California State University, Fullerton

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McNair Scholars Program To Continue

To Receive An Additional $1.1 Million in Federal Funding For Future Operations

Aug. 28, 2012

Cal State Fullerton’s successful Ronald E. McNair Program will continue for at least six more years, thanks to an additional $1.1 million in federal funding.

“We received notice today through our legislators’ offices that we will receive the five-year grant, which begins in 2013,” said Kandy Mink Salas, associate vice president for student affairs, adding that the campus expects to receive $220,000 per year.

“This is very good news,” she said. “It means we get to continue the McNair program at least through 2018. We're very excited because the program makes a big impact.”

Undergraduates who are selected to be McNair Scholars are encouraged to attend graduate school and attain doctoral degrees. “The program helps ensure that there are Ph.D. candidates from a variety of backgrounds and the professoriate continue to be diverse,” Mink Salas said.

The program was established by the U.S. Department of Education in 1986. It is named for the late astronaut, Ronald E. McNair, who was the second African American to fly in space.

Cal State Fullerton has received more than $2.5 million in federal grants for the program, which was instituted on campus in 1999. It provides low-income and first-generation college students opportunities to seek advanced degrees.

McNair Scholars take part in special seminars and are paired with professors who mentor and conduct research with the students. The professors and students then present their findings at conferences throughout the world. The aim of the program is to prepare McNair Scholars for admission and success in graduate school by having them actively participate in undergraduate research projects.

Eleven former CSUF McNair Scholars have earned Ph.D.s., 41 are in the Ph.D. pipeline and 68 have earned master’s degrees, Mink Salas said. 

Gerald Bryant,  the program’s director for the past dozen years, was recognized this year as a CSUF Outstanding Staff Award recipient — the highest honor bestowed on a staff member — for his care, guidance and mentorship of McNair Scholars.

By: Mimi Ko Cruz, 657-278-7586

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