholars in the McNair Program are
encouraged to prepare for doctoral study and consider careers in college teaching.
SUNY Fredonia received its initial McNair grant in October of 1999 under the authorship
of Dr. Gregory F. Harper, Ph.D. and has been funded for the past three years. Program
staff includes Dr. Harper, Project Director, Kim Gladden, Project Coordinator, Loretta
Torain, Recruitment and Retention Specialist, and as of May, Sandra Lewis as Program
Assistant for Special Projects.
As a result of continuous advertising and recruitment efforts, sixteen scholars were
served this past year, and recently two new
students have joined, bringing the total scholar
population to 18. Each scholar is assigned to a
Fredonia faculty mentor.
McNair scholars benefit from a variety of
services designed to increase their readiness
for the pursuit of graduate education.
As Part of a one credit hour course called, the
Fredonia McNai r Scholars 2000-2001 McNair Academic Development Seminar,
modules dedicated to improving writing and
presentation skills and understanding the research process were offered. Presenters
were Joe Calarco, retired English teacher, a coach for writing and presentations, and Dr.
Richard Reddy, coach for a module on Research Process methods.
Five scholars have graduated from SUNY Fredonia and are currently pursuing graduate
McNair Summer Program 2002
A benchmark of the national McNair Scholars program is the opportunity for an undergraduate
research experience. For Fredonia scholars, this experience is between the junior and senior
year of study. This past summer, seven Fredonia McNair Scholars participated in research
internships under the direction of SUNY Fredonia faculty research mentors. The 2002 summer
research program started on May 28 and ended July 9.
The program included GRE review sessions, and workshops on a variety of topics. The six
week summer program featured student research projects. However, there were numerous
cultural and social events to foster a sense of wholeness as a member in the McNair Scholars
Scholar Research Mentor Research Area
Deborah Brannon Dr. Bruce Klonsky Sports Psychology
Deborah Cortright Dr. Scott Johnston English
Health Garlow Dr. Richard Marchand Mathematics
Alysia Gilbert Dr. Thomas Morrissey Social Studies
Leora Glasgow Dr. Ana Maria Klein Spanish Education
Hamlet Javier Dr. Joseph Straight Computer Science
Frances Odom Dr. Kevin McMahon Legal Studies
After practicing our “bonjours!” “mercis!” and “où sont les
toilettes s'il vous plaît”, the McNair scholars and staff,
were off to Montréal, Canada as the final cultural event
of the Summer 2002 Program.
Montréal is the largest bilingual city in North America
with a multitude of languages and cultures infused with,
and influenced by, a distinct French heritage. A two hour
walking tour introduced us to the history and architecture
of this spectacular North American city. The McCord
Notre-Dame Basilica Museum which houses historical artifacts and visual art,
Mo ntréal, Canada provided us with a glimpse into 18th and 19th-century
Collectively, we experienced a 10-block long
sidewalk art ex-exhibit, Festival International
de Jazz, flamingo dancing, the Biosphere,
and dined on a multiplicity ethnic foods. The
city of Montréal was truly a feast for all the
senses with an old world charm, French joie
de vivre and a distinctive modern style.
Jusqu'à ce que nous rencontrons encore!
McNair students and st af f taking a walking tour of Old Mon-
GRE Countdown to Success!
“The GRE review sessions were helpful to me. I truly needed the review in math ... believe that
when I do take the test I will have the confidence to do well on it.” Debbie Cortright
Summer 2002 Scholar
The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is designed to measure the verbal,
quantitative, and writing skills one has developed in the course of their academic years.
It has been shown that high GRE scores strongly correlate with success in graduate
school. To help students prepare for the exam, two SUNY Fredonia professors (Robert
Marzec and Richard Marchand) lead our summer scholars in over 20 hours of GRE
review. Practice tests were administered at the beginning and end of the six week
summer program to track student progress.
As one McNair scholar noted, “The GRE review was extremely helpful. However, I would
strongly advise incoming students that it is a lot of work. I know people will tell you that it
is a lot of work and you will smile and say 'ok,' but believe me it really is A LOT of work.
As long as you are organized enough to balance doing research, studying for the GRE
and relaxing, you should be ok.” — Leora Glasgow
One of the GRE test sites is administered at UB-Amherst campus, call 1-800-GRE-
CALL to register.
Scholar Highlight: Alex Ortiz
“I would like to thank Dr. Marchand and the McNair Scholars
Program for providing me with a great opportunity and
assistance in reaching the next stage in my life.”
Hiram Alex Ortiz entered the McNair Scholars Program
in 2000. He worked with his research mentor, Richard
Marchand (mathematics/computer science department
faculty member) on a project to improve the target
accuracy of United States Army Hydra-70 rockets entitled,
“Trajectory Estimation of a 2.75-inch Hydra-70 Rocket”. He felt proud and privileged to
present the results at the 8th Annual McNair Scholars Research Conference at the
University of Rochester, Rochester, New York and at the 2000 Mathematical
Association of America Summer Mathfest at UCLA in Los Angeles, California.
Alex is currently attending North Carolina State University in Raleigh, North Carolina,
pursuing a masters degree in Operations Research with a concentration in Industrial
Engineering/Logistics (and a minor in Statistics).
Alex started his collegiate career at Jamestown Community College, earning an
associate of science degree in Engineering Science. He studied for a year at RIT then
transferred to Fredonia State in 1999. He graduated from Fredonia State with a
bachelor’s degree of science in mathematics (and minor in physics).
Alex has a fiancé, Karen, and three-year old daughter, Ally, living with him in North
SUNY Fredonia faculty are an integral part of the success of the McNair Scholars
program. They guide and advise our student scholars on their research thesis. Below is
a roster of our 2002-2003 mentors:
Dr. Richard Marchand, Computer Science/Mathematics
Ms. Jane Jackson, Communications
Dr. Melinda Karnes, Social Studies Education
Dr. Bruce Klonsky, Psychology
Dr. Scott Johnston, English
Dr. Theodore Lee, Biology
Dr. Thomas Morrissey, History
Dr. Amar Parai, Economics
Dr. Sharon Zablotney, Biology
Dr. Kevin McMahon, Political Science
Dr. Elkie Schneider, Reading Education
Dr. Mojtaba Seyedian, Business Admin.
Dr. Cynthia Smith, Mathematics Education
Dr. Rhea Simmons, Education
Back to School Tool
One of the most valuable (graduate or undergraduate) low-tech
tools is a calendar.
Be organized - Organization can make 'staying afloat' in college
much easier. Being organized includes printing syllabi and
assignments, keeping a calendar (not on your computer),
making a directory of classmates, and setting aside regular
Best Buy! times for you to study and do homework.
McNair Scholars Program Phone: 716-673-4741
(http://www.fredonia.edu/mcnair) Fax: 716-673-3332
E251 Thompson Hall Email: Kimberly.Gladden@fredonia.edu
Fredonia, NY 14063