UNM's College Enrichment and Outreach Programs hosted an induction ceremony for the 2010-11 Ronald E. McNair and Research Opportunity Program Scholars at the Continuing Education Center recently.

In attendance were 26 undergraduate McNair Scholars, 10 undergraduate ROP Scholars, guests, past McNair/ROP scholars and faculty mentors. Vice President for Student Affairs Eliseo "Cheo" Torres welcomed scholars and their parents to the programs, designed to prepare students for graduate school through instruction, faculty guided research and mentoring.

Assistant Professor of Political Science Gabriel Sanchez congratulated scholars on successfully navigating the highly competitive selection process and encouraged them to utilize the support in place to help them apply to and prepare for graduate school.

Scholars are selected on a competitive basis. Eligibility requirements include a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher and being a member of an underrepresented group – or for McNair Scholars, a low-income, first-generation college student. All scholars must illustrate a determination to pursue doctoral degrees.

"It is always a great privilege to work with a diverse group of very dedicated and bright scholars. Clearly this year will be the same as we work with students from all disciplines. The induction is almost as exciting as seeing scholars get accepted to their first-pick graduate programs or receiving word that another scholar has completed a graduate degree," said Carolina Aguirre, director, Ronald E. McNair and Research Opportunity Programs.

The programs offer students the opportunity to nurture their academic goals by attending skill-building seminars and workshops on research processes, graduate school application procedures, financial aid and personal and professional presentation skills. Scholars are offered academic advisement, tutoring, participation in cultural events and travel to present at research conferences and for campus visits.

Students must complete a summer research project, present a written abstract and oral presentation and submit a final research paper on the project for publication in the UNM McNair/ROP Research Journal.

To advance educational excellence through diversity , UNM's Ronald E. McNair Post-baccalaureate Achievement Program seeks to produce scholars and researchers who will more accurately reflect the growing diversity in intellectual perspectives, life experiences and cultures in academe.

Named after one of the first African-American astronauts, the program is committed to increasing the number of students in doctoral degree programs who come from low-income and first-generation backgrounds, or who are members of traditionally underrepresented groups in academia, specifically African American, Hispanic/Latin American and American Indian/Alaska Native.

The UNM McNair Scholars Program began providing services to 26 students in 1999. Today, more than 188 programs across the country serve approximately 4,500 students.

2010-11 McNair Scholars
Robert Alanis
Albert Arocha
Patrick Barrett
Oriana Cottrell
Juan Dorado
Jennie Duong
Katrina Edelmann
Bryan Franks
Andrew Gomez
Stephen Griego
Veronica Hernandez
Naomi Lewis
Amanda MacEwen
Tiffany Montoya
Wendy Morales
Carolina Belmares-Ortega
Oscar Ortega
Abigail Ortiz
Gerald Polanco
Anthony Pomo
Amenda Ramirez
Maria Rivet
Ruben Salido
Janice Torres
Nathanael Wood

2010-11 Research Opportunity Program
BriAnne Amador
Pamela Barraza
Jennifer Breck
Lawrence Bustos
Sabastian De Los Reyes
Yvonne Duarte
Alejandra Magdaleno
Natasha Moharter
Mayra Perez
Camille Rodriguez

Story by Kirsten Crocker