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SLU McNair Scholars Present at Inaugural Research Symposium

Twelve McNair Scholars presented at the inaugural Summer Research Symposium in Busch Student Center on Friday, July 27, 2018. 

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The McNair Summer Research Interns, from left, are Ngohile Yakubu, Yesenia Sanchez, Carissa Villanueva, DelShawn Fowler, Devonn Thomas, Taylor Robinson, Ricardo Saucedo, Derek McFarland, Wendy Teal, Brandon Hughes and Zarek Burton. Maria Garcia is not pictured. Photo by Darrin DeChane.

The symposium was followed by a recognition luncheon, which brought McNair program staff, faculty mentors, family, friends and members of the Saint Louis University and Harris-Stowe State University communities together to celebrate the scholars’ accomplishments.

“In only nine months, so much has been accomplished, from reaching our target number of 25 McNair Scholars to successfully coordinating our first McNair Summer Research Internship Program with 12 interns,” said  Jamie D. Motley, Ph.D., McNair Program Director, during the recognition luncheon. Motley shared a few facts about SLU’s McNair Scholars Program:

  • 60 percent of  scholars are women and 40 percent are men;
  • 68 percent are both Pell eligible and first-generation college students;
  • 44 percent are in STEM majors;
  • 84 percent are SLU students. The rest are students at Harris-Stowe State University. 
  • 100 percent of McNair scholars are currently in good academic standing and 68 percent have a 3.5 or higher cumulative grade point average.

“This is why I do what I do,” said Will Perkins, director of Pre-College, Access & TRIO Programs, who played a lead role in securing the grant for the current McNair Scholars Program. “But my job is easy. Writing the grant was easy, but you all have brought this program to life.” 

The 12 McNair Scholars who completed the McNair Summer Research Internship during the months of June and July and presented at the culminating research symposium are: Zarek Burton, Del Shawn Fowler, Maria Garcia, Brandon Hughes, Derek McFarland, Taylor Robinson, Yesenia Sanchez, Ricardo Saucedo, Wendy Teal, Devonn Thomas, Carissa Villanueva and Ngohile Yakubu.

While all 12 scholars were recognized at the subsequent luncheon, three of them received the Outstanding Scholar Award for their exceptional participation throughout the eight weeks of the summer research internship program: Brandon Hughes, Yesenia Sanchez and Carissa Villanueva.

The McNair Scholars Program is federally funded by the U.S. Department of Education and is formally known as the Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program. It is one of several TRIO programs, and its aim is to prepare eligible high-achieving undergraduate students for the rigor of doctoral study. For more information, visit the program website.