Scholars Will Present Summer Research Findings at Inaugural McNair Research Symposium

McNair poster
Sept. 14, 2018

Media Contact: Lori Fogleman, 254-710-6275
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by Jessie Jilovec, student newswriter

WACO, Texas (Sept. 14, 2018) – Baylor University’s McNair Scholars program will host its inaugural research symposium from 4 to 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 18, in the Beckham and White rooms of the Bill Daniel Student Center, 1311 S. Fifth St. This come-and-go event will feature scholars’ poster presentations based on their summer research.

The McNair Scholars program began in honor of Ronald E. McNair, Ph.D., who was born in a low-income community and received a Bachelor of Science degree in physics and a Ph.D. in laser physics. He was selected by NASA to serve as the mission specialist for the Challenger mission and died when the Challenger exploded soon after its launch.

The McNair Scholars program started at Baylor in October 2017. Through this program, low-income, first-generation and/or underrepresented students with aspirations to complete a graduate program have opportunities to work with faculty mentors to conduct summer research. The symposium serves as an outlet for students to share their faculty-mentored research findings to the community.

“[The symposium] is about spotlighting students who were engaged in research over the summer, be it both [at Baylor] and across the United States,” said Steven Fernandez, director of the McNair Scholars program at Baylor.

Along with faculty-mentored research, the 25 students in the program are given guidance and resources including professional development workshops geared toward applying to graduate school and success in graduate school. This includes help with professional writing, applications to graduate schools and curriculum vitae development. Panels also come and speak to students about different topics.

Also through this program, students receive funding to travel across the country to present research at various conferences, are provided with a GRE exam prep course and receive a discounted or waived application fee for graduate programs at most universities, Fernandez said.

Since the program is in its first year on campus, the symposium serves as an opportunity for interested students to talk to current scholars in the program about their experiences with research and professional development, Fernandez said.

“The symposium is a great opportunity for interested students to visit and see some of the work our McNair Scholars have done and learn a little more about the program,” he said. “Our recruitment is now open fully online for applicants, so we want to give students plenty of time to start developing their applications and seeking recommendations.”

Sophomores and juniors are eligible to apply along with seniors who will still be registered students in the summer. The application closes at the end of November. For more information regarding application requirement and information, visit the McNair Scholars program website or contact Steven Fernandez at 254-710-3916 or


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 17,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.

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