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McNair Scholars 2014-2015 Cohort

Kimberly Cardenas is a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences with a major in Government and minor in Latin American Studies. She is primarily interested in human rights research, race and class inequities within the field of comparative politics. After completing graduation, Kimberly plans to enter a Ph.D. program in Government to eventually teach at the university level and be able to enter diplomatic relations, equipped with the tools necessary to advocate for the disadvantaged in the world.

Consuelo Cuevas (Connie) is a Sophomore in the College of Engineering at Cornell University. Her major is Applied Engineering Physics. Because of her love of math and science, she is minoring in Game Design due to her love and passion for art and design. She will be working alongside her mentor and research professor Julia Thom-Levy, to help find her true calling in the vast universe physics contains. This semester she will work with her to develop an upgrade for the High-Luminosity Large Hadron Collider where she will have to test the effects of extreme radiation on silicon detectors to measure the energy of the particles that are created in proton collisions. With this experience Consuelo hopes to gflex-3 and, through the McNair Program, find the right Ph.D. path and school for her.

Yohana Ghebrechristos is a sophomore in the college of Arts and Science, majoring in Biology and minoring in Inequalities Studies and Global Health. Her research interests include biomedical research as well as health care systems in developing countries. After obtaining her BA, Yohana hopes to pursue her PhD and continue to do research as a college professor.

Anthony Halmon is a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences; his research interest is to discover the psychological and sociological influences of purpose and identity. He wants to understand how society influences the mind of a human and how it makes them who they are and what they are. Anthony wants to know for some humans, specifically Africana Americans from low-income to impoverished communities, if they are in control of their own purpose and identity, or does the economy, the environment, and society dominate the creation of their purpose and identity.

Jovan Kemp is enrolled in College of Arts and Sciences, and his interests lie in the field of psychology. He still is exploring the field to discover the multitude of research options that he can choose from, but as of now he is interested in research on child development. Jovan plans to obtain a Ph.D. and become a professor.

Kelly McClure is a senior studying Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University. Gflex-3ing up in a citrus farming town exposed her to the plight of workers and helped to cultivate her passion for worker’s rights advocacy and social justice. Her research interests focus on marginalized workers such as those with disabilities, farmworkers, domestic workers, and migrant laborers. Kelly has served as a Research Fellow at Cornell’s Worker Institute where she has worked on projects ranging from misclassified day laborers to migrant worker justice. She has also held research assistantships at Cornell’s Employment and Disability Institute, the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, and Catherwood library, which serves as one of the world’s leading labor libraries. Kelly is interested in public policy, labor, and economics, and hopes to pursue a PhD in Labor Economics upon graduation.

Claudia Abrantes Mimoso is currently a sophomore in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, majoring in Biological Sciences with a concentration in Biochemistry, and is working in the Soloway Lab. Her research interests include epigenetics, biochemistry and cell and molecular biology. In the future, Claudia aims to obtain a Ph.D. in one of her interested fields, and ultimately enter academia.

Paola Muñoz is interested in researching the buffering effects of an increasingly solidified racial/ethnic identity on Knowledge Is Power Program (KIPP) students, with regards to stereotype threat and discrimination. This includes the residual effects identity development has on KIPP students' intellectual development and performance. Enrolled in the College of Human Ecology, she aspires to attain a PhD in Human Development or Education focusing on the intersection between race, class and education. Paola’s goal is to conduct research and teach as a professor at a SUNY college, where faculty of color are in the minority.

Heley Ong became interested in exploring the pathways of virus entry after reading The Demon in the Freezer. Enrolled in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, she is currently working in Dr. Chris Schaffer and Dr. Nozomi Nishimura's lab in the Department of Biomedical Engineering and hopes to pursue a PhD in Virology in the future.

Abigail Shilvock is a sophomore in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, majoring in biological sciences and concentrating in molecular and cell biology. She currently works in the Kurpios lab, studying the development of the lymphatic system in the midgut using chicken and mice embryos. Abigail’s research interests lie in the field of biomedical sciences, and she plans to enter a combined M.D./Ph.D. program upon completion of her undergraduate education.

Paola Torres is originally from Ridgefield Park, NJ, and is majoring in Chemical Engineering in the College of Engineering at Cornell University. Her research is currently on Dual-Probe Active Microrheology in the Zia lab where she develops a Bflex-3nian Dynamics simulation code to model random particle behavior.  Her interests lie in theoretical work and plans on pursuing a PhD upon completing her undergraduate degree. Afterwards, Paola hopes to continue her research throughout the rest of her career and work for Tesla one day.

Moriah West is a sophomore in the College of Human Ecology. Her research interests include analyzing various educational teaching methods and how they pertain to students, especially students of color. Moriah hopes to one day become a school district administrator and modify the instructional methods of teachers to better suit the needs of all students.

Yan Zhang is a sophomore in the College of Engineering, majoring in Chemical Engineering and intending to minor in Biomedical engineering. She is also a part of a student project team - Engineering World Health (EWH). Being a member of EWH allows her to tackle medical problems in developing countries and develop novel solutions to these issues. It also sparked her interest in doing research in biomedical related fields. After graduation, Yan plans to pursue a PhD in the Biomedical fields and have a research career in academic settings.