McNair Scholars

Ronald McNair
The goal of the McNair Program is to increase the enrollment of students, from historically under represented groups, in science and graduate programs across the country. Ronald McNair was a physicist and astronaut. He died in the Space Shuttle Challenger accident in 1986.

We are proud of our McNair Scholars!


Christain White

Advisor: Dr. DeAnne Brooks

White, Christain Major: Kinesiology

Hometown: Rocky Mount, NC

Research Interests: Physical health in relation to improving feelings of depression and anxiety in college students.

Quote: The McNair Scholars Program has greatly assisted me in making connections and developing research skills that I can apply to help create change in our world.


Jamila Taylor

Taylor, Jamila Major: Social Work

Minor: African American Studies

Interests: How both external and internalized oppression affects a person's self-concept. Moreover, investigating the impact of social expectations such as family, school, work and peers on an individual's self-concept, esteem, image, efficacy, awareness and potential.

Quote: With dedication I believe I can excel in anything.

Tynashia Whitaker

Advisor: Dr. Robert Mayo

Whitaker, Tynashia Major: Communication Sciences and Disorders

Research Interests: Understanding how the linguistic characteristics of African American English are stereotyped and how this stigmatization may result in misdiagnosis of African American children as having speech sound disorders.

Quote: I have my very own blog where I inspire and educate others while on the journey to becoming a Black Speech-Language Pathologist.


Marcus Batts

Advisor: Dr. Jaclyn Maher

Batts, Marcus Major: Kinesiology

Minor: Music Performance

Research Interests: The effects that physical health has on individuals through intentional research methods.

Korrey Monroe

Advisor: Dr. Hewan Girma

Monroe, Korrey Major: Public Health Education

Minor: African-American and African Diaspora Studies

Research Interests: Atherosclerosis in African Americans that live in southern states compared to the rest of the nation.

Sarah Ragab

Advisor: Dr. Michael Hemphill

Ragab, Sarah Major: Kinesiology

Research Interests: Student leadership development through a cross-aged mentoring approach.

Queaonia Reid

Advisor: Dr. Omar Ali

Reid, Queaonia Major: Human Development and Family Studies

Research Interests: How death impacts education trajectories specifically in African American households.


Aaliyah Belk

Advisor: Dr. Tracy Nichols

Belk, Aaliyah Major: Public Health Education

Research Interests: To bridge the gap between access and care in communities facing disparities.

Jacqueline Sandoval

Advisor: Dr. Sandra Echeverria

Sandoval, Jacqueline Major: Public Health Education

Hometown: Charlotte, NC

Interests: Spending time with family and friends, watching “The Office”, working with first-year students!

Research Interests: Jacqueline aims to become the Secretary of Health and Human Services.

Danaisha "Belle" Wortham

Advisor: Dr. DeAnne Brooks

Wortham, Danaisha “Belle” Major: Kinesiology

Minor: African-American and African Diaspora Studies

Hometown: Warrenton, NC

Research Interests: Belle wants to make a change that can positively effect not only her, but her family. Belle is excited for the McNair Scholars program and hopes to conduct research about Black Women and ways to improve the health of the Black community.


Asia Brannon

Advisor: Dr. Olav Rueppell

Brannon, Asia Major: Nutrition

Hometown: Raleigh, NC

Quote: Being a McNair Scholar will allow me to conduct community-based research in topics of my interest such as areas with food disparities, how to reach that audience, and educating them on the importance of nutrition.

Ricquita Dillard

Advisor: Dr. Yarneccia Dyson

Dillard, Ricquita Major: Social Work

Hometown: Greensboro, NC

Scholar Standout: Ricquita is the Sole Proprietor of Birthing Life. This organization advocates for and educates women on childbirth and postpartum care.

Kenya Downing

Advisor: Dr. Tyreasa Washington

Downing, Kenya Major: Social Work & Psychology

Hometown: Greensboro, NC

Quote: I quickly learned that it is not so much what you know, but how you will apply what you know to build yourself and be of assistance to others.

Nijahlyn Edwards

Advisor: Dr. Erica Peyton

Edwards, Nijahlyn Major: Human Development and Family Studies

Hometown: Rocky Mount, NC

Scholar Standout: Nijahlyn has an extensive list of volunteer experience which is representative of her commitment to serving others as a future career.

Keia Harris

Advisor: Dr. Carrie Rosario

Harris, Keia Major: Public Health Education

Hometown: Mint Hill, NC

Quote: I am not intimidated by a problem, but rather eager to find the cause and effectively find a solution.

Shaunessy Lofton

Advisor: Dr. Carrie Rosario

Lofton, Shaunessy Major: Public Health Education

Hometown: Greensboro, NC

Research Interests: Cultural competency and inclusion in healthcare professions.

Melissa Lore

Advisor: Dr. Ashleigh Gallagher

Lore, Melissa Major: Psychology

Minor: Human Development and Family Studies & Studio Arts

Hometown: Salisbury, NC

Research Interests: Accessibility of higher education to low-income students.

Ashley Mustain

Advisor: Dr. Aaron Terranova

Mustain, Ashley Major: Kinesiology

Hometown: Pelham, NC

Scholar Standout: Ashley volunteers in multiple physical therapy settings throughout the year and showcases a strong aptitude for becoming an expert in the field.

Draven Ward

Advisor: Dr. Daniel Rhodes

Ward, Draven Major: Human Development and Family Studies

Minor: Social Work

Hometown: Durham, NC

Quote: I would like to do research on adoption, specifically on how open vs. closed file adoption affects the mental health of both the adoptee and the biological parents/family.

Kevin Wilson

Advisor: Dr. Jared McGuirt

Wilson, Kevin Major: Nutrition

Hometown: Eden, NC

Quote: My focus in nutrition is childhood obesity with regards to low income households. By conducting research and isolating some of the key factors affecting some of the most vulnerable people, we can begin to implements effectives support programs and services.