Friday, August 26, 2011

McNair, Education, and My Future

I have been so blessed in this life. I was able to afford to attend college with a scholarship and minimal loans and I was able to work hard with the support of many to complete my undergraduate career in four short/long years.

One of the highlights I wish to discuss here is my time as a McNair Scholar. The Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program is federally funded TRIO program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education and is designed to prepare students for admission into a doctoral program by providing students with a simulated graduate school experience. I was a McNair Scholar at the University at Buffalo (SUNY Buffalo) and it was a wonderful experience. I learned a lot and did a lot of growing. The Director, Dr. Susan J. Ott has become such a good friend and fierce ally. Heather Hagenbuch, the Project Assistant / Counselor is always available to help us and continuously putting us before other things, like her honeymoon. These women are so devoted and supportive that I don't think we would have made it to this place without them. If you're seeing this, thank you thank you THANK YOU AND Thank you again!!!!!

These are the eligibility requirements for the program:

  • Low income (as determined by the U.S. Department of Education) AND first generation college student, OR historically underrepresented students in higher education (African American, Latino, Native American)
  • Minimum grade point average of 3.0
  • Juniors or second semester sophomores are strongly encouraged to apply!! (Seniors may be admitted on a limited basis)
  • Undergraduate student
  • Be committed to attend all weekly and semester events
  • Must be committted to earning a PhD
  • Be a US Citizen or Permanent Resident
  • Be committed to hard work 
This program helped to open many doors for me including the chance to do real research with a professor which helped me to learn so much about the field, about research and help me to really affirm that I'm on the right path. 

My present/future would NOT BE POSSIBLE had it not been for the McNair Scholars program and the support on many levels I received therein. Thanks so much and I hope that McNair programs across the country continue to be supported.