Georgia Southern University

University students honored at McNair Scholars Conference

Georgia Southern University students Amber Fennell and Javoris Hollingsworth were honored at the 12th annual Southeastern Association of Educational Opportunity Program Personnel McNair National Scholars Research Conference at Knoxville, Tenn.

A special education major from Rome, Ga., Fennell took second place in the education division for her research project titled ‘The Brief History of Autism Spectrum Disorder, Interventions and Their Effectiveness.”

A chemistry major from Jeffersonville, Ga., Hollingsworth took second place in the science division for his research project titled ‘A Study of the Regioselectivity of Aluminum Chloride-Promoted Reduction of Benzylidene Acetals via NMR and Molecular Modeling.”

The students were participants in the Ronald E. McNair Post-baccalaureate Achievement Program Summer Research Institute. Created in memory of the African-American astronaut who perished in the 1986 Challenger space shuttle disaster, the

McNair Program is a national initiative that seeks to increase the number of students from under-represented segments of society who earn graduate degrees.

The McNair Program prepares selected juniors and seniors for doctoral studies through involvement in research and other scholarly activities. During the six-week program, the McNair Scholars received mentoring from faculty, attended seminars, participated in summer internships, and received academic counseling and assistance in securing financial aid for enrolling in graduate programs.

The McNair Program’s Summer Research Institute at Georgia Southern also included the following students:

  • Candice Carr, a psychology major from Atlanta. Her project was titled ‘The Relationship Between Self-Perception and Performance: A Short-Term Psychology Memory Test.”
  • Christopher J. Ford, a marketing/graphic design major from Suwanee, Ga. His project was titled ‘The Relative Worth of an Advanced Degree for an Art Director in Advertising.”
  • Harry E. Maze II, a psychology major from Jesup, Ga. His project was titled ‘Can Homophobia Be Cured? Neutralizing the Bomb of Homosexuality.”
  • Tawny Mullins, a psychology major from Griffin, Ga. Her project was titled ‘Juror Decision Making: The Relationships Between Attachment, Empathy, Belief in a Just World, and Perceptions of the Victim and the Perpetrator of a Date Rape Scenario.”
  • Tata Nanje, an English major from Smyrna, Ga. Her project was titled ‘In In Memoriam, What Does Nature, Science and Christianity Mean to the Speaker’s Faith?”
  • Jenna N. Pinkston, a community health major from Smyrna, Ga. Her project was titled ‘Perceived Job Satisfaction, Stress and its Effect on Health: A Pilot Study of Wmen in the Workplace.”
  • Jesseca Short, a political science major from Columbus, Ga. Her project was titled ‘Does the Development of Combined Communities of Southeast Columbus Enhance the Academic Achievement of Participants?”
  • Margarita Viera, a chemistry major from Ludowici, Ga. Her project was titled ‘Isolation and Characterization of Chromodulin (Low Molecular Weight Chromium-Binding Substance, LMWCr) from Chicken Liver.”

After revealing the results of their research at an on-campus symposium, the
students traveled to the University of Tennessee to present their findings at the McNair National Scholars Research Conference, which was held July 6-9.

Titled ‘Preparing for Global Competitiveness Through Research, Training and Service,” the conference attracted Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) personnel and students from colleges and universities in the United States and its trust territories.

The Ronald E. McNair Post-baccalaureate Achievement Program is part of the EOP at Georgia Southern. For more information, contact Mary Woods at (912) 681-5458 or

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