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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


2015-2016 McNair & ROP Application:

Click Here to Apply


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 277-3098 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

2015-2016 Academic Year Activities Calendar

Resources for Current McNair/ROP Scholars:

Resources Link

 

UNM McNair 2015 Conference

2015 UNM McNair Scholars Research Conference

¡Bienvenidos! We welcome all undergraduate research scholars from all majors to participate in the 2015 McNair Scholars Research Conference at the University of New Mexico..

Conference Highlights

  • Meet & Network with scholars, graduate students and faculty from all over the country.
  • Refine your presentation skills.
  • Participate in the UNM Career Services Graduate & Professional School Fair- well over 50 schools nationwide will be represented.
  • 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 2015 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.

Conference Details:
Who is Invited: McNair Scholars and All undergraduate research scholars from all majors
WHEN: October 1 & 2, 2015 CLICK HERE for Tentative Conference Agenda
WHERE: University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Registration: $150 per student and $175 per staff member. Registration fee will cover all conference events, conference materials, graduate school fair and the following meals: Thursday- Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner / Friday- Breakfast & Lunch , free transportation to/from hotel to UNM campus (car rental unnecessary)

*Deadline to Register is Tuesday, September 1, 2015.
Persons with disabilities who anticipate needing accommodations or who have questions about physical access may indicate their request on the registration form.

REGISTER HERE

Submit Abstract Here

Lodging Information Here

Volunteer Here

Registration Deadline is Sept 1, 2015

Abstract Deadline is Sept 2, 2015

Conference rate ends Sept 1, 2015

Volunteer Information

 

Transportation Information
Transportation Info & Maps

Attractions while visiting:

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 277-3098 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: