McNair Scholars 2021-2022 Cohort
Isabella Crame is an undergraduate senior at Cornell University in the College of Arts and Sciences. Isabella is pursuing a double major in psychology, with a concentration in social and personality psychology, and sociology, as well as minors in Latino studies and inequality studies. She is interested in the social psychology of race and racism, and explores topics such as racial identity formation, identity salience in minoritized individuals, and anti-bias strategies. Her current work looks at the affiliative labeling behaviors of multiple minority multiracial people under identity threat and the influence of multiracial identity flexibility. Her question here is, when an individual has options for how to describe themselves, what factors influence their choice? She is pursuing this work through an honors thesis with the Social Perception and Intergroup (In)Equality Lab in the Cornell Psychology Department, headed by Dr. Amy Krosch. In this lab, she also is working with graduate students investigating harm aversion toward political in- and out-groups and risky decision-making tasks for racial in- and out-groups. Isabella is a McNair scholar expected to graduate in the spring of 2024 and will be applying for a PhD in Psychology this fall.
Sam Jurado is a senior majoring in Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Cornell’s College of Engineering. Outside of class, Sam is the Primary Lead of CU GeoData: a student-run project team at Cornell which designs, builds, and deploys instrumentation capable of recording a large variety of atmospheric, geologic, and hydrologic data. Sam primarily researches how climate change alters how ecosystems interact with the atmosphere. His research has led him to explore heatwaves in the Eastern Washington shrubsteppe, ozone over the Great Salt Lake, and rain patterns in Northeastern forested wetlands. Today, Sam continues to research land-atmosphere interactions in collaboration with the Matthes Lab at Harvard University and the Malone Lab at Yale. After obtaining a bachelor’s degree, he intends to pursue a PhD in Environmental Science to proliferate knowledge on the mechanisms of the climate system.
Mayra Miranda is a rising senior in Chemical Engineering, with a minor in Sustainable Energy Systems, at Cornell University. She is currently researching electrochemical pathways to produce hydroxides, silica, and pure gases, which are useful for the cement industry. Through her coursework, she finds interesting paths to build a more sustainable future. In addition to her academics, she helps craft high school lab manuscripts to teach chemistry in Ecuador. She intends to pursue a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering to continue creating more sustainable technologies related to energy and carbon capture.
Paula Blanco Ortiz is an undergraduate at Cornell University in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences studying Environment and Sustainability. Paula is interested in exploring the social and public health aspects of human-wildlife interactions, particularly within a disease ecology context. She currently works at the Cornell Wildlife Health Lab creating non-invasive detection methods for the Ambystoma species complex, a group of special concern New York salamanders. In addition to being a Pre-Professional and McNair Scholar, Paula serves as a board member in various student outreach organizations in the pursuit of bridging the gap between human, animal, and environmental matters.
Adam Shaifi is an Environment & Sustainability major in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) with a concentration in Environmental Biology and Applied Ecology (EBAE). In addition to being a McNair Scholar, he is also an OADI Research Scholar (2020) and is currently the Director of Industrial Relations for the International Association of Students in Agricultural and Related Studies (IAAS). Adam has a strong passion for research in the field of sustainable agriculture with extensive experience in multiple labs such as Cornell’s Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) Lab and Dairy Cattle Biology Lab. Adam’s primary research is conducted in the Sustainable Cropping Systems Lab under Dr. Matthew R. Ryan where he is leading a 2-year, multi-site experiment across East and Central US on the effects of seeding rate in organic no-till black bean production. As a first-generation college student, he aspires to attain an M.S./Ph.D. in order to become a professor and teach the next generation about the importance of sustainable farming while also using his research to fill the gaps of knowledge in the field of agriculture.
Ariana Taboada is a junior in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, pursuing a major in Animal Science with a concentration in Integrative Physiology and Nutrition. In addition to being a McNair Scholar, Ariana is also a Kessler Presidential Scholar (2020). She is currently involved in research in the Ren Lab in the Animal Science Department. Her interests lie in fundamental reproductive biology and women’s health. In the future, she hopes to pursue biomedical research to better understand female reproductive biology and assist in conservation efforts of endangered species.
Jahmal Wallen is pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Earth and Atmospheric Science with a concentration in Climate Science at Cornell University. In addition to his major, he has chosen to minor in Environment and Sustainability, as well as Climate Change. Jahmal's research experience includes studying environmental inequities through a meta-analysis, investigating local climate action projects and barriers to climate justice in New York State, and a REU on the connection between climate and household water access in Bangladesh. Jahmal Wallen is actively engaged in Cornell University's community, serving as an Undergraduate Representative in the University Assembly. He advocates for environmental justice and undergraduate interests. He is also actively involved in Climate Justice Cornell and Black Students United, working towards promoting policies that advance racial and environmental justice while advocating for the needs of people of African descent at Cornell University.
Jailyn Wilson is a junior in the College of Arts and Sciences pursuing a double major in Psychology and Biology and Society with a specific focus on neuroscience. She is currently a research assistant in the Life History Lab conducting research on executive functioning using FMRI to understand how early childhood can affect behavior in adults. In the future, she hopes to continue doing research to understand how early childhood, especially negative events, can affect behavior later in life. She also plans to pursue a clinical PhD to become a professor and clinical psychologist.