Alberto Valdivia’s Reflections on the McNair Program…

The McNair Scholars Program is excellent.

What makes it excellent is the encouragement and motivation the program has to offer, literally propelling you to greatness. Thank you Takiyah, mentors, fellow students, and staff! This program puts you on a permanent path towards graduate school. The goal, long road, and standards are now set and expectations are high but not impossible. A solidarity of students with equally minded goals of pursuing PhD’s are there to support you along the way. Since we are all from different backgrounds and are pursuing different degrees, we are learning about a variety of topics from each other. The commitment that is required for the program is an investment in your personal future. This dedication requires time, research, investigation, analytical writing, thinking, and oral presentation of all of the above. Along the way, we are developing academic relationships with our McNair mentors, encouraging fellow students in their successes, and discovering the possibilities that wait within.

Research can be a roller coaster ride. It has its ups and its downs but it has to be done and is a vital part of the McNair program. Graduate school is based on research. Since this research encompasses some area that the student is passionate about, it does not become redundant. This process can be overwhelming at times as there is a plethora of information out there for one to discover. It is up to the individual student to weed out what they may or may not need and a fine tuning of a thesis can help in doing just that. This is easier said than done, but is made possible through the McNair quarterly meetings, workshops, and mentorship.

With the entirety of the current budget crisis going on in California (and the world), it is now more imperative than ever to keep higher education accessible to all. This pursuit comes with the responsibility to contribute awareness, understanding, techniques, and processes to any and everyone who are motivated to listen. Education is a human right and it is in the McNair Program that this idea is exemplified. The realization of actual students pursuing, being accepted, and graduating from esteemed institutions is a reality with the mentoring system in the McNair Program. This results in breaking the cycle of mediocrity that social main stream media has predestined for underrepresented people. Thank you McNair CSUEB!


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