CSUMB Receives Department of Education Grant to Extend McNair Scholars Program

SEASIDE, Calif., September 18, 2017 – California State University Monterey Bay (CSUMB) has been selected to receive a U.S. Department of Education grant to continue the Ronald E. McNair Post-baccalaureate Achievement Program at the university. The grant, expected to last for a total of five years and amount to roughly $1.1 million, will support students from traditionally underserved backgrounds to reach their full academic potential.

Funded through the Ronald E. McNair Post-baccalaureate Achievement Program, the grant will support 25 students each year as they pursue research and other scholarly activities. The goal of the program, named for the African-American astronaut and scientist who died in the Challenger disaster in 1984, is to increase the number of underrepresented, low income and first-generation college students who earn doctoral degrees.

Support from the McNair program has been instrumental in providing opportunities for CSUMB students from a diverse array of backgrounds and circumstances to engage in the high-impact practice of undergraduate research with mentors at local, regional, and national sites," said CSUMB's Undergraduate Research Opportunities Center director, John Banks.

In the nine years that CSUMB has had the McNair Scholars program, 42% of graduating McNair Scholars have gone onto graduate programs immediately following completion of their bachelor’s degree. A few of CSUMB’s McNair Scholar success stories are listed below:

Sara Banco is a 2013 CSUMB Psychology graduate and McNair Scholar. She went on to attend UC Irvine Law School, earning her J.D. this year. Sara is slated to begin an appellate clerkship with the Honorable Carolyn McHugh, Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit later this year.

Alison Flanagan is a 2010 CSUMB Science and Environmental Policy and McNair Scholar. She earned her Ph.D. from Stonybrook University’s School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences this year.

Gabriel Rodriguez is a 2008 CSUMB Marine Science graduate and McNair Scholar. He earned his Ph.D. in Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology from UC Santa Barbara in 2014 and is currently employed as a marine biologist for the city of San Diego.

Debbie Torres is a 2009 CSUMB graduate and McNair Scholar who went on to earn her Doctorate of Pharmacy in 2016 from UC San Francisco.

Please visit the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Center for more information about this program and other opportunities for pursuing undergraduate research.