We are very excited to have two of our Chapman University students who will be participating in the McNair Scholars Program this summer through Claremont Graduate University (CGU)! Njeri Parker, an Integrated Educational Studies major and Martha Rivera, a Psychology and Spanish major, have been selected through a competitive application and interview process to be part of CGU’s 2011-2012 McNair Scholars Program cohort. The Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program was established and is funded by the U.S. Department of Education and targeted to serve and assist low-income individuals, first-generation college students, and individuals with disabilities to progress through the academic pipeline from middle school to post-baccalaureate programs. The McNair Scholars Program at CGU selects about 15 students each year and I am ecstatic that Chapman students will be a part of this group this upcoming year!

This program encourages students to pursue graduate studies by providing its participants opportunities to define their academic goals, engage in research, and develop the skills and student/faculty mentor relationships critical to success at the doctoral level. Njeri and Martha will be participating in a six-week summer academic program designed to increase skills, confidence, and encourage enrollment in graduate school. As a McNair Scholar, they will receive 10 units of graduate credit for successfully completing three graduate level courses during a six week summer session in areas such as research methodology and writing. Thereafter, they will be paired with a faculty mentor whose research interests match their own and under the direction of this mentor, during the following year they will collaborate on a research project that they will have the potential opportunity to present at regional and national conferences.

As a former alum myself from the McNair Scholars Program at CGU, I was very excited that both Njeri and Martha were selected as I have gotten to know these strong, ambitious women over the course of this last year. They are both bright, passionate about equity and advancing their education, and giving back to their community. As Njeri’s academic advisor I have had the opportunity to learn more about her background, passions, interests and academic goals and have had the opportunity to get to know Martha as she is one of our Peer Advisors in the Academic Advising Center. They will have a wonderful experience this summer and will become a part of the McNair Scholar community! I look forward to the great work they will achieve in the future and hope that we can continue to have Chapman students apply to this honorable program!

By: Molly Morin, Specialty Advisor for College of Educational Studies, Academic Advising Center