The centerpiece of the Stanislaus State McNair Scholars program is collaborative research with a Faculty Mentor. McNair Scholars are highly motivated, graduate school-bound students. McNair Faculty Mentors are distinguished faculty members with active programs of research scholarship, and/or creative activity. These faculty members are committed to preparing students for graduate education and assist McNair Scholars by introducing them to the nature and rigors of research and publication, serving as role models, helping them build professional networks with other scholars in their fields, and participating in social as well as academic activities with their protégés.
The aim of the McNair Scholars program is for students to gain confidence as scholars, to begin operating at their highest potential, and to establish themselves as student-scholar contributors to their chosen professions.
“I was able to develop a closer relationship with my mentor than with any other faculty member, and she has been incredibly helpful in giving advice not only for classes but for life in general.”
– McNair Scholar, Class of 2020
McNair Faculty Mentor Responsibilities
- Mentor the McNair Scholar protégé you are paired with.
- Work with the Scholar to develop the Honors Capstone project that will be the focus of their McNair paid summer research internship. The project will generally be developed as part of HONS 3990 in the spring semester of the Scholar’s junior (i.e. penultimate) year at Stan State.
- Approve the Scholar’s research proposal, including the supplies budget, before the paid summer research internship begins.
- Supervise the Scholar’s paid summer research internship.
- Monitor the Scholar’s research and writing, providing feedback and guidance while challenging the Scholar to produce high-quality research and disseminate it in accordance with disciplinary standards of excellence.
- Offer support and encouragement as the Scholar prepares to publish and present their work. Most Scholars publish in the Honors Journal of Exploratory Research as part of HONS 4200 in the fall of their senior year and present their work in the Honors Capstone conference as part of HONS 4960 in the spring of their senior year. Dissemination in other scholarly venues, including national or regional McNair conferences and discipline-specific journals or conferences, is also encouraged.
- Approve and sign the final version of the Scholar’s research report/paper/article.
- Provide disciplinary expertise, advice, and support as the Scholar works to identify, apply to, prepare for, and enroll in a graduate program.
Faculty Mentor Benefits
McNair Scholars credit their Faculty Mentors as crucial to their success in the summer research internship and to their progress towards graduate study. Faculty Mentors receive a number of benefits, including:
- the pleasure of passing on your knowledge and skills;
- the reward of seeing a Scholar’s growth under your guidance;
- valuable assistance on research projects;
- partnering with the McNair Scholars program as a resource for undergraduate research;
- stipend for supervising your scholar’s research project and paper;
- membership in a community of practice dedicated to supporting underrepresented students in their pursuit of a graduate degree.
“I enjoyed being able to meet someone who offered me support whenever I needed it, and being able to help me whenever I had questions.”
– McNair Scholar, Class of 2020
Avenues for Involvement
Mentor a McNair Scholar
Faculty members come from all disciplines and are among Stanislaus State’s finest educators and mentors. If you are interested in mentoring a McNair Scholar, please provide a short description of your research interests. We will notify you if you are paired with a Scholar. Thank you for your interest, we look forward to working with you in the near future!
Recruitment of McNair Scholars
Your assistance in the recruitment and identification of McNair Scholars is greatly appreciated. As faculty members, you can help identify who is likely to succeed and persist in graduate study, given the right motivation, assistance, and direction. Please consider students you believe would be excellent candidates for this program and fill out this nomination form. These students (contingent upon eligibility) will be encouraged to apply for the program. Your continued encouragement and recruitment of these students will be critical to their success.