Sunday, November 21

Remember when...

Remember when each of you interviewed to become McNair scholars? Do you remember the kinds of things you told us? You told us about your passions. You told us about how important it is to continue with your education and achieve the highest degree possible – like a Ph.D. – so that you can have a true impact in whatever career you are choosing. You told us that we could count on each of you to have the perseverance and determination to achieve your goal of a Ph.D. so that you could fulfill your own ambitions, contribute to the legacy of Dr. McNair and engage in meaningful work that betters our society.

Maureen and I recently completed the interviewing process for the 2011 (wow, time flies!) cohort of McNair scholars. I am comfortable in speaking for the both of us when I say how much we enjoy this process. We love hearing each student’s story, we love hearing you talk about your backgrounds and how you have succeeded thus far in life, we love hearing about your goals and dreams and how a program like McNair can help get you there. It is truly inspiring! And, why we think this line of work is hugely satisfying.

I bring this up to remind each of you to think about these things. Think about these things when you are in the “thick of the application process” and amid end of the semester pressures. Think about how passionately you spoke to us when you were becoming scholars and think about how far you have come. It’s time to pull out the stops when it comes to handling the challenges of completing your applications and doing everything within your power to find a good fit in a graduate program. Besides the “nuts and bolts” of the applications, reaching out and making contact and visiting those top-choice schools (because you can, as McNair scholars) is probably the most significant thing you can do to get yourself there. It’s a lot of work – all of this – but keep going because you are making progress.

The work will pay off when you can think back to your McNair interview from the vantage point of getting ready to start your fully-funded Ph.D. program in the coolest and best place possible for you!


  1. Great Post! Honestly, I know its coming down to the last weeks of applications and I had planned to be done two weeks ago and I'm not even close. This is nail biting, the suspense is killing me. I'm just glad I'm not going through this scary, exciting, amazing, stressful process alone. McNair has been awesome and a constant reminder of the goal I am trying to reach.

    Thanks McNair

  2. Yes, Lynn can speak to my excitement about the interviewing process. I feel so honored to be a part of the McNair program in the position of graduate assistant and veteran scholar. I can say that this the best GA position I could have asked for. It not only provides the opportunity to achieve my Ph.D., it also fulfills my desire to help others and pass on knowledge I have acquired from my experiences at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

    I am truly excited for each of you as you work toward fulfilling your goals. I look forward to hearing of your successes. GO SCHOLARS!


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