McNair Fellows

Wesleyan McNair Fellows are Juniors and Seniors who conduct funded research with a faculty mentor, and participate in program activities as a cohort. The central component of the Fellows' experience is the 9-week Summer Research Program in residence on the Wesleyan campus combining the mentored research experience, workshops on professional and academic skills, graduate school visits and other cohort building activities. 

McNair Fellow activities include:

  • Weekly meetings with McNair staff and/or McNair faculty mentor covering:
    • Writing a research proposal and abstract, and outlining a thesis or research paper
    • Research project updates
    • Fitting research time into a busy semester
    • Presenting research at lab meetings and conferences
    • Writing a personal statement
    • Graduate school admissions and funding
    • Preparation for grad school interviews
    • Academic and personal advising.
  • Fellow peer review -- giving and receiving useful feedback
  • Graduate school admissions workshops/panels and visits
  • GRE Preparation
  • Fall Wesleyan Faculty Research Talks
  • Spring Senior Research Talks
  • Pathways to Inclusive Education (PIE) events/activities
  • Various co-sponsored events with the Gordon Career Center, NSM Coalition, Office for Equity & Inclusion, and other departments/organizations that pertain to preparation for, entering, and progressing successfully through doctoral programs. 

McNair Fellows are eligible to receive a $2,800 stipend if, they:

  • have Junior standing at the university, which means the student has satisfactory completed at least 14 credits and been accepted into a department/program major
  • secured a research position with a faculty member and engaged in at least 8 hours of research per week during the academic year and 35 hours of research per week during the 9-week Summer Research Program
  • completed a Research Proposal with the assistance of their McNair faculty mentor (Fellow & faculty mentor signature required)
  • completed bi-weekly Activity Logs recording research activities and McNair services engaged in (Fellow & faculty mentor signature required)
  • attended all semester or summer workshops/meetings
  • submitted an end of semester or summer program research project that is a synthesis of the research conducted during the semester or summer
  •  additionally, Seniors are required to enroll and participate in the Senior Professional Development & Graduate School Preparation Seminar in the fall and give a McNair Senior Research Talk in the spring.

Current Fellows

Name  Class Year Research Lab & Mentor Department Recent or Current Projects

Sammi Diep


Sleep and Psychosocial Adjustment Lab

Mentor: Prof. Royette Tavernier


Examining the Role of Psychological and Physical
Work-Related Factors in the Association between
Racial-Ethnicity, Immigration Status, and Subjective
Sleep among U.S Working Adults

Gilberto Garcia



Moran Lab

Mentor: Prof. Edward Moran


From Einstein to Chandra: An Explanation of Highly Variable AGN

Ivy Lam


Coolon Lab

Mentor: Prof. Joseph Coolon


Investigating Drosophila Mating Behavior

Rachel Marino


Hughes Lab

Mentor: Prof. Meredith Hughes


HD106906 Debris Disk Morphology and Origin of an External Perturber 

Melisa Olgun


Schizophrenia Cognition Lab

Mentor: Prof. Matthew Kurtz

Neuroscience and Behavior 

What is Schizophrenia? Understanding the
intersection of race, class, and gender in the
mental health discourse.

Tenzin Ngodup


The Personick Research Group

Mentor: Prof. Michelle Louise Personick

Mukerji Lab

Mentor: Prof. Ishita Mukerji

Chemistry & Molecular Biology and Biochemistry 

Detection of Disease Markers Using SERRS

Lupita Sanchez 


Coolon Lab

Mentor: Prof. Joseph Coolon


Genome Wide Gene Expression of
Saccharomyces Cerevisiae

Elizaveta Atalig



Shai Lab

Mentor: Prof. Saray Shai

Mathematics, Computer Science

A Data Driven Approach to Transparency in Political Ads on Social Media

Camille Chossis


O'Neil Lab

Mentor: Prof. Alison O'Neil

Neuroscience & Behavior and Chemistry

Cell Non-autonomous of Glia on Neurodegeneration in C90RF72 Dependent Frontotemporal Dementia and Amyotropic Lateral Sclerosis

Abdelrahman Elsayed


Weir Lab

Mentor: Prof. Michael Weir

Computer Science Molecular Dynamics of the Ribosome Decoding Center

Abrar Habib


The Personick Research Group

Mentor: Prof. Michelle Louise Personick

Chemistry Plasmonic Approach to Synthesizing Bimetallic Nanoparticles as Functional Catalysts

Chaltu Rashid


Cognitive Development Lab 

Mentor: Prof. Anna Shusterman

Psychology Research Translation of Developmental Science: Application in Preschool Classrooms

Sarah Shehreen


Devoto Lab

Mentor: Prof. Stephan Devoto

Biology Effect of Heat Sensitization in Somite Segmentation

SeArah Smith


Reasoning and Decision Making Lab

Mentor: Prof. Andrea Patalano

Psychology Coherence Shifting in Relation to Indecisiveness

Gabriel Snashall


Poulos Lab

Mentor: Prof. Helen Mills Poulos

Environmental Studies Do Socio-Ecological System (SES) Analyses of African Oil Palm (Eliaes guineensis) Plantations Inform Borean Oil Palm Projections?

Ekram Towsif


Ellis Lab

Mentor: Prof. Fred Ellis

Physics Electronic Spin PT System Dynamics