McNair Scholars Open Houses

Madoline Plattenberg, Features Editor

Students can learn about the McNair Scholars Program at one of the program’s Open House sessions on Friday, Sept. 23 and Wednesday, Oct. 12 to Thursday, Oct. 13 in 404a Cohodas.

Undergraduate rising sophomores and juniors looking to further their education to graduate school are encouraged to apply for the program, Lee Xiong, director of McNair Scholars Program, said.

As someone who grew up as low income and first generation, without programs like this, I would never have been able to be where I am,” Xiong said. “In the program, you’re around other students who have gone through similar life experiences to you, that may have similar questions, or can validate some of the stuff that you’re going through so it doesn’t feel like you’re always an outsider looking in.”

McNair Scholars is able to provide unique opportunities for students to partake in research internships at an undergraduate level during the summer months and that look impressive on graduate applications, Xiong said. She said most students cannot get into strong Ph.D. programs without actual research experience.

“The research experience and our faculty here at NMU is the most amazing piece of the formula,” Xiong said. 

Starting the application is a simple three-step process, Xiong said. Taking the eligibility survey will let you know where you stand with the program and whether or not you are initially qualified. At the end of the survey, students will be able to leave their contact information to be notified if chosen for an interview. If selected and the interview goes well, then the student will fill out the full application that will go through the review committee, Xiong said.

In addition to undergraduate research opportunities, Xiong said the program offers students biweekly workshops on topics from mental health to financial literacy, building resilience and one-on-one advising support.

“I know that our students are coming from a small university, but this is really what’s setting our students apart from other applicants,” Xiong said. “It’s really cool to say that we are also the only program in the U.P. and McNair provides a connection with our community because programs like this are what alleviate poverty.”

Other upcoming informational sessions the program is hosting are the McNair and Center for Native American Studies Open House on Sept. 28 from noon to 1 p.m. in Whitman Commons and the Pastries and Pamphlets with the SEEC on Oct. 6 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The application deadline for the program is Oct. 31. Students with any questions can contact Lee Xiong at [email protected] or can visit the Hub for more information.