Deadline for McNair Program approaches


The institution provides resources for minority students to pursue future academic opportunities

The McNair Scholars Program is looking for future leaders from disadvantaged or underrepresented backgrounds who are interested in graduate school and summer research. Founded in honor of Ronald E. McNair, a physicist who was killed in the NASA Challenger explosion, the program is meant to support and guide students from minority backgrounds for a future in academia.

Current McNair scholars are very thankful for the opportunities this program provides.

“As the son of Mexican immigrants who barely had any education themselves, the prospect of graduate school and research seems almost unreachable for someone like me. But the program has connected me to so many resources and experiences that I would have never thought possible,” said Cristian Vargas, a junior biology major.

The program allows these ambitious students to achieve their dreams of higher education.

“I never thought I would be doing this type of work. McNair opened a world of possibilities that I never knew existed, and for that I am grateful,” said Janett Munoz, a junior biochemistry and molecular biology major.

Apart from the research opportunities, the scholars also appreciate the help they receive in different aspects of their school career.

“Just knowing that there are people on the fourth floor of CSI who are here to help is comforting, especially when the stress of the semester is beginning to build,” said Decory Edwards, a sophomore economics and mathematics double major.

The McNair Scholars Program is specifically looking for first-generation, low-income students from a minority group that is underrepresented in graduate education. They are primarily looking for first years, but occasionally accept sophomores and in very special cases, juniors. The director of Trinity’s program, Kelly Lyons, makes decisions involving recruitment, research engagement and budgeting.

“The program is designed to provide support to students who are interested in graduate school in the hopes of making the demographics of college professors more representative of the demographics of the country,” Lyons said.

Current McNair scholars urge students who are thinking about applying to get their applications in while there still is a chance.

“This is a program that focuses on personal development and fostering support systems for disadvantaged students, which is something relatively rare these days,” Vargas said.

The application for the McNair program is due this Monday, Feb. 20, at 9 a.m. If you believe you are eligible and want to expand your options for the future, contact Lyons.