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Southern Oregon University

Gonzales Web PhotoI am Alexa Gonzalez and I am earning a Baccalaureate of Science degree in Interdisciplinary Studies: Pre-Physical Therapy Emphasis. I anticipate graduating cum laude in June of 2016.

I am interested in sports medicine and am fascinated by how the body moves. I intend on researching how rehabilitation programs can prevent injuries and/or surgery for elite athletes. Being an athlete myself, I know there is always a risk when playing sports and I want to discover new and innovative ways to strengthen and condition muscles to prevent serious injuries, such as tearing an ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) of a knee. I conducted research during my freshman year at SOU and presented findings at the Southern Oregon Arts and Research Conference. My research consisted of analyzing how diet can influence epigenetics by studying prenatal and postnatal nutrition and daily food intake of agouti mice.

I am proud to be a Diversity Scholar at SOU and as a part of the program, have completed over 100 hours of community service. As a freshman, I volunteered at the SOU recycling center sorting through trash from all around campus to contribute to our environmental friendly university. I am involved with the Multicultural Resource Center and have been a key organizer for the Social Justice Conference at SOU and the Martin Luther King Day celebration in the Ashland Armory for the past three years. I have also been a high school mentor to students at Crater High School in Central Point. This mentor program is called Mosaic and it is where SOU students are matched up with their mentees and act like a big brother/sister figure. During Christmas break of my sophomore year, I had the opportunity to be one of Santa’s elves who took pictures and passed out gifts to children with physical and mental disabilities of military families. It was a fulfilling experience and made me appreciate how fortunate I am.

My undergraduate education has been supported by the Diversity, Churchill, Soroptimist, and softball scholarships that I have received from SOU and the Soroptomist Foundation in Ashland. I am 3rd year softball player for the SOU softball team. I am a member of the Black and Red Crew, which is a group of student athletes who represent each sports team and collaborate to raise school spirit, promote involvement within our campus, and support the community through volunteer services. Being a student athlete has also allowed me to be a role model for the youth of Ashland through softball camps and clinics, as well as practicing with the softball team of Ashland High School.

After completing my undergraduate studies at SOU, I am very excited to continue my academic journey and expand my knowledge of kinesiology, physical therapy, and bioenergetics by attending a doctoral program. Upon completion of a doctoral program, I will use my post-baccalaureate education in service to injured athletes while also continuing to engage in applied research and to volunteer with non-profit organizations around the world. 

McNair Faculty Mentor: Dr. Jennifer Slawta, Associate Professor of Health, Physical Education, and Leadership

Scholar Curriculum Vitae



Cristian Ramirez is a first-generation, low-income, Latino student whose priority is attaining a higher education. His parents never had this opportunity growing up in Mexico, and since moving to the United States at the age of ten, Cristian has been working hard to take advantage of receiving a quality education in America. Cristian will be graduating summa cum laude in June 2017 with a Baccalaureate of Science in computer science, a minor in business administration, and a certificate in business management information systems.

Cristian understands the importance of serving the community, in particular the Latino community. He takes great pleasure participating in programs such as Academia Latina, Cesar Chavez Conference, and Pirates to Raiders. These pre-college/youth programs at Southern Oregon University encourage Latino middle and high school students to pursue higher education, as well as assist and mentor them through the process of applying to college. Cristian’s undergraduate education has been supported by the Southern Oregon University Foundation Scholarship, the Diversity Scholarship, the Ben Evans Trust Scholarship, the William and Florence Schneider Scholarship,and the Lynnette A. Kelly Scholarship. He is also the recipient of the Southern Oregon University Laurels Scholarship.

Following completion of his undergraduate studies at Southern Oregon University, Cristian will apply for fall 2017 entry to graduate programs in computer science with a focus in information assurance. He is eager to advance his understanding in computer security through research and assist in improving the security of information. He is motivated to succeed academically and professionally to fulfill his and his parents dream of him attaining higher education.

McNair Faculty Mentor: Dr. Lynn L. Ackler Assistant Professor of Computer Science

Scholar Curriculum Vitae


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Amy Waters a History major and is earning a Baccalaureate of Science Degree, a minor in Anthropology and a Certificate in Native American Studies. Amy anticipates graduating summa cum laude in spring 2016.

Amy’s research interests focuses on gender and sexuality in Latin America and indigenous communities. She believes looking at how gender and sexual norms change throughout different times and different cultures helps to better understand many of the gendered experiences and expectations in our own society that we may take for granted. Amy finds cross-cultural analysis fascinating and deserving of more attention, and finds it very beneficial to look at the cultural construction of gender through various places and times. Examining other cultures with perhaps a more gender complementary system or systems less strictly defined by sexual binaries helps us understand the development of the patriarchal gender system and its influence on modern Western culture. Latin America and Native North America are interesting areas to focus on because during colonization different gender systems were forced to coincide together in various ways. Amy believes a broader scope and understanding of cultures, and a balanced perspective on history, is extremely crucial in our increasingly diverse American society.

Amy is an Osher Re-entry Scholarship recipient for 2014-2015. She is also a member and volunteer at the Josephine County Historical Society where she is one of the Costume Closet Managers and is in charge of archiving the costumes and doing repairs to the clothing when needed. Amy also volunteers with events such as the Halloween Graveyard Tours and the Valentine’s Day Vintage Wedding Dress Event which help to facilitate historical education throughout the community.

After completing her undergraduate studies and graduating from SOU Amy is looking forward to continuing her academic journey and refining her knowledge of history and research methodologies by attending a history doctoral program. She is also looking forward to combining her history expertise with interdisciplinary studies in anthropology and an emphasis in gender and indigenous studies. Upon completion of a doctoral education, she hopes to have the opportunity to use her post-baccalaureate education in service to the education of others by teaching at the college level and where she can also continue to engage in historical research.

McNair Faculty Mentor: Dr. Sean F. McEnroe, Associate Professor of History



Scholar Curriculum Vitae



David Sparks is working on his baccalaureate of art degree in History with an emphasis in 19th and 20th century United States history and a concentration on images of urban and rural environments.

He anticipates graduating cum laude May 2017. His academic interests are the history of science and technology and the micro-history of rural towns and the expansion of cities as viewed through images and primary sources. What individuals choose to capture tells what is important to them and the society at the time. This also shows the growth or decline of the physical environment surrounding the subjects of the image. Paired with primary sources such as diaries, financial records, and church records we can see the total picture of change that spans lower working classes to the upper classes, which will show what was important to these individuals and on a grand scale will show what was important to our society. David also has interest in the material record left behind by these individuals in the rural environment.

After completing his undergraduate at SOU he wishes to continue on to graduate school where he can focus more on researching the United States history. He is excited to explore, through research, the foundations of our present generations and presenting to the public the findings of this research by using modern technology to reach those that are underrepresented in society. Upon the completion of post-graduate degree he hopes to refine the methods of research and expanding the resources used for historical research and helping the public appreciate the history of our country. 

 McNair Faculty Mentor: Dr. Sean F. McEnroe, Associate Professor of History

Scholar Curriculum Vitae


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Carolina Regalado, is earning two baccalaureate degrees in biochemistry & psychology with an emphasis in medical research.  Anticipated graduation is spring 2017.     

Carolina has been involved with The Latina Youth Coalition and the Regional Health Coalition (SO Health- E) through Oregon Health and Science University. These coalitions are focus on minimizing minority disparities in Southern Oregon though research. Carolina is also currently a part of the Jefferson Health Information Exchange Coalition where the focus is to create an online medical database that can be utilized by medical doctors across Oregon. Carolina also participates in community service at La Clinca in Phoenix, Oregon. At La Clinica she has the opportunity to interpret for many non-English speakers during their doctor visits. Carolina is interested in medicine and research. Her focus is to in the future specialize in child medicine and biochemistry research.

Summer 2014, Carolina was selected to intern at Oregon Health and Science University Equity Summer Research Program where she had the opportunity to perform vaccine therapy research. Carolina has also participated in “Escuchando a Nuestros Jovenes” (Listening to Youth), she had the opportunity to plan focus groups, lead youth discussions, and interpret Southern Oregon data. Carolina is a current Southern Oregon University Diversity, and Burton scholar. Spring 2015 Carolina was also selected to attend Gates Millennium Alternative Spring Break, where she performed community service in the Portland area.

After completing her degree at Southern Oregon University Carolina looks forward to enrolling into a MD/ Ph.D program. As an MD/ Ph.D, she hopes to focus her practice in rural communities that are under served or underrepresented. Attaining these two degrees will allow her to serve both of her passions: her dedication to health care and her love for science. 

McNair Faculty Mentor: Dr. David Oline, Professor of Biology

Scholar Curriculum Vitae