Our TRIO/McNair scholars conduct a research project with a faculty mentor to prepare them for graduate school. Each scholar does receive a stipend and travel opportunities are available. Here is a listing of our current list of scholars and their research projects.

2023-2024 Scholars

  • Madison Bates: In response to the economic upheaval caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Small Business Administration swiftly implemented the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). This program was an unprecedented effort to offer forgivable loans to small businesses, with less than 500 employees, to sustain operations and staff. Despite prior research examining demographic factors influencing the availability and utilization of loans, less is known about how these factors explain patterns in the occurrence of fraud within the program. This study fills this void by analyzing elements that contribute to the geographic location of fraud using a logistic regression model. Using data from the Department of Justice, the Small Business Administration, and the American Community Survey this study hopes to provide valuable information regarding significant demographic factors in fraud. Major: Accounting. Mentor: Dr. David Yaskewich.
  • Sandrea Cogio: This paper will discuss the criminalization of African Americans in the United States. Social Criminality focuses on the environmental and cultural pressures that black and brown communities face daily, whereas legal criminality focuses on people who are involved in the judicial system and the consequences of their release. Within the justice system, African Americans are treated unfairly, and their cases are dealt with using unusual punishment. Police brutality, the school-to-prison pipeline, and the over-policing of African American communities are all examples of how social crime is perceived. No matter how many laws are enacted, there will always be a way to evade the laws. After the old Jim Crow laws were repealed, the new Jim Crow laws revealed unjust societal norms and inappropriate behavior. Change will always be difficult within a society if it is not done in the American way that supports all ethnicities. Major: Corporate Communication. Mentor: Dr. Shonta Smith
  • Montay Frost: The portrayal of the LGBTIQIA+ youth within U.S. media and its effects on adolescents through their adolescent years. This problem exists because of the stereotypes given to the community over the years that have never changed; research is being addressed using information collected from the media. That has been collected over the years to understand better why the media in the U.S. has such a negative limelight regarding the contributions of the LGBTQ community. Social media networks with little to no regard for LGBTQIA+ do not improve oneself while trying to navigate through the world. The use of discrimination, victimization, and policies that did not accommodate shifting identities or ideals of an individual is addressed within social media. The results of this study will advance our knowledge of the LGBTQ community’s mental. The findings can help academics, and anyone seeking solutions to comprehend better and obtain what is happening to members of the LGBTQIA+ community. It can also provide a starting point for more study on the subject. Major: Psychology; Mentor: Michael Simmons.
  • Lillian Neely: Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) is a national movement calling attention to the widespread assault or murder of Indigenous women for whom the federal government or Tribal Nations have been unable to secure justice. Some Indigenous authors, like Louise Erdrich, Stephen Graham Jones, and Angeline Bouley, choose to depict these crimes in literature to call attention to this injustice. This paper seeks to understand the formal strategies three different authors use to produce an effective response in their readers and how this response implicitly presents some critical claims about how reparative and punitive justice are represented within the settings of The Round House (2012), Antelope Woman (2016), The Only Good Indians (2020), and Firekeeper’s Daughter (2021). In constructing these representations, the authors seem to be critiquing colonial power and examining how these fictional Indigenous characters are affected by it to present a forensic narrative to non-Indigenous readers that raises awareness about these problems. They also highlight how conditions have been created that have normalized violence against Indigenous women and girls to provide narratives for resisting that violence by critiquing settler colonialism. Major: English; Mentor: Dr. Sandra Cox.
  • Jordan Noble: Artificial Intelligence in the Job Industry. As we enter the fourth industrial revolution, a huge emphasis is being placed on artificial intelligence (AI) and automation. This has come at the expense of job security as nearly half of all jobs are at risk of being displaced by AI within the next few decades. This research explores the risks and impacts that come with the addition of AI in the job industry. I explore what advantages people and AI have over each other, and if there are ways for people to combat AI and the risks to their jobs. The goal of this research is to potentially get a look at the near future of the job industry and explore how people can respond to these changes. Major: Industrial and Systems Engineering; Mentor: Michael Bezushko.
  • Ashley Rice: With the advent of the Black Lives Matter movement and other government institutions failing along racial quality indicators, examining race and its impact on life has increased. Expectations of Democratic presidents suggest that they would have progressive attitudes regarding immigration policy and issues that involve race. Recent events have exposed presidents’ trends in speaking on racial issues, which can spiral to affect political party actions. This study investigates how voters’ presidential preferences may affect their attitudes toward race relations within the United States. The objective of this study is to understand how presidential discourse on race relations affects voter perceptions and attitudes on the policy issue. Unfortunately, better-suited data from the Gallup survey system, which contained more precise questions that would have benefitted the research, was inaccessible. Data was pulled from the General Social Survey and used as a guide. When concluded, this study is expected to reflect that party affiliation and presidential discourse have a positive relationship with race relations policy attitude. Given the limited availability of data on this subject, more research is needed to understand the presidential impact on race relations. Major: Political Science; Mentor: Dr. Jeremy Walling.
  • Abbey Rudisaile: The study examines how the second (autonomy vs. shame), third (initiative vs. guilt), and fourth (industry vs. inferiority) stages of Erik Erikson’s psychosocial development can be seen in academic settings. Development spans the lifespan and is ever-evolving; however, the development that occurs during childhood encompasses numerous developmental milestones that work to form the individual. Development is impacted by everything a child comes in contact with, however; parents, teachers, and peers have an exponential impact in this process. The interactions that a child engages in work to form their understanding of the world and other people. Parents have the first and largest impact on children, once those children are incorporated into the school system their teachers begin to have an immense impact on students every day. While students are in academic settings they also interact with peers. Since the grade school academic years begin on average at age 5 and end on average at age 18, each person that a student encounters has a long-lasting effect. Through the progression of grades in school a student’s development will impact grades, social interactions, behaviors, and character. It is important to have a strong understanding of psychosocial development, how it can be fostered, and how it impacts individuals. Major: Education- Elementary; Mentor: Dr. Kelly McEnerney
  • Zy’Keara Smith: Current maternal mortality rates among the African American community in the United States are concerning, revealing disparities in health care. Research indicates a two-pronged dilemma resulting in higher maternal mortality rates. Teen pregnancy rates, a general distrust of the medical community, and economic hardship create barriers to African American women accessing pre- and post-natal care, while concurrently receiving uninformed and non-culturally specific care from medical providers. Repeating themes in the literature show that African American women are at a significantly higher risk for maternal complications, more so than any other ethnic group. Pre- and post-maternal care, risk and protective factors, common complications, and effective interventions, specifically the use of doulas and midwives, are discussed. Optimal pregnancy and postpartum care have the potential to decrease medical hazards for African American women and their babies. Clinical implications are highlighted with suggestions to increase pregnancy success and decrease mortality rates. Major: Social Work; Mentor: Dr. Dana Branson.
  • Sheanique Syms: In this research, the principles of project management and its application to the use of social media to market programs on university campuses will be examined. Project management will be discussed and broken down into how it is utilized to effectively employ social media platforms. I will assess the factors of project management’s impact on different sectors, and how students implement project management skills to cultivate social media platforms. Social media continues to evolve and have an increasing influence on society. Generation Z is constantly adapting to social media and utilizing the networks social media creates to connect and empower individuals. Current research shows that student leaders can connect to their followers through social media. However, there is little research examining how project management skills can be used by student leaders to enhance social media strategies in the university environment. In this research, a Venn diagram and table are used to illustrate the skills gained by the author in both college courses and leadership experiences to effectively carry out social media projects advertising campus programs using project management skills. This article will connect project management and social media to display an effective set of skills for student leaders wanting to engage with their constituents on social media platforms. Major: Management; Mentor: Dr. Dana Schwieger.
  • Maurice Weakley: University Student Attitudes Toward Book Bans in High School Libraries. In recent years, book bans and censorship in libraries across the United States have increased drastically. More specifically, these efforts to remove books frequently occur in school libraries. This research will help to understand the attitudes of students near their high school years toward book bans in high school libraries. Additionally, we aimed to discern whether there are any trends within the responses of subsets of university students. To answer these questions, we presented participants with ten commonly banned or challenged books and assigned two questions for each text. We also asked two general questions on book bans in high school libraries. Results showed that most participants disagreed with banning and removing books from high school libraries. Moreover, of the choices provided, participants indicated that the state government should have the least amount of influence on removing books from high school libraries. Major: English; Mentor: Dean Barbara Glackin.

2024-2025 Scholars

  • Nadia Allar: Will complete research in 2024
  • Darnesha Franks: Will complete research in 2024
  • TeeJay Hughes: Will complete research in 2024
  • Analinda Hyatt: Will complete research in 2024
  • Dekyria Jones: Will complete research in 2024
  • Hailey Koch: Will complete research in 2024
  • Martha Lejarazu: Will complete research in 2024
  • Dieudonne Mfaume: Will complete research in 2024
  • Joshua Nelson: Will complete research in 2024
  • Maelee Willingham: Will complete research in 2024

Our TRIO/Alumni are very important to the program at Southeast. Your accomplishments as an undergraduate student and beyond can provide encouragement and direction to current and future TRIO/McNair Scholars.

TRIO/McNair Scholars Alumni

The TRIO/McNair Scholars Program at Southeast Missouri State University would like to stay in touch with our former Scholars. By completing the survey below you will be keeping the McNair staff, faculty mentors, and future scholars up to date on your education and career. Please complete the survey to update your current information.

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Cape Girardeau, MO 63701