UW-Eau Claire recognizes nine McNair scholars for 2016

Academically gifted students begin research

The Ronald McNair program selected nine students in June, offering an opportunity that may open doors for first-­generation college students from low-­income families and minority groups underrepresented among American doctoral programs.

Every year instructors nominate and select 8­12 students from a variety of departments in the university. In the program, students collaborate with faculty during two years of research within their department. This can then lead to graduate school opportunities.

Joshua Stringer was one of the nine selected as a McNair scholar this year. He said he’s been interested in doing research since he was young. Stringer is a kinesiology student and views the program as a pathway to study further in graduate school.

Stringer said he wants to eventually build a rehabilitation center to help children with autism and down syndrome, and assist the elderly and the deaf. He said he would also like to help veterans with amputated limbs.

“The McNair program is becoming instrumental in shaping me as a researcher,” Stringer said.

The program is going to be extremely beneficial when applying to graduate school, said Ashley Sukhu, a communication student. Sukhu hasn’t determined her career goals but knows she would like to work with multicultural students.

Clorice Reinhardt, who is pursuing chemistry research, said the program has made her more well-rounded.

“It’s kind of like a family,” Reinhardt said. She said she liked having people to “share this intense journey and process together.”

Reinhardt said the people she works with made her realize how much potential students have.

A sense of social responsibility provides motivation for Renhardt, who hopes to work with underprivileged kids and be a mentor.

“Even though we all have different backgrounds,” Sukhu said, “We can all come together with a common interest of pursuing education and continuing research.”

Mcnair Scholar Megan Schilling said she always knew she wanted to go to school for psychology and would like to get her Ph.D. eventually. She thinks the McNair program is a helpful step towards her Ph.D.

“I want to do what I love,” Schilling said, “ and be qualified without societal expectations holding me back.”