The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

Scholars tout benefits of McNair Program

McNair Program Colloquia
5 to 7 p.m.
Dates: Wednesdays
Place: 227 Nursing and Health Sciences building

Nine UW-Eau Claire students attended the 14th annual National McNair Research Conference and Graduate School Fair, Nov. 4 to Nov. 6 at the Lake Lawn Resort in Delavan, and presented the findings of their McNair research projects.

As part of the program, the McNair scholars will also give a 30- to 40- minute presentation of his or her research findings as part of a colloquia series, which started Nov. 30 and will continue to run every Wednesday evening through Dec. 21.

Patricia Quinn, director of the McNair Program at Eau Claire, said the program is a two-year process in which qualified students go through a series of seminars and put together their own individual research projects under the direction of a faculty member.

Scholars are split up into different cohorts, depending on what semester they entered the program, Quinn said.

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Students belonging to the same cohort will then work through the seminar sequence together, which she said allows them to become very supportive of each other. This is especially due to the fact that the students are in different fields of study and not in direct competition with each other.

“I think that the program is really cool because it brings together people who wouldn’t be together otherwise,” said senior Jackie Dumin, a McNair scholar from the sixth cohort.

Dumin, a history major, said her project ended up taking her in a completely different direction from what she thought it would when she was first nominated.

The project, she said, has impacted her life greatly.

“It’s kind of taken over my life in a way,” she said, adding that not only has the project served as her McNair project, but also as her history capstone.

Dumin, who gave a poster presentation at the national conference in November, said many of her colleagues were surprised because most of the scholars giving poster presentations are usually in science-based fields.

“It’s very rare for historians to do posters,” she said. “I got to socialize with a lot of very cool people.”

Scholars are selected based primarily on a set of criteria set forth by the U.S. Department of Education, Quinn said, which includes coming from a “low-income, first-generation family” and being of a race and or ethnicity that is underrepresented in many doctoral programs, primarily African American, Hispanic or Latino, and Native American or Alaskan Native.

Senior Eric Ewan, another McNair scholar, said the entire experience was something he thought was beneficial.

“On top of getting the research experience, it’s nice to set these guidelines outside the classroom . and having someone there to go to help you get into graduate school.”

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Scholars tout benefits of McNair Program