The scholars get together for fun, too, such as at this picnic.

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EPSCoR Leverages McNair Scholars Program in Kansas

Project PI:  Ngondi Kamatuka, University of Kansas
                    Kathleen Greene, Kansas State University
                    LaWanda Holt-Fields, Wichita State University

Kansas NSF EPSCoR provides funds to leverage the McNair Scholars programs in Kansas. These are summer research programs that encourage students to pursue a graduate education by introducing them to the wonders of research. Across the country, 185 McNair Scholars programs work toward increasing diversity in the future faculty population in America. The program accomplishes this by preparing students who are traditionally underrepresented in graduate education for graduate school. The program is funded by the U.S. Department of Education and was named for Ronald E. McNair, the second African American astronaut to go into space.

Eric Alicia with his research at the Research Symposium.

Each of the three research universities, The University of Kansas, Kansas State University, and Wichita State University have McNair Scholars programs. During the summer, the Scholars develop a research proposal and write a research paper, working closely with a faculty mentor. Additionally, EPSCoR-supported Scholars must come from EPSCoR jurisdictions.

Joel Lugo, left, and Eric Alicea, both of Puerto Rico, participated in the 2009 summer program.

During the summer of 2009, 14 undergraduates, including two students from Puerto Rico, were funded by the Kansas NSF EPSCoR subsidy. The two students from Puerto Rico, Eric Alicea and Joel Lugo, are both chemistry majors at Interamerican University of Puerto Rico-Recinto San German. They studied synthetic fuels with Mikhail Rubin, assistant professor of chemistry, KU.


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