Ronald McNair Scholars Program visits with Senator Mark Pryor

(L TO R) Patricia Dorsey, Scholar; Dr. Jessie Walker, McNair Alumni and Computer Science Department Chair; Dr. Mary Benjamin, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs; Michael Thomas, Scholar; Mary Lackey McNair Program Specialist; Delois Moss, Scholar; Dr. Fredda Carroll, Interim Dean, School of Education; Senator Mark Pryor; Dana J. Smith, McNair Program Counselor/Coordinator; Takeesha Hawkins, Scholar; Dr. Deaundra Rhodes, McNair Program Director; John Kuykendall, Legislative Liaison; and Brennon Luster ‘12, McNair Alumni and Neurobiology graduate student at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Scholars and staff from the Ronald E. McNair Scholars Program along with other officials from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB) visited with Senator Mark Pryor (D) in his Little Rock. Those attending included: Patricia Dorsey, Scholar; Dr. Jessie Walker, McNair alumnus and Computer Science Coorindator; Dr. Mary Benjamin, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs; Michael Thomas, Scholar; Mary Lackey McNair Program Specialist; Delois Moss, Scholar; Dr. Fredda Carroll, Interim Dean, School of Education; Dana J. Smith, McNair Program Counselor/Coordinator; Takeesha Hawkins, Scholar; Dr. Deaundra Rhodes, McNair Program Director; John Kuykendall, Legislative Liaison; and Brennon Luster, 2012 McNair alumnus and Neurobiology graduate student at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

Since 2005, the Ronald McNair Scholars Program at UAPB has graduated 51 scholars – 31 of which entered directly into graduate school. Of the 31 that entered graduate programs 25 remained in school for their second year (81%) with 20 graduating with a Master’s degree and four receiving a doctoral degree. There are currently 33 students enrolled in Master’s Degree Programs and 11 enrolled in Doctoral Programs. Other accolades of McNair scholars include: Winning 1st Place in the UAPB Faculty/Staff Research Forum in Psychology (2012); Winning 1st Place in the UAPB Faculty/Staff Research Forum in Science and Technology (2011); Attended and presented research at research conferences at Henderson State University, Oklahoma State University and Baton Rouge, LA; and Attended a Summer Research Institute and Graduate School Visit at Texas A&M and University of Alabama. The program also started Graduate School Information Day which offered a free GRE Practice Test, graduate school fair, a panel of graduate students and professionals to answer questions, and workshops on graduate school process and graduate school application process.

The Ronald E. McNair Program encourages ethnic minorities, women and other underrepresented groups to pursue graduate school opportunities, in particular doctoral studies. It is one of the seven federally funded TRIO programs, which provides direct services to low income and/or first-generation college students. These programs are designed to help students overcome class, social and cultural barriers to higher education.

For more information about the McNair Scholars program, call (870)575-7269.

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