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Titan Spotlight

Graduate Pathways Engagement for CSUF Research Scholars Across Four Campuses and Two States

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Ten students scholars from the Neurocognitive Aging & Analytics Research Education (NAARE) program have been spending their time learning and researching on brain-related aging and health, including Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia (ADRD).  Recently, scholars have had professional development growth experiences throughout the West Coast. The NAARE program was established in 2021 at California State University, Fullerton with University of Southern California to engage students from underrepresented backgrounds in ADRD research. According to a 2015 paper published in PLOS Medicine, there is inadequate representation of underrepresented minorities, including African Americans, Latinos and Native Americans/Alaskans, in not only science and clinical representation such as in research participation, but also in graduate programs pertaining to these fields. To address this, the NAARE program not only supports cohorts of the NAARE scholars, but also has cultivated educational videos on topics regarding ADRD and health disparities within the brain aging field for the CSUF community as well as the general public.

The incredible journey of the NAARE scholars has brought them from Los Angeles to San Diego to Irvine in California, and finally to Portland, Oregon.

After an intense summer research experience at the University of Southern California, the NAARE program encompassed the opportunity for students to visit three local university campuses: the University of California, San Diego; the University of California, Irvine; and the University of California, Los Angeles. At each campus, NAARE scholars learned about the requirements of applying to the school’s graduate programs, made connections with graduate students and graduate admission staff, and learned more about what it means to be a student in the graduate program.

Following the campus visits, six of the scholars flew to Portland, Oregon, where they attended the 2023 National Diversity In STEM Conference hosted by the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS). The scholars were accepted to present at the conference on the research projects they worked on over the past year. Furthermore, the scholars were able to visit organizational booths and explore the beautiful city of Portland.

“It has been a transformative, world-opening experience for the NAARE scholars,” comments Dr. Archana McEligot, the director of the NAARE program. As the first cohort of NAARE scholars proceed towards their program graduation, the NAARE program has recruited another ten stellar students to be exposed to research opportunities.

To learn more about the NAARE program and this cohort of NAARE scholars, please visit our website at or our Instagram at @naare_program.

Archana McEligot