BATON ROUGE – Atianna Cordova, a third-year undergraduate student enrolled in the LSU School of Architecture, is the first LSU architecture student to be named a Ronald E. McNair Research Scholar.
The Ronald E. McNair Research Scholars program is a national program funded by a federal grant from the US Department of Education TRIO programs—grants made available to colleges and other nonprofits for the purpose of increasing post-secondary educational opportunities. Established to commemorate the lifetime accomplishments of physicist Ronald Erwin McNair, America’s second African American astronaut and one of seven crew members killed in the space shuttle Challenger explosion in 1986. The program includes thousands of McNair Research Scholars across the nation. McNair scholars conduct research under the mentorship of some of the most distinguished faculty in the country and communicate the results of their work through publications and workshops.
Housed in LSU University College, each year the program provides 30 LSU students with the information and experience to become competitive graduate school applicants and successful graduate students. The program connects undergraduate students with faculty-directed research experiences, provides individualized advisement, and fosters knowledge of the graduate school application process. LSU McNair scholars are actively involved in hands-on research and scholarship on everything from sociological studies of the connection between crime and poverty to nanofabrication to analysis of the BP oil spill.
As a 2014 McNair Scholar, Cordova has been directed to choose a faculty advisor and to establish her own faculty-based research question. In her application for the scholarship, Cordova proposed a multidisciplinary research project that would explore how cultural competence can help address the challenges of designing children’s homes within developing nations.
“It was the combination of Atianna’s history of excellent performance in difficult classes and her impressive list of academic achievements that first caught the attention of the selection committee,” said Joe Givens, director of the Ronald E. McNair Research Scholars program at LSU. “As she began to share her ambitions of improving the quality of life for parentless children through research, we were certain that she was an ideal candidate.”