Welcome to the Westminster College McNair Research Journal, in which we celebrate the intellectual achievements of scholars selected from our first eight summer research intensives: 2004 - 2011. The McNair Scholars Program is a federally funded initiative that encourages low-income first generation and underrepresented students to pursue doctoral studies. It is an elite, national graduate school preparation program. Ultimately, we hope our scholars will enter the professoriate, changing the face of higher education. The program is a living memorial to Dr. Ronald E. McNair, an African American physicist and astronaut who died in the Challenger explosion over twenty-five years ago.
The Westminster McNair Scholars Program is the first McNair program in the State of Utah; we serve students from Salt Lake Community College and the University of Utah, as well as Westminster College. We are honored to be one of 158 McNair programs nationwide that support undergraduate scholars as they pursue their dreams. Westminster McNair Scholars are selected after completing a competitive application process; each June and July a group of 16 scholars hones their research skills and delves deeply into topics from a variety of disciplines under the guidance of their faculty mentors. They honor the memory of Dr. McNair by their original, sophisticated exploration of topics ranging from the visual arts in the 1950's and 60's to ethno-linguistic fragmentations and Africa’s underdevelopment to students' perceptions of professors as affected by race.
It is with great pride that we present the work of our scholars: they have overcome many barriers to achieve academic success. We are inspired by both the rigor of their research and the depth of their character. We hope you enjoy reading this journal.
Director Program Coordinator