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McNair Scholars Program

2020 Scholar Profiles

   
 Chris Brown

Chris Brown

Chris Brown is from Ellisville, Mississippi. He is earning his degree in Sound and Recording Arts with a minor in Theater. He expects to graduate in May 2021. As selected by USM’s Partner for the Arts committee, Chris is a recipient of the 2020 Emerging Artist award. Currently, Chris is President of the Golden Eagle Sound and Production crew, secretary of the Southern Miss Association of Black Journalists, a member of Grammy U, and a member of the Audio Engineering Society. He loves spending time with family and his cockapoo, Pepper.

I want to someday own a home, visit Ethiopia and Egypt, write a book and be a part of a major music production team or work in media.

“It is never too late to be what you might have been.” - George Eliot

 Lexis Brown

Lexis Brown

Lexis Brown was born and raised in Jayess, MS. She is a senior Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) student and plans to graduate in May. Lexis has been part of the BSW Club for three years! As a McNair Scholar, Lexis investigates the correlation between single motherhood and post-secondary educational resources. In her free time, she enjoys fishing and playing with her son. 

My goals are to give back to my community, influence policy change that will break the cycle of systematic discrimination, create a non-profit organization for single mothers, and have brunch with Michelle Obama!

“Success isn’t about how much money you make, it’s about the difference you make in people’s lives.” - Michelle Obama

 Jennyfer Caracheo

Jennyfer Caracheo

Jennyfer Caracheo is from Los Angeles, California. She is currently enrolled at the University of Southern Mississippi and anticipates graduating in May 2021. She was inducted in the Sigma lambda Chi International Construction Honor Society and is a member of the American Institute of Architecture Students. She is a Division I scholarship student-athlete. She was selected to represent the soccer program to the USM Leadership Academy. She was also named to the Conference USA all-tournament team. In her free time, she enjoys watching makeup tutorials and spending time with her dog, Katniss.

My goals: become more confident in myself and go to a World Cup Final Soccer Game.

“It’s not what you achieve, it’s what you overcome. That’s what defines your career.” – Carlton Fisk

Victory Courtney

Victory Courtney

Victory Courtney is from Mobile, Alabama. She is currently enrolled at the University of Southern Mississippi, majoring in psychology and minoring in dance and criminal justice. After graduation in December 2021, Victory plans to continue her education and obtain her master’s and Ph.D. in psychology to become a clinical psychologist. She is a member of the Kappa Sigma chapter of Alpha Chi Omega and has previously served as Vice President of Philanthropy raising $20,000 for the Domestic Abuse Family Shelter in Hattiesburg. If not studying, Victory loves to hangout on the beach with friends or go deep sea fishing.

My career goal is to earn a PhD and become a forensic psychologist. As a forensic psychologist, I want to work within the criminal courts and provide assessments on juvenile and adult offenders, conduct evaluations of mental competency and work with child witness. This career path will allow me to study an array of criminals and the crimes they have committed to figure out what traits certain criminals may have. Outside of work, my dream is to learn how to surf and travel to Australia and surf at different beaches including the famous Bondi Beach.

“My mission in life is not merely to survive but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor and some style.” – Maya Angelou

 Jacob Deer

Jacob Deer

Jacob Deer is from McComb, Mississippi.  He earned his Associate of Arts degree in Biology at Southwest Mississippi Community College.  Currently, he is pursuing a bachelor's degree at the University of Southern Mississippi in which he anticipates receiving in May 2021.  He also serves at Forrest General Hospital as an Emergency Room Care Partner and as a Student Ambassador.  As a McNair scholar, Jacob studies exercises and techniques that increase acceleration in the human body. He spends his free time collecting shoes and playing video games.

I want to become a traveling physical therapist and travel the country giving wellness to people of all ages. A big goal of mine is to climb at least 4 of the 7 summits of the world.

“The elevator to success is out of order. You'll have to use the stairs... one step at a time.” – Joe Girard

 Jourdan Green

Jourdan Green

Jourdan Green is a proud native of Hattiesburg, Mississippi. She is currently working on obtaining her bachelor’s degree in Psychology, while minoring in Spanish at the University of Southern Mississippi. Her goal after graduation is to attend a graduate school outside of the state of Mississippi and receive her master’s degree. Jourdan sees herself working with teenagers and young adults as either a high school counselor or behavioral psychologist. Jourdan has been on the President’s and Dean’s list all three years of her Collegiate Career. She serves as the Student Government Association’s Attorney General, President of the Iota Kappa Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc, and is also a member of the Catholic Student Association. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling to New Orleans and visiting her grandfather, reading books, and being on the phone.

My goals: attend a graduate program to further my degree in Psychology. My goal is to get into either a counseling psychology program or a schooling psychology program. In the future, along with pursuing my career, I would like to start my own tutoring program to help underprivileged and overlooked students achieve better resources to good and quality education. Another goal of mine is to go skydiving.

“She is Clothed in Strength and Dignity and Laughs without Fear of the Future.” – Proverbs 31:25

 Kourtney Harris

Kourtney Harris

Kourtney Harris is from Lafayette, Louisiana. Currently, he is earning a Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a minor in music and will graduate from the University of Southern Mississippi in August. Kourtney has participated in three ongoing research projects. The first of these projects examines if demographics play a part in attention and control. The second of these projects seeks to measure how rumination affects brain chemistry and overall cognitive function. Lastly, the third research project looks to see if parental intervention has an effect on childhood obesity. Kourtney is also a member of the Psi Chi National Honor Society while also being a member of the National Residence Hall Honorary. Kourtney is an ER Care Partner/Ambassador at Forrest General Hospital, while also serving as a Resident Assistant. He spends his time reading DC and Marvel comics.

My primary goal is to become a licensed practicing counseling psychologist. I want to help people that feel as if they are powerless and show them through counseling that they have the ability to overcome life’s difficulties and spread the awareness of mental health in the African American community. One day I hope to be able to travel the world and just enjoy all that life has to offer.

 Kiara Lockhart

Kiara Lockhart

Kiara Lockhart was born in Vicksburg, MS. She is a junior pursuing a bachelor's degree in forensic science with an emphasis in biology at the University of Southern Mississippi. Her anticipated graduation is in May 2021. She plans to attend the graduate school at Florida International University at the Forensic Research Institute. Kiara enjoys doing service within the Southern Miss community. Her research is focused upon genetic recombination and gene expression. In her free time, she loves to listen to soft music, paint, and draw. 

A few goals: I would like to achieve to work as a forensic pathologist, complete a world tour of my own, and get better at my art.

“My purpose is much greater than me.” – Anon

 Erin Logan

Erin Logan

Erin Logan was born in Monroe, Louisiana but spent much of her life in Jackson, Mississippi. She is a student at the University of Southern Mississippi studying a double major in music and biology; she is expected to graduate in the spring of 2022. Erin is a member of the McNair Scholars Program, Afro-American Student Organization, National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Horticulture Club, and the USM Symphonic Winds. She has also participated in The Pride of Mississippi Marching Band and the USM Concert Band. Erin enjoys creating art, making crafts, and learning new hobbies and skills.

My goals: to be a botanical researcher that discovers new ways to use plants, to be fluent in Japanese and Spanish, to find love everywhere and in everything, and to be a free spirit that learns something new about the world every day!

“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

 Samantha Manaway

Samantha Manaway

Samantha Manaway is from Hattiesburg, Mississippi. She is pursuing a degree in Child and Family Sciences with an Emphasis in Family Relations at The University of Southern Mississippi. Samantha Manaway is very involved in many organizations such as TRIO, Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society, Kappa Kappa Psi Band Fraternity, GEWW Crew leader, Student Government Association, Student Alumni Association, and a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc. Within those organizations, she has learned the meaning of multi-tasking, service, and crafting a passion for her career. She provides her service through community projects such as volunteering with Aldersgate, Osceola Community Center, and The Child Development Center. She lived in Germany for three years while her father was in the army.

“Life’s struggles are necessary for growth.” – Auliq Ice

 Markessa McCoy

Markessa McCoy

Markessa McCoy is a Jackson, Mississippi native. She is currently pursuing her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology. She is an esteemed member of several organizations including; Lambda Sigma honor society, Eagle connection, and Southern Miss Activities council. Since becoming a student of the school of education and human sciences, she has been able to get involved in two research labs related to her studies, one of which is Dr. Joye Anestis’ Personality and Assessment & Clinical lab, where she has been able to facilitate labs and complete data entry. She has also had the privilege of working in Dr. Smith's Childhood Neurodevelopmental Disorder lab with children. Markessa has been awarded several scholarships for her exceptional academic skills and hard work. She received the academic excellence award, the Lucky Day Scholars award, and the McNair Scholars award. Markessa is a very positive student eager to learn and in her spare time she enjoys going on spontaneous adventures with her peers.

My goals: acceptance into graduate school, continue to grow both personally and spiritually, purchase my first apartment independently, conquer true forgiveness, take care of myself internally/acknowledge my emotions/self-care, go skydiving, and visit all 50 states in America and travel outside the country.

“Happiness is not the absence of problems, it’s the ability to deal with them.” – Steve Maraboli

 Shakira Moody

Shakira Moody

Shakira Moody is from Tunica, Mississippi. She is earning a bachelor’s degree in Public Health Administration at the University of Southern Mississippi. She is on track to graduate in December 2020. Shakira is also a member of the Society of Collegiate Scholars and a student ambassador at TRIO Student Support Services. As a McNair Scholar, Shakira studies the correlation of anxiety and race in junior and senior-level undergraduates. A fun fact about her is that she can’t go an entire day without reading a book for entertainment.

First, I would like to get my life together and be more stable. Having a car, my own apartment, and a secure job are definitely top priority for me. I do have other goals that I would like to achieve in my lifetime: write a best-selling book or series, travel to Japan, ride a moped past the Eiffel tower at night when the stars are bright and the wind is light, bedazzle an old van into a cute van and travel the US, travel the world, give Pinterest and cookbook cooking another shot.

Inspirational quotes I live by:

·          “Don’t worry and keep it moving.”

·          “Moody’s never quit.”

·          “Let things happen naturally.”

 Dawn Reulet

Dawn Reulet

Dawn Reulet is from Vacherie, Louisiana. She earned her associate’s degree from Jones College in May 2019. She is currently attending the University of Southern Mississippi and obtaining a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology. Her expected graduation date is May 2021. She is a member of the McNair Scholars Program, and she is also a member of Dr. Charles’ Youth Substance Use and Risky Behavior Lab at USM. On her free time, Dawn enjoys spending time with family and her dog Cash.

My goals: I want to see the Northern Lights, hike the Grand Canyon, and ride a gondola in Venice.

“Be classy and very very sassy!”

 Christian Strong

Christian Strong

Christian Strong is from Hoover, Alabama. He is working towards his bachelor's degree in Public Health with an emphasis on health education.  He will graduate in December 2020.  Christian serves as an ambassador for the College of Health at the University of Southern Mississippi. Also, he works at the Payne Center, USM’s campus rec and fitness center. He spends his free time learning more about fitness and nutrition.

My goals: become an influential advocate and member of LGBTQ+ community through researcher and lobbying, conduct a Ted Talk, write a book, produce a song that is a one-hit-wonder, and go to a Beyoncé concert.

“I serve my community while invoking positive change.” - Anon

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