First McNair Scholar recipients named in joint program with UC Merced

Twelve California State University, Stanislaus students have been selected as McNair Scholars through a partnership program with the University of California, Merced that helps prepare recipients to pursue doctoral degrees.

Selected as the first group of McNair scholars at CSU Stanislaus were:

  • Hilary Johnston, a Biological Sciences major from Diamond Springs;
  • Rachel Garcia, a Communication Studies major from Los Banos;
  • Jorge Camarena, a History major from Modesto;
  • Ashley Amador, a Psychology major; and Dallan Guzinski, a Political Science major; both from Patterson;
  • Michael Darmousseh, a Mathematics major; Issac Farhadian, a History major; Lauren Hall, a History major; Mark Lazari, a Chemistry major; Teresa Madruga, a Psychology major; and Rachel Patrick-now Chamousis, a Chemistry major; all from Turlock;
  • Anne Engert, an English major from Oakdale.

Thirteen UC Merced students have also been selected as scholarship recipients.

Dr. Carolyn J. Stefanco, Founding Dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, said the prestigious scholarship grant program dedicated to helping students succeed in Ph.D. programs gives participants from disadvantaged and under-represented backgrounds a variety of networking opportunities and the chance to participate in a number of academically-oriented conferences and research activities all over the world. Each student receives a $2,800 research stipend.

The scholarships are named in honor of the late Dr. Ronald McNair who overcame hardships to earn his Ph.D. at the University of Maryland and became the first African-American crew member of NASA’s Space Shuttle program. A victim of the 1986 Challenger Space Shuttle explosion, McNair grew up in poverty in a segregated South Carolina community and went on to distinguish himself academically and professionally.

The CSU Stanislaus-UC Merced Ronald McNair Scholars Program has an office in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at CSU Stanislaus. More information on the program is available by contacting Program Director Angelina Dayton in the College of Humanities & Social Sciences at (209) 667-3531 or by e-mail at