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What is the McNair Scholars Program?

The McNair Scholars Program is a federal TRIO program funded at approximately 200 institutions across the United States and Puerto Rico by the U.S. Department of Education. It is designed to prepare undergraduate students for doctoral studies through involvement in research and other scholarly activities. McNair participants are either first-generation college students with financial need, or members of a group that is traditionally underrepresented in graduate education and have demonstrated strong academic potential. The goal of the McNair Scholars Program is to increase graduate degree awards for students from underrepresented segments of society .

The University of New Mexico’s Ronald E. McNair Scholars Program and the Research Opportunity Program (ROP) prepares undergraduates for graduate school by providing scholars with a faculty-mentored research experience and support for the graduate school application process. When scholars complete the program, many are successful in gaining admission to graduate programs nationwide and are offered financial support to help pay for their education.

What Program Benefits and Services do participants receive?

  • Summer Research Stipend of up to $2800
  • Paid Travel Opportunities to research conferences across the nation
  • Paid Travel Opportunities to visit university campuses across the country
  • Scholars participate in a summer research project under the guidance of a faculty mentor
  • Monthly Seminars that prepare students for research and application to graduate school
  • Successful McNair Scholars will have access to McNair-specific graduate school application fee waivers, scholarships/fellowships offered by a hundreds of universities throughout the country
  • Scholars receive intensive advisement
  • Scholars receive Graduate Record Exam (GRE) prep courses
  • McNair/ROP Scholars participate in a research design course
  • Students learn about funding opportunities for graduate school
  • McNair Scholars are part of a community of scholars both at UNM and nationwide
  • McNair Participants emerge from the program prepared for the rigors of graduate school
  • Because of their intensive preparation, McNair Scholars are recruited by graduate schools nationwide
  • All the above, and much more!

Mission Statement:

Recognizing that diversity of scholars is integral to education excellence, the University of New Mexico (UNM) Ronald E. McNair Scholars Program and the Research Opportunity Program (ROP) seek to produce scholars and researchers who will more accurately reflect the growing diversity in intellectual perspectives, life experiences and cultures in academe.

About Dr. Ronald E. McNair

Picture of Dr. Mcnair

Ronald Erwin McNair was born October 21, 1950 in Lake City, South Carolina. While in junior high school, Dr. McNair was inspired to work hard and persevere in his studies by his family and by a teacher who recognized his scientific potential and believed in him. Dr. McNair graduated as valedictorian from Carver High School in 1967. In 1971, he graduated magna cum laude and received a bachelor’s of science degree in Physics from North Carolina A&T State University (Greensboro).

Dr. McNair then enrolled in the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 1976, at the age of 26, he earned his Ph.D. in laser physics. His dissertation was titled, “Energy Absorption and Vibrational Heating in Molecules Following Intense Laser Excitation.” Dr. McNair was presented an honorary doctorate of Laws from North Carolina A&T State University in 1978, an honorary doctorate of Science from Morris College in 1980, and an honorary doctorate of science from the University of South Carolina in 1984.

While working as a staff physicist with Hughes Research Laboratory, Dr. McNair soon became a recognized expert in laser physics. His many distinctions include being a Presidential Scholar (1971-74), a Ford Foundation Fellow (1971-74), a National Fellowship Fund Fellow (1974-75), and a NATO Fellow (1975). He was also a sixth degree black belt in karate and an accomplished saxophonist. Because of his many accomplishments, he was selected by NASA for the space shuttle program in 1978. His first space shuttle mission launched successfully from Kennedy Space Center on February 3, 1984.

Dr. Ronald E. McNair was the second African American to fly in space. Two years later he was selected to serve as mission specialist aboard the ill-fated U.S. Challenger space shuttle. He was killed instantly when the Challenger exploded one minute, thirteen seconds after it was launched. Dr. McNair was posthumously awarded the Congressional Space Medal of Honor. After his death in the Challenger Space Shuttle accident on January 28, 1986, members of Congress provided funding for the Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program. Their goal was to encourage low-income and first-generation college students, and students from historically underrepresented ethnic groups to expand their educational opportunities by enrolling in a Ph.D. program and ultimately pursue an academic career. This program is dedicated to the high standards of achievement inspired by Dr. McNair’s life.

Research Opportunity Program


The Research Opportunity Program (ROP) at the University of New Mexico is a state funded program that was established to promote access to graduate education among underrepresented minority undergraduates. The goal of the ROP Program is to increase the level of diversity among students who enter Ph.D. programs to pursue careers in the university teaching and research by providing research opportunities to undergraduate students that have been underserved.

The University of New Mexico’s Research Opportunity Program (ROP) and the Ronald E. McNair Scholars Program prepare undergraduates for graduate school by providing scholars with a faculty-mentored research experience and support for the graduate school application process. When scholars complete the program, many are successful in gaining admission to multiple graduate programs nationwide and are offered financial support to help pay for their education.

What Program Benefits and Services do participants receive?

  • Summer Research Stipend of up to $2800
  • Paid Travel Opportunities to research conferences across the nation
  • Paid Travel Opportunities to visit university campuses across the country
  • Scholars participate in a summer research project under the guidance of a faculty mentor
  • Monthly Seminars that prepare students for research and application to graduate school
  • Scholars receive intensive advisement
  • Scholars receive Graduate Record Exam (GRE) prep courses
  • McNair/ROP Scholars participate in a research design course
  • Students learn about funding opportunities for graduate school
  • ROP Scholars are part of a community of scholars at UNM
  • ROP Participants emerge from the program prepared for the rigors of graduate school
  • Because of their intensive preparation, ROP Scholars are recruited by graduate schools nationwide
  • All the above, and much more!

Mission Statement:

Recognizing that diversity of scholars is integral to education excellence, the University of New Mexico (UNM) Ronald E. McNair Scholars Program and the Research Opportunity Program (ROP) seek to produce scholars and researchers who will more accurately reflect the growing diversity in intellectual perspectives, life experiences and cultures in academe.

The Research Opportunity Program office is located on the 3rd floor of Mesa Vista Hall, room 3039 and 3041


2014-2015 McNair ROP application

How do I Join the McNair Scholars or Research Opportunity Programs?

Admission to these programs is a competitive process and requires the submission of an application packet. Because we have a limited number of spots available, we cannot admit each applicant. Students that are accepted into our program will begin the fall semester.

Application Process:

  1. We have a “rolling application” process starting in March and ending on September 13th. Applications are accepted until we have filled all of our available spots. We will conduct interviews during the spring semester (April) and in September. For best consideration, please apply as soon as possible!
  2. Applicants submit one application for consideration to both programs (McNair & ROP).
  3. Download the application and review the eligibility requirements---feel free to contact us if you have any questions about the application process.
  4. Complete the application, and bring it into our office. All components of the application packet must be submitted to be considered for an interview (see the application checklist). a. You may turn in the application packet before you have all your letters of recommendation compiled. However, the letters of recommendation must be submitted to be considered for admission to the program.
  5. Our staff will thoroughly review all the applications and will conduct interviews with the finalists.
  6. Once interviews are completed, a committee will review the applications/interviews and select the best candidates.

To Apply:

  1. Read the eligibility requirements to determine if you are a qualified. Please contact our office with ANY eligibility questions!
    Fill out this editable PDF form using Adobe Acrobat Reader for best results. Do not fill out this form in your web browser because it will not allow you to save your responses. Instead, download this form to your desktop and open in Adobe Acrobat Reader. When complete, use the 'SAVE AS' function in the Acrobat menu to save the document as a PDF. Please include your name in the file's name. You can then submit part one of this application via email to: mcnair@unm.edu
  2. You may also print this form and fill it out by printing neatly by hand and turn it into our office in person or by regular mail.
  3. Please do not hesitate to contact our office with any questions regarding this application or our programs. There are two parts to this application, pages 3-8 is part one (personal info and statement of purpose) and pages 9-11 is part two (Letters of recommendation/eligibility forms/income tax info). Once you have completed part one, you may submit that part immediately. This is highly recommended.
  4. Applicants need only fill out one form for consideration to both McNair and ROP.
  5. We recommend that two of your letters of recommendation come from professors.
  6. Be sure to read this application text thoroughly and answer all the questions accurately.
Download Application (pdf)
If you dont have acrobat reader download it here:

Contact Information

Location:

We are located on the third floor of Mesa Vista Hall, across from the Student Union Building (east of the SUB). We are on the north end of the building in Suite 3019.

Phone Numbers: (505) 277-5491 or 277-3096 or 277-0356
mcnair@unm.edu Fax: 505-277-3509
Mailing Address: McNair/ROP
MSC06 3840
1 University of New Mexico Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001

Staff:

Resources

Resources for Current McNair/ROP Scholars:

Resources Link

McNair & ROP 2nd Year Scholar Seminar Schedule

*2nd year scholars are those that have completed the McNair ROP summer 2013 research internship program. Students outside the program who are interested in attending are also welcome.


Date

Time

Location

Topic

9/7/13

8am-12pm

DSH 234

Finding funding for graduate School & how to present at a conference

10/26/13

8am-12pm

DSH 228

Meet the 1st Yr Scholars Mixer, Graduate School Applications. LOI’s & LOR’s

11/16/13

10am-12pm

DSH 228

Eyes on the prize & finishing strong! Fall Graduation Ceremony

2/22/14

10am-12pm

DSH TBD

Leveraging and negotiating funding/debriefing

4/5/14

8am-12pm

DSH TBD

2nd Yr Scholars Presenting to 1st yr Scholars

 

4/26/14

 

10am-12pm

 

DSH TBD

Debrief with 1st Scholars & Spring Graduation Ceremony

 

McNair & ROP 1st Year Scholar Seminar Schedule*1st year scholars are those that have NOT completed the McNair ROP summer 2013 research internship program. Students outside the program who are interested in attending these seminars are also welcome.

10/26/13

8am-12pm

DSH 233

Mix & Mingle; Orientation; Finding a Mentor; Communication Etiquette in Academia

11/16/13

8am-12pm

DSH 233

What is Graduate School? What is Research? Process of Choosing a Research Topic; Speed Networking

11/23/13

8am-12pm

DSH 233 and Zimmerman Library

What is a Literature Review? Reading for researchers. How to read and analyze journal articles.

 

2/22/14

 

8am-12pm

 

TBD

 

What is a Research Proposal? Writing a Research Proposal; Networking Activity; Research Ethics: What is the Institutional Review Board (IRB)?

3/01/14

8am-12pm

TBD

Research Design & Methods; McNair PhD Panel

4/05/14

8am-12pm

TBD

Presentation Skills and Creative Presentations of Your Research

4/26/14

8am-12pm

TBD

Literature Review Revisited; Preparing for the Retreat; Summer Requirements; Networking Activity.

5/19/14               
5/21&22/14

TBD
TBD

TBD
Sevilleta

Induction Ceremony
Retreat

6/02/14

8am-12:30pm(M,F)

Tentative Mitchell Hall

Literature Review Revisited; Preparing for the Retreat; Summer Requirements; Networking Activity.

7/01/14

8am-10 (T,W,Th)

Tentative Mitchell Hall

GRE PREP

 

Ronald E. McNair Research Conference

2014 UNM McNair Research Conference

¡Bienvenidos! We welcome all undergraduate research scholars from all majors to participate in the 2014 Ronald E. McNair Research Conference at the University of New Mexico..

Conference Highlights
  • Drafting a Winning Personal Statement Workshop with Donald Asher, author of Graduate Admissions Essays (4th ed., Ten Speed Press), the best-selling guide to the graduate admissions process.
  • Bring a rough draft and Asher will guide you through: where and how to customize each version; how to mix specificity with flexibility; the right kind of name dropping; the perspective, language and voice to use; why your future can beat someone else’s past; the most important thing most people leave out of their essays; academic protocol and mentorship; showing an attitude of gratitude; what never to do; and how to use faculty and other campus resources to perfect your efforts. Come with what you have, and an open mind, and be ready to work. Computer not required. You can work longhand for this workshop.
  • Visit a unique part of the country; a convergence of cultural and historical traditions set in the Rio Grande Valley at the base of the majestic Sandia Mountains and between two national research laboratories.
  • Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta: Opportunity to experience the magnificence of this event with people from all over the world (This conference coincides with the beginning of the 2014 Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta).
  • Tour UNM’s beautiful campus located along historic Route 66 and visit with graduate programs in your field
  • Experience New Mexican cuisine.
  • Participate in the UNM Career Services Graduate & Professional School Fair- well over 50 schools nationwide will be represented.
  • Meet & Network with scholars, graduate students and faculty from all over the country.
  • Refine your presentation skills.

Conference Details:

Who is Invited: All undergraduate research scholars from all majors

WHEN: October 2 & 3, 2014 CLICK HERE for Tentative Conference Agenda

WHERE: University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Registration
Registration Fee Student Staff
Early Bird (ends Monday August 18, 2014) $150 per student $175 per staff member
Regular Registration $175 per student $200 per staff member

Registration fee will cover conference materials, graduate school fair, Drafting a Winning Personal Statement Workshop with Donald Asher and the following meals: Thursday- Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner / Friday- Breakfast & Lunch

*Deadline to Register is Monday September 1, 2014.

Persons with disabilities who anticipate needing accommodations or who have questions about physical access may indicate their request on the registration form.


REGISTER FOR CONFERENCE (deadline September 1, 2014)



SUBMIT ABSTRACT (deadline September 1, 2014):

Hotel Reservations - Reserve Today ! Conference Hotel—Embassy Suites Albuquerque – Hotel & Spa

$122/night for 1-2 guests/suite, $134/night triple rate. *Discounted rates offered 3 days prior and 3 days post conference dates.

Special Complimentary Features:

Each spacious two-room suite features a separate living room with a sofa bed. Enjoy in room high-speed Internet access, a large desk with ergonomic chair, a mini-refrigerator and microwave.

Start your day with a complimentary cooked-to-order breakfast 6am-9am and managers reception daily 5:30pm-7:30pm.

There is an indoor pool, fitness room, laundry/valet service, video arcade, business center, gift shop and more!

*Please note that our conference takes place during the busiest time of year in Albuquerque due to the concurrent Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.


To ensure that you get a room at the discounted conference rate, please reserve your rooms as early as possible!

Hotel Name: Embassy Suites Albuquerque - Hotel & Spa
Hotel Address: 1000 Woodward Place NE
Albuquerque, New Mexico,87102
Phone Number: 505-353-5364

LODGING DEADLINE SEPTEMBER 1, 2014
Transportation

Hotel Transportation to and from the Conference at University of New Mexico:

Embassy Suites will provide transportation to and from Embassy Suites to UNM Campus for the meeting during the conference October 2 & 3, 2014.

(Tentative Conference Transportation Schedule)

Thursday October 2, 2014:

Departure: From Embassy Suites Hotel front lobby, arrive at UNM campus in the morning 8am, 8:30, 8:45am.

Pick Up at 7:15-7:30pm from UNM Campus to Embassy Suites Hotel

Friday October 3, 2014:

Departure: From Embassy Suites Hotel front lobby, arrive at UNM campus in the morning 7:30am, 7:45am, prior to 8am.

Pick Up at 5:30pm from UNM Campus, arrive at Embassy Suites Hotel

*Bonus After Hours Transportation (Confirmed Schedule)

Embassy Suites will also provide transportation for 3 runs from 7-10pm on the hour every hour to and from Embassy Suites to Nob Hill and ABQ Uptown Shopping/Dining for all conference attendees staying at the conference hotel after conference hours during the dates of Oct. 1-3, 2014.

Other Transportation Information

Transportation Info & Maps (Bus passes, schedules, and maps for: Airport to/from Embassy Suites Hotel and UNM)

Transportation Information

Transportation Info & Maps

Attractions while visiting:


Universities and National Laboratories in New Mexico

Volunteer Sign-up Form

Recognizing the diversity of scholars is integral to educational excellence, the University of New Mexico’s Ronald E. McNair Postbacclaureate Achievement Program (McNair) seeks to produce scholars and researchers who will more accurately reflect the growing diversity in intellectual perspectives, life experiences and cultures in academe.

The goals of the program are to provide undergraduate scholars with research experience in preparation for graduate school and support for the graduate school application process.

Graduation

The McNair program tracks its scholars for 10 years or their completion of a PhD or professional degree. McNair has served 326 UNM undergraduates since 1999. Since academic year 1999- 2000 UNM McNair program scholars have earned 234 Bachelor’s degrees, 88 Master’s degrees, and 20 Doctoral degrees with 58 scholars currently enrolled in graduate school. Course Completion

McNair requires that each of its scholars complete 2 years of academic advisement. In the 1st year they are required to attend advisement every week and monthly seminars, take part in a GRE training and research methods classes, and complete a graduate level research paper. They are awarded a $2,800.00 stipend in the first year. In the 2nd year they are required to apply to graduate school, present their research at a national conference, and attend bi-weekly advisement and monthly seminars.

STEM Graduation

The McNair program ensures that 50% of the scholars enrolled in the program will be students majoring in the STEM disciplines. Therefore, all bachelor’s degree attainment and graduate school expectations will apply.

Low-Income Graduation

The McNair Program proposes to serve 67% of our cohort of 28 participants. Of this, we propose that 90% of our students graduate with a bachelor’s degree.

Research

The capstone of the McNair scholar’s participation in the program is a graduate level research project in which the scholar submits a “mini thesis” paper at the completion of their 1st year.

All research is in preparation for graduate work at the thesis or dissertation stage.

Throughout the year each scholar works closely with a faculty mentor who guides the scholar through the research process. Research varies by discipline, many STEM majors work in lab settings, while Humanities and Social Science majors often conduct independent research.

Higher-Ed Enrollment

100% McNair scholars are enrolled in an undergraduate program at the University of New Mexico. We propose that 65% of those that graduate with their bachelor’s degree will enter a graduate school program one academic year after graduation and 25% will earn a doctoral degree within 10 years.

NM Achievement Gaps

The McNair program addresses the gap by ensuring all scholars enrolled in the program are advised until they attain a bachelor’s degree and upon completion of the program are in a more advantageous position to attain a PhD or professional master’s degrees.

Student Leadership Dev. & Career Readiness

The McNair program develops leadership by encouraging scholars to work with faculty mentors and network with faculty and other McNair scholars across the nation. Scholars are required to attend and present their research at conferences, both academic and professional. In addition, the program provides monies for scholars to visit campuses which they are applying.

All scholars attend monthly seminars where they are exposed to panel discussions as well as presentations by faculty and professionals from various academic backgrounds that discuss strategies for successful completion of graduate school.

P-20 Pipeline

McNair programs require that 67% of each cohort are first-generation from low-income families and the remainder from traditionally under-represented students. There is frequent overlap of all three criteria and those students are determined most in need and receive special consideration for inclusion in the program.


Ronald McNair Scholars Program and Research Opportunity Program

We are located on the third floor of Mesa Vista Hall, across from the Student Union Building (east of the SUB). We are on the north end of the building in Suite 3019.

Phone Numbers: (505) 277-5491 or 277-3096 or 277-0356
mcnair@unm.edu Fax: 505-277-3509
Mailing Address: McNair/ROP
MSC06 3840
1 University of New Mexico Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001

Staff: