Lee to Host McNair-Ledford Symposium 

Events, McNair Scholars Program, News

On Friday, Sept. 16, Lee University will host the McNair-Ledford Undergraduate Research Symposium in the Science and Math Complex Great Room from 2:30-6 p.m. for students of all disciplines to present their research.  

Twenty different majors will present their research through oral and poster presentations, including titles such as “Wives Who Stay: A Ground Theory Study on Infidelity,” “Music Therapy and Reduction of Test Anxiety in Nursing School Students,” and “Comparison of Archaic and Woodland/Early Prehistoric Lithics and Resources.” 

“We are thrilled to display the diversity of undergraduate student research work and creative activities at this annual event,” said Dr. Kevin Ung, director of McNair Scholars Program and Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarship. “Every year, students from various disciplines invest valuable time and energy pursuing their academic interests alongside dedicated faculty mentor(s), and the Lee family and community members have the privilege to witness the culmination of their hard work. This symposium provides a snapshot to the invaluable investment of our faculty and the scholarly development of undergraduate student researchers.”

At the symposium, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place awards are provided for both categories of oral and poster presentations, with an overall award given to the highest scored participant. The awards are determined based on, literature review, research methodology/approach, project findings, organization, and professionalism.

Dr. Anna Douglas

The keynote speaker for the event is Dr. Anna Douglas, presenting “My Journey in Science Entrepreneurship.” 

Douglas is the co-founder & CEO of SkyNano, a science-based technology company developing technologies to recycle carbon pollution into valuable products.  Douglas received her Doctor of Philosophy in materials science from Vanderbilt University. As an NSF (National Science Foundation) Graduate Student Fellow, she primarily focused her studies on clean energy technologies and the growth of high-quality carbon nanotubes from ambient carbon dioxide. 

Prior to Vanderbilt, Douglas earned her bachelor’s degree in math and chemistry at Lee University (’14). She interned as an undergraduate at NASA Glenn, where she discovered her passion for nanotechnology. Douglas is a graduate of the first cohort of Innovation Crossroads at Oak Ridge National Lab, was named a 2019 Forbes Magazine “30 Under 30” disrupter in Energy and received an R&D100 Award for SkyNano’s technology in 2020. 

Douglas currently serves on the board of the American Museum of Science and Energy, a Smithsonian Affiliate. 

“We are excited to bring Dr. Anna Douglas back to campus to share about her successful endeavors after her time at Lee,” said Ung. “We’re confident that her continued aspirations and accomplishments in nanotechnology and clean energy will inspire students to pursue their academic calling and identity. Dr. Douglas is a product of scholarly determination, learning in community, and Christ-centered excellence that we desire to continue offering at Lee University.”

The McNair Scholars Program is a federally-funded TRIO initiative that serves first-generation, income-eligible, and underrepresented students with a faculty-mentored research experience in preparation for graduate studies. Program services include coaching meetings, professional membership, funding for conference presentation, funding for research activities, and a multi-disciplinary academic community.

The McNair-Ledford Symposium is a free, non-ticketed event, and open to the public. Refreshments will be served during the symposium for all guests and participants. 

For more info about the McNair Program or the symposium, visit or email  

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