The following is a transcript of our McNair Scholars Program video.
The McNair Scholars Program at UNL
Morrel: It really opened my eyes to what grad school is and what the possibilities could be for me.
Jeff: It is a really good opportunity for students who are serious about doing research.
Emily: Once you start becoming part of a research community, you can actually see yourself doing that.
Willie: It was well worth it because in the end, you always have that feeling of accomplishment.
Juan: They are basically setting you up for success in the future in graduate school.
Narrator: Emily Haferbier never sits on the sidelines. As a McNair scholar, Emily turned her experience as a Husker cheerleader into her undergraduate research project. She studied how cheerleaders balanced life on and off the field. Today, Emily is a graduate student in sociology.
VIDEO CAPTION: Emily Haferbier, Graduate Student, Sociology
Emily: That is one thing that the McNair program helped me figure out: I love doing sociological research.
Narrator: McNair scholars conduct their own research with help from top UNL faculty.
VIDEO CAPTION: Peter Angeletti, Biology Professor, McNair Mentor
Dr. Angeletti: Basically my function is to act as his mentor and sort of guide him in hands-on research in the laboratory.
VIDEO CAPTION: Willie Novotny, McNair Scholar, Biochemistry Major
Willie: And it gives you someone to go to and ask questions and people that actually know what your next step should be.
VIDEO CAPTION: Melanie Simpson, Biochemistry Professor, McNair Mentor
Dr. Simpson: It is very rewarding to see them becoming increasingly engaged and to develop their own ideas and ask questions as they take their classes and to put all of the pieces together to integrate it into really becoming a developed scientific thinker.
Narrator: During the two-month summer research experience, students design and carry out a research project. A financial stipend gives students the freedom to concentrate on their research.
VIDEO CAPTION: Jeff Belmont, McNair Scholar, Biology and Entomology Major
Jeff: That includes money we get for research but also includes a living allowance and a meal plan as well. You can focus only on your research. You don’t need to have another job.
Narrator: At the end of the summer research experience, students report their conclusions at a national conference.
VIDEO CAPTION: Morrel Wax, McNair Scholar, Business Administrations Major
Morrel: This was a great experience because you got to see other students and see how prepared they were. And I compared myself to them and I felt like I was just on top of everything because of the research program that we have here.
Narrator: McNair offers classes and workshops that help students navigate the path to graduate school.
VIDEO CAPTION: Juan Cangas, McNair Scholar, Psychology Major
Juan: We have the passion, we have the drive, but we don’t have the information. That is very detrimental sometimes because we get to our senior year and we don’t even know what we want to do. The McNair program was able to prepare students.
Morrel: The process of writing a personal statement and prepping for the GRE or anything like that is a lot of work, and a lot of students don’t know about it. But the McNair program really does prepare you for those things and get you ready.
VIDEO CAPTION: Devan Crawford, McNair Graduate Student Mentor
Devan: We met usually once every two or three weeks and went over papers and how to prepare for graduate school. So McNair really helps students think early about “Am I going to graduate school and what do I need to do?”
Narrator: McNair scholars are part of a community with support of staff, faculty, and other students.
Juan: It is a great way to find other students who have some of the same interests as you do, some of the same goals in life that you do.
Narrator: At the end of the two-year McNair experience, students are ready for the next step.
VIDEO CAPTION: Tony Kelly, Graduate Student, Physics
Tony: McNair demystified graduate school and then made each of us who participated dazzling enough to beat other students – even straight out of undergrad – to get into grad school.
VIDEO CAPTION: Nathan Palmer, Graduate Student, Sociology
Nathan: The biggest thing that McNair did for me, specifically, was that it really made me believe in myself. And I see this with a lot of students. They come in, they seem unsure if graduate school is for them. And by the time they leave, they have a research agenda, they know where they want to go, they know exactly what they want to do, and they believe in themselves.
Juan: I am a McNair Scholar.
Morrel: I am a McNair Scholar.
Emily: I am a McNair Scholar.
Jeff: I am a McNair Scholar.
Narrator: The McNair Scholars Program: Empowering students for success.