Each year, Sonoma State University’s McNair Scholars Program assists 27 undergraduate students, who are either low-income and/or first-generation students of an underrepresented minority group, to prepare and get them accepted into graduate schools. This year, more than half of SSU’s McNair students received accolades, from prestigious awards to being accepted into competitive MA and Ph.D. programs including Stanford, George Washington and Pennsylvania State University.
“I am particularly proud of the McNair Scholars cohort of 2019-2020. They embody a wide range of talents and abilities,” said Daniel Malpica, director of the McNair Program. “These students are special because they have faced all sorts of personal and institutional barriers. Despite these challenges, McNair scholars come to realize that with hard work, dedication, adequate faculty mentorship, and institutional support they have excelled in research and will become experts in their fields.”
One such scholar who had to overcome barriers is Raymundo Lopez, who graduated from SSU this spring with degrees in both political science and French. The San Diego native has overcome many obstacles in his life, including spending his childhood in the foster care system with his four brothers and sisters. In the fall, Lopez will attend Stanford University where he will pursue a master’s degree in Latin American Studies having received multiple fellowships covering his tuition.
“Being surrounded by bright, driven, wholehearted individuals is what I am most proud of as a McNair Scholar," said Lopez. He said his ultimate goal is to fund his own news organization geared toward minority and electoral rights for poor people who are disenfranchised around the world.
Another McNair Scholar with goals of helping the disenfranchised is Lizbet Gonzalez, who joined the McNair Program in 2018. Graduating from SSU with degrees in both Chicano and Latino Studies and philosophy, Gonzalez was accepted into six different graduate programs, but she will be attending George Washington University in the fall on behalf of a tuition fellowship to pursue a Master’s of Public Policy. The Temecula native said she hopes to write and research policies that help historically marginalized communities. If that wasn’t enough, Gonzalez said she has goals of running for Congress one day as well. But without the McNair Program, Gonzalez said she would have never realized her potential.
“The program has been the most formative and influential part of my time at SSU,” said Gonzalez, who came to SSU in 2016. “I will forever be indebted to this program for all it has given me, and I have seen the amazing doors it has opened for so many of my peers as well as myself, and I am very happy that all of the hard work has paid off. I am grateful for this experience in my time at SSU.”
For more information about the Mcnair Scholars Program, including opportunities and how to apply, visit http://web.sonoma.edu/mcnair/. See below for a list of the acceptances, opportunities and fellowships received by the this year's class of McNair Scholars.
|Scholar Name||Grad School Acceptances||Summer Research Opportunities/ Other Scholarly Activities||Financial Package/Fellowships|
|Raymundo Lopez||Stanford University - Master of Arts Latin American Studies||American Political Science Association Minority Fellow||FLAS fellowship: covers $18,000 of tuition and $15,000 stipend & Ayacucho Fellowship: covers $36,315 oftuition and $2,000 stipend|
|Michigan State University - College of Social Science||Enrichment Fellowship: covers tuition and fees, $29,000 stipend, covers health insurance premiums|
|Bianca Valencia Barraza||UC Irvine - Master of Pupblic Policy in the School of Social Ecology||CSU Research Competition Participant||Merit Based Fellowship ($9,000)|
|UC Riverside - Master of Public Policy||Fellowship: $20,589|
|Alexis Mercado||Keck Graduate Institute Online Pre-Pharmacy Enrichment Program|
|Angelica Aguilar||MDI Biological Laboratory||MDI Biological Laboratory- $6,000 stipend, all meals included, travel reimbursements up to $400|
|Brandon Mariscal||UC Santa Cruz - Mathematics Ph.D. program||Tuition covered, $25,069 stipend|
|UC Riverside - Mathematics Ph.D. program||$54,000 stipend|
|UNLV - Mathematical Sciences program||$1,000 recruitment award, Assistantship with $19,000 stipend|
|U of Utah - Department of Mathematics Ph.D. program||Assistanship with $21,000 stipend, EDGES scholarship: $6,000 for relocation or other personal expenses, $4,000 for career development expenses|
|Eve Hostettler||Univerity of Texas at Austin-Jackson School of Geosciences||Stipend no less than $26,340, tuition and fees covered, funds to purchase UT health insurance|
|Fabian Ramirez||2020 Mathematical Sciences Research Institute Undergraduate Program (MSRI-UP)|
|Lizbet Gonzalez||UC San Diego - M.P.P. Program|
|UC Irvine - M.P.P. Program||$12,000 fellowship|
|University of Maryland School of Public Policy||Total stipend and tuition benefits of $42,134|
|Carnegie Mellon||Tuition, room and board covered-total of $78,182|
|American University - School of Public Affairs||Dean Award- tuition and assistanship total of $45,600|
|George Washington University||Tuition fellowship $30,000|
|Madison Tinsley||CSU Research Competition Participant||SSU Wine Industry Scholars Program Scholarship $10,000|
|Nidhi Patel||Cal State East Bay Masters of Social Work Program|
|San Jose State Masters of Social Work Program|
|SF State - Waitlist for Masters of Social Work Program|
|Therese Azevedo||DIMACS-Center for Discrete Mathematics and Theoretical Computer Science||DIMACS-$5,400 stipend and additional meal allowance|
|Wyatt Huber||University of Chicago-Leadership Alliance 2020-21, California Pre-Doctoral Program-Sally Casanova Scholar||University of Chicago- $3,150 stipend, housing, $750 meal plan, travel covered|
|Atziry Rodriguez||Awarded the Social Sciences Undegraduate Research Initiative at Sonoma State University|
|Lana Harris||Oregon State University - Master of Science||Full funding for M.A. program|
|Pennsylvania State University - Master of Education||Full funding for M.A. program|
|David Story||Sonoma State University-Summer Research with Dr. Mohamed Salem|