The University of Minnesota is one of the nation's top public research universities, with opportunities that all undergraduate students can benefit from--including personal experiences working with faculty mentors in research and creative activities. Earlier this week, I visited the University of Minnesota TRiO Ronald E. McNair Scholars Program Nineteenth Annual Poster Presentation and Reception to honor and showcase student participants and their faculty mentors. At this event, students who have participated in research with faculty mentors at the U of M presented their findings on a variety of issues.
The McNair Scholars Program seeks to increase doctoral program application, matriculation, and degree attainment by underrepresented and first-generation college students. The students who took part in this program are looking to later obtain a masters degree. Through the McNair Scholars experience, students develop higher-level academic and research skills necessary to gain admission to and successfully complete graduate study. This year there was a diverse group of 20 first generation college students who studied with distinguished University of Minnesota faculty research mentors.
I was able to meet and speak with the student researchers, and I learned about the very interesting ideas and information that resulted from this research. The poster presentations displayed findings in policy effectiveness in addressing women's inequality throughout Africa, trauma in the lives of college students, how reality T.V. prevents teen pregnancy, and much more. As I spoke with the students about their research, it was easy to see that every student actually cared about and had a passion for the issue that they addressed.
This event provided an excellent forum to display the research efforts of these exceptional McNair Scholars and their University of Minnesota faculty mentors. I was happy to be able to attend and recognize these outstanding students and their faculty mentors! Visit the McNair Scholars program website for more information or read about previous McNair scholars on the alumni page.
Pictured below are two of the student researchers that I had a chance to speak with--Osman Ahmed and Morgan Bobo. Osman, a senior majoring in political science and global studies, studied the experiences of meat packers in Willmar, MN. Meanwhile, Morgan, who is a senior majoring in child psychology, focused on the association between early adversity and the timing of the transition to parenthood. I had a great time learning from the both of them, as well as from the rest of the students. All in all, the McNair Scholars Poster Presentation and Reception made for a very inspiring afternoon.
Osman Ahmen, U of M senior--political science and global studies major
Morgan Bobo, U of M senior--child psychology major