The McNair Scholars Program is preparing to present research at two national conferences in the coming months. One team will present research at the University of New Mexico research conference Sept. 29-30 in Albuquerque, and another will present research at the National Ronald E. McNair conference and graduate fair in Lake Delavan, Wisconsin.
Hilary Simpson, associate director of McNair Scholars, said various McNair Scholars Programs host over 20 national conferences every year that ACU McNair students are invited to be a part of.
Simpson says, “There are at least 20 national McNair conferences, and the reason they’re national is because they’re open to all McNair scholars to present. We try to get our students at least one of those after they’ve done their research.”
McNair is a major way that ACU offers eligible undergrad students the opportunity to be a part of important research. Simpson says that McNair’s “purpose is to prepare qualified students for graduate studies. We are one out of 156 programs across the country so our purpose is to help prepare these qualified students for their graduate studies. Most of them are first in their family to come to college, which is the most important factor. These are students whose parents are excited they’re in college but don’t necessarily know how to support them as far as getting into grad school.”
McNair Scholars is a federally funded TRiO program which helps accepted students prepare for graduate school. The goal of McNair is to prepare students for graduate work by guiding them through research projects and other scholarly pursuits. ACU opened the McNair Scholars program, which is open for students of all areas of study, in 1996 and. Research produced through the McNair Scholars has ranged from areas of education to law to chemistry.
Simpson adds, “These conferences gives them experience presenting in front of people they don’t see all the time. They also provide great opportunities to network. Most of these conferences have graduate school fairs so it gives them a chance to meet recruiters.”