Reflections from Two McNair Scholars

CenterPoint Newsletter | January 2016 | by Irma DeSantiago & Lorraine Louise K. Francisco, McNair Scholars

The Dr. Ronald E. McNair Scholars Institute at UNLV is a program designed to prepare high achieving students from underrepresented groups to pursue doctoral studies. As McNair Scholars, we can attest that this program has prepared us for future studies by affording us the opportunity to be mentored by University faculty on undergraduate research.

Following the conclusion of the McNair Summer Research Institute, we created posters highlighting our research and presented them at both the UNLV McNair Scholars Poster Presentation and at the 24th Annual National Ronald E. McNair Research Conference & Graduate School Fair. The annual conference is hosted by the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, the Educational Opportunity Association, and held at Lake Lawn Resort in Delavan, Wisconsin. There, we had the opportunity to not only present our research, but also attend to the McNair graduate school fair and network with other scholars and graduate school representatives. Our Individual thoughts and experiences are reflected below.

Irma: Presenting my research at the 24th Annual National Ronald E. McNair Research Conference & Graduate School Fair gave me the opportunity to network with McNair Scholars with similar research interests as mine who may potentially be future colleagues. Being a McNair Scholar is a privilege!

Lorraine: It was a great experience delivering my first oral research presentation. We were evaluated by our audience, and I found those evaluations extremely valuable as I move forward with my academic and professional career. The conference provided many networking opportunities with other scholars and graduate school representatives. Networking in itself is such a valuable part of our careers, and we were able to practice and develop this skill. I recommend future McNair Scholars to step out of their comfort zones and speak with many people and exchange contact cards with graduate school representatives and other scholars.

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