20 Students Chosen as First WSU McNair Scholars

PULLMAN, Wash. — Twenty undergraduate students have been chosen as
the first McNair Scholars at Washington State University.

They are participating in the federally funded Ronald E. McNair
Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program at WSU to help encourage and
prepare low-income, first-generation college students to earn doctoral degrees,
said Nancy Schmidt, program director. Funding is from a five-year, $190,000 per
year grant.

The Class of 1999-2000 WSU McNair Scholars are Patricia Acevedo,
psychology and criminal justice; Luzviminda Carpenter, English; Cicely
Clinkenbeard, communication; Michelle Conover, animal sciences; Jose Garcia,
foreign languages – Spanish; David Gutierrez, comparative American cultures;
Jim Kelly, neuroscience; Jackie Long, speech and hearing sciences; Guillermo
Macias, business – management information systems; Cecilia Martinez,
political science and CAC; Jackie Martinez, women’s studies and CAC; Erica
Matthews, cultural anthropology; Sylvia Mendez, business – decision science;
Hsueh-Ping Meier, apparel, merchandising, textiles and interior design; Dekra
Mitchell, business – human resources; Alma Montes de Oca, CAC; Dayla
Randolph, psychology; Evelia Sandoval, biology; Freedom Siyam, history and
CAC; and Clyde Washington, chemical engineering.

On Oct. 22 at WSU, the scholars were introduced to the university community
during an evening campus program. Speakers included WSU counseling
psychology doctoral student Karryn Williams, a McNair Scholar from John Jay
College of Criminal Justice at City University of New York. Also speaking were
WSU faculty members Kelly Ervin, CAC, and Francisco Manzo-Robledo,
foreign languages. Schmidt presided over the program, which included
comments by Steve Burkett, assistant dean of the WSU Graduate School and
McNair program director, and Karen DePauw, Graduate School dean.

The scholars — current WSU juniors and seniors — will take part in seminars
and workshops throughout the year on topics related to graduate school
preparation. Each will receive a stipend for completing a summer research
project under the guidance of a faculty mentor. Also, each will have an
opportunity to present their research at local, regional or national conferences.

McNair, an African American, earned a physics doctoral degree. An astronaut,
he died in the 1986 explosion of the space shuttle Challenger.

Students considering applying to be scholars in the future may find
information at the McNair Program Web site, or by
contacting Schmidt at 509/335-7702.