UTSA McNair scholars complete 10-week summer research program in California

McNair scholars

At San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge, UTSA McNair Scholars (back row from left) Jonathan Lwowski, Javier Gonzalez, Roberto Mexquitic-Saavedra and Edgar Sherman, and (front row from left) Kassandra Bednarz, Victoria Olivo, Ernest Hernandez, Lisa Oakes, Marissa Mendoza, Jessica Adkison, Morgan Dunn, Christopher Hwozdek, Katherine Madrid and Cherrys Parrot; not pictured, Paul Martinez and Julian Williams

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(Aug. 13, 2013) -- Fifteen UTSA students recently completed a 10-week research program as part of the Ronald E. McNair Scholars program at UTSA. The intensive summer program is one of two undergraduate research initiatives in the Office of P-20 Initiatives, which provides ways for students to engage in scholarly research before they pursue doctoral studies. The program represents eight disciplines in five UTSA colleges.

Named for the late astronaut Ronald E. McNair Jr., the McNair Scholars program is a federally funded initiative that provides research opportunities for first-generation college students from across the country. Through the program, undergraduate students engage in faculty mentoring, research and academic support services.

At UTSA, the McNair Scholars program prepares selected sophomores with at least 30 college hours, along with juniors and seniors, aspiring to pursue doctoral studies. The program exposes students to graduate work and research. Low-income, first-generation college students and students underrepresented in doctoral programs are invited to apply to the program.

This year's summer program culminated by attending the 21st annual McNair Research Symposium at the University of California, Berkeley. The UTSA McNair scholars presented posters of their summer research projects to more than 200 fellow McNair scholars and faculty from more than 50 universities across the country.

"The McNair summer program helped me to see the future benefits and positive implications of my scholarly pursuits," said Ernest Hernandez, a real estate and finance major.

"I feel like I'm on track to going to graduate school because I know what I need to do to become a competitive and qualified candidate for graduate school," said public administration major Julian Williams.

Throughout the summer program, students focused on their individual research projects while working on GRE preparation, graduate school visits, graduate workshops, symposiums and faculty mentoring. The McNair students then presented their research at the third annual TRIO Symposium at UTSA, 21st annual McNair National Symposium and the UTSA Summer Research Program Symposium.

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The McNair Scholars program is administered by the UTSA Office of P-20 Initiatives at UTSA. For more information, contact Darrell Balderrama at 210-458-4284.