On November 8, 2013, three McNair Scholars – Nick Bohn, Mark Cook and Emily Mydlowski – along with McNair Coordinator Jennifer Broadway, drove 7 hours to Lake Geneva, Wisconsin to attend the 22nd Annual National Ronald E. McNair Research Conference & Graduate Fair. The conference was held at the Lake Geneva Resort – formerly the Playboy Resort – which was beautifully decorated for the holidays.
After dinner in the Grand Ballroom on Friday evening, the late Ronald McNair’s brother, Carl McNair, gave a fireside chat describing some of the challenges his brother faced as a black child growing up in the segregated South, and challenges he overcame to earn a Ph.D. in Physics at MIT and then go on to become an astronaut. Mr. McNair invited members of the audience to share challenges they are overcoming and it was moving to hear what some of these young people are up against in their lives. The common denominator was that the McNair Scholars Program was giving these students an opportunity and a vision of their future that was brighter than they could have imagined a short time before, and the support and guidance they need to work toward their goals.
On Saturday after lunch, we heard a presentation by Donald Asher, graduate school entrance guru, entitled “Bound for Graduate School? Strategies to Gain Admission to Highly Competitive Graduate Programs”. It was an extremely informative presentation for anyone applying to graduate school. Mr. Asher has written 12 books on this subject, some of which are available to be borrowed from Heather’s office!
On Saturday afternoon, Emily Mydlowski and Mark Cook presented posters documenting their summer McNair research projects. Nick Bohn gave a 15 minute power point presentation on his research, entitled “Characterization of glioblastoma multiforme tumor-derived exosomes”. All three students did a great job representing Northern Michigan University.
Graduate school representatives from universities all over the country were in attendance at the fair to answer questions about their programs and give out information.
On Saturday evening there was a reception and banquet featuring a fun roll call of schools attending the conference. A DJ set up and the dance floor was full of students celebrating a fun and stimulating conference experience!