National Speaker Carl McNair Recognizes TAMU-CC McNair Scholars, Faculty Mentors

Published: April 28, 2016

National Speaker Carl McNair Recognizes TAMU-CC McNair Scholars, Faculty Mentors

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Faculty, mentors, students, staff and McNair Program supporters gathered for the McNair Scholars Program and Faculty Mentor Recognition Luncheon held April 19 in the University Center, Anchor Ballroom. The luncheon recognized scholars who participated in the McNair research poster presentation event held earlier that morning and for their excellent research.     

“The TAMU-CC McNair Scholars Program has far exceeded all federal goals and objectives,” said Dr. Patricia Spaniol-Mathews, McNair Scholars Program Director.“These achievements are due to the scholars and faculty mentor’s outstanding efforts.”                          

The guest keynote speaker was Carl McNair, brother of the late Dr. Ronald E. McNair, Physicist and NASA Astronaut. Carl McNair addressed the students and scholars in the audience about the importance of not giving up in challenging situations. He also discussed why perseverance and the desire to succeed in academics is vital to achieve one’s goals.

“Do not fall prey to dream stealers who will make you believe you are not good enough,” said McNair, President and CEO of the McNair Achievement Programs, LLC. “Make a commitment to succeed because you are good enough.”

The following poster presentation presenters were recognized:

  • Matthew Cruz: “Phenotypic Variation in Intertidal Limpets (Cellana Sandwicensis) Along a Depth Cline in Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument.” Mentor: Dr. Derek Hogan
  • Lauren M. Hernandez: “Choosing to Enjoy: The Advantage of Malleable Beliefs about Enjoyment.” Mentor: Dr. Steve Seidel
  • Maritza Hernandez: “Malleable Beliefs About Enjoyment Predict Exercise Attitudes and Health Outcomes.” Mentor: Dr. Amy Houlihan
  • Lynette Lambert: “Content Analysis of the Schneider Family Book Awards Children’s Division from 2004 to 2015.” Mentor: Dr. Corinne Valadez
  • TyEisha Lawson: “The Relationship between Convergence, Divergence, Recognition and Tracking Skills and Batting Performance of Professional Baseball Players.” Mentor: Dr. Frank Spaniol
  • Corbin Lewis: “Investigation of micelle formation with molecular modeling and NMR.” Mentor: Dr. Eugene Billiot and Fereshteh Billiot
  • Correy Miller: “Do Parents Pick More Than a Name? First Name Phonemes and Personality Traits Revisited.” Mentor: Dr. Amy Houlihan
  • Sandra Morale: “Belief Malleability, Self-Control, and Empathy as Predictors of Rudeness.” Mentor: Dr. Steve Seidel
  • Danielle Tefft: “I Tested My Students – Now What? Guiding Pre-Services Teachers to Use Assessment Data to Plan Instruction in a University-Based Tutorial Program.” Mentor Dr. Bethanie Pletcher  

 The audience also had the chance to watch a video from former McNair graduates highlighting their experiences with the program and how it has prepared them for graduate school. Once McNair Scholars complete their undergraduate degrees, the program will continue to serve as a support network for the scholars as they go on to complete a Ph.D.

“The McNair Scholars Program helped make research less intimidating,” said Arron Huss, psychology graduate. “We had many opportunities to present our posters and research at conferences which prepared us for where we are now.”

The McNair Scholars program, federally-funded by the U.S. Department of Education, memorializes Dr. Ronald Ervin McNair, a Physicist and NASA Astronaut who died during the launch of the Space Shuttle Challenger on January 28, 1986. The program’s goal is dedicated to the high standards of achievement inspired by McNair’s life. It also serves to motivate low-income and first-generation college students and historically underrepresented students in higher education, to broaden their educational opportunities by enrolling in a Ph.D. program and ultimately pursuing an academic career. For more information on the McNair Scholars Program at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, go to