The McNair Student Achievement ProgramThe University of Hawaii at Manoa

Alumni News

McNair scholar Xi Hang Cao

UH-Mānoa grad (class of 2011) and McNair scholar Xi Hang Cao is currently working towards a Masters degree in biomedical engineering at the University of Southern California. His primary focus is on “biological signals and systems.”  In an email to McNair staff, he explained that this includes “bio-signal/data processing and bio-physiological system modeling using advanced computational and numerical techniques.” He is currently on a team that analyzes “the neural responses elicited by low frequency and low intensity ultrasonic stimulus” in laboratory experiments.  In his email, Cao also noted that the McNair experience at UH-Mānoa provided excellent preparation for advanced studies in science. He wrote, “The various McNair workshops and seminars improved my presentation and writing skills, that are very important in graduate curriculum.” He also expressed thanks for the McNair seminars in civics and social justice, adding that these are relevant to his goal of attaining a doctorate and becoming a good scientist.

McNair scholar Xi Hang Cao

McNair scholar Xi Hang Cao

McNair scholar Aileen Maldonado

After graduating from UH Mānoa (class of 2011), McNair scholar Aileen Maldonado has been busy pursuing a Ph.D. in Eco-Toxicology at the University of California at Riverside. She is presently working on a research project that aims to elucidate the role of detoxification enzymes in so-called butterfly fish. The aim of the study is to increase scientific understanding of the co-evolutionary relationship between this particular fish species and coral habitat. “The McNair program gave me the opportunity to do research which helped me better prepare for graduate school,” writes Maldona do in a recent email to McNair Director Maile Goo. “As a result of McNair preparation, I found it easier to create a research plan, a skill which is essential in graduate school,” added Maldonado.

McNair scholar Aileen Maldonado

McNair scholar Aileen Maldonado