What is the McNair Scholars Program?

McNair Scholars 2014 GEMS McNair Scholars

The Ronald McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program provides undergraduate students an opportunity to work with a faculty mentor, explore and research in their discipline, while preparing for future graduate school enrollment. 

The program is named for Ronald Erwin McNair, one of the first African-American astronauts and is designed to increase the number of low-income, first-generation students, or underrepresented students in doctoral degree programs.

The McNair Scholars Program is funded by a grant from the United States Department of Education. Visit the McNairs Scholar Program website to learn more about the program and the application process. 

Examples of Past McNair Scholar Work

Ryan Hall
McNair Scholar 2014-2015
Research: The queer mirror: reflections of LGBTQIA+ fractures

Queer inclusivity functions in theory, but not necessarily in practice. I aim to examine gender divisions and hierarchies that may exist or be currently developing within queer spaces. Such divides already exist within the LGBTQIA+ community, forming a basis for comparison. The function of this research would be to both detect and/or correct the formations of gender hierarchies within the queer movement, as well as provide a framework for understanding and erasing fractures in the community. I seek to illuminate gender as a socially-constructed identity, narrowly defined between a two gender binary of male and female. Given personal experiences as a non-binary queer, I suspect that binary gender discourse also dominates trans discourse in queer spaces.

Kimberly Vongnalith
McNair Scholar 2014-2015
Research: SlutWalk: The Role of Social Media in Feminist Social Movements

The purpose of my research is to analyze the effectiveness of social media's role in social movements and discuss the parallels between developments in social media and transformation in feminist thought and responses in relation to SlutWalk, a transnational feminist movement aimed at protesting rape culture. This research discusses social media as an alternative means to spread information and promote activism. As a result of new media that includes the use of social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, the movement raises important questions not addressed in current literature on feminist social movements. What is the effectiveness of social media's impact on social movements? How have developments in technology affected the organization and results? How does mass and social media change the way movements are perceived? With a mixed methods approach, this project makes the connection between online activism and in person collective action through archival research, critical discourse analysis, and interviews. By studying the impact of social media on social mobilization, I will increase the awareness and understanding of contemporary feminist social movements.