Two McNair Scholars Present Research Findings at Academic Conferences

CenterPoint | March 2018 | Michelle Strong and Nicole Espinosa, McNair Scholars

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Left: Michelle Strong, McNair Scholar and Julia Hussey, graduate student mentor, present their research at the National Academy of Neuroscience Conference in Boston, Massachusetts. Right: Professional photo of Nicole Espinosa, McNair Scholar, taken at the Association of Joteria Arts Activism and Scholarship Conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota.


The Dr. Ronald E. McNair Scholars Institute at UNLV is a program designed to prepare high achieving students from underrepresented groups to pursue doctoral studies. As McNair Scholars, Michelle Strong and Nicole Espinosa can attest that this program has prepared them for future studies by affording them the opportunity to be mentored by University faculty on undergraduate research.

Following the conclusion of the 2017 McNair Summer Research Institute, Michelle Strong (psychology) and Nicole Espinosa (gender and sexuality studies) were invited to present their research findings at two academic conferences. Student participation in academic conferences is essential for aspiring graduate students, as it affords them the opportunity to be mentored by University faculty, learn research techniques, meet other undergraduate researchers, and experience the culture of academia. Moreover, attending these conferences with their respective faculty mentors provides students increased opportunities to network with faculty at other universities.

Michelle Strong traveled with Dr. Daniel Allen, UNLV psychology professor, to attend the National Academy of Neuroscience Conference in Boston, Massachusetts. She presented her poster titled “Intrusion and Repetition Errors in the Emotional Verbal Learning Tests (EVLT) in Schizophrenia” and attended several research presentations. Michelle stated: “It was an exceptional experience that allowed me the opportunity to explain my research to other persons in my prospective field. I am confident that this experience has prepared me for graduate school by giving me the opportunity to work on and present a research topic in the field I plan to study.”

Nicole Espinosa traveled with Dr. Erika Abad, UNLV assistant professor-in-residence of gender and sexuality studies, to attend the Association for Joteria Arts Activism and Scholarship Conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She delivered an oral presentation titled “Lesbihonest, Hell Hath no Fury like the Clexa Fandom: Deconstructing the Tragic Lesbian Trope One Post-Apocolyptic Earth at a Time” and attended relevant research presentations and workshops. Nicole stated, “The conference was beneficial to my education as an aspiring researcher because I had the opportunity to learn from other queer Latinx/Chicanx, feminist-identified scholars, artists, and activists.”

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