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ACU Home > Major Events > News > 2003 News Archive > McNair Summer Research

McNair Scholars experience Amish culture, summer research internships, conference

For immediate release
Sept. 18, 2003

Eight Abilene Christian University students attended the Ronald E. McNair Summer Research Conference at Penn State University, experienced life in an Amish community in Northeastern Ohio and participated in a site visit to Ohio State University during the summer as a part of the ACU McNair program's research experience.

The first days of the trip involved a cross-cultural experience with an Amish community.  Students visited Amish businesses, took a canoe trip and spent an evening eating dinner and getting acquainted with an Amish family in their home.

"It was great to experience the way the Amish live their lives and how different their culture is," Elizabeth Rodriguez, junior social work major from Abilene said. "I feel that I was able to immerse myself in a different culture, and I now see how much we take for granted."

The completion of a summer research internship is a requirement for the scholars.  Upon completion, students make formal presentations of their findings at state and national conferences.

One of those conference was the annual McNair Scholars national conference at Penn State University, where six of the students made formal presentations of their summer research findings in their chosen field of study.

The conference allows scholars from across the nation to network with each other and with professionals who are former members or supporters of the program, said Sean Ridge, assistant director of the McNair Scholars program at ACU.  In addition to the conference the students took a site visit to Ohio State University and participated in visits within each scholar's field of study, a panel discussion with current graduate students and faculty and a campus tour.

  The McNair scholars program was founded in honor of Ronald McNair, Challenger Space Shuttle crewmember and astronaut-physicist, and encourages participants to pursue post-graduate and doctoral studies through involvement in research, seminars and professional conferences.

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