McNair Scholar attends research symposium

Henderson State University’s Summer Research Internship program gave senior Brian Cole a competitive edge as he prepares to pursue his Ph.D. in chemical engineering.

The chemistry major from Bismarck was one of 12 McNair Scholars who presented research projects this summer following a series of workshops designed to prepare the scholars for the graduate school process.

Cole took his summer project to the next level in October after he was selected to attend the Gulf Coast Undergraduate Research Symposium at Rice University.

The event provided a forum for undergraduate researchers from 22 states to present their research and interact with students and faculty who share a commitment to undergraduate research.

“The conference provided some of the greatest presentations I have seen,” Cole said. “I believe several of the undergraduate presenters will have their work published prior to grad school.”

Cole conducted and presented his research on the Synthesis and Versatility of Tungsten Catalysts.

“The thorough work and humble long-term dedication I witnessed is now serving as a powerful source of inspiration,” Cole said. “Undoubtedly, this attitude followed me home and within it, I find hope and promise of a long-term and increasingly brighter future.”

“Brian is a brilliant student who has taken full advantage of every opportunity the McNair Scholars Program has to offer,” said Dr. Shanea Nelson, McNair assistant director. “Since his acceptance into the program just this past summer, Brian has given six research presentations.

“The research that Brian and his faculty mentor Dr. Ingo Schranz have developed is very captivating and I am confident that it will make an impressive contribution to the field of chemistry.”

The McNair Scholars program is currently accepting applications for new scholars interested in pursuing graduate studies, particularly students majoring in a STEM field. To be eligible, a student must be a U.S. citizen and a low income, first generation undergraduate, or from groups underrepresented in higher education. A 3.0 GPA and completion of 60 college credit hours are also required.

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