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CSUMB receives McNair Scholars grant

Posted on Oct 31, 2007

Ronald McNairThe U.S. Department of Education has awarded CSUMB nearly $1 million in grant money to help students from underrepresented backgrounds prepare for doctoral studies, President Dianne F. Harrison has announced.

Funded through the Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program, the grant will support 25 students each year for four years as they pursue research and other scholarly activities.

The goal of the program, named for the African-American astronaut and scientist who died in the Challenger disaster in 1984, is to increase the number of underrepresented, low income and first-generation college students who earn doctoral degrees.

"Receiving the McNair program award demonstrates that CSUMB has a proven track record of preparing underrepresented students for study at the doctoral level, and that we have the potential to do even more to achieve that goal," said Dr. Harrison. "This will be a wonderful opportunity for students interested in graduate study and research."

McNair Scholars will work with a faculty mentor on a research project, engage in a summer research internship, receive academic support services, and visit doctoral institutions. The students will also benefit from guest lecturers, workshops and a research methods seminar.

 The CSUMB McNair grant was written by Dr. William Head of the Division of Science and Environmental Policy and Dr. Renee R. Curry, dean of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. It will serve students in the sciences, humanities, and social sciences.

"McNair Scholars will have unparalleled opportunities to work with some of the highest qualified research faculty in the state and to present their research at professional conferences and in peer reviewed journals.~ These rich experiences create the currency students need to get accepted into top tier Ph.D. graduate programs," said Dr. Head.

The first group of McNair Scholars will be recruited this academic year. They must have a minimum grade-point average of 3.0, and sophomore, junior or senior standing. Participants will be selected based on academic potential and interest in pursing a doctoral degree.

"McNair Scholars come to understand the world of academia and to imagine themselves as active participants in it. They embrace themselves as intellectuals, cherish their intellectual curiosity, and establish a sense of scholarly discipline necessary to carry them through to the Ph.D," said Dr. Curry.