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TRiO McNair Scholars present impressive summer research

McNair-Scholars-2013.jpgThe 2013 U of M TRiO Ronald E. McNair Scholars presented their summer research this month at the annual Poster Symposium and U of M Research Symposium.

The poster session highlighted the research efforts of 20 McNair scholars, including six CEHD undergraduates, and their U of M faculty mentors. The McNair Scholars program is one of three U.S. Department of Education funded TRiO programs housed in CEHD. The program seeks to increase the doctoral program application, matriculation, and degree attainment by underrepresented and first-generation college students.

The 2013 cohort included students from the U of M Twin Cities and Crookston campuses, Carleton College, and University of St. Thomas. A complete list of the 2013 scholars research projects is here. Five CEHD faculty served as mentors: Shonda Craft (family social science), Ann Masten (child development), Priscilla Gibson (SSW), Bob Poch (postsecondary teaching and learning), and Catherine Solheim (family social science).

"This is a remarkable program which makes use of the very best practices in postsecondary education and research on engaged learning and mentoring," says Bob Poch, senior fellow in the Department of Postsecondary Teaching and Learning,

The McNair program was funded for five years in 2012 and this is the first cohort under the new grant. This year eight scholars pursued research in STEM fields, a significant increase from previous years. There was also increased support for scholars through more robust onboarding, a faculty mentor orientation, and a new parent and family reception.

"Feedback from scholars, faculty mentors and program partners was overwhelmingly positive this year. We have many individuals and departments to thank for helping make the McNair Scholars program a success," say's Anthony Albecker, McNair Scholars director. "Many scholars already have fall and spring semester research opportunities lined up through UROP, or are continuing research with faculty mentors or new research teams. Other scholars are studying abroad this academic year."

In mid-September scholars will participate in fall seminars to prepare for applying to graduate school and scholarships. Scholars will also be selected for the 2013 National McNair Conference held annually in November at Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.

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