Each fall the EWU McNair Scholars Program recruits talented and determined students in fields across the university who want to pursue their PhD. This year, in partnership with faculty and staff across the university as well as current McNair Scholars, the EWU McNair Scholar Program has recruited nearly fifty students who are actively investigating whether pursuing a PhD is the right path for them in the EWU McNair Scholar course, “Is Graduate School for You?” In this course, students meet with three faculty at EWU who have a PhD as well as EWU McNair Director Dr. Christina Torres García to learn more about what it means to pursue a PhD and how achieving a PhD can help them achieve their goals and dreams.
This year the EWU McNair office sent 443 personal emails to eligible students and 33 students attended the Fall McNair orientations. Students came from the departments of Psychology, Political Science, Philosophy, Women & Gender Studies, Anthropology, Social Work, Criminal Justice, Sociology, Environmental Science, Biology, Visual Communication and Design, Exercise Science, Education, and English as a Second Language. 33% of attendees came from STEM fields. In addition, the EWU McNair staff have met individually with over 25 additional students one-on-one who are potentially interested in pursuing their PhD but could not make it to the orientation days.
The EWU McNair Scholars Program is thrilled to have so many students interested in pursuing graduate school and bringing their skills and unique lenses to academia. The Ronald E. McNair Scholars Programs are nationwide federally funded programs with a goal of changing the make-up of academia by increasing attainment of PhD degrees by students underrepresented in higher education, specifically low-income, first-generation college students, and students of color. The EWU McNair Scholars Program began in the 1995-1996 academic year and 38 program participants have earned their PhDs and are out doing great work in academia and their communities across the country. You can read more about the work of past scholars on the EWU McNair Scholars Program website: https://inside.ewu.edu/mcnair/category/alumni-spotlight.
The EWU McNair Scholars Program looks forward to another great cohort of scholars. Once students complete their fall course, which is also the application for the McNair Scholars program, the McNair Search Committee Board will work with the McNair staff to select this new cohort by the end of Winter Quarter. It’s an exciting time for EWU McNair and the program is grateful to all the faculty and staff across the university for their support of the program and all the current and past McNair Scholars.