McNair Scholarship Engineering Presentation Luncheon – Feature – (2019)

McNair Scholarship Program Student Intern Presentation at Texas A&M University-Kingsville. Alejandra Amaya: Today we’re having the annual McNair
Scholars Program research presentation luncheon, and the president’s
undergraduate research scholars presentational luncheon. So the McNair
program is a federal funded program that assists students from low-income
first-generation backgrounds. Basically to conduct research and to be prepared
for graduate school, ultimately the goal is for students to attend or complete a
P.H.D program. Lauren Esqueda: So my research was working with Drosophila melanogaster which is
the fruit fly, and we were determining whether bacteria had any effect on their
courtship. So we used unaltered flies and as axenic flies. Axenic is germ-free to
determine the relationship and we found a significant difference in courtship
index between the two. I became interested in doing research actually
just about a year ago, but I think that this program is just such a great
opportunity for undergrads because we get to work with a faculty mentor and
get to expand on something that we were already interested in. So I was already
interested in doing gut bacteria so this just gave me an opportunity to expand
that and conduct my own research and not only that but just working with a
faculty mentor that has so much experience it just makes it so much more
valuable. Dr.Matthew Alexander/Professor/Chemical and Natural Gas: So the McNair program and the Purse program are excellent
opportunities for the students to do something different than the coursework
that they’re doing to get their undergraduate degree. So it’s an
opportunity for them to either work in a laboratory or using computers to do
simulation and the work that they’re doing is all self-directed with the
guidance of a person like myself as a faculty mentor. So it’s a real it’s a
great opportunity for them to learn and grow and doing independent
work that’s a great opportunity for them whether they’re going to go into
graduate school and do research or whether they select to go out into
industry and work in industry. you

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