First class of McNair Scholars already making their mark at Baylor
There’s a trailblazing group of Baylor students who spent their summer researching topics such as media literacy, military history, and the impact of programs for new college students. It’s a group made up of first-generation students, military veterans and high-achieving students from other traditionally underrepresented groups.
Who are these students? They’re Baylor’s inaugural class of McNair Scholars.
Last year, Baylor was awarded a grant to bring the nationwide program to campus, opening the door for an impressive group of students who rose through a competitive process to begin the 2018-19 school year as McNair Scholars. This year, the 25 students who make up this first class kicked off the program at Baylor by spending their summer participating in faculty-mentored research.
Research is a natural fit for students in the program, which was created to provide opportunities for students to prepare for doctoral studies in science, technology and math. McNair Scholars proudly carry the legacy of Ronald McNair, a physicist and astronaut who was killed in the Space Shuttle Challenger explosion. Baylor is one of 150+ schools across the country that participate in the program, which provides students with financial support and experiences that lay a foundation for accomplished postgraduate work when their time as undergraduates is through.
Each Baylor McNair Scholar worked with a faculty member who helped guide them through a paid summer internship experience, experiences that took place all across the country. Last month, they presented their findings at the first McNair Research Symposium at Baylor.
“Baylor’s inaugural class of 25 McNair Scholars has been an extremely amazing group of students,” says Steven Fernandez, director of Baylor’s McNair Scholars program. “They’re from diverse backgrounds, even from different academic disciplines. We have a large group of veteran students who come with abundant life experiences and students from all different ethnic backgrounds. It really works to create a cohesive community environment, and students have been able to be very supportive of each other.”
Sic ’em, McNair Scholars!